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Old 09-12-2008, 16:48   #1
byearlymonk
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Training Children

At what age do you think that children should start learning about the proper way to use a gun? I ask because I will soon have a child, and I know too many parents who teach their children wrong on the topic of gun safety, and gun use.
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Old 09-12-2008, 19:30   #2
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regarding use, i think the child needs to be old enough to safely handle the gun, and that age is probably really up to you. i would have no hesitation showing a 5-8 year old how to shoot a .22 rifle, but would probably leave the handguns for an age where they can properly control them. and after they've demonstrated proper firearm handling with a rifle.

regarding safety, how long do you wait to teach your new one that the stove is hot? or that the street is dangerous?

That's the stance i took with mine. Just teach them as soon as they can comprehend that guns are dangerous, just like so many other things in our world. And that no, they won't jump up and kill you, but they should be respected for what they could do. Ever since my daughter could talk, she could tell me the basic rules of gun safety. Good luck with yours, congrats!
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Old 09-12-2008, 19:41   #3
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BB gun 3 or 4

22 5 or 6

Safety first, last and always.
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Old 09-12-2008, 23:51   #4
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BB gun 3 or 4

22 5 or 6

Safety first, last and always.
Absolutely
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Old 09-13-2008, 00:05   #5
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i got a .22 rifle & revolver when I was 7, in rural texas.

45 years later, i bought my kids personal firearms (rifles) when they turned 15, living in Tulsa. Handguns @ 18.

One's local customs are relevant. So is the maturity of the individual.

Training does not require ownership.

Given adequate oversight, training may begin whenever the novice is able to learn.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:59   #6
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My son is 5 and he is learning basic gun safety with his bow and arrow and crossbow sets. nerf toys but they are never pointed at people. He told me yesterday before I headed to the range to make sure no one was in front of me when I pointed at the target.
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Old 09-13-2008, 19:56   #7
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My son is 5 and he is learning basic gun safety with his bow and arrow and crossbow sets. nerf toys but they are never pointed at people. He told me yesterday before I headed to the range to make sure no one was in front of me when I pointed at the target.
lol good job taching your son.
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Old 09-13-2008, 22:08   #8
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It depends on the maturity level of the child. I started my kids on basic gun safety when they were around 5 yrs old.
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Old 10-03-2008, 20:57   #9
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Basic gun safety (like don't touch, get away, tell an adult) as soon as they can understand it.

Then, as they get older, introduce them to basic shooting safety with BB guns, pellet guns, etc. Eventually (based on your evaluation of their maturity & readiness) move on to .22's, etc.

Take them shooting with you when you think they are ready so they can learn proper procedures firsthand, even if they are not ready to shoot the gun themselves.

Good luck and congratulations on expecting your first child.
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Old 10-04-2008, 00:57   #10
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Another thing of note, and just a personal opinion-

Depending on the community you live in, it may be prudent to tell your kid not to brag/tell their friends about your firearms. I'm not saying your son/daughter should hide the fact that they target shoot, but their friends may be tempted to see your firearms if they know there are guns in the house. Peer pressure is extremely hard to resist when you are young, especially if it is so innocuous a request as "can I see X?" Of course, locking up your non-carry firearms (and not giving the kids the codes) is an easy fix for that.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzi4U View Post
It depends on the maturity level of the child. I started my kids on basic gun safety when they were around 5 yrs old.
Very good thought.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:36   #12
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Now i dont want kids.Too expensive,but i will say that this video im about to show you makes me say somewhere around day 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irykjLjuKo8
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Old 03-21-2011, 14:36   #13
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If you are going to have a weapon and ammunition in your house, I think itís never too early to start teaching them. Sooner or later curiosity will kick in and the child will go behind your back to satisfy it if you havenít already satisfied it for them. When I was 6 or 8 my stepfather filled a plastic milk jug with hot water and put the cap back on. We went outside (we lived in rural Idaho at the time.) and we shot it. It sort of blew up. He explained to me that this is what would happen if I pointed it at my little brother. Those kinds of lessons stick with you. Showing a kid a hole in a target doesnít get the point across as well.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:56   #14
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Basic gun safety as soon as they can understand it.

actual shooting, BB gun at 4, .22 rifle at 5, .22 hand guns at 8, shotguns, and larger rifles as they can physically handle them.

that's how I taught my 4 kids. oldest is in college on a rifle team and holds 5,NRA national records.
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Old 03-29-2011, 17:33   #15
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Gun safety - as soon as they have the attention span to watch the Eddie Eagle video

Gun handling - as soon as they have the maturity to follow rules and directions

In the case of my daughters, that was 3 years for Eddie Eagle, etc. For gun handling, my kids started taking air rifle, and shooting single shot .22s at 6. They are 7&9 now, and I will start them on pistol next school year, when they are 8&10. Unless they choose archery. We don't have time/$ for all three, and I want them to keep up the rifle.

Appleseed is family friendly, and a great way to introduce your kids to marksmanship.

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Old 03-30-2011, 09:52   #16
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About safety, as soon as possible.

Whether or not they have any interest in firearms over the course of their life is not as relevant as being educated on the dangers the world presents.

Even if they don't go on to enjoy shooting, knowing how to safely handle a firearm, and when to avoid someone who isn't provides your child with a skill that could very well save their life one day.

Someone mentioned nerf guns as a tool to practice these skills, which is a good one.

Also think of water guns too.

When old enough, BB guns are a good way to further illustrate and train safe handling procedures, without using a 'real' firearm.

That you posted this shows good parenting skills, bravo!
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Old 03-31-2011, 19:47   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Cicero View Post
Gun safety - as soon as they have the attention span to watch the Eddie Eagle video

Gun handling - as soon as they have the maturity to follow rules and directions

In the case of my daughters, that was 3 years for Eddie Eagle, etc. For gun handling, my kids started taking air rifle, and shooting single shot .22s at 6. They are 7&9 now, and I will start them on pistol next school year, when they are 8&10. Unless they choose archery. We don't have time/$ for all three, and I want them to keep up the rifle.

Appleseed is family friendly, and a great way to introduce your kids to marksmanship.

Mrs.Cicero
Daughter + Rifle = College Tuition
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:55   #18
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Quote:
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Daughter + Rifle = College Tuition
Exactly.

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Old 04-20-2011, 22:23   #19
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I have 5 children,... all children are different,... depends on the child's individual maturity and interests.
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Old 06-24-2011, 23:31   #20
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daily, from the beginning, he or she will be learning from your every move. if you take handling and use of weapons seriously so will they. Then when they get old enough, they will not think that you do not practice what you preach. I started my boy on safety and such when he was 4. I just bought him a 22, and he is 6. He knows the rules, and why they are important, as we discuss them often, and he is allowed to ask questions and handle guns- and clean gun parts- under supervision. He also knows that the family guns are family business, and he does not need to tell anyone about it. It has come up ONCE in public, and all i had to say was 'we do not need to say anything, do we" and he said "no, we don't' and we shared a knowing look. That bonding over guns- or anything else, is priceless.
I also teach him to take care of tools, and i feel this relates, as guns are tools.
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Old 06-24-2011, 23:45   #21
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Not only the individual child's level of understanding, but prevailing abilities by age. Kids cannot reason before a certain age; while rules can be rules, I'd rather my child be able to make more connections before being turned on to guns. Also, I have great hope that my enthusiasm for the sport does not drive my children away from it - many kids shy from the things their parents involved in; others emulate them.

I plan to always keep an open dialogue about safety and firearms (my kids are both too young now for any realization of any of this), once my kids are involved with any kind of firearms.
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Old 06-29-2011, 22:14   #22
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i got my first .22 Marlin at 10, shot my dads 9mm same year, and got comfortable with my moms .380 by 12. at 16 i was shooting my dads 9mm better than him.
not 9x19, 9mm makarov.

but i too wonder about this as i have a little girl that is just about 2.
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Old 07-02-2011, 15:54   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockin21 View Post
Now i dont want kids.Too expensive,but i will say that this video im about to show you makes me say somewhere around day 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irykjLjuKo8

That brought a mixture of tears to my eyes, and a big grin on my face.


OP....Never too early. The earlier you start training them (from birth on) on all of life's issues, the better off they will be as an adult.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:27   #24
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+1

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Originally Posted by Uzi4U View Post
It depends on the maturity level of the child. I started my kids on basic gun safety when they were around 5 yrs old.
A call to my son's Pediatrician for a recommendation for hearing protection (he recommended putting a small cotton ball in each ear and coating them with Vaseline - worked great!) I let my 4 y/o son pull the trigger of my Ruger MkII .22 while I held it pointed down range. I did that to let him see that shooting could be fun.

Before leaving I blasted a gallon jug full of red colored water from 15' with my 12 gauge to graphically show him what I'd already told him - Guns are not toys, they must be respected, they can be fun to shoot but can kill so never point one at anything you aren't willing to destroy.

I got him a Daisy Red Rider for his 5th b'day (they don't make them like they used to), a .22/.410 combo for his 7th and a 20 gauge for his 10th. He loves to shoot and has always been safe. We regularly shoot Airsoft guns in our yard using paper plates and empty 20 oz. drink bottles for targets.

I highly recommend a book Mas Ayoob wrote on this topic, "Gun Proof Your Kids". I totally agree with him that it is impossible to "child proof" your guns. Proper training and education is the key.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:33   #25
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...I totally agree with him that it is impossible to "child proof" your guns. Proper training and education is the key.
+1 x 1000

Nothing is childPROOF.
The ONLY real safety in the one between your ears.
Training and respect for firearms is the only way to keep our children safe.

We started our children shooting at 4-6 depending on their maturity level.

A year without a safety violation of the 4 rules meant my children could ask for their own rifle for Christmas. It was a right of passage for my kids, and they took great pride in the accomplishment of attaining their first rifle. It was still locked in the safe with the others when not in use, but it was theirs and when they left to begin their adult lives that rifle went with them.

They all still have that first rifle, always well cleaned and maintained and safely stored. It's almost like a trophy from Dad, a sign of Dad's respect and admiration. They're still meticulous about firearms handling, and though we do quite a lot of shooting, have never had a ND in the family, although we've seen others who've had NDs and have used those to discuss what was done wrong.

Proper education and training, with children, can mean a lifetime of safe and enjoyable shooting sport. Parenting is an awesome responsibility, it's up to us to ensure the safety of our families and the continuation of the sport and the spirit of gun ownership.

Last edited by SAG; 08-04-2011 at 10:35.. Reason: typos
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