Kids Learn Gun Safety Through Shooting Clinic

MGN Online

BELOIT (WIFR) -- It's not a usual sight we see - kids with guns. However some parents think exposing kids to guns at an early age may help prevent them from turning to a life of crime.

10-year-old Morgan Knilans knows how to shoot a gun, but she says she understands it's nothing to play with.

"Guns are not toys," said Morgan.

She says learning about these weapons has actually helped build her self-esteem.

"Being able to like hit a bullseye, just puts a smile on your face, it makes your day," said Morgan.

Morgan is one of more than 100 kids at the NRA Youth Sports Fest in Beloit, where girls and boys ages 8 to 18, learn gun safety and practice shooting as a sport.

Certified instructors say this helps kids develop concentration skills and self-discipline.

"They learn to not be frightened of them," said Mike Knilan.

Morgan's dad Mike says teaching kids about guns at an early age could prevent them from potentially dangerous situations.

"It'll help take away the curiosity and sometimes that's where the problem is, they're curious about them they don't know how to handle them and that's how accidents happen," said Mr. Knilan.

"These are real guns that they can really hurt somebody," said Lori Duane, who's grandson is in training.

Lori Duane says she wants her 9-year-old grandson to understand the seriousness behind these weapons, which could deter him from a life of crime.

"I don't ever want him to pick up a gun in a wrong way. So by teaching and bringing him here, I feel like I'm teaching him to do it the right way and actually to not actually go and have a problem later on in years," said Duane.

Organizers say this is becoming a growing trend. There were about 170 kids in Saturday's program compared to 150 last year.

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