Children on the shooting range?

With general popularity of shooting consistently growing, we can expect to hear more often about non-adult people participating in such activities. It is controversial. Is it worth to take your child to shooting range? Or maybe we should not let them to learn about weapon handling? Let’s analyze that issue.

What about the law?
Let’s start with the law. There is no law enforcement on direct children limitations when it comes to the weapon maintenance lessons. As well as not a single word about it in something called “exemplar regimen of shooting range”, which is commonly used by owners of such objects. Obviously it doesn’t mean that a shooting range cannot persist on its own limitations. There are places that won’t let children shoot, there are places that they need to be with their parents. Others will need at least a written permission, for shooting with instructor.
We are still behind liberal laws present in United States of America. In Iowa state, a fourteen years old person may apply for a legitimate license.
Of course it is worth remembering that speaking about underage people, we are issuing few subjects. There is a difference in presence of a few years old child, twelve years old kid and almost adult high school pupil.

Arguments in favor
Those in favor of children getting used to handle a weapon are convinced that learning how to shoot may teach responsibility, keeping your focus or simply makes you agile as any sport does in fact. Supposedly it develops a child as a person. It is worth noting that the sooner we start to learn, the better results we can achieve. It happens, that even a few years old child will attend the shooting range – accompanied by its parents. Those in favor are also highlighting, that this sport is completely safe, as long as child is constantly being watched. They are also telling that such classes are not resulting in any increased aggression – on the contrary, they are calming.

Arguments against
Those against children participating in such classes on the shooting range think that handling the weapon is basically dangerous for their children. There are, in fact, incidents, even fatal ones involving children. They were occurring as an effect of weapon getting out of control. Children were behaving irrationally and instructor was not quick enough to react. Enemies of the idea are also pointing out the fact that children are not emotionally stable at young age. They are highlighting the fact that children cannot differentiate the fact from fiction and cannot predict the consequences of using the weapon and therefore should not have contact at early stage of their lives.
Compromise – shooting, without lethal ammunition
There are shooting ranges that maintain the middle ground in this case. They are organizing shooting classes specially designed for children to attend, except for the fact that instead of real weaponry, replicas are being used. Thanks to that, there is no risk that child will hurt anyone. Such weapon is called “pneumatic”.
Obviously classes are still watched by qualified instructor and children are learning about safe rules of maintaining the weapon – pistols might be replicas, but they are still nowhere near toys. There are same safety rules, as during standard shooting. Such classes help acquiring new passions and parents may be sure that everything is in order.