Gun safety in focus after incident in AZ

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - After a 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor Tuesday, gun instructors are warning parents on safety measures to take before putting a gun in a child's hands.

Marty Boyd is the Craighead County Sheriff, trap shooting instructor and a firearm instructor and said some guns like an Uzi should be off limits to kids.

"I don't believe in handing a firearm with that capability to a child of any age," Boyd said. 

He believes there is no set age for allowing a child to start handling a gun. A parent must consider a child's emotional and physical ability. Even then, there is a lot to consider before letting a child handle a gun.

"I've seen kids that I personally believe are very safe at 5 and 6 years old and then I've seen adults at 25 and 30 years old that I would call unsafe," Boyd told Region 8 News.

Boyd said there are three things a parent should tell their child:

1. Always make sure the gun is unloaded

2. Always keep the finger off the trigger

    3. Be aware of your surroundings

"If you take the mystery out of the firearm to a child and teach them about it, it's less likely for them to have an accident in the future," he said. 

Most shooting ranges have an age limit and safety rules when teaching children to shoot. Boyd said safety is the most important thing to consider when handling firearms. 

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