School Gun Safety Class 1956

Retronaut has Life Magazine photos of an Indiana school’s gun safety class (1956). Just look at the expression on the faces of those boys 🙂 I bet they had been looking forward to this lesson all year.

How times have changed. Today, in classrooms around the country, the DEA are the only ones professional enough, in this room, that I know of, to carry a Glock .40 😉

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Sam

    I wonder how difficult it would be for a teacher to actually give his kids a firearm safety lesson these days.

    • Rob

      There are probably a few districts that would allow it, but most kids in those schools wouldn’t need the class. Everywhere else the teacher would be looking at immediate suspension at a minimum.

  • Sian

    @Sam impossible, for one most schools are official Pretend Gun Free Zones, so just thinking of bring a real firearm there will get you 5 years. I wouldn’t want to risk even a realistic replica under those conditions.

  • Dave

    They were still doing a version of this in the early ’90s. Yes, every boy in the 7th grade looked forward to hunter education week. They didn’t do the hands on part, but that may have been because it was taught in the gym to the whole 7th grade at once. And then we all had to take a written test to earn our safety certificate and patch. Still taught by a conservation officer, too.

  • JC

    Unfortunately, most kids today get their gun safety lessons through video games like Call of Duty, which is probably not the best teacher.

  • Tahoe

    Awesome article, and sad reflection on how our society has slid down a nasty slope. I hate to say it, because it makes me feel old, but…”damn kids these days!”

  • Josh

    I’m 19 and would have loved to have had a middle school firearm safety course. I ended up being taught by my grandfather and to this day am a responsible enthusiast. Took my first buck when I was 10 and have bought 15 different guns on my own (well,I worked for the money to get them up until I was 18 when I could purchase by my self)

    My high school was pretty conservative,but every once in a while a liberal teacher would call me out on talking about them in school, or having a “guns and ammo” magazine. People these days are messed up.
    Joined the army 2 months ago,wonder how THAT would make my libtard teachers feel.

  • Rob

    Go back a few years more and most high schools had shooting teams.

  • Andrew Racek

    My proud nation….

  • Michael

    When I was in fifth grade my teacher’s husband came into the classroom to show us all his antique firearm collection. That was in Southern California in 1990. I can’t imagine that they would allow anyone to do that today.

  • Ryan

    Every once in a while I will be talking to a person that is for “reasonable firearm restrictions” One of the things they all talk about is having gun owners trained. On of these guys said something like “I’m not against the second amendment but we shouldn’t allow untrained people to have deadly weapons. They need a class and a license that says they are qualified.” To which I always respond.
    “You are correct. But because poor people can afford classes we should start teaching them firearm safety and marksmanship in public schools. I’m sure we agree that poor people should have the same rights as rich people?”

  • No girls… Not everything was better “back then”.

    Many high schools still had JROTC and shooting teams up until about five years ago. (With girls.) They are getting shut down due to the “risk”, although to my knowledge no single JROTC shooter ever got hurt in the history of high school shooting.

  • cc19

    I remember growing up in the 80’s, watching a spot on the local news on how to defend yourself with a gun that was police endorsed. They ran a home invasion scenario where the victim only shot the guy once, then was disarmed by a now angrier invader. Then they showed how to do it right, with the victim pumping round after round into the invader until he slumped over; no longer a threat. Yes… times sure have changed.

  • Tahoe

    Max Slowik–interesting to hear, I was on one of those JROTC shooting teams. I’ll have to check with my school and see if they still do it. Ours was a military school, though, so it may be treated differently.

    • Geoff

      I graduated in 2008 from a military school in Virginia, and they had one then, not sure there are many others left though.

  • Crystal

    Am I the only one who notices where the shooter is in relation to the photographer?

  • Lance

    I remember in the 80s when I was in school I could bring my toy hand grenade for show and tell Boy since 1990 things gave CHANGED.

  • Chase

    Thank you so, so much for reminding me of the great DEA agent Lee Paige.

  • Pete

    Now they learn about homosexuality…oopps excuse me…”anti bullying”.

  • PavuK_cz

    When I tell someone at our college that I want a gun license, they ALWAYS look at me as on weirdo and ask “you want to shoot all of us here?” This is just for show people’s relationship to the firearms in Czech Republic.

  • Blu

    In Alaska we have “AK studies” most schools give you training with .22s, and JROTC still has rifles, there just air rifles.