Young marksmen from across the country will gather in Arkansas this weekend to compete for the title of National BB Gun Champion.
The Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match is expected to draw competitors from 17 states to Rogers– where the company is headquartered. Lawrence Taylor, spokesman for Daisy Outdoor Products, says BB guns are a safe way to introduce young children to guns.
“Daisy BB guns are not toys,” said Taylor. “They are right there in the name it is a gun. You have to have adult supervision. It is the best way for a young person to begin learning gun safety and to respect the gun.”
Competitors at the event range in age from 8 to 15 years old. Special guest at this year’s event is Lydia Paterson who won the individual championship in 2010 as a 13-year old and went on to compete as a shooter in the Olympics in Rio. Paterson says shooting requires a unique form of athleticism.
“Another thing people don’t realize about shooting is that it’s not only physical, but it’s almost 80 to 90 percent mental. So in that aspect of shooting it’s a little different than other sports. Maybe kids wouldn’t be the best athlete but shooting is also another avenue that people don’t even realize is an opportunity for their children,” said Paterson.
This year’s championship will host 70 teams of young shooters and is anticipated to draw 3,000 people to Rogers, making it the largest in the event’s 52-year history.