Shyanne Roberts, Shyanne Roberts competitive shooter
10-year-old competitive shooter Shyanne Roberts
(Photo by CNN)

A 10-year-old competitive shooter is proving that children can safely use firearms.

According to CNN, Shyanne Roberts of Franklinville, New Jersey regularly competes against junior shooters and sometimes adults. She began learning gun safety at the age of five. When she turned six, her father Dan Roberts — a certified firearms instructor — began taking her to a gun range. She displayed a raw, natural shooting ability, and at the age of seven, Shyanne began competing in local matches.

Last year, Shyanne beat out adult women and placed second in the Women’s Division of the New Jersey Ruger Rimfire Challenge. She now has over 20 sponsors. On Oct. 31, she’ll compete against 200 elite women shooters at the Brownells Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Covington, Georgia. Simply put, it’s clear she’s in this for the long haul.

“It’s not a hobby; it’s what I want to do!” she said.

As CNN reports, Shyanne lives 15 minutes from her local shooting range, and she tries to practice at least 30 minutes each on a shotgun, pistol and rifle every day. She practices about 15 hours per week.

USPSA Media Director Chris Taylor told CNN he’s impressed with Shyanne’s progress as a competitive shooter.

“At 10 years old, it’s tough to be doing anything well, as your muscles aren’t quite developed yet. That’s pretty impressive,” said Taylor. “It’s 95% males that get involved (in USPSA), but the funny thing is that girls tend to do better than the boys, in general,” he said. “I think it’s that they’re more open to coaching.”

Shyanne competes in several different shooting styles, including USPSA, 3-Gun, Action Rifle and Steel Silhouette. Her father said he’s comfortable with his daughter using guns.

“I feel very comfortable because I know she’s been extraordinarily well-trained at how to be safe,” he said. “I could have a fully loaded machine gun, and she would not dream of touching it because the curiosity factor has been eliminated.”

Dan Roberts told CNN that as long as his daughter enjoys competing in matches, he’ll continue to support her. When it stops being fun, he’ll pull the plug on the whole thing.

“I want her to have as much success as she possibly can,” he said. “If all that ever comes out of this is that she gets a scholarship to a college with a rifle team,” — as CNN points out, there are 31 colleges that sponsor NCAA rifle teams — “and if as a father I have the peace of mind that she can defend herself, I’m thrilled with just that.”

As for Shyanne herself, she told CNN that she has just one goal in mind: “I want to win the national title.”

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