Family 411: Bonding at the gun range

Family bonding at a gun range (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) - Some families go to a ball game or an amusement park for bonding time. An Ohio couple who believes the key to family bonding can be found on the gun range.

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

The McGees are 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."

Chris, a firearms instructor says there is no specific age to allow kids on the range. It depends on their maturity and comprehension level. "It teaches them self confidence, teaches them skills, concentration."

While the McGees keep a watchful eye on range safety, the parents are also aware they are spending time with Samone and Mackenzie, and making memories. "It's nice to come out and be able to do activities together. It's also kind of relaxing, a relaxing bonding experience."

Samone says 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."

"I don't want to just rely on my husband to protect us," says the kids' mother, Krista. "Sometimes he is not there so I feel I can do that better now."

At the Bullet Ranch, manager Jerry Carver says 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? Yeah I do, yeah."

Mackenzie has been a cheerleader and 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."

Safety is the priority here. 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.