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Wisconsin's Kids Are Now Allowed To Operate Firearms

Looking to go hunting with your kids this season? 

Try Wisconsin.

The state just passed a law that eliminates the minimum age to operate a firearm.

Previously, children could hunt alone at 12 years old.

They could start hunting at 10 as long as they had a mentor.

In the week since the law took effect, The Associated Press reports a kindergartener shot her first buck.

Geri Bonavia is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort. She says the citizens in her state had not been calling for this kind of change.

"It felt really unnecessary," said Bonavia. "There are certain activities that are just inherently dangerous for children to participate in, so we have, as a society, said, 'let's put limitations on.'"

She points to laws like driver's licenses and car seat weight limits as examples.

"Your child has to be in a car seat, but when he or she gets out we can hand them a firearm. On the face of it, that seems ridiculous," she said.

SEE MORE: A Group Of Senators Is Pushing For Better Enforcement Of Gun Laws

Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Platt says this law is necessary to take the state out of the driver's seat.

"Primarily, I see busybodies in the government who don't think parents should be entrusted to make decisions for their children," Platt said.

He thinks this should be a family decision, one where parents can evaluate themselves if a child is ready to hunt. He said: "This is not something that needs to be in the hands of the state because people are different. Some kids are much more able to learn things at a younger age than others are."

Wisconsin joins 34 other states that have no minimum hunting age.The badger state moved the legislation fairly quickly, introducing the bill in July and passing it in November, just as hunting season is beginning. The Republican-led assembly passed the bill 57-32 with four Democrats supporting and three Republicans voting against it. The law also lifts a ban on hunters carrying multiple firearms when they hunt with children.

Get a deeper understanding of the stories that matter with Newsy's "The Why" — weekdays 7-9 p.m. ET. 


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