- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) - One Fort Mill resident has been shooting bull’s-eyes since age 6 - and she hasn’t stopped there.

At 13 years old, Shyanne Roberts has already won state championships in shooting competitions against all ages in two states.

Shyanne and her family moved to Fort Mill in June to be closer to her new pro coaches.

The family, originally from New Jersey before landing in Fort Mill after a year in Texas, hosted a table at the NRA membership drive at Cabela’s in Fort Mill Saturday.

Her dad, Dan Roberts, said he’s been teaching her, and her younger brother, about gun safety rules starting when they were 4 or 5 years old.

“I didn’t actually intend for this to happen,” he said. “I just knew that if I had firearms in the house I wanted my kids to know they had to be safe around them, they had to respect them and what they could do.”

He said training kids to understand guns is one of the most important things gun owners can do.

“I’ve been an instructor for over a decade,” he said. “If you eliminate curiosity, you drastically slash accidents. Because you’ve taught the kid. When we had a house with a pool I didn’t just tell them to stay away from the pool unless I’m out there - I taught them how to swim.”

And Shyanne took to shooting like a fish in water. She won second place in New Jersey against all ages in her very first match - when she was 8 years old.

“That’s when I kind of got the idea that we were on to something her,” Dan Roberts said.

Shyanne won the 2017 South Carolina Women’s State Championship in the Rimfire Pistol match. Before that, she won the New Jersey title in 2015.

Shyanne said she tries to practice at least three times a week.

“I liked it from the beginning because I got to beat the boys, first of all,” she said. “And it gives me a challenge and it keeps my mind off of other things and keeps me out of trouble.”

She said growing up with guns seems second nature to her. And training around gun safety is a must.

“I think it’s absolutely necessary,” she said. “You don’t want curiosity in a kid and then them finding a gun and injuring themselves.”

While Shyanne loves getting the chance to beat the boys, she likes seeing more and more girls her age come to the shooting matches. She said she thinks more people are learning about the sport.

“We see more and more kids and more and more girls every time we go to a match,” Dan said. “And I hope that continues.”


Information from: The Herald, http://www.heraldonline.com

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