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Kids welcome at Florida survivalist training

Brianna, 9, of the North Florida Survival Group hands an AK-47 rifle to Jim Foster, 57, the group's leader, before heading out to conduct enemy contact drills.
Brianna, 9, of the North Florida Survival Group hands an AK-47 rifle to Jim Foster, 57, the group's leader, before heading out to conduct enemy contact drills.Brian Blanco / Reuters
Jim Foster, leader of the North Florida Survival Group, radios group members to check their status as they perform a land navigation drill.Brian Blanco / Reuters
A member of the North Florida Survival Group puts a mask on his son as they gear up to perform enemy contact drills in a wooded area during a field training exercise in Old Town, Florida.Brian Blanco / Reuters

Reuters --The North Florida Survival Group group trains children and adults to handle weapons and survive in the wild. The group passionately supports the right of U.S. citizens to bear arms and its website states that it aims to teach "patriots to survive in order to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemy threats." Photographer Brian Blanco writes about his experience:

Jim Foster is a 57-year-old former police officer and the leader of the North Florida Survival Group. Jim was the man who, after feeling out my intentions in a two-hour meeting at a chain restaurant a few weeks earlier, had granted me permission to photograph his group’s field training exercise. It was an opportunity I snatched up without hesitation. It’s not every day that a photojournalist gets an invitation to shoot a militia gathering. Understandably, they tend to be fairly secretive groups who don’t exactly keep the media on their Christmas card lists.

Foremost on their minds was gun confiscations. Meeting the group just a few weeks after the re-election of Barack Obama, the prevailing concern among the group was when the next gun ban would be coming and how they should stockpile ammunition and weapons to prepare for it.

Read more on the Reuters Photographers Blog.

Editor's note: Pictures taken on Dec. 8, 2012 and made available to NBC News today.

Brianna, 9, of the North Florida Survival Group hands an AK-47 rifle to Jim Foster, 57, the group's leader, before heading out to conduct enemy contact drills.Brian Blanco / Reuters
A young boy sits on a toy, upset because his sister got to carry the rifle that he wanted.Brian Blanco / Reuters
Jim Foster (center) critiques the performance of group members during an enemy contact drill.Brian Blanco / Reuters

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