Brad Pitt: I was given my first gun when I was in kindergarten

The actor says he doesn’t feel safe without having a gun in the house

Brad Pitt was exposed to guns from a very young age.

“There’s a rite of passage where I grew up of inheriting your ancestors’ weapons,” said Pitt. “My brother got my dad’s. I got my grandfather’s shotgun when I was in kindergarten.”

The actor - who was born in Oklahoma and raised in Missouri - was first given an air gun, then received a shotgun when he was six. By the time he was eight, he had fired a handgun.

The Radio Times reports that Pitt doesn’t feel that he and his family are safe unless there is a gun in the house.

“The positive is that my father instilled in me a profound and deep respect for the weapon,” he said.

The issue of accessibility of guns in the US is a much-discussed issue in recent years, after a spate of mass shootings at schools and universities in the country.

In November 2013, Barack Obama said it was time that the nation did some “soul-searching” over gun controls.

“We kill each other in these... mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else,” said Obama.

“This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me. Right now, it's not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress... We should be ashamed of that.”

However, gun rights supporters argue that the gun-related fatalities are due to mental health issues, rather than easy access to the weapons.

“You know, the United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” said Obama. “It's not the only country that has psychosis.”