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'Pistol camp' teaches children as young as 8 how to shoot

Posted at 1:14 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 13:14:00-04

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - Some parents think a good way to protect their children from guns is to make sure they know how to handle one safely.

One gun range in Texas is offering a camp that it said makes children less curious about guns and teaches them how to shoot them right way.

"Fire actually comes out with the bullets,” said Matthew Vacek, one of the campers. “Seriously, guns are not toys people."

Children ages 11 to 14, took part in Best Shot Range's Pistol Camp, a three-hour course that allows children to get the feel of firing a gun.

For the first time in their lives, the children loaded, and fired ammo at targets.

Owner Matt Fleming teaches safety before the children are allowed to shoot.

"You can't just take someone's word for it,” Fleming said. “You always have to physically inspect the chamber."

"Why would you want to keep it a mystery from them?” he said. “Why would you not want to have that information available to them? Why would you not one to put them in the right setting where if they're ever exposed to a gun, they know what to do."

Fleming also advised to point the gun in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger and keep the gun unloaded until you're ready to fire.

"With all the current world events going on,” said another camper, Andy Gu. "I think it's important to safely use one."

He offers two courses with participants as young as 8.

But not everyone thinks teaching children how to shoot guns is safe.

The Brady Campaign which aims to prevent gun violence, said studies conclude, when children are alone, they ignore what they learn.

The agency said instead, parents should lock their weapons, and ask others if they own a gun at their home.

As for the campers, each said they learned something new.

Fleming plans to offer his camp again over the summer.

Classes start at $95.

Copyright 2018 KTRK via CNN. All rights reserved.