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Family 411 - Bonding at the shooting range

Family 411 - Bonding at the shooting range

Some families go to the bowling alley together for bonding time, but “Family 411” reporter Lu Ann Stoia shows us why more moms and dads are heading to the shooting range with their children.

Chris McGee says there is no one better to take the responsibility of teaching gun safety to a child than their parents.

“You can never be too safe,” said daughter Mackenzie McGee.

The McGee family is part of a growing number of people who go to the range for some family time.

“Instead of playing tennis, we go to the gun range or we go shoot competitions,” said Chris.

Chris, a firearms instructor, says there is no specific age to allow kids on the range.

It all depends on their maturity and comprehension level.

“It teaches them self-confidence, teaches them skills, concentration,” said Chris.

While the McGee family keeps a watchful eye on range safety, the parents are also aware they’re spending time with Samone and Mackenzie and making memories.

“It's nice to come out and be able to do activities together,” said Chris. “It's also kind of relaxing, a relaxing bonding experience.”

The kids tell us the lessons learned here are preparing them for whatever comes their way.

“With everything that is going on right now, you need to be comfortable, you need to be confident,” said Samone.

“I don't want to just rely on my husband to protect us,” said Krista, the McGee family mother. “Sometimes he is not there, so I feel I can do that better now.”

At the “Bullet Ranch,” managers say many ranges across the country are seeing an uptick in numbers of customers.

“Do I think the terror of today is increasing, the knowledge that parents are installing in their children?” said Jerry Carver, Manager of the range. “Yeah I do, yeah I do.”

Mackenzie has been a cheerleader, she is on a swim team, but it's shooting competition that may win her a college scholarship, or will at least be a part of her adult future.

“You might say you don't like guns, you don't like shooting, but you never know until you actually go out and try it,” said Mackenzie.

Safety is the priority, and keep in mind: this may be an activity that is not for all families.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says there are more than 1,800 special programs for women and young people to learn how to safely use guns.

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