Your Kids Can Shoot an Uzi Right Here in Pennsylvania

And an AK-47, too.


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Tragic news came out of Arizona this week that a 9-year-old child accidentally killed a shooting instructor with an Uzi at the Bullets and Burgers range in Mohave County during a shooting lesson. And this has a lot of people scratching their heads, wondering why a child would be given an Uzi to shoot. Well, you don’t have to go all the way to Arizona to find an Uzi for your kid to fire. You can do it right here in Pennsylvania.

Sunset Hill Shooting Range is located in Henryville, Pennsylvania, just over one hour outside of Philadelphia in the Pocono Mountain region. As shooting ranges go, it’s more of a tourist attraction than a place for serious shooters, the type of place where they would probably let you shoot a cow with a rocket launcher, if that were legal. (For that, you’ll have to go to Cambodia.)

While Sunset Hill doesn’t let 9-year-olds get armed to the teeth, they do welcome guests as young as 13. Teenagers can choose from a large arsenal of weapons, including a 9mm Uzi (the same gun used at the Arizona shooting), an AK-47 assault rifle (as seen on the flag of Hezbollah), and an AR-15, one of the weapons of choice in the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, that killed 12 people and wounded 58.

And Sunset Hill is not without shooting accidents. In 2008, a Sunset Hill employee was killed after an Uzi accidentally went off in his face. And in 2000, a 45-year-old man was shot in the stomach but survived. Neighbors have reportedly complained that the range is too close to their homes and that stray bullets sometimes wind up on their properties. No reports of any children-involved shooting accidents at Sunset Hill — at least not yet.

I’m not unilaterally against kids learning how to shoot. In fact, while on a trip to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, my children — then ages 6 and 8 — got the chance to fire a .22 rifle. (My 8-year-old son was a bit annoyed that his younger sister was a better shot.)

But sticking these more high-powered guns in the hands of children, whether 9 or 13, well, that just doesn’t seem like responsible shooting or sensible parenting to me. I wouldn’t have a 13-year-old babysit my kids overnight, let alone shoot an Uzi. Once you’re legally allowed to drive, we can talk.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.