Michael Pegram of North Carolina is a firearms instructor who decided there weren’t enough classes to teach children gun safety. He thought, ‘Why not create my own?’
So Pegram, who founded Echo Firearm Training, recently began offering classes for children–even as young as six-years-old–to learn how to safely handle firearms.
“There was no other class like this,” Pegram told WBTV. “So, I decided to come up with it.”
In the concealed carry state of North Carolina, guns are part of the predominant culture in many kids’ upbringings. So why not teach children respect for firearms they already see all around them?
“It’s the parents’ choice of what their kids should be around,” Pegram said. “I’m just offering a class to let them learn to be safe if they’re going to be around them.”
Pegram’s children’s course takes about four hours and includes teaching them how to shoot. His child students use a Nerf gun during his lessons, but children who Pegram feels are advanced enough are allowed to shoot either a .22 or a nine-millimeter, under his strict supervision.
“A lot of times they’re not shooting a nine-millimeter,” Pegram said. “But once in a blue moon, if they know what they’re doing, and I know they can do it, we have done that.”
Many parents seem to think the class is a good idea.
“My daughter’s five years old,” parent Bryan Moore told WBTV. “And thinking of her shooting a gun, it’s kind of crazy.”
Others have been more cautious. Rebekah Biercz told WBTV she thought the course seemed “like a bad idea,” but for older kids, it could be beneficial. “If we’re going to have guns in this country, one of the things we need is really strict training classes,” she said.
“On one hand, maybe it’s good to teach gun safety,” Moore added. “But then on the other hand, that would be my one concern, is it would make kids comfortable handling guns and could lead to more accidents, possibly.”
Nine-year-old Aiden Roberts told WBTV, “If you see a gun tell your parents. Never point a gun at people.”
These North Carolina kids and their parents seem to be benefitting from firearm safety courses overall.
What do you think?
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