Rural Women New Zealand is a strong supporter for education programmes in schools on all matter of safety in rural environments which includes firearm use. The aim is to increase student and teacher awareness of how to use firearms safely.
In past years, RWNZ has delivered workshops with primary schools on risks in the rural environment, such as animal safety, ATVs, poisons, water safety, civil defence, road safety, rural fires and home security. This included sessions on firearms safety.
“Research shows that teaching children at a young age how to handle firearms safely, decreases non-intentional firearms incidents, resulting in lives being saved,” says Rachael Dean, RWNZ Finance Chair and RWNZ representative on Firearm’s Safety Council and Firearm’s Community Advisory Forum.
“Towards the end of the 1960’s, statistics show that on average, children were involved in an incident a month from a non-intentional discharge of a firearm. Once education around firearms was introduced, the statistics dropped dramatically.”
Firearms are part of the rural environment and the first concern in educating children in firearms use is safety. Learning to shoot under suitable supervision teaches self-discipline, self-control, hand-eye coordination and concentration. The benefit of firearms’ training in schools is to educate students and adults to help create a better safety culture on farms and lifestyle blocks.