No Federal Law Prohibits Children From Using Firearms

There is no federal law preventing a child under parental supervision to use a gun, even an automatic machine gun.

In light of two recent gun accidents in the U.S. involving children, one local gun range owner says age isn't always the biggest issue.

"All accidents are sad. You know, I mean, if you relate them to guns or to car accidents or bicycle accidents," Steve Sturm said, who owns Sturm's Indoor Gun Range in Springdale.

Sturm's has been shooting since he could walk.

"My theory is the sooner you learn to use a gun, the sooner you learn the safety rules and how to handle them, the better off you are," he said.

Which is the approach he's followed with his family.

"I can guarantee when my grandson was 6 he was safer than a lot of adults that are coming in here."

Federal law prohibits the sale of rifles and shot guns until a person is 18, and hand guns and hand gun ammunition can't be purchased until a person is 21.

But when it comes to using the weapons, the age is open under parental supervision.

"You can come in with a parent and I don't care what age you come in with that," Sturm said.

But just in case a family isn't as savvy as Sturm when training children, he'll step in to help.

"I'll intervene and say no this is not right you need to do it like this, so I've irritated a few parents because of it but you know they didn't get hurt either."

Because for Sturm, it's not about age.

"It's more training than it is anything else."

Also, maturity.

"Some 5 year old kids are smart enough and have enough common sense, and some of them they're 25 and aren't smart enough and have enough common sense to have one, so it's kind of an individual thing too."

When it comes to machine guns, Strum said he would not leave his kids alone with that weapon, even with training.

To find some training sessions in your area, click here.

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