Questions arise about guns marketed for children

Questions arise about guns marketed for children after 5-year-old shoots sister

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In addition to its safety features, the Crickett is also much smaller than a traditional rifle. In addition to its safety features, the Crickett is also much smaller than a traditional rifle.
"It being a single-shot rifle, it tends to be easy to use, easy to teach safety and fundamentals," explained Coal Creek Armory Range Operations Manager Jonathan Carter. "It being a single-shot rifle, it tends to be easy to use, easy to teach safety and fundamentals," explained Coal Creek Armory Range Operations Manager Jonathan Carter.
"It's small enough for a child to shoulder, because the length isn't too long and it's more ergonomically designed for a child," said parent Kyle Lee. "It's small enough for a child to shoulder, because the length isn't too long and it's more ergonomically designed for a child," said parent Kyle Lee.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Many questions remain after a shocking incident in Cumberland County, Ky. in which a five-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his two year-old sister.

Police say Caroline Sparks was shot Tuesday with a gun that was purchased for her brother as a gift. The type of gun, a Crickett .22, is made specifically for young children.

The manufacturer, Keystone Shooting Arms, produced 60,000 youth rifles, both the Crickett and the Chipmunk, in 2008.

Reports indicate the children's mother was cleaning and stepped outside when she heard the shot.

"It being a single-shot rifle, it tends to be easy to use, easy to teach safety and fundamentals," explained Coal Creek Armory Range Operations Manager Jonathan Carter. "There aren't really a whole lot of issues with accidental discharges, those kinds of things like that, because it takes so much to get it to go off."

It takes four different steps to fire a single-shot Crickett .22 rifle after the key lock is disengaged.

"They have a lock that goes through the bottom of the stock and actually blocks the action so you can't close it and there is no way it can chamber around and discharge that round with that lock in place," Carter demonstrated.

In addition to its safety features, the Crickett is also much smaller than a traditional rifle.

"It's small enough for a child to shoulder, because the length isn't too long and it's more ergonomically designed for a child," said parent Kyle Lee.

Some parents considering teaching their kids to shoot say the Crickett would be an option for them.

"Any single-shot .22 for my daughter would be perfect. A young child with anything a single-shot, you're tending to them, you have the gun in your hands, you'll let them pull the trigger. It's one shot. After that, it's unloaded. You clear the breach, you take it from them, they don't have it in their hand anymore," Lee added.

Experts say safety is key, even after the gun is put away.

"As far as storage, you want to store the gun where they can't get to it. You want to store the ammunition separately so that if they do happen to get to one, they don't have both," Carter pointed out.

According to Kentucky State Police, the shooting is still under investigation, and it is unclear at this time if charges will be filed in the Cumberland County case.

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