Allowing long guns for 12-, 13-year-old hunters is a bad idea

Posted 22 February 2018 at 8:40 am


Our State Senate last month approved a measure to permit 12- and 13-year-old children to hunt with long guns.

What could motivate the Senate to approve such legislation? 12-year-old lobbyists? No.

To hear Sen. Patrick Gallivan tell it, the real reason behind the vote was the failing culture of guns and hunting, particularly among our youth. “We’re seeing the numbers, the interest declining. This is something that might attract younger people…it would allow them to start earlier and hopefully preserve the tradition.”

Of course, he’s right. The numbers are falling. But why is it necessary for the state to prop up a declining activity with 12- and 13-year-olds who are too much at risk of gun violence in their homes, schools, places of worship and at play. Maybe they should also permit teen access to cigarettes to prop up the tobacco industry!

The fact that they are to be supervised is of little comfort when considering that in Chautauqua County a hunter recently shot and killed a woman as she walked her dogs; another shot a truck he had mistaken for a deer. A Wayne County hunter fired several shots, missing his target and hitting a home. A hunter in the town of Holland fired several shots that penetrated an occupied home.

These are the supervisors? Who’s supervising them?

Rick Fuller

West Seneca