National BB Gun Meet Attracts Girls, Promotes Safety

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Watch out boys.

There was some fierce competition at the Daisy National BB Gun Championship on Saturday at the Hammons Center in Rogers. It may surprise you who some of the best shooters are.

"I can shoot better than some of the boys on my team," said Caylee Reinecciaus.

Said 15-year-old Carleigh Peters, "I think a girl can shoot as well as a boy, if not better."

It wasn't just the girl competitors making the boasts, it was their moms as well. One mother said, if someone said girls couldn't shoot, she had a ready reply.

"I`d say the girls shoot better than the boys," Amanda Sellers said.

The young women at the competition are some of the best shooters between the ages of 8 and 15.

"I painted it blue and it now has four national inspections stickers on it, I think," Peters said.

Peters' highest score is 391 out of a possible 400. She has a theory why female shooters have an advantage over their male counterparts.

"In standing, we actually have an advantage because of the wider hips, we can tuck it into our hips and it helps us with stability," Peters said.

It was the first competition for Emily Amanda Sellers, 14, who traveled from Georgia.

"I do feel powerful," Sellers said.

The competition also provides bonding opportunities for the girls. Reinecciaus' father is her coach.

"Makes me proud to have such a good coach," Reinecciaus said. "I love being with my dad and having him coach me.

"It kind of have something to work for and be proud of yourself for."

Safety also plays a big role in the shooting competition. The competition itself is set up to prevent any accidents, and young boys and girls learn how to handle firearms safely through practice.

"They don`t know how to use a gun, point a gun at somebody and shoot them and it`s an accident you know it`s easier to handle a gun when you know how to use it," Emily Amanda Sellers said.

Sellers' mother, Amanda, said she appreciates how the competition is safety conscious.

"That`s what I like so much about the 4-H and the Daisy organization teaching all the safety," Amanda Sellers said. "I think the safety is very important."

The Ozark Youth Sport Shooting Club of Benton County brought approximately 20 shooters to the national competition. Its young shooters understand what responsibilities come with shooting a gun of any caliber.

"If you don't point it in a safe direction, someone might hurt or something might get broken," said Peter Steiger, 12. "It's a real honor to come here, you have to work hard, study a lot."

The competition is set up with a purpose. There is always an adult next to a young shooter during matches.

"How the range is set up is really oriented more toward safety more than actually the convenience of getting shooters through the line," said Brian Bowen, who is a coach. "There's a reason why you do that

"They will not shoot around until we feel comfortable and then they are always with a coach."

The club allows shooters as young as 6, but the competition is for ages 8 through 15. Bowen said it is important the shooters understand their responsibilities.

"What we really want to feel good about is they understand our commands, they understand all the gun safety rules, regulations that we use on the range," Bowen said.

Bowen's shooters understand that knowing how to properly handle a gun can mean the difference between life and death.

"If you ever need one, or you ever go hunting with someone or you have to use self-defense you need know how to hold a gun and aim," Steiger said.

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