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At what age should a child learn to use a firearm?

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What is the best age for  a child to learn to use a firearm?

There is no set answer. However, experts agree that the best age is when the child expresses an interest in learning.

“If they’re old enough to pick up the weapon, they’re old enough to be taught how to handle it safely,” says USA Carry. “Weapons training doesn’t need to begin from an early age, but proper identification and handling should be a requirement... the goal should not be to push them into difficult, highly coordinated hand-to-hand movements immediately.”

“I totally agree with what they’re saying here,” says Dennis Leifheit, retired law enforcement officer and owner of Northern Illinois Carry, in Sycamore. “It depends on the maturity of the child and when they express an interest in firearms. That’s the time to start teaching them how to handle them safely.”

Leifheit offers an Introduction to Handguns course. “I can teach that to any age group,” says Leifheit, “but the parents are going to know when their child is mature enough to understand what we’re talking about.”

To offer some perspective, Leifheit referred to a recent Zombie Shoot at Aurora Sportsmen’s Club. “My Cowboy Shooters Club set up a stage and we probably had six kids ages 8 to 10 or 11 who came through and shot handguns,” says Leifheit. “You could tell they were interested in firearms. Obviously, their parents had been working with them. We had kids 8 years old shooting single-action revolvers.”  However, Leifheit stressed, “It is incumbent upon parents to make sure they don’t leave firearms lying around in the open without a safety lock device on them, or in a locked storage container.”

In fact, USA Carry recommends enrolling children in a youth martial arts program when they show interest in weapons, since martial arts teaches discipline, responsibility, mental acuity, confidence, and respect, which provides a better chance for safety.

Northern Illinois Carry : 405 Somonauk Street, Sycamore, IL 60178 : 815.501.9421 : https://northernillinoiscarry.com/