Trying to stay proactive and avoid injuries this holiday season, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office has announced a new program which will teach children ages 8-12 basic gun safety. The program, named “First Gun Course” is designed to teach children about the dangers of firearms and how to operate them in a safe manner. “The 4-hour class will be offered from 8 a.m. until noon on two dates – December 9 and 16”, according to the Sheriff’s Facebook post.

The Sheriff’s Office has designed this program specifically for kids who have never handled a firearm before, and also remind parents that BB guns can potentially be very dangerous and that the course will teach children safe handling practices regardless of the type of gun.

A Sheriff’s deputy helping a child aim his rifle.

“Children who will receive a gun for Christmas can try it for the first time in front of certified law enforcement academy firearms instructors,” Sheriff Steve Prator said. “Parents are wise to want their children to know basic firearms safety before a gun is given as a gift,” Prator said.

Children are encouraged to bring their .22 guns, BB guns, and pellet guns to the course. The Sheriff’s Office will not allow any high powered firearms into the event. BBs and .22 ammo will be supplied by the department. The ammunition was all donated to the department.

While there is no cost to attend the training, parents must pre-register their children. They can do so by calling the Sheriff’s Office at 318-681-0735. Residents from Caddo Parish will be given priority.