By Marice Richter
LEWISVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - Parents searching for the perfect place and theme for their kids' birthday parties will soon have another option in Texas: a gun range.
Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas, is due to open later this summer and birthday parties will be available to children age 8 and older. Party-goers will get a 30-minute class in gun safety and handling and then will have the opportunity to shoot either a BB gun or a .22 long rifle.
"I don't know whether anyone has ever tried this before," said David Prince, who is building the indoor gun range in the Dallas suburb. "I think it is a good way to introduce gun safety to kids in a responsible way in a controlled environment."
Plenty of staff will be around to help parents supervise.
"We're not just going to have kids running around waving loaded guns and shooting at piñatas," said Prince, an accountant and gun enthusiast.
Besides birthday parties, Prince hopes his gun range will attract scout troops, church youth groups and other organizations that want to introduce kids to gun safety and shooting sports.
"I think this is such a great idea," said Lori Benoit of Austin. "I have three boys and they are all fascinated with guns. I would love to have a place like this close to us. It would be such a great experience to introduce shooting sports to kids at a party."
Prince said publicity about birthday parties at the gun range has prompted hundreds of inquiries.
Jon Baker said he is planning to have a birthday party for his 10-year-old son as soon as the gun range opens.
"I would much rather see kids experiment with guns in a controlled environment than off somewhere in the open where someone could get hurt," said Baker, a realtor in the Fort Worth area.
(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Walsh)