Exposing Guns to Young Children May Be Beneficial

Act 3: ABC's David Muir meets parents who believe letting their kids use guns will eliminate their curiosity.
3:00 | 01/31/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Exposing Guns to Young Children May Be Beneficial
For nearly a year now we traveled this country and now we hear from parents who say they're responsible gun owners, many of whom have taken another step, they put their guns into the hands of their children. Are you ready? Reporter: There are parents around the country who believe exposing their young children to guns is part of the solution. This is Charlie. Taking on a machine gun at age 4. We went to meet Charlie and his family, and we found them at this gun party with other children. They've been to these parties before. This one, outside Atlanta, where children learn to shoot. Reporter: Braden Saul's 10 years old, putting in his earplugs, covering his ears. The buckets of ammo. They check his grip. He's ready. Reporter: The 6-year-old, shooting a .22. There are little girls, too, Jordan is 8. The assault rifle comes next. All of the parents right there. Jennifer is Charlie's mom. I knew that he was safe, but it is actually funny because, in one part of the video, he looks to the side to look to me to ask for permission. Guns don't have to be bad, they're good, they're fun. Reporter: They are among the families in America who believe something else. That, by putting guns in the hands of young children it takes away the mystery. It helps to diminish their curiosity. Charlie's dad, Latham, who owns rustys rags he argues demystifying the gun is the answer. There's a lot of accidents that happen because kids aren't properly trained to use guns. So, it's either education or ignorance, is the way that we look at it. I'd rather be the one showing our kids the proper way to use guns. Reporter: He couldn't provide Numbers about whether allowing young children to shoot really removes curiosity later when the parents aren't there. But he was adamant that the children at all of his gun parties have never had an accident at home. And, if you're wondering what happens to a child when a gun is put into their hands at such a young age, meet 14-year-old Katie Francis, just one example. She fired her first gun as a kindergartner. I make straight As. Reporter: You get straight As? Yeah, it's a policy at our house. Reporter: Katie took us out on the family farm in Missouri, where after homework, this is what comes next. What are you shooting with today? My pistol, my shotgun, my rifle. Reporter: Stocking her ammo on her Wais, we were about to see what she can do. Then, her pistol. 17 shots in 17 seconds. Katie is one of the top teenage shooters in the country, outshooting men 20 to 30 years older than her. And who's next in her family? Her 4-year-old sister, Sagel, just recently shooting for the first time. You gotta know there are a lot of parents out there who will say -- They're gonna be outraged. They'll be outraged. Reporter: At 4-year-old? You can't wrap your kids in bubble wrap. You can make them wear a seat belt every time they get into a car and they still may die in a car accident. Reporter: So you stand behind your decision? Absolutely, and I think that you have to, you have to start somewhere. You have to teach them responsibility with the weapon. If you don't, they're going to be curious and they're going to find it, and they watch TV, they know how to put their finger on the trigger and squeeze it. Reporter: But, even for all the families who say they did it right taught their children the dangers of guns early, we heard about Travis Taylor, who says he did the same thing too. His boys on the farm in Ohio all began shooting young. They'd been hunting since they'd really been able to walk with me. I taught them all from a young age, no matter what, if you see a gun, you treat it like it's loaded all the time. Reporter: He was outside working, they were in the garage. His 8-year-old, his 10-year-old inside. He heard a shot. Trying to get him to wake up, he wouldn't wake up, I keep trying to feel for a pulse. No pulse there. Reporter: His seven brothers shattered, too. I know he's not visibly here, but emotionally, he is. Reporter: We ask the Francis family who are now training their 4-year-old about the parents who say they taught their children about the dangers of guns too. You have to know their kids. Reporter: They tell us they lock their guns now because even as that 4-year-old Sagel learns to shoot, they fear she is still too curious just listen to him test her -- We never put -- Our finger on the trigger. Reporter: And if you think it's just dads who bring guns into the home believing it'll make the family, the children safer, our trip to oak forest, a sprawling neighborhood outside Houston. Where, a dozen cars arrive just as we do. And inside each one of them, mothers, grandmothers, a kindergarten teacher, all there with their guns. You all have these guns here to feel safer? Yes, correct. Reporter: Maureen is a single mom. So you're not worried at all with a 3-year-old at home? I'm not. You keep it locked up? I don't keep it locked up. I keep it in a closet. Behind the door. Reporter: At home we meet her son, Jonathan, showing me his video game, as his mother then upstairs shows us her hiding spot like so many of the other parents we met earlier, her gun unlocked and in the closet. In the closet by the baseball bat? Reporter: Her ammo nearby and so is her son, he sleeps right there in the bedroom with her. And among the women we've met along the way, another mom, who is also a kindergarten teacher. What kind of gun do you have? I have a 20 gauge pump action shotgun. Reporter: We've followed many of these families for nearly a year, that kindergarten teacher on a return visit revealing to us a close call, it happened during the night with her son. When he came in, the alarm system set off, I reached over for the gun and right away he's like "Mom, mom." It made me think a tragedy could have happened. Reporter: But, even with that scare, she believes that she and her family are safer with the gun. In fact, accidental shootings of kids in the home are down. Karen Clark, a mother and grandmother, that's where you carry your gun? In your makeup bag? She practices at the range once a week. We asked her about her three grandchildren, do you ever worry about whether or not they could get their hands on that gun? They all shoot. Reporter: Her trainer, Kyle Coplan, told us his daughter almost 3, will also soon shoot. How long before she's got that bb gun in her hand? Oh -- it depends on how good she is for Christmas. Reporter: But we wanted to know, even if you expose children to guns early, let them hold them, let them shoot them, can you be sure it will eliminate their curiosity? When you see the children you see that video of children, even the children who've been taught by their parents and they pick it up and they point it at themselves or point it at a friend? The children that have been properly trained and know how serious firearms are, are not going to be kids that are going into their parent's room and playing with their firearms. You kill the curiosity before the curiosity kills the kid. Reporter: But what would you say to parents then who felt like they did exactly that? It's on the parent. Sfwlr it's on the parent, he said. Among them Maureen, that single mom who showed us her unlocked gun, ready to go. And you're ready.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":22325686,"title":"Exposing Guns to Young Children May Be Beneficial","duration":"3:00","description":"Act 3: ABC's David Muir meets parents who believe letting their kids use guns will eliminate their curiosity.","section":"2020","mediaType":"Default"}