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What is a CO not allowed to do

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I can totally respect your beliefs. Matter of fact, I like the fact you allow your son the option to earn his badges.


From my standpoint and experience, childhood friends who were not alowed to shoot BB guns, ride dirt bikes, go carts or "banned" from any particular activity...would eventualy do it anyway behind their parents backs...except, they had no proper supervision.


Not saying my son is an expert with a .22 by any means, but he does have experience with a .22 bolt and semi auto. He has shot a .410, and has a bb gun.


The biggest thing is this: he has a reasonable expectation of what could or might happen. He is not a safety officer either, but has a basic knowledge of how dangerous a gun is.


The point I meant by that is he is not fearless around gun - he knows they are dangerous.


Anyways, like I said, from my experience, a child will do something one way or another if he sets his mind to it. I'd rather my son have at least some MB experince instead of none if a friend one day tempts him with a gun.


At least at a BSA shooting range, it's in a controlled environment.

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Lots of good advice here.


First, there is no requirement in the BSA rank advancement system for Scouts to have a working knowledge of firearms safety and use. If your church makes the ban permanent, I do not think you will have wiggle room.


I think Beavah's comments about the presentation are spot on. I think you should talk, especially at Scout Camp, about the qualifications and standards for the Council to open a range.


I also think it would be a very good idea for a faith-friendly, shooting-sports friendly, Commissioner to go into this session with you. If you can find an area Pastor who is also a Scouter and someone who enjoys shooting sports, he's another good guy to have along.


Let us know how this turns out.

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"From my standpoint and experience, childhood friends who were not alowed to shoot BB guns, ride dirt bikes, go carts or "banned" from any particular activity...would eventualy do it anyway behind their parents backs...except, they had no proper supervision."


Hey, Scoutfish:

It's been my experience that children raised under a lifetime of "don't" and "wait" later become adults who "can't". Even with therapy, many never become productive or whole




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John is correct if the CO/Church says no guns its no guns period. However I think you should have a heart to heart with the pastor, if he says he just doesnt want guns on church grounds fine, ask if it would be all right to hold those classes elsewhere, say a gun club. It might be the fairest solution for all concerned.

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SSScout: Very eloquent. Thanks.




Can you help me understand something? First, you said: "If a troop goes to camp a CO has no authority to forbid the boys not to use the rifle range since this is a council program being held on property that does not belong to the CO."


Now, you say: "John is correct if the CO/Church says no guns its no guns period."


So which is it? Or is there a broader point you're trying to make?

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It is not as difficult as you make it out. The SM in this case wanted to hold firearms training at his scout meetings, at the church, the CO is within its rights to say no since it is their property and that is within their rights. Now if said SM was to hold those classes offsite, say at a gun club, then the CO, IMO, would probably be okay with it.


I can support a church CO saying no guns on church property for obvious reasons.

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I completely agree if the CO said no guns on property, I would go elsewhere for training. I was completely prepared to do that (and to some degree expected that as the response). The laws in Missouri are require written authority to bring firearms on to church or school grounds; that makes sense. HOWEVER, the email response to me was crystal clear; there was to be NO training whatsoever on or OFF property. So going to a gun club or elsewhere is not an option as things stand right now.


To that end, I will be having a heart to heart discussion with the staff on Wednesday to "plead my case". I was able to speak with Mark Belli of the NRA Youth Programs Department on Friday and he provided some ideas on how to move forward. One of the tips he provided to me was the group known as Royal Rangers is church based and has shooting as a large part of their program. Does anyone know of any web site that provides some details on their program, I am looking to refer to their program as part of my examples?


Meeting is in 3 days, summer camp is in 13 days.

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Do you have a friend, a Pastor, who enjoys shooting sports? The stumbling block I see is "You shall not murder." Given where society is these days (and the incident today in New Mexico did not help your cause), the hurdle I see you having to overcome is absolute Pacificsm as a practical belief system.


Re-read Beavah's advice very closely. He's got a good sight picture (pun intended) on this one


Have you thought through your guidance to the SM, CC, and SPL if the church leadership does not pull back? You are the one who is going to have to be the heavy...

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Reminds me of the time last year when our CO complained about a poster we had up made by a couple of Den Chiefs for the Webelos, listing safety rules for a BB gun range and a proper sight picture. They said the charter school objected to the weapons display. The same charter school that has WWII poster with a picture of an M4 Sherman and a nuclear bomb up year round in the classroom next door.


I too urge some clarification, but for us it was easier to just replace the BB safety rules with tree identification.

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  • 3 months later...

Thought I would provide an update for those who were kind enough to reply a couple of months ago. I could not of imagined this turn of events.


Basically we are still officially in a holding pattern. I presented my case, but did not receive a response. With recruiting and the new scouting year starting, my time was taken with other more important activies and this was shelved until I had more time OR they answered back.


The first week of August, one of the elders of our church contacted me about needing some help. This elder also leads a group that helps churches throughout the community establish men's ministry groups. This elder had no idea of the issues with the IH and his boss. The help he needed..."they wanted to invite ALL the boy scouts, their dad/uncles and their leaders living in the district to a Cabela's Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza" that was being held at my CO's facilities. They wanted to pay for each scout in the district to attend; this included dinner, door prizes, speakers, a DVD, presentations, car show, fishing tank, archery, air soft target shooting, etc. Pretty big deal. Oh yeah, did I mention Cabela's would have lots of guns there!


I worked to communicate the message out via round tables and get as many scouts in uniform as possible. It was simply a fun event for the scouts and hundreds of other adults in the community.


About the same time, our church hired a new fella to lead our men's ministry group. He was unaware of the scouting ministry his church until just a few weeks ago. (Per church policy, we are not really allowed to talk about ourselves, advertise on premises, etc; even though my unit is over 100 active youth strong). He was shocked at how little communication about this group was out there. He has plans to for working with this group, especially the older boys in the program.


As final preperations were being done for this extravaganza, the amount of activity between myself as the BSA liason and the elders of the church increased 10 fold. The questions about what the scouts did, how come they never hear of them at their church, what could they do to help, etc all started coming out of the wood work. I mentioned nothing of my issues, it was not the place or time.


However, last night at the event, when the bulk of my work was done and I could relax a little, I did start to share my issue with the elders I was able to talk to.


So, I can't tell you yet where this is going, but expect I may see a completely different vision for the scouts of my units and not just this specific firearm issue.


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Nice, Missouri!


Yah, I think that maintainin' good contacts with a CO is a hard thing, eh? Scouters are busy running program, CO leaders are busy doin' their thing. It's really easy to drift apart. But it's well worth it on da scouting side to do a bit to stay in touch.


Good luck buildin' on this for the future!



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