Company behind 'My First Rifle' under fire for child's shooting death

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Marketed as the best rifle to get your kids started shooting, the Crickett 'My First Rifle' has sold millions since its debut in 1996.

One of those weapons was a birthday gift to a 5-year-old boy in Kentucky. On Tuesday, his mother left him alone with it, and he accidentally shot and killed his two-year-old sister.

"She just stepped out for a second, she set the mop bucket down, and heard the gun go off," said family friend Monica Pepper.

That family's story is a nightmare, but it made us curious to see the .22 caliber Crickett for ourselves.

"They designed it as a rifle that needed adult supervision to operate it," said Jesse Hanson with Shooter's World in Phoenix. 

He demonstrated how to load and ready the rifle with relative ease.

But can a 5-year-old do it?

"I have seen 5-year-olds do it with help," Hanson said.

A quick search on YouTube found kids of all ages shooting the Crickett with ease.

Experts say it's important that even with its lighter weight and smaller stature, kids know this is not a toy, and it's up to people like Ray Aranda to instill that in his kids. He says safety is number one when his boys are shooting.

If only the kids in Kentucky weren't left alone.

"That falls on the responsibility of the parent, so it seems like they should be held liable," Aranda said.