Kids receiving gun safety training to prevent accidental shootings? What a great idea!
At the Summer Youth League Gun Camp offered by Shoot Smart Gun Range and Training Center in both Grand Prairie and Fort Worth, TX, kids from 8-15 years of age meet with instructors to learn about gun safety.
“All of our classes are full at both locations,” Cassie Shockey, Shoot Smart Gun Range’s customer and programs manager, told reporters in late July. “They all go through the new shooter class the first day of the league and then they get to go down to the range and shoot. We pair them up, so it gives the kids a chance to try the fire arm out in a fun and non-threatening way.”
In June, both Shockey and Shoot Smart’s Jared Sloane were named Local Champions of Gun Safety as part of the NSSF Project ChildSafe’s S.A.F.E. Summer Campaign for their efforts to promote community firearm safety.
“If we can keep just one kid from accidentally accessing and discharging a firearm, we’ve succeeded. There are too many accounts of kids getting hurt or killed because they found a gun and played with it,” said Sloane. “We cannot teach or train the curiosity out of children (nor should we), so we have to take other measures to raise gun safety awareness and to make sure guns are locked and safe when not in use.”
One student of Shoot Smart’s summer program, an 8-year-old by named Hayden, proved the class had already had an impact, reciting, “The rules are always point your gun in a safe direction, don’t point your gun at a person, always have your earmuffs on, and always treat the gun like its loaded”
The classroom training through the Summer Youth League helps students not only learn gun safety, but also form a respect for firearms.
“We’ve had a few parents come in who have limited knowledge of firearms, but want their children to learn about the firearm safety because there are guns in the house or a family member may have a gun,” Shockey said. “Firearms are also a big part of the culture in the United States. We try to dispel a lot of the myths or misconceptions that kids and parents have.”