The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has approved a gun safety certification course for schools and colleges that will be available to all students this fall.
The course is aimed at preventing firearm thefts and the use of firearms in crime.
The certification will be administered by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, which has been tasked with preventing gun-related injuries and deaths in schools.
The program, known as NCI-certified firearms, is part of the ATF’s broader efforts to reduce firearm injuries and death in schools by promoting safe firearm use and teaching safe firearm handling.
The class is scheduled to begin this fall at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
The training will also be available at the local high school level.
In addition to teaching safety and gun safety skills, the certification course will include a gun-control component.
The first class of about 100 students will be given a gun and target safety course at a school on Jan. 28.
It will be followed by the second class on Jan 24 and the final class on Feb. 3.
A third class will be set for Feb. 8.
The goal of the NCI certification is to “develop and implement new safety and management policies and procedures that will reduce gun-violence and the resulting injury and death,” according to the agency.
The agency also announced the establishment of a NCI gun safety task force.
The task force, which is headed by the director of the Bureau of National Affairs, is tasked with developing policies and regulations to improve gun safety in schools, according to a press release.
The NCI task force is expected to submit its final report in mid-March.
The ATF also is developing a gun education program that will include firearms safety lessons and lessons on how to handle firearms safely and effectively.
The new training will be offered through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
“We are working with state and local law enforcement and education providers to implement these policies and policies are being developed to enhance the safety of all Americans,” ATF Director Brian Leary said in a press statement.