Kids with guns, stressing safety when teaching a child to shoot - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Kids with guns, stressing safety when teaching a child to shoot

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- An Arizona man is dead after an accident at a shooting range.

Police say he was instructing a 9-year-old girl how to how to shoot an automatic weapon when she lost control of it and shot and killed him.

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford stopped by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office shooting range to talk to them about the accident. And, what you need to know before you let your child fire a gun.

In Sportsman's Paradise, learning to shoot a gun starts young.

"It's pretty much left up to the range, what range they go to," said Lt. Gerald Butler, a firearms instructor with RPSO.

But, how young is too young? And, what types of guns should children be shooting?

Those are questions many are asking in the wake of a deadly shooting in Arizona.

That incident involved a 9-year-old girl in Dolan Springs who was learning how to shoot an Uzi when the weapon kicked back and she sprayed her instructor with bullets, killing him.

"The kids shouldn't have access to them in this state," said Lt. Butler. "Even adults don't have easy access to automatic weapons in the state."

The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office teaches several different firearms classes throughout the year, including one for children.

"It's something they should make kids familiar with so that curiosity doesn't get to them," said Lt. Butler.

Instructors at the range say teaching a child to shoot is much different than an adult.

"You have to get down on their level," said Lt. Butler. "A lot of times, a kid's attention span is not as wide as an as an adult's. You have to talk with the kid and what they might understand."

While the Uzi is notorious for its recoil, RPSO says it does contain a safety.

"The Uzi has a safety inside the grip and the grip has to be pressed for the trigger to be activated. you can actually hear the instructor telling her make sure and push in the grip to squeeze the trigger," said Lt. Tommy Carnline with RPSO. 

The accident is still under investigation in Arizona.

No one has been charged in the accident.

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