Mayor Deborah Buzby-Cope, president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, wants to get legislation passed that would require gun safety to be taught in elementary schools.
Buzby-Copes is the mayor of Little Egg Harbor Township and the owner of a .22 caliber pistol and a Glock pistol. She practices at the shooting range and is cognizant of using eye and ear protection. When she leaves the range, she uses a gun-lock on her firearms.
The mayor wants to reinstate gun education and safety programs that were formally taught in the D.A.R.E. program. “It would be a 15-minute part of the class. It could save a child’s life,” said Buzby-Cope.
She also commented, “We talk about drugs, alcohol, sex, texting, bullying in schools — and these are all the issues — but it’s kind of like gun safety got pushed off to the side, and we’re not talking about it with kids like we used to”.
Buzby-Cope is already proactively showcasing her agenda. She handed out copies of a DVD, “Firearms Safety Education For All Ages,” featuring McGruff the Crime Dog to politicians and educators, brought politicians to an indoor shooting range to learn how to shoot, and she supports police chiefs who hand out free gun locks.
New Jersey state law requires gun owners to store loaded firearms in a locked container or secure them with a trigger lock if they know a minor would likely have access to the weapon. The state is also considering increasing penalties for allowing minors access to firearms.
“I hope to get legislation passed that would require gun education and safety be taught at the elementary schools, probably through the health class. It could save a life,” Buzby-Cope said.