Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) has introduced a bill that would put an end to competitive rifle and archery teams in New York schools.
Rosenthal claims that allowing such programs to continue would be a tacit promotion of “gun culture.”
Program supporters pointed out the fact that all participants were already required to pass a gun safety course prior to joining a team and argued that rifle and archery teams promote self-discipline and concentration.
Marksmanship programs in public schools were once popular, but a rise in gun violence and school shootings in recent years has spurred a long overdue re-evaluation of their place in our students curriculum. A number of schools which still operate marksmanship programs do so through grants from the National Rifle Association, including Parkland, Fla. high school where a former student and marksmanship team member murdered 17 students and teachers in February 2018.
Also citing the “Gun Free School Zones Act,” passed by Congress in 1990, Rosenthal argued that no school could truly be considered “gun free” until the exemption for competitive teams was stricken from the law and all shooting sports were banned from school grounds.