Albert Grannon, 77, appeared at Hull Magistrates' Court charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm without a certificate.
The charges relate to the death of six-year-old Stanley Metcalf at Mr Grannon's home in Sproatley, East Yorks., on July 26, 2018.
Grannon, wearing a black flat cap, brown jacket, blue jumper and black trousers, spoke only to confirm his name, address, nationality during the one minute hearing.
No pleas were entered.
District Judge Fred Rutherford told Grannon his charges were too serious to be heard at the Magistrates' court.
The judge said: "You are charged with two offences from the 26th of July. You can only be dealt with at the crown court.
"You are given unconditional bail to appear at Hull Crown Court."
Grannon will next appear on June 3 at Hull Crown Court and was released on bail until that date.
Family and friends packed the public gallery for the short hearing.