January 8, 2024

Classroom to Crosshairs: Michigan Seeks to Include Hunter Safety in Education Curriculum

Article Contact: Bob Matthews,

Why It Matters: With hunter participation rates declining across the country, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus enters 2024 with a partial fix on the docket: requiring that a model hunter safety course be created for schools to offer as an elective. Exposing students to firearm safety and hunting practices aims to recruit more young hunters into the fields of the Wolverine State, with the intent to invite newcomers on a lifelong stewardship of its storied wildlife species.


  • Senate Bill 664 was introduced by Michigan Legislative Caucus Co-Chair Senator Jon Bumstead, and its companion, House Bill 5334 was introduced by fellow Caucus member Representative Curt Vanderwall.
  • Together, the bills have nearly 70 bipartisan co-sponsors, as well as the support of both the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).
  • Advancing hunter education opportunities in schools is a policy priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). During the 2024 session, CSF will actively work with legislators and stakeholder partners to help guide these bills through the legislative process.

Introduced on the final day of Michigan’s 2023 legislative session by Senator Jon Bumstead, Co-Chair of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and his fellow Caucus member Representative Curt Vanderwall, SB 664 and HB 5334 would require that the DNR and MDE collaboratively create a model firearm safety course for schools to voluntarily offer as an elective course.

The course would teach students proper usage and handling of firearms, safe cleaning and maintenance of firearms, different types of firearms, and safe hunting practices. Although firearms and ammunition will not be allowed into a school building during the instruction, the course will qualify as completing the state’s hunter safety requirement, which is one component needed to obtain a hunting license. In order to obtain a license, students will also need to complete a field day.

The bills, which are carried over into the 2024 legislative session, were respectively assigned to be heard in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture and the House Committee on Judiciary. Through the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, CSF will work with legislators to promote the passage of these important bills that seek to recruit newcomers to join us in our time-honored outdoor traditions.

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