Age Restrictions

Youth Shooting Restrictions

Teaching youth is part of our Charter. We have had great success with 4H, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Sea Cadets and Police Explorers using our facilities and volunteers. If you are interested in having a youth group shoot please contact Dennis Crawford 603-470-9244

The Board of Directors has carefully reviewed youth shooting activities and out of concern for safety has implemented the following age restrictions for the use of firearms at Pioneer Sportsmen Inc.

Ages 9-12 are limited to shooting Rimfire (22's) and  Airgun (BB and Pellet) for both Pistol and Rifle. Ages 13-18 are allowed to shoot center fire Pistols and Rifles

A club member must be responsible and the youth's guardian should be present to authorize the minor to participate in activities involving firearms.

These ages are similar to the standards set by other shooting organizations such as Steel Challenge (must be 8 for rimfire only, juniors are 13-17), IDPA (youth must be 12), CMP (12 for small bore rifle, 16 for pistol), BSA (11 for rimfire rifle, 14 for pistol), 4H (9 for rifle).

The board does acknowledge that some youth may not yet be the required age but might be suitable to shoot a particular firearm at an earlier age. The board has authorized the Chief Range Safety officer (CRSO) and his delegates to make exemptions. While the board acknowledges there must be some objectivity or subjectivity to the final decision, These guidelines standardize the review procedure for everyone. Disciple Chairs/Match Directors can make age exemptions for their events. Member instructors (in good standing with the club) are also authorized to make exemptions for students in their classes provided they follow these guidelines set forth and complete the evaluation document.

Now whether or not you need an exemption for a young person you would like to take shooting, the remainder of the procedure may be of interest to you.

Guidelines for requesting exemption to the youth shooting restrictions

Parent/Guardians should be congratulated for getting their youth involved in the shooting sports as it can be a great learning tool. Most kids find it highly rewarding. Please consider who will be the instructor and mentor for your youth. Many parents feel that because they are shooters, they are perfectly capable of teaching their kids to shoot. The same goes for "driving" but most people learn to drive through a Drivers Education program, so keep that in mind.

Whoever is going to be the mentor for the youth should be well aware of the firearms safety rules and the range rules for the club. 

Consider starting kids out on a toy gun so that they can demonstrate safety and responsibility to you. Then when appropriate move them up to a bb gun (or airsoft) rifle that is treated exactly like any other rifle. Once the child is ready for a firearm, the best caliber to teach with is the 22 long rifle cartridge. This cartridge has very little felt recoil and does not make as much noise as other cartridges (although ear protection is still required). A rifle is generally easier to keep pointed in the right direction and is well suited to the bench rest position. There are some great guns out there for a first gun such as the Marlin Papoose, The Cricket Rifle and the Henry Mini Bolt just to name a few.

The online form included at bottom of this page must be filled out and the CRSO or one of his delegates will contact you for a meeting at the club. Your more likely to get an exemption for a child who is "close" to the recommended ages and has already taken some formal instruction. We also recognize that you might be requesting the exemption to take a class or participate in a shooting sport so here is what the Range Officer or Instructor will be looking at. CRSO Youth Review Form Please make arrangements 2 weeks before an event.

Remember not only will the youth be evaluated but the adult who will be working with them should be present. The RO (Range Officer) will want to see that the youth has the maturity and self discipline to understand the rules and follow them. They will want to make sure that they have the strength and coordination to handle the desired firearms for the standard positions you wish for them to use.

A blanket exemption may be rare for smaller kids and the RO may want to limit their practice or participation. Please see the form for some of the standard limitations. This could be reviewed again at a later date to see if the youth has progressed and is ready to shoot with less restrictions.

Once an exemption is granted, a copy of the signed Range Office Age Restrictions Review form needs to accompany the youth shooter to the range. Their Associate member ID can also be noted on the back by the RO.

Unorthodox Shooting Positions

Approval for non-standard positions will be limited to Handicap cases only. Standard positions for youth are Bench rest, Prone, Standing, Sitting and Kneeling. If someone has to help hold the gun or help support the shooter, the shooter is probably too young.