LOCKPORT, N.Y. — State Sen. Rob Ortt is co-sponsoring legislation that lowers the age at which kids are allowed to hunt with a rifle or shotgun from 14 to 12.
The measure would require kids to pass a hunter safety course and be accompanied by an adult in the woods.
Ortt says the bill is projected to help generate revenue, as New York has seen a drop in the number of hunting licenses.
Many sportsmen and women, as well as several sporting goods stores, expect an uptick in business and would stock a few more youth-model guns.
Critics say 12 is too young for kids to be firing guns and could lead to acts of violence down the road. Sportsmen say despite the criticism, the legislation teaches kids maturity, responsibility and accountability at a young age.
"It's up to the parent to decide whether or not their child is ready to do something like that. Every kid, certainly at that age, is not the same as far as maturity and so forth. But if they are I think it's terrific," said Scott Baehre, Johnson's County Store.
"Once you do pull that trigger, once that bullet does go out of that barrel, something's going to expire, something going to die. It's not a video game. You just can't turn and reset it and start the game over again," said Craig Robbins, of Busti.
The bill has passed the state Senate, but still needs to get through the Assembly.