Would you take a 2 year old to a Gun show?


January 14, 2011, 11:07 AM
I was planning on attending a local gun show this week, (i'm in the market for a new pistol). Somethings came up that my wife has to attend to for most of the day so I will be in charge of our 2 year old for most of the day.

Just wondering how folks felt about this (especially others with kids). I have not made up my mind either way yet, just trying to see things from all sides. Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Would you take a 2 year old to a Gun show?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 14, 2011, 11:11 AM
I have 3 kids, and I don't see a problem with it.

January 14, 2011, 11:12 AM
I would rather not take a 2 year old anywhere,but then I don't have grandkids yet. Other than that I can't see why a gun show would be any different than anywhere else. The behavior there will be better than most sporting events.

January 14, 2011, 11:12 AM
I see small kids there all the time and have no issue with it. I wouldn't, but only because I want to devote my full attention to shopping. In other words, it's all about me!

January 14, 2011, 11:12 AM
Depends on if he/she could behave themselves. I'd certainly take either of mine with me. If they can't behave or if you are unable to control them, I wouldn't beset that upon the public and dealers.

Even though a 2-year old can walk, you'll probably have to carry them the whole time. Keep that in mind also.

January 14, 2011, 11:14 AM
You will need to keep the kid in the stroller and realize your ability to seriously peruse the aisles and tables will be severely limited - you'll be keeping one on your kid so your focus on things won't be best. Two year-olds get tired real quick, and as I am sure you are aware - start whining and fussing - need to be changed, etc....(been there done that a long time ago).

If the child is as inquisitive as most, they he/she will be trying to grab things- not always appreciated by the person behind the table.

Just some things to think about - you know your kid better than anyone

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 14, 2011, 11:18 AM
In your case, I wouldn't. Not so much because of any safety reasons, but in a crowded area with so many people and so many shiny to grab, keeping an eye on the child would pretty much ensure that I didn't get a good look at anything. I'm not talented enough to properly inspect a pistol for purchase while wrangling a child.

Chances are, a 2-year-old is not going to be enamored with the gun show and probably get frustrated he will not be able to see what is on the tables unless you are holding him and then you'll be unable to really look at things. He'll probably get restless long before you are done looking. If you were just going window shop for a few minutes, that would be one thing, but since you want to make a purchase I think you might want to try another day. It might be a more enjoyable time for both of you to hit the zoo or something.

January 14, 2011, 11:19 AM
Like others, it would be dependent on the temperament of the kid in question. I've done it with a year old which was fine, but he also just stared at everything in wonder while being carried. A 2 year old might be really curious about things that he/she would not be allowed to touch which would cause frustration.

Just One Shot
January 14, 2011, 11:20 AM
I don't see a problem with it as long as you keep control of them. I would take one of my grandchildren if I were of a mind to carry around 20-30 lbs (or whatever they weigh). But with my back that won't be happening anytime soon.

The show around here is so crowded and the rows are so small it's all I can do to get down a row by myself with what ever firearm I'm carrying. I wouldn't be able to get through with a stroller or allow them to walk on their own so carrying them would be my only option.

January 14, 2011, 11:50 AM
I have gone to gunshowes with my child when she was two. It really will depend on the child and how well behaved they are. I used a stroller and it was a great help when I loaded it up with ammo cans :evil:

January 14, 2011, 11:56 AM
Only for the beef-jerky. I wouldn't allow him to buy a gun.

Nasty Ned
January 14, 2011, 12:23 PM
For goodness sake, take the kid. You couldn't start him down a fun and interesting road any younger. If I lived close, I'd help watch him while we paroosed the aisles.

January 14, 2011, 12:26 PM
I was a single father before my marriage in 2003....I took my kids everywhere, except dipnetting on the Chitna...too dangerous.

My children were young when I moved to Alaska, and daycare cost a fortune, so, when the gunshows came up, I took both my son and my daughter. They had a ball, and everyone was very nice to them...both new better than to randomly touch without asking...

Depends on the child.

Jesse Heywood
January 14, 2011, 12:36 PM
Depends on the child.
And the parent!

I used a stroller
Far from an ideal situation. I hate it when I get behind one.

Russ Jackson
January 14, 2011, 12:41 PM
Duct Tape the 2 year old in the stroller and you should be fine...Russ

January 14, 2011, 12:44 PM
I'd only have the same concerns that a two year old in any other store would create. If they're a handful at walmart, they'll be a handful at a gunshow. I seriously doubt the environment itself would pose any intrnisc danger beyond what an average 2 year old is capable of creating in a more mundane environment.

January 14, 2011, 12:51 PM
I have and I would again.

January 14, 2011, 12:52 PM
I took my 2yr old daughter to a show once. Not a bad experience at all. I used a stroller and would suggest one if possible also. Mostly everyone ( LEO, dealers, patrons) were all very cool with it. Everyone was happy to see A: a baby girl and B: that i was "raising her right" lol.
YMMV, good luck!

January 14, 2011, 01:07 PM
I've done it. I wouldn't recommend it.

January 14, 2011, 01:19 PM
Been there, done that, got the stained T-shirt to prove it (grape sucker). I carried my 2 year old on my shoulders, worked well until we where near any type of taxidermied animal or decoy, then we had to stop and pet it (that got old fast).

I would do it again and plan to, we both had a blast.

January 14, 2011, 02:08 PM
Absolutely. Probably one of the safest places you could ever hope to be. The ride in the car on the way to the show is what you have to be concerned about.

January 14, 2011, 02:30 PM
Instead of a stroller, how about one of those "baby backpacks." That way your hands are free, and baby can look down at all the shiny stuff. Baby still might get frustrated at not being able to touch, but at least your hands are free to fondle the merchandise.

January 14, 2011, 02:33 PM
I used to take my daughter to gunshows when she was really little but I quickly realized that it's just not the place for small kids. It's not the guns it's the crowds. You are tying up a lot of space everytime you stop at a table to look at guns if you have a stroller. If the child is walking and the crowds are thick (as they are at the local shows in my area) then you run the risk of having your kid stepped on by those with tunnel vision.
It's your choice but I really don't think that a gunshow is the place for a very small child if it's crowded. It's hard enough getting to a table to look at guns without having someone trying to push a stroller through the crowds.

January 14, 2011, 02:59 PM
As another poster wrote, it depends on the child and the parent.
I would suggest you do not, no matter how well behaved both of you are, I don't believe it would be fair to the child, yourself, dealers, and the other folks at the show.

There will always be other shows, enjoy the time to bond with your two year old, and watch some football together.

January 14, 2011, 03:30 PM
Been there, done that. It's not a big deal. Take the kid.

January 14, 2011, 03:32 PM
As written it does depend on the child and the parent...by 2 mine KNEW look with your eyes...I didnt do stroller...just plunked them on my shoulders and away we went...I wore a frame pack with an extended top to which i added side panels that strapped to the shoulder straps to make sideboards for my shoulders. Usually went with a buddy who could put stuff (both mine and his) in the pack for me so no taking it down...

My boys are now 19 and 23 and both still LOVE gun shows. And shooting.

January 14, 2011, 03:45 PM
My oldest son is now 23 and went to his first gun show at the ripe old age of 6 months. He was in a stroller and very easy to handle.

Now to be serious. If your 2 year old will behave and keep his hands off of the many guns he will see when told to he should be ok.

You know your son better than we do.

January 14, 2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks for all the input. I think a stroller is a must, she is a wanderer. (I've got four girls, no boys). I've got food for thought now.

January 14, 2011, 04:06 PM
Take the child. I took my soon at 18months, they gave him a balloon and a water gun. I carried him throughout the show as he said, "bang,bang,bang" to everybody, he loved it.

January 14, 2011, 04:41 PM
You will probably want to carry the child around. I see no problem. A baby carriage might get in the way, but you can put one in the car just in case it feels right. So have fun.

January 14, 2011, 04:47 PM
Not saying don't do it, but at the gun shows around here the strollers are really annoying because of the ridiculously narrow aisles between the tables. There is usually barely enough room for 2 adults to pass in opposite directions turned sideways. If somebody stops to look at something the entire aisle is held up until they are done.

Disabled folks in scooters are just as bad or worse. Not blaming anybody here but the show organizers for this issue.

January 14, 2011, 04:50 PM
I waited until my daughters were about 4 & 5 yrs old before taking them to the shows. Two year olds might be a bit of a handful. I think I wouldn't enjoy being at the show as much as I ordinarilly might, with a 2 yr old. But, to each, his own. As the dad, you have sole discretion.

liberty -r- death
January 14, 2011, 05:02 PM
I was one of those kids many years ago. My Dad used to take me every place with him including gun shows. I have taken my kids with me every where as well. One thing I found when they are that young is that they aren't interested in the same things we are and that their attention span is pretty short. I would take a few snacks and drinks for the little one. I'd also take a couple of toys for him to play with when he gets bored. Plan on a stroller or back pack so he can nap when he's tired. As long as you plan ahead you can both a great time. It never hurts to expose children to their second amendment rights, and teach them how it's actually normal to like guns contrary to what the liberal media would have people think. I've been taking my son to local shows for years, although I can't say how young he was when I took him for the first time. I know I had a back pack carrier for him.

I'm nearly forty now and my Dad is in his mid sixties. Every year we make a point to go to OK and meet up for the Tulsa gun show. My son is thirteen now and he goes with us. Passing along a family tradition. Hopefully someday he'll do the same with me, and his kids. Perhaps if my Dad hadn't taken me along all those years we wouldn't have that weekend to look forward to every year where it's just us hanging out enjoying each others company surrounded by guns.

My two cents is to take the little one with you.

January 14, 2011, 05:12 PM
I took mine in an umbrella stroller a few times. Was never a problem. Misanthropes and childless crusty old farts aside, I think most people enjoy seeing well-behaved children at a gunshow.

January 14, 2011, 05:26 PM
I took my daughter first when she was 18 months. She sat in her stroller, which was a pain to maneuver, but that was the only bad part. In fact, I had an Israeli k98 slung over my shoulder during that trip, and traded it for a very nice CZ-52.

These days, she's 2 1/2, and she rides on my shoulders most of the time. That's a breeze at gun shows - she's got waaay too many things to look at to be fussy, and I can get around just as easy as I can without her.

January 14, 2011, 08:55 PM
My only concern, really---
possible poor ventilation leading to lead exposure and/or other common chemical fumes and odors that might pose a slight health risk. Your kid, your call. For me, I'd say no as shows might be rather boring for a little one.

On the other hand, I've seen plenty of dealers set up a 'corral' for their little ones behind their tables and hey--happy little kids are often a great 'draw' to those dealers' tables!

So maybe, put the kids to work if they come along!

Kids who grow up around guns and are taught the right ways to handle them in age appropriate stages are NOT the ones you need to worry about later on IMO. And they are the future of the shooting sports.

January 14, 2011, 08:56 PM
I LOVE seeing well behaved children at the shows. I Hate getting stuck behind a stroller in a crowded show. One of those body carry things might be good. My kids have just now shown an interest in going to the shows with me (teenagers) But I would still smack em up along side the head if they got out of line :what:

As many before have stated. All depends on the kid. It is refreshing to see good kids with good parents walk the shows :)

January 14, 2011, 09:10 PM
No, but then I wouldn't take them across the street either.

January 14, 2011, 09:33 PM
Idahoskies.... Take her! I bought my son a chipmunk when he was 2! We went to gun shows from then on. He done great and I think learned valuable firearms lessons just from being around them.,

We would have lunch at our show...they always had hot dogs and pizza at concession and what kid doesnt like that. We would eat and rest and continue shopping. I used the stroller a few times.

and you have a daughter! :cool: I wanted a daughter, but God gave me 3 sons, and all is great! They are all men now least one is 21 and all know and respect firearms, and we still make occasional gun shows together.

And hey you never know where the Gun Show outing can Lead......

Pic.....(Justine Ayoob, 13, and proud author (Massad Ayoob) after winning national champion parent/child team title.

January 14, 2011, 09:47 PM
My son is 2. He's a climber and gets into everything. However, when I took him to a gun show he was very well behaved. Eventhough he didn't understand what I was telling him, I think he liked me explaining what everything was at the show. He was good for about 30min then He needed to go for a nap. Just make sure the kid(s) are well rested.

January 14, 2011, 10:02 PM
The fact that I took my well-bahaved daughter to gun and knife shows starting at about age 2ish, probably explains why she can't wait to turn 18 so she can receive my G26. :cool: I say take them and keep a close eye. It is a teachable moment. Either you teach them about firearms etc, or the local "kinnygarden" teacher may. :rolleyes:


January 14, 2011, 10:29 PM
Take the 2 year-old. I took all three of my boys when they were in diapers and still on a bottle. How else could I and my wife go buy guns? Hire a baby sitter?? That's money to be spent at the show. I enjoy the hotdogs and hot chocolate too.

January 14, 2011, 10:30 PM
You know what his/her tedium threshold is better than we do. Just realize, there isn't much for kids to do there.

Larry E
January 14, 2011, 11:19 PM
As long as he/she isn't running amok there should be no problem at all. The kid might get bored, or might think it's the neatest thing they've ever done.

HD Fboy
January 15, 2011, 08:24 AM
Assuming you child is respectful and well behaved AND you are NOT one of those parents who believes your child is perfect, bring the kid. You concern should focus on how they will impact the other people at the show.

We always treated our kids like adults until they began acting like children. As they got older they perferred being treated as an adult and acted as such more and more.

My son went to his first gun show when he was really young. Today he is 23 and in med school. He was always interested in how things work. he loved all the different guns, decoys, stuffed heads, etc. It was a great learning experience dealing with different people and different stuff. Today I am betting he is the best armed student in med school.

January 15, 2011, 08:46 AM
If you use a stroller, please be aware of the other folks at the gun show. The last show I was at last weekend, this guy had one of those two seater-double wide strollers with two kids buckled in.

Twice while I was looking at items on the vendor tables, this azzhat hat ran into me with the stroller because he was looking at the tables while pushing the stroller instead of looking where he was going. :rolleyes:

He slightly muttered "sorry" both times, and then continued on down the aisle, running into some other people the same way.

January 15, 2011, 08:51 AM
<<<<Took my kids to gun shows when they were in diapers.
My daughter used to hang out at the gun shop with me when her Mom was working the same hours too.
The experience didn't corrupt her in any manner though she is now a Martial Artist and has a preference for swords and spears and other exotic weaponry over guns.

January 15, 2011, 08:54 AM
I took my boy when he was 2 1/2 or 3, and like many gun shows, there was the familiar crackling of a taser somewhere at the show that when close by enough, freaked my little boy out to the point that he was screaming bloody murder and flailing his hands around, striking me and himself in the face. Totally unexpected. Everybody, and I mean everybody stopped what they were doing and turned their attention to us, he was screaming with such shrillness. I've never seen him do that before or since. Something about the sound of that taser terrified him to no end. The poor salesman with the taser was apologizing profusely, I told him no problem, it just isn't something you would think would cause such a fuss.

He's 4 now, and I think he might be okay, but I've not tried it again yet. It does make it hard to focus on what you are looking for, and when I'm at a gun show, I'm on a mission!

Old Shooter
January 15, 2011, 08:54 AM
Is it a one day show? Takiing the 2yo is fine but your day may be cut short if he has a problem of some sort, fussing or whatever and needs to go home or be held all the time. If it's your only option go ahead and hope you have a nice day at the show.

January 15, 2011, 09:13 AM
It goes like this.... Can I look at that Garand? sure.... Ah... can you hold this?

Guns and more
January 15, 2011, 09:17 AM
I wouldn't take a 2 yr old to a gun show.
But not because I'd fear he'd see something that would make him scarred for life.
I'd be afraid I'd want my hands checking out firearms, and I'd fear his hands would be
grabbing everything in sight.

I also wouldn't take a 2 yr. old to a movie theater, on an airplane. But that's another story.

January 15, 2011, 09:18 AM
I took mine to a gunshow when similar circumstances arose. I had a backpack carrier to tote her around with. It worked great until one guy sold her a set of spurs!:D

January 15, 2011, 09:52 AM
Leave the kid at home make it easier on yourself and everyone else. Trying to get around a fussy kid in a stroller is a pain for you and everyone else.

January 15, 2011, 09:54 AM
I took my two year old son to a coin show over the summer and he got upset when he couldn't touch/play with the coins on display. I expect similar results at a gun show.

January 15, 2011, 10:02 AM
I've taken my 1 year old to gun shows before (he's 6 now). Who cares what other people "think". I would advise bringing a stroller, that way if they get out of hand or tired they can be put in the stroller. It also can help carry the heavy bags of smaller purchases.

January 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
opps, posted in wrong thread. <deleted>

January 15, 2011, 12:00 PM
Biggest show around here doesn't allow kids under 10.

January 15, 2011, 12:39 PM
x2 on the backpack carrier. I am a single dad, and started going to gun shows again when my daughter was old enough for the backpack carrier (younger than 1). She loved it, as something different to do. I saw plenty of strollers in use as well, and no real problems (the shows we go to are in a large venue with wide aisles). I always brought some food and a drink for her, as well as some type of small toys. The backpack carrier had a couple of pockets (accessible if you are flexible enough) to stash those things. She usually fell asleep by the end (I would spend about 3 hours walking the show). All the women thought it was so cute to see her up there. One lady gave me half-price on a set of mini-BDUs for my daughter because she thought she was so cute riding around on that backpack. She is now 8, and unfortunately not very interested in guns right now (she was when she was younger), so sometimes I get someone to watch her if I go to a show. She does still remember the gun shows as a baby though, and it was a fun experience for both of us. Once she was a little older (2 or so) I started a "tradition" of getting her anything she wanted at the snack bar on the way out, with the understanding that we would skip that step if she misbehaved at all. That was another way of making the whole experience a "treat" for her.

January 15, 2011, 05:09 PM
Well thank you for all the input. We went. She had a good time. I brought a few toys for her and some pretzels. I used a compact umbrella stroller. We made it befor the rush (the crowds were a little more than I expected from the last show but not bad). She was well behaved and only once did she get real curious and start fingering something, and that happened to be the cloth on the table which I quickly moved her away from. Overall a good outing.

Thanks for the suggestions. She, and I, had a good time.

January 15, 2011, 06:41 PM
not now.....not ever. there is nothing there for a two year old. your the child's father... do something with the kid that it will enjoy.

January 15, 2011, 08:52 PM
My son has been to every gun show with me since he's been able to walk. He enjoys it tremendously. I always make it a point to stop and let him rest up every now and again. Also, somewhere in the middle of our journey we make it to the snack bar for a Coke and food of his choice. My son is well disciplined and knows to keep his hands off of stuff, so managing him has never been a problem. If you like spending time with your kid and know how to keep him/her entertained then you should take him/her.

the iron horse
January 15, 2011, 10:41 PM
My two grandsons age five and three.

Been there, done that.

January 16, 2011, 06:33 AM
Always took my kids to gun shows. That was back in the days when one could smoke cigars and cigretts on the floor. Accually got a good deal on a gun cause my girl was so cute.

January 16, 2011, 07:03 AM
Some gun shows have an age limit on kids being allowed into the show. Myself I wouldn't take a two year old to a show because I'm there to get away from the everyday happenings. I personally don't like it because as said before some of the aisles are too narrow for two grown adults to get down let alone a stroller. I may be a crusty old fart for these views but I've made my sacarifices in my younger years when my kids where that young and I don't have any grandkids yet.

January 16, 2011, 07:35 AM
I took my daughter when she was two and had to carry her. The dealers where so into making her smile (she is a cute kid) I couldnt get a straight answer out of any of them. I did find her a beanie baby though lol!

Sav .250
January 16, 2011, 08:28 AM
Why not? But I`ll admit I haven`t seen to many "little" people at my Gun Shows.
When you handling a weapon, who`s got the kid? Good luck.

January 16, 2011, 09:16 AM
If the kid can behave and you can be sure he does (hands off stuff) than why not. As a parent it's YOUR responsibility to be sure the child behaves and doesn't cause an issue. Biggest thing is to remember that the child remains your primary focus while your there.

Wes B
January 17, 2011, 12:20 AM
I did yesterday, along with the 5 yr old, 9 yr old, 11 yr old, and my wife. Went back again today with just my 9 yr old and looked at all the stuff I missed yesterday.

January 17, 2011, 11:55 AM
My daughter turned two earlier this month and I certainly wouldn't want to bring her with me. She wants to inspect every single little thing and if she can't, things get rather unpleasant.
I don't think the others who pay just to attend the show would appreciate hearing a frustrated child crying and fussing either.

January 17, 2011, 01:50 PM
I think if you are willing to consider that you should want your child to act the

way you would want anybody else's child to act in public, it's OK.

As a parent, I never allowed my child to act out in public. I have little tolerance,

and no respect,for parents who have no control over their children.

As such, I truly resent it when some goober hauls some screaming brat out in

public, and ruins a good time for all.

At that age, I carried my girl wherever we went. She got a fair share of my

attention, and I had no problem keeping her under control.(means QUIET!):scrutiny:

January 17, 2011, 06:07 PM
Yes, with the kid in a backpack.

January 18, 2011, 08:06 AM
only if i could not find a sitter i could trust. it is not that it is inapropriate, it is just it would be a real PITA. changing diapers, keeping him/her from grabbing stuff. crying, and then keeping track of him/her if you want to pick up something. it would not be a lot of fun. but, if the only other choice was missing the show.... i guess that is something you will have to weigh for yourself.

January 18, 2011, 06:35 PM
Hell i went with my dad in the 50's when i was 6 or so...I still rembered it...perhaps that is why i like guns now? My kids were all good. they were taught at an early age not to touch or play with guns. My dad was a pilot. When we went to air shows my kids did not put their hands on and climb all over home built air planes. Always take your kids. they are the future.

January 18, 2011, 09:08 PM
My kids have been going to gun shows since before they could walk.

January 18, 2011, 09:14 PM
It is cheaper when they are two. They cost more when the get older!! Not just the price of admission but the needs and wants.

January 18, 2011, 09:29 PM
No reason not to take the kid.

January 18, 2011, 11:56 PM
If you have to, take the youngin'. Just be prepared to leave early and don't be upset if you have to. :)

January 19, 2011, 12:40 AM
No way. Kid will be bored & you will be busy caring for kid and not paying attention to anything in show.

January 19, 2011, 08:27 AM
A couple years ago I posted a comment expressing a wish that folks would leave the strollers at home rather than tying up the narrow, crowded pathways at gun shows. I was savaged by numerous members who called me an idiot and worse. I was ridiculed and belittled for suggesting such an outrageous thing.

But I am right and they are wrong. A child in a stroller does not need to be at a gun show. The event is not designed or intended for small children and their presence is a hindrance to others.

January 19, 2011, 11:42 AM
What if you hang a few Enfields off the stroller and call it your gun cart? :D

Ala Dan
January 19, 2011, 03:58 PM
I also see NO reason not too carry a 2-year old to a gunshow. Just remember,
Parents are responsible for their children's actions~! :uhoh: ;)

January 19, 2011, 04:36 PM
Well thank you for all the input. We went. She had a good time. I brought a few toys for her and some pretzels. I used a compact umbrella stroller. We made it befor the rush (the crowds were a little more than I expected from the last show but not bad). She was well behaved and only once did she get real curious and start fingering something, and that happened to be the cloth on the table which I quickly moved her away from. Overall a good outing.

Thanks for the suggestions. She, and I, had a good time.
Great! That's all that counts.

January 20, 2011, 12:25 AM
My wife wore our little one in a sling when we went to the gun show.. wasn't a big deal.

If you enjoyed reading about "Would you take a 2 year old to a Gun show?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!