Young Guns: Should Kids Learn How to Shoot?

Gun groups say education means prevention, but critics argue kids can't be trusted with guns.
9:18 | 05/30/14

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Transcript for Young Guns: Should Kids Learn How to Shoot?
kids' hands. But why? Here's "Nightline" co-anchor juju Chang. Everybody has eyes and ears on. All right. Reporter: These girls are grade schoolers. Most are still losing baby teeth. Nice! Look at that. Reporter: But home on this range outside Austin, Texas, play dates require serious fire power. Tell them what your rifle's name is? Barbie. Because it is pink? Yeah? Vanessa is one of seven pint-sized shooters attending the little girls youth training Put that safety down. Good girl. Reporter: Part of a growing trend promoting shooting sports for kids. When I shoot I think it is so much fun. Than playing with anything else that is in my room. Reporter: Vanessa is 7, but the gun industry is looking for young shooters like her to ensure growth in the future. When you teach kids that young you take the mystery out of the gun. They know it is respected if you teach them to respect it. Reporter: Nicky Jones leads Austin sure shots, a women's only shooting club that runs the kids training course. Though this event is sponsored, the national rifle association and industry sponsored organizations pour tens of millions of dollars every year into youth shooting programs nationwide. But should children this young really be trusted with potentially lethal force? What we always start with are the four basics of firearm safety. Reporter: Nicky begins with fundamentals. Rule number one, treat every firearm like it is loaded. Reporter: Golden rules of shooting the girls from 6 to 11 seem to have down cold. Don't point your gun at anyone, that you are not going to shoot. Reporter: A critical lesson since once almost every hour in America, a child or teen is injured or killed by a gun. Often fired accidentally by other children. What made you think okay she is 6, ready to try this? She had seen the weapons in our gun safe. She was asking questions that for us was an important time to utilize that to educate her. Drop your magazine. Reporter: Some liken tight playing with fire. Vanes Vanessa's mom believes training with guns will actually make her daughter safer. She keeps several guns including Barbie locked up at home. The star of the event is 9-year-old Gia Rocco who shoot like a regular Annie Oakley. Good. Give me three on the right. Reporter: Skills Nicky says are about sportsmanship and not self defense. We don't teach them to shoot on barricade, or clear rooms or what happens at a carjacking. This is pure sport. Reporter: For promising sharpshooter like Gia training doesn't stop here. You want to take us into the trailer? Sure, yeah. Reporter: The next day she and her dad invite us over. This is where we clean the guns. That's the art table. The art table next to the gun table, nice. Reporter: Gia still loves her legos and her pet spider. I don't like princesses. I am not a princess. Reporter: Hold the tiaras. Half of gi a's rifles. Reporter: How many do you have in there? These are her prized possessions. Wow, like an arsenal. This one here is my favorite. My eight shooter. Reporter: What do you call this one? The love gun. It has hearts all over of it? Yes it does. All my rifles and pistols. Reporter: A lot of people looking, would scratch their head and say why does a 9-year-old girl need guns and rifles. They have different uses. Competition. Practice. Skeet. Reporter: The gun business is booming with sales spiking even after Newtown. An Ar, obviously. Reporter: Analysts say that's because nose those who own guns are buying more guns. Overall, national surveys, indicate gun ownership is decreasing. Young hot shots like Gia represent a geographic the industry considers vital to the future of gun sports. She has a fan page and her own industry sponsors. Stand by. Her dad, hopes sharp shooting will some day pay off for Gia with a college scholarship. That's what I'm talking about! Reporter: Or even olympic gold. When she isn't training, her dad says her guns are strictly off-limits. Kept locked away. Though Adolfo believes Gia would never disobey him. I would bet my life she would never touch a gun she wasn't supposed to. Bet my life on it easily, right? Right. When you are ready. Shooter ready. Reporter: Critics argue that is a risky bet for most parents. Training and trust may not be enough to prevent accidents. Kids and guns they say simply don't mix. Kids are impulsive. You can't teach that out of a kid. You can't. Reporter: This doctor helps write policy for American academy of pediatrics and she says kids' brains aren't mature enough. They lack impulse control. You can teach them. Pair it back. They should not be in independent control of the weapon. Kansas City hospital alone, there are 50 annually. Preventible. You don't trust your kids 100% of the time. Especially when it comes to something so high risk. Reporter: Our colleagues, at "20/20" put the question of M pulse control to the test with hidden camera experiments. These boys and girls in Florida are friend trained to never touch a gun without an adult. They also memorize the NRA Eddie eagle safety video. When left unsupervised with real unloaded weapons hidden in plain sight. Nearly half of the boys act on impulse. Eight out of 23 of the girls do too. Oh, my gosh. Instead of calling for an adult they play with the WEP poewep -- weapons some times mistaking them for toys. This pink gun is the cricket. Manufactured by keystone. One of several on the market designed to appeal to kids. That is a real gun. It is not funny. Reporter: Nearly half of all the guns in this country are not locked away properly. And guns accidentally kill kids in the U.S. Ten times more often than any other developed country in the world. How many times does it have to happen before people say it's enough? It's enough for me. It's enough for me. I didn't xhooz to sachoose to sacrifice my child to this. The children and I keep an eye on the candles. Reporter: She keeps a memorial in her Columbus living room. He was 14 when he and his best friend Levi were playing at his grandparents house. Levi found the gun. Removed the clip and pointed it at Noah and fired a shot. He didn't realize there was a bu bullet in the chamber. Listen as his 14-year-old friend is questioned by police. I had it in my hand. I pulled the trigger. I thought it hit the wall. It hit him. Throughout his interrogation with police, Levi has no idea that his gun shot was fatal. Do you think we should tell him what happened here? I do too. Noah didn't make it Noah is dead. Reporter: Levi pled guilty to reckless homicide and was sentenced to a year of probation. Noah's mom Jody doesn't blame Levi for her son's death. During the trial she asked the judge to lower his sentence. While Levi, made a horrible mistake. It was an accident that the gun was left out where it could have been stored. Reporter: While 14 states have safe storage laws which reduce accidental shooting deaths amongst kids. Ohio has no such law. If it saves one person from the horror that my family and I are facing. One is enough. Reporter: The NRA which turned down our requests for an interview, repeatedly opposed such laws say they infringe on gun owners rights to effectively protect their homes. But the organization does recommend that guns should be stored securely until ready for use. Making sure that they're not accessible to children. Back on the range, safety is always a top priority for the sure-shots. I have to say all of you are safe. Reporter: Youth training day end with diplomas. First we are going to look really neat. Reporter: And a very memorable class photo. It is clear these kids and their parents believe deeply in the right to bear arms at any age. What remains unclear is whether this new generation of shooters will bring new life to a $30 billion industry. Our thanks to juju for that report. Does teaching children to shoot guns make them safer? Tell us at "Nightline."

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

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