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Kids' shooting event returns this weekend at Dakota County Gun Club

The Dakota County Gun Club holds kids events to introduce them to shooting sports.

On Saturday morning, assuming trends hold, a hundred or more boys and girls will pick up a rifle or a shotgun or a bow and arrow and see what it feels like to take a shot.

For many, it will be their first time on a firing range, their first time with a firearm in hand. And that is kind of the point.

For six years now, the Dakota County Gun Club has held a series of free summer shooting events designed to get a gun in kids' hands and teach them to use it without hurting themselves or others.

"We can introduce the shooting sport to young shooters," said gun club member Leroy Van Brunt. "We just feel like it's very opportune to give kids the opportunity to shoot and do it safely."

The event, held over the course of four weekends, has grown in popularity over the years as families discover it, then tell their friends. Some of the kids who show up have parents who hunt and want their kids to get introduced to shooting from a qualified instructor. But others have no shooting experience at all in their families.

There are no schedules to keep or quotas to meet. Kids can show up, try their hand at the activity or activities that interest them and then move on to something else. There will be gun club members on hand to offer instruction and tips to everyone show shows up.

Van Brunt expects things to be bigger than ever when this year's series kicks off Saturday morning. Already last week he had started getting calls from people who were interested in coming out.

"We've picked up some additional bows for kids, so the young kids can shoot," Van Brunt said. "We've got a new shotgun coming. We've got some grants from the NRA Foundation."

This year there will be a raffle for a rifle similar to the ones kids will shoot with Saturday.

Saturday's shooting event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21 and Aug. 4 and 18. The gun club is located at 17501 Station Trail. For more information visit