Gun Safety Class Teaches Kids and Adults

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 08/30 2014 09:13PM

Updated 08/30 2014 11:57PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Hailey Hatley is only six years old, but has been shooting guns for more than a year.

"I wanted to figure out how to shoot a gun," she said.

The first grader took shooting lessons from the ABC Handgun Team on Saturday morning. Hailey's mother Brittani has her conceal and carry permit, and wanted her daughter to learn gun safety as well.

"She's very responsible," Brittani said. "She just turned six when we took the class. She did well. She sat through the eight hour class, she retained everything that he taught her."

Shawn Harper is the lead instructor for the class and says it's important to introduce gun safety at an early age.

"I think as soon as kids are curious about guns, they need to learn about gun safety," Harper said.

Harper teaches kids as young as five.

"Five and six year old's can do it if they can sit still long enough to learn about the gun safety aspect of the class," Harper said.

Somebody that knows this well is Collin Barton, 12, who has shot guns since he was six.

"Don't hold the gun unless you're ready, keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot," Barton said.

Barton says his dad grew up shooting guns and wanted to learn how to safely use them.

"There's a huge gap between shooting guns and handling guns safely. Any person can shoot a gun. You have to know safe gun handling skills before you start shooting a gun," Harper said.

And no matter the age or skill level, Harper says common sense goes a long way.

"The number one safety on a gun is about two inches above your eyebrows. You got to use your brain," Harper said.

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