Lawmakers on the House Education Committee supported allowing public schools to teach gun safety and accident protection to their students — but only if the curriculum wasn’t required in classrooms.

Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, stripped language from his House Bill 446 that would have made the classroom instruction on gun accident protection mandatory in Louisiana’s public schools.

Miguez, a freshman lawmaker, said the National Rifle Association has a gun accident prevention program offering instruction to schools for free. He described it as similar to instruction warning students against child predators, saying it doesn’t promote gun ownership or involve handling guns in any way.

“The goal is to save children’s lives and protect our youth,” Miguez said.

With a 10-3 vote, the committee also removed the requirement that if schools taught the gun safety information that they had to use the NRA’s program instruction after Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, said he disagreed with taking discretion away from schools.

After the changes, the bill was sent to the full House for consideration with no objections.