When Should Children Have Their Own Gun?

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 5/02/2013 7:17 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

What age is appropriate for a child to have a gun? 

KSP says a 5-year-old shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in Cumberland County this week.  Police believe the shooting was an accident.  ABC 36 was told the parents gave the boy a rifle as a gift.

It looks like a toy, and it's meant to.  The gun is called a Crickett.  State Police say a Crickett is the kind of gun used in the Cumberland County shooting.  The gun's marketed as "My first rifle."

4 years ago, Morgan Dunn got hers when turned 12. 

"I was really excited to be able to be like my brother, but it was a little nerve racking just to think that I have my own gun," said Morgan Dunn.

Her parents felt she was mature enough.

"It's something so serious that before they handle it, or know what they're doing, really they need to be a responsible age, and they need to be taught what they're holding and how to handle it," said Mark Dunn, Morgan's Father.

Dunn decided the responsible age for his daughter was 12.  A gun salesman told ABC36 the Crickett is meant for 5-8 year olds.

The gun comes in colors like pink and blue, it's a little less than three feet long, and weighs about 3 pounds. 

Dunn chose the Crickett for his daughter, because of safety.  It only holds one bullet at a time, but one bullet can kill. 

The Cumberland County Coroner says Caroline Sparks died from a single gun shot to the chest.

"I just was heartbroken.  I just can't imagine what their family's going through, it's just a horrible, horrible tragedy," said Mark Dunn.

A high school sophomore, Morgan gets different reactions from guys about her gun.

"Most of the time my guy friends have never really been shooting and when I say that I have they get really excited, and they're like oh, we have to go!  We have to go!  But some of them get really intimidated when I say that I know how to shoot.  Some of them get a little freaked out," said Morgan Dunn.

Dunn keeps the gun in a safe disassembled, and stores ammo in a different place.
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