KANSAS CITY, Kansas [CBS] - A child died in an accidental shooting at the hands of their own or another child's at least every other day so far, this year. These tragic accidents often happen with handguns and are more likely to occur on weekends or around the holidays.
One place offered a class where young children learn how to handle and fire handguns. Third-grader Brody Risen was pulling a trigger for the very first time. He learned how to load and fire a .22 caliber handgun.
During this class called "first shots." It's designed for children as young as 8-years-old. The goal of the two-hour lesson was to teach gun safety while satisfying a child's curiosity about firearms. Brody's father is a gun owner.
“I think the younger you are the more you're comfortable with it around them, the better they are to handle them,” said Paul Risen.
Psychologist, Sherry Hamby, is studying the impact of guns on children.
At what age does a child have the impulse control and maturity to handle a firearm?
“Impulse control and maturity and cognitive capacity are all somewhat different things. The more we know about brain development the more you would really have to say mid 20’s,” said Hamby.
Julvonnia and Byron McDowell lost their 14-year-old son Jajuan last year. His 13-year-old cousin accidentally shot and killed him at relative's house with an unsecured handgun he thought was unloaded.
“Even if they go through safety classes, that's not going to prevent them from saying, ‘look what I can do.’ And just that quick, life can change," said Julvonnia.
As for Brody, he's happy he hit the bullseye. But what did he learn? “I learned the four safety rules. Never point the gun somewhere or in danger and never… I forgot,” said Brody. His dad told CBS News they’ll be back.
Kids can eventually move on to the more advanced class, second shots, which teaches how to fire both handguns and rifles.
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