Community Issues

Gun Safety Instructor Teaches Kids as Young as Six

Parents are divided on whether exposing children to firearms will help educate them, or lead to more accidents.

A North Carolina company is offering gun safety training to children--and the instructor says that includes kids as young as six years old.

"There was no other class like this," Michael Pegram of Echo Firearm Training told Charlotte television station WBTV . "So, I decided to come up with it."

Pegram says the class involves four hours of classroom time learning the ins and outs of gun safety, as well as actual shooting. He says it is up to parents to decide how early they choose to introduce their children to firearms, he is simply providing a place for them to learn how to safely use them.

One father told WBTV that his daughter is five, and that just seems too young to be using a firearm, even if there is safety training involved.

"On one hand, maybe it's good to teach gun safety," Steve Moore says. "But then on the other hand, that would be my one concern, is it would make kids comfortable handling guns, and could lead to more accidents, possibly."

Pegram says students start by using a Nerf gun, then a .22 rifle. He says if they know what they're doing, and are able to handle it, he'll allow students to use a 9mm pistol.

Other parents said that if children understand how guns work, they'll be less likely to "mess with them."

Pegram says the goal of the class is to take away the unknown about guns from children and to teach them safety if they do encounter a firearm.

Photo courtesy Echo Firearm Training.

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