Officers want to teach gun safety

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Members of the Fraternal Order of Police want to get kids outside and have fun.

They recently ordered an inflatable BB gun educational shooting range.

President of the Fraternal Order of Police Detective Nathan Coleman said this range has it all.

"This range can accommodate two shooters at one time," Coleman said. "It's completely surrounded. So, no BB's can come out. It hits a five-layer mat. So, as soon as the BB hits it drops. It's set up on a pulley system so there's no reason for anybody to ever have to go in there. You can pull the targets in and out. We're actually going to design our own targets."

Coleman said the idea came when he attended a conference last year.

"I was at a conference last year," Coleman said. "They were rifling off a BB gun. It was just a little buck BB gun. And my little boy wanted it so bad. It just kind of made me realize that I've never taken him out shooting BB guns. And I grew up with a BB gun. We'd go out and spend half the day playing around and shooting cans and targets and things. I just kind of miss that gap. It made me realize nobody's really doing anything with the shooting sports and the BB guns. So, hopefully this is something we can kind of get kids interested in and teach them more about gun safety."

Coleman said the officers are here to educate in any way they can.

Coleman said this is something that all kids can participate in.

"I was just looking this up," Coleman said. "In 1948, shooting BB guns and marksmanship was a part of P.E. in certain schools. Now, it's kind of like a lost skill. It doesn't require speed. It doesn't require height. It doesn't require agility. It just requires concentration and a good understanding of how it operates and how to operate it safely. So, this is something we hope to do."

Coleman said any businesses that would like to show their support for gun education and safety have an opportunity to do so.

"We're going to have spots for businesses," Coleman said. "Organizations that want to show they support gun safety and education. We can list some on each of our targets. We'll also have the ten rules for safe gun handling printed on the target as well."

Coleman said they plan to try and use it at their events.

"Once it comes in, we'll be adding it to our community events," Coleman said. "We have the fishing derby and we have the egg hunt. The egg hunt is actually coming up this Saturday."

They hope to have it in sometime in the next couple of weeks.

No guns other than BB guns will be used.

They received a grant from the NRA to purchase the shooting range.

For more information about the Fraternal Order of Police, click here.

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