A Pueblo County, Colo. middle school sent a group of students this week on a field trip to a firing range, television station KRDO reported.
“Often firearms and schools don’t mix,” Timothy Baird, a teacher at Craver Middle School in Colorado City, Colo., told the station. “There’s a big fear there. So we are pushing the safety aspect and hopefully ease some people’s fears.”
The school got permission from the county sheriff’s office and students’ parents for the trip. A non-profit called Appleseed, an organization dedicated to teaching “rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage,” was also involved in the outing.
“We’ve never been allowed to bring actual real firearms into a school,” Appleseed’s Elizabeth Blackwood told KRDO. “Until this week. This is a very big deal. We had them touching fire arms, holding them, and learning about how to handle them safely.”
Footage taken by KRDO showed students aiming a variety of rifles.
“I’m very excited, today we’re going to come out here on the gun range and shoot a little bit,” Jonah Statezny, one of the students, said. “The past week we’ve learned about the revolutionary war.”
Colorado has been ground-zero of the nation’s gun control debate in the past two years, following the 2012 massacre at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater. The state passed a series of tough gun control measures last year that led to recalls of state lawmakers.
You can watch the segment here.