RAYMOND, MS (WLBT) -The Boondocks Firearms training academy spent the day training families on firearms safety.
The course is a chance for parents and children to come out and learn the proper techniques with safely handing guns.
Chad James Winkler of the Boondocks Firearm Training Academy says their goal is to make sure families are safe in this age of gun violence.
“It’s really a fun class. It’s not designed to be anything, you know dramatic or anything, it’s just a fun time for them to come out there, learn firearm safety. We let the kids come in at a little portion of it and then we send them out to the range. And we sit down and talk with adults about the importance of firearm safety, keeping the guns locked up, making sure the kids don’t get ahold of that firearm, just learning how to incorporate a firearm into their personal protection plan,”said Winkler.
The Center for Disease Control reported in 2016 that there were over 38,000 firearm deaths in the United States. The Washington Post also reports that more than 26,000 children and teens have been killed in gun violence since 1999.
The instructors are training people that guns are a last resort, and that there are misconceptions when it comes to firearms. In this context, the guns are there for safety and protection.
Parents at the range such as Ashley Alexander, say the classes are preparing their kids for the world and that they make the transition into everyday life easier.
“Kids are exposed to guns at school, video games. It’s kind of hard to keep it away from them. I think it’s important for them to be aware of gun safety seeing as they’re going to be exposed to guns anyway. I’ve already signed my boys up for more classes and myself as well,” said Alexander.
The safety training doesn't stop at the range.
The instructors also teach kids what to do if they come across a gun that doesn’t belong to them.
The Boondocks have a safety mascot called “Boonie the Sheepdog.” His simple steps to kids when they find a gun is to pause, turn around, and find an adult.