kids

Children as young as 12 are shooting guns at a new firing range in South Australia.

Children as young as 12 are shooting guns at a new firing range in Christies Beach in South Australia. But many parents are asking, would you really let your kids fire a gun?

“You are never too young to be educated about guns and the safety and the use of them,” owner Peter told Seven News.

Peter’s 12-year old daughter, Louise, already has a gun licence and is a regular at The Gunnery – Australia’s first digital live fire range.

“I definitely think it’s safe because of all the rules you have to follow,” she said.

A minors licence allows children to shoot on a range, however they can’t own a gun or buy ammunition until they are 18-years-old.

“We have very tight safety measures in place, which include tethering of the gun and also a restraint for the person. Not only does this provide a safe environment, but also helps a new shooter feel more comfortable,” Peter told Mamamia.

Kids as young as 10 years old can handle guns under the immediate supervision of an appropriately licensed adult, according to GunPolicy.Org.

“As the law states, a young person can shoot from the age of 12. We don’t actively encourage children to shoot, however if they have an interest or a want to try, we can provide a safe, supervised and secure environment,” said Peter.

“Every minor MUST have a parent with them at all times. Ultimately it is the parent’s/guardians choice if the child can shoot or not. We do limit the calibre on the guns minors can shoot.”

Despite Australia’s tough gun control laws following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, children can legally access guns.

A post supporting guns on The Gunnery Facebook page.

Some parents worry about their children playing with toy guns, let alone the real thing.

“Shooting is no different than any other sport, in fact it is far less aggressive than some. There is nothing wrong with a child learning the discipline and safety and having respect for a firearm,” Peter posted on The Gunnery’s Facebook page.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our 12yr old daughter spent 24 long hours competing in the Australian nationals at Easter along with 400 other shooters. That was some dedication to the sport.”

Peter says his daughter is a polite ‘A’ grade student who enjoys “normal things that 12 year olds do”.

“[Shooting] was a choice she made after watching me shoot in competition and after consideration we allowed her to try it and she enjoyed it so much that it’s her chosen sport.

“She has a very bright future in competition shooting and already is rising through the ranks in SA for IPSC,” he said.

Gun Control Australia‘s Samantha Lee told Sunrise she disagreed with the practice and said it was  “indoctrinating” a gun culture in children.

“This is straight out of the American gun culture book. It’s trying to normalise gun culture here in Australia by allowing young people as young as 12 to access semi-automatic handguns,” she said.

However, Peter says gun safety teaches children discipline and respect in a safe environment.

“Unlike at lot of sports there is no physical contact,” he says.

“I think people need to realise that problems with guns come from the illegal and unlicenced guns, perhaps people should concentrate on a cure for that rather than demonizing people who legally shoot.”

Peter is abiding by the law. The local council approved the business application. He’s following tight rules and regulations for safety, but would you want your child to fire a gun?

Hey Mia: What’s your view on toy guns for kids?

00:00 / ???