A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children's birthday parties. Owner David Prince tells WFAA that the Eagle Gun Range will be available for children as young as eight years old.
"The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table," Prince said. "They're not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there's not enough parents we'll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely."
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While it may seem unusual to celebrate pairing young children with guns, it's not an entirely unique practice. Last November, an Arizona gun club hosted a day of Christmas photos, where children could post with a man dressed as Santa Claus—and semiautomatic weapons. That event reportedly drew hundreds of attendees.
The soon-to-open Texas gun range has reportedly been well received by locals, though some nearby residents say they are opposed to letting such young children handle live firearms.
"It makes me very nervous," said Dawn McMullan, who has two sons and has also worked on past gun control efforts. "I think eight year olds, developmentally, can't tell the difference between play and reality sometimes."
"And also to put it in a party or game atmosphere just seems to not respect a gun as much as we should respect guns," she said.
However, Prince said education is exactly what he has in mind by offering the range's services to budding marksmen.
"We truly believe it's a right and a privilege to shoot and to bear arms," Prince told WFAA. "But you have a responsibility to know how to do it well. It's your responsibility to know how to take care of your gun and know how to use it."
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