SARGENT - Sargent high school senior Albert Floriani, came before the school board during their regular meeting to propose the school start a shotgun trap team. “I believe we should be exercising our Second Amendment right as youth. I think it’s very important for us to be learning, experiencing, and educating ourselves on these types of things,” Floriani told the board.
Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) does not have any association with the proposed club. But they did reach out to them and they said they have no objection to it. It would be up to the school on whether or not they would like to sponsor the sport and put their name on the proposed team. Floriani told the board they would still keep all the policies that CHSAA holds, such as, eligibility. They would also require all of their participants to pass the hunter safety course or have a plan to obtain their hunter safety course certification.
The club’s expenses would be for shotgun shells, clay pigeons and throwers. They are hoping to cover all of their expenses by applying for grants with the Friends of the NRA and the NRA Whittington Center. Floriani told the board that they’re applying for a grant of 10,000 shells and 6,000 clay pigeons from the Friends of the NRA. By applying for these grants the team should cost the school nothing.
Del Norte and Sangre are other schools in the Valley that also have shotgun trap teams. Del Norte’s team also follows CHSAA policies even though they are not sponsored by CHSAA. Floriani said he also reached out to Sangre to find out what their policies are but they did not get back to him. There are also schools in Pueblo and Colorado Springs that have similar teams.
As for the legal and safety issues, Floriani told the board he spoke with the local sheriff’s office and their school resource officer. Neither of them could find any legal issues as long as the participants uphold proper transportation and handling of firearms. This includes insuring that there are never any firearms or ammunition on school premises. Floriani is the head of the youth program at the Rio Grande sportsman’s club and their safety officer. He assured the board that they would make sure all safety regulations are observed. “I’ll also make sure all the safety regulations of the range and firearms safety have been obtained,” said Floriani.
Their practice sessions would take place at the Rio Grande Sportsman Club on highway 160 between Del Norte and Monte Vista. Their practices would be held on Fridays when there are no regularly scheduled classes so there will never be a reason for firearms to be on the school premises. Students participating in the sport would also be responsible for getting themselves and their firearms to the practices.
There are about 12 high school students who are already interested in the proposed trap team. There have also been a couple of adults who have agreed to be their sponsors. Trapshooting is one of the number one growing sports in the nation, and there are many scholarship opportunities for the sport.
As part of his closing statement Floriani told the board, “As I said before, being that the team violates no laws or regulations, nor does it cost the school any money, I believe we should be able to administer this club so that teens are able to exercise their Second Amendment right, learn about gun safety, and proudly represent our school.”
The board will discuss the proposed club further before they are able to approve it hopefully before the end of the year.
Rebecca Copley is a San Luis Valley native who covers news stories in the Monte Vista, Colorado area. She can be reached by email at [email protected]