Gun ranges rethink age limits after minor's shooting accident in Arizona

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- In both Georgia and South Carolina it's easier to shoot a gun than to buy one.

There are no age or license requirements in either state to go to the gun range, but after a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her gun instructor in Arizona, should that change?

One gun-toting mom says no and tells News 12 training is the key not age.

A tragedy in Arizona is sparking debate right here at home. How young is too young to shoot? After a 9 year old girl accidentally kills her instructor with an Uzi.

"It just made me remember how important it is to be safe," said 14-year-old Rebekah Seymour

Seymour still remembers the first time shooting a gun bigger than her brothers.

"It was a little intimating whenever I tried to shoot my mom's AR the first time, but I shot it once and it was a lot of fun," she told News 12.

Rebekah's mom is a competitive shooter and trains all three of her kids.

"Everyone should be started with what they can handle and then they can move up once they know the fundamentals," Jennifer Seymour said.

Seymour said she wouldn't hand her kids the type of gun that killed the instructor in Arizona this week, but age has nothing to do with it.

"For me it just depends on training more than age, gender, size, and anything else. I think it's much more about training," she said.

Georgia does not require an age limit to shoot a gun neither does South Carolina, but at Shooters in Augusta no one younger than 6 years old can shoot. The Gun Rack in Aiken sets its limit at 12 years old.

"I think it's more depending on the person than the age. I've seen 30-year-old's that don't need to be in here shooting and I've seen 8-year-old's that can handle a gun very well," Jennifer Seymour told News 12.

She said shooting is a sport. There's no age limit to practice golf, so why put one on shooting?

"It was something you got to work at," Rebekah Seymour said. "There's always something you could to better and it was time I got to spend with my family which was a lot of fun."

Both ranges we contacted said they let parents decide what gun the child should shoot, but both will deny the right to shoot if they think the gun is too much for a child to handle.

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