For many parents, the idea of their children playing with toys guns is a hotly debated one. Well, a gun range in Texas has made things even more complicated by offering to host birthday parties for kids as young as eight.

Starting this summer, the Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, TX, will have two rooms available for hosting birthday parties. And after cake and presents, children will then have the opportunity to fill targets with hot lead in an indoor firing range.

“The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table,” said owner David Prince. “They’re not going to be left unattended. Parents are going to be one-on-one, or if there’s not enough parents, we’ll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely.” Oh, okay. That makes us feel better.

But Dawn McMullan, a Dallas mom who’s done gun control advocacy work in the past, thinks this is a bad idea. “It makes me very nervous. I think eight-year-olds, developmentally, can’t tell the difference between play and reality sometimes,” she said. “And also to put it in a party or game atmosphere just seems to not respect a gun as much as we should respect guns.”

Prince says this is exactly what he hopes to teach kids, however. “We truly believe it’s a right and a privilege to shoot and to bear arms,” he said. “But you have a responsibility to know how to do it well. It’s your responsibility to know how to take care of your gun and know how to use it,” he said.

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