POSTED: Friday, December 7, 2012 - 6:53pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 8:47pm
Tyler, TX — Many kids are anxious to open presents this Christmas. Some children want a firearm.
Kids don't want a toy gun under the Christmas tree, they want a real gun on the tree.
We're told kids are learning how to shoot earlier these days.
But how young is too young for kids to get that first gun as a gift?
Kids are curious about guns as young as five years old. They watch action movies, watch mom and dad using a gun when their out hunting or at the shooting range.
KETK spoke to Lock & Load in Tyler to ask the professionals opinion on when the first firearm is appropriate.
The owner of Lock & Load, Steven Prater tells KETK,
"A lot of it depends on the parents...what type of supervision they have, what type of knowledge they have for firearms. If a parent is going to go to the point to buy a firearm for their child, that's good thing because that means the parents have some knowledge of it, but what I found to be important is that it's hands on training, spending time with a child," says Steven Prater.
Prater has four kids and he says he's never worried if a gun is lying around because he knows his kids will not touch it.
Prater tells KETK, if gun safety is taught properly, it sticks with them, then there's no mistake.
"What we've learned is the younger the better actually, because their mind are like steel traps," says Steven Prater.
Robert Quates, Sales & Firearm Instructor at Lock & Load, tells KETK it's parents responsibility to teach and talk to their kids about gun safety, and Quates says to teach them at a young age.
"They can understand... you know... how to not mess with a weapon when parents aren't around. The importance of keeping your finger off the trigger and I take them and let them shoot and show them what the weapon can do if it is misused and stuff like that, so it's very important to start your kids off young," says Robert Quates, Sales & Firearm Instructor .
Prater tells KETK, parents should teach their kids to treat every gun as if it's loaded, know what's behind the target, be positive. Instilling the basic principals makes it a safer environment for everybody.