Classes hope to teach children about gun safety

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- In 2017, a child has died in an accidental shooting at least every other day. Officials say the deaths are either self-inflicted or caused by another child, but some classes are hoping to teach kids about gun safety.

Third-grader Brody Risen is pulling a trigger for the very first time. He's learning how to load and fire a .22 caliber handgun during this class called "First Shots." It's designed for children as young as 8.

The goal of this two hour lesson is to teach gun safety while satisfying a child's curiosity about firearms. Brody's father, Paul Risen, is a gun owner.

"I think the younger you are the more you're comfortable with it around 'em, the better they are to handle them," Risen said.

In Kansas City, Kansas, "Frontier Justice" offers birthday parties like a "Sweet 16," where the bullets fired outnumber the candles. Psychologist Sherry Hamby is studying the impact of guns on children.

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Some classes are hoping to teach kids about gun safety.

CBS News

"At what age does a child have the impulse control and maturity to handle a firearm?" CBS News asked.

"Impulse control and maturity and cognitive capacity are all somewhat different things, the more we know about brain development, the more you would really have to say mid 20s," Hamby said.

Julvonnia and Byron McDowell lost their 14-year-old son JaJuan last year. His 13-year-old cousin accidentally shot and killed him at relative's house with an unsecured handgun he thought was unloaded.

"Even if they go through safety classes, that's not going to prevent them from saying, 'look what I can do, and just that quick, life can change,'" Julvonnia said.

As for Brody, he's happy he hit the bullseye.

He said he "learned the four safety rules ... Never point the gun somewhere or in danger and never... I forgot."

His dad says, they'll be back.