logo

ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Advice, resources and research articles

 

Early childhood centres at Shooting Ranges - How acceptable?

happy child hands in airFiring ranges across NZ could soon include childcare centres. 

There would be potential health and safety concerns but it would be a legal activity. 

Providing childcare would help to make shooting ranges female-friendly and support the sport to be more gender inclusive. 

In Australia the idea has been mooted by a leading advocate of women’s sport shooting Sally Jones. 

“Childcare would be an advantage. To allow women to come along and have their children looked after whilst they're participating in a competition, or just a practice session," she said.

ABC news says it understands the sport’s national body supports the idea (the ABC news story link).

Critics however say that a firing range is not a healthy environment for infants to be in.  Children could be exposed to lead dust – there is no safe level of exposure to lead since lead does not leave the body. 

An owner of an indoor pistol club told the ABC news that if women were firing every day a childcare centre would likely be viable to establish.  He has already invested heavily in reducing lead exposure for those using the club, including extractor fans and the use of special ammunition.  

In NZ an early childhood centre can be developed and operated from any site – such as within high-rise inner-city buildings where the risk to children's lives from fire and earthquakes is greater than from a single storey building, and in old buildings putting children at potential risk of exposure to lead paint. Centres can be licensed within industrial areas, within 100 metres of a motorway, underneath the flight path of aircraft, and have playgrounds located alongside carparks exposing children to the risk of air pollution from exhaust fumes. 

The NZ Ministry of Health fact sheet on firing ranges advises that children under 15 years of age and pregnant women should not participate in cleaning within the area in which guns are used but does not state that children should not be at or in the vicinity of a firing range.  

A 2012 article by the National Business Review says that shooting is a kiwi sport which sons and daughters learn alongside their mum and dad. 

“Some clubs boast two or three generations of family shooters, most of whom have come up from nippers squinting behind a trusty bolt action .22 rifle,” it mentioned.

At the Auckland Shooting Range, children under the age of 12 years may shoot an air rifle or pistol as long as they are supervised.

However, the issue at hand is not children’s access to firearms under supervision but whether firing ranges should be permitted to included childcare facilities. 

It is a legal activity to operate a centre, providing the centre has resource consent and meets health and safety, and education regulations to be licensed. 

If the childcare centre was provided in a separate area to the shooting range, with no risk to children being exposed to lead dust, would this be acceptable to all New Zealanders? 

 

Resources:

Hazard Identification and Safety Management Early Childhood Education Service Daily Checklist

Guide to early childhood centre regulations

Gun play in early childhood programmes

 

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
This plan is for any person who works with children or has an interest in early childcare and early childhood education.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... licensed or new set-ups.

$198.00 12 months from the date of joining
Does your ECE group have more than 1 service? See our discounted rates

A shared username and password for your team or ECE group.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to all past and current NZIRECE published journal and its articles. Hundreds of research articles!

$125.00 annual renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.