Holli Costanza has worked at Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas since it first opened almost five years ago. Costanza is a Firearms Instructor and Range Safety Officer, and she teaches Handgun Training and LTC classes, among other duties. She also schedules Eagle Gun Range’s revolutionary Children’s Parties.
This extremely family-friendly indoor gun range offers Children’s Party Packages, which allow parents to “satisfy [their] child’s natural curiosity about guns in a safe environment,”according to the range’s website.
As many as eight children 8 years of age and older can be invited to the party. All attendees must have signed waivers from their parents, and they must be able to recite the 4 Basic Rules of Gun Safety before entering the shooting range. Eagle Gun Range offers the Children’s Party Package exclusively on Sunday mornings—before the range is opened to the general public — so the children have the range to themselves and are able to learn and train in a calm and controlled environment.
Your child’s birthday will come just once a year, but their firearms education and training doesn’t have to. Costanza explained, “We wanted a range where parents could teach their kids early, and take the mystery out of guns, which is how you prevent tragedy.”
“Texas Law Shield is proud to work with family-friendly ranges like Eagle Gun Range,” said National Director Peter J. Hermosa. “There is nothing more responsible or necessary than properly educating our youth about firearms.”
Costanza explained that the typical children’s birthday party package begins with half an hour of safety training and basic firearms-handling instruction, all taught by a certified NRA Instructor in a classroom.
Next, the kids spend 30 to 45 minutes getting hands-on experience on the shooting range with either a BB Gun or a firearm chambered for .22 Long Rifle. Then the party heads back to the classroom where the kids can ask questions, talk about their experiences, and, of course, have cake and ice cream!
Costanza says that the pint-sized party guests are usually excited, and a little bit nervous before they shoot for the first time. “We get very good feedback, and the kids have a blast. Rarely, we will have a child who is intimidated, will try it once, and then chooses to just watch, but most of them absolutely love it.”
Costanza says they also receive positive feedback from the children’s parents. “The parents are especially happy when they felt like their kid wasn’t really going to learn anything, but they do, or when they felt like they were unqualified to teach their kids themselves.”
While children 8 and up are welcome anytime, Eagle Gun Range hosts special events, like the “Young Guns Eagle Youth .22 Rifle Camp,” and bi-monthly “Youth Nights.” Costanza added, “We know that loud calibers can sometimes be intimidating, so a couple of times a month we reserve the bay for parents to bring their kids and teach them gun safety with our range safety officers, away from the general public and big caliber guns. We provide parents the opportunity to teach their kids and allow them to warm up to guns.”
Costanza says, “We are really big on teaching kids about gun safety early so that they can have a healthy respect for guns.” She also points out that the range doesn’t only cater to youth.
Eagle Gun Range co-owners Nanci and David Prince had very clear goals for Eagle Gun Range before they even opened their doors. “Nanci was tired of going to ranges and being talked down to as a woman in a condescending way,” Costanza said. The Princes knew they could run a more inclusive range, where patrons of all ages and genders would feel welcomed and comfortable. To that end, Eagle Gun Range fosters an inclusive environment through weekly ladies’ days and available basic, intermediate, and advanced pistol classes. The indoor range also offers private lessons that can be tailored to individual students’ needs and goals.
To learn more about Eagle Gun Range’s Children Party Packages, youth and ladies nights, educational classes, and range details, check out their website, call (972) 353-4867 or email the range @[email protected] — by Morgan Overcash, Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield.
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