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Stayseen

Shotgun age 14 and up only?

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I have a question regarding shooting merit badges. When my son went to summer camp as a tenderfoot last year he wanted to do rifle and shotgun. His scoutmaster said he could not. That he had to be at least 14 to do shotgun merit badge. He was bummed. This past summer we went away to summer camp in Oregon. My son again wanted to do the merit badge and was told no. Since I went to camp I decided to ask the shot gun instructor about this age restriction. He said there is no such age restriction for Boy Scouts. My son went on to earn the rifle and shot gun merit badge. He had the time of his life and now found a new sport I've since discussed this with my scoutmaster. He said it's only because we were in Oregon that we were able to shoot shot gun. That Oregon wasn't following the guide to safe scouting that the age should still be 14 and up. I haven't been able to find this anywhere in the guide to safe scouting. Can someone point me in the direction into finding out if 14 is the age? I have parents now wondering if their kids can do shot gun.

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Laughing out loud: Son #1 was learning to shoot skeet the winter of his crossover year. I had a blast "pulling" for him and the other first years! On one pull he got both the high- and low- clays in one shot!

 

Bless the couple of ASMs who went through the trouble of becoming RSOs!

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Nope, not in the BSA rulebook.  That said  as an RSO I have discouraged a few smaller scouts ( read just crossed over) from signing up to fire a 12 or 20 gauge repeatedly.  Even with light trap loads their muscles just can't take the pounding.  They start to flinch, which means they start to miss, which means more shooting to qualify.     But if they really want to I have never told them no.   

 

Oldscout

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Variety of reasons why a camp will put age restrictions.

 

One reason is the popularity of the class. Age limits are used to restrict the number in the class to a manageable level.

 

Another reason might be to have incentives for the older Scouts to come back to that camp. 

 

But the #1 reason may be local laws.  Some jurisdiction do have restrictions on shooting sports. One guy I met told me that the camp he worked at straddled a state line. Shooting Sports areas was a distance from the bulk of the camp because the state that the areas was in allowed folks to use firearms at 16, and the state the bulk of the camp was in would not allow any shooting sports save archery.

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You just ran head first into one of scouting's problems. I can't tell you how many times I have been told that something was against national BSA policy when it's not. In my troop it's  the belief that BSA prohibits open toed shoes and that aerosol cans and sheath knives  are prohibited.   My standard response is please show me in the Guide to Safe Scouting where it says that. Now a lot of this comes from summer camps that have camp rules that prohibit these items.  More scouters need to read the Guide to Safe Scouting.

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I've seen the same age restrictions on kayaking and other events. And BSA wonders why we lose members when adults place needless restrictions on the program national says to use.

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Wow thanks for the speedy replies. Much appreciated. Yeah i understand why adults place some restrictions due to weight and height. However, I think every scout should be given a shot at trying shotgun if they want to. Isn't that what scouts is about? Giving them experiences and memories that they wouldn't get without scouts. Some memories will be good some not so good. If it hurt his shoulder then he would know not to ask again? I'm thankful for the merit badge counselor at camp telling me to let him shoot. My son is on the smaller side. He qualified for shotgun faster than anyone at camp. He hasn't stopped talking about trap shooting. We've taken him trap and skeet shooting every weekend since he's been home from camp. He is so excited about this new sport. He wouldn't have that without scouts. 

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@@Stayseen, every scouter has a set of bad experiences that drive their tendency to over-caution. It's hard to judge them from this side of the Internet.

 

Enjoy your time with your son. My father-in-law and his son wound up on a competitive circuit for a while as a result of being introduced to the sport while the boy was a scout. If you have time, join a sportsmans club and become a range safety officer. That way you can spread the fun to other boys and girls.

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I had some folks look at me crazy last night when I was discussing sheath knives at a upcoming camporee. I actually had a parent pull up state law and attempted to say that sheath knives were illegal. I told him the key words to the law is "illegal to carry concealed."

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I had some folks look at me crazy last night when I was discussing sheath knives at a upcoming camporee. I actually had a parent pull up state law and attempted to say that sheath knives were illegal. I told him the key words to the law is "illegal to carry concealed."

 

I've had similar discussions with parents and scouters. We did find out that in our state switch blades and ballistic knives are illegal. I now want a ballistic knife just because it sounds cool. I have no idea what it is unless it's like one of those knives in Call of Duty. 

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I've had similar discussions with parents and scouters. We did find out that in our state switch blades and ballistic knives are illegal. I now want a ballistic knife just because it sounds cool. I have no idea what it is unless it's like one of those knives in Call of Duty. 

 

Wikipedia says: "A ballistic knife is a knife with a detachable blade that can be ejected to a distance of several yards by pressing a trigger or operating a lever or switch on the handle."  According to the article, the LEAST powerful type (spring-propelled) is capable of firing the blade about 16 feet at 39 mph.  They also come in air-, gas- and explosive-propelled.  And here's one now, thanks to the same site:

 

250px-Ballistic_knife-01.jpg
 
I can kind of understand why people would be skittish about these things.
 
P.S.:  If I'm calculating this right, 39 mph is 57.2 feet per second.  So if it is only going 16 feet, it is getting there pretty quickly.
Edited by NJCubScouter

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Check your state laws because they vary from state to state. It may even be illegal to bring a knife legal in your state to summer camp if you travel through states where the same knife is illegal. Learned that the hard way about a decade ago.

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