House Bill 5085: Allows Youth to Target Shoot Under Instructor Supervision

Summary:  HB 5085 would alter the requirement that an individual under the age of 18 be under the physical presence and supervision of a parent or guardian while possessing a pistol at a recognized target range for target practice or instruction in pistol safety. As an alternative to parental supervision, the bill would allow the youth to be in the physical presence and under the direct supervision of any individual who is 21 years of age or older and has successfully completed a pistol safety training course certified by a state or national organization and meeting criteria for the safe handling of firearms. Parents or legal guardians would not be required to have pistol safety training as per current law. The bill also makes no adjustments to term “recognized target range or shooting facility.

Current Status: The Michigan House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony and unanimously approved HB 5085 on December 3, 2013. It will now move to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Call your State Representative and ask that they vote Yes on HB 5085!

Analysis: Under Michigan’s current law, a youth under 18 may not be in possession of a pistol unless accompanied by and under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian while at a recognized target range for target practice or instruction in pistol safety. An issue arose when a Boy Scout camp desired to have pistol safety training at their range and found that although they had qualified instructors, it was not allowed since the campers were under 18 and their parents or guardians were not physically present.

MUCC supports this bill as it would extend the ability to train youth in the proper handling of firearms and shooting techniques and provide another avenue for hunter recruitment. This uses the same model as the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, whereby trained adults over 21 may mentor and train youth. Acceptable training meeting the bill’s definition would be those classes necessary to receive a Concealed Pistol License.

MUCC Action: MUCC supports this bill, along with NRA and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.

Sponsor: Rep. Phil Potvin (R-Cadillac)

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  • Jim walker

    Good step.

  • Jim walker

    Good step.