1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do you take your infants / toddlers to the range?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mulliga, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Mulliga

    Mulliga Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    Gainesville, Florida
    Reason I ask is because I saw a bunch of guys shooting at the range today and one of them had his son in a stroller parked behind the firing line. The boy couldn't have been more than about two years old (couldn't even really speak coherently yet). Now, the (young) dad tended to his son quite a bit, but sometimes his son would fidget and slide his muffs off his head - all while the father and his friends were shooting ARs, SKSs, etc.

    Just wanted to see how people with very young children deal with shooting as a hobby.
  2. f4t9r

    f4t9r Senior Member

    May 27, 2005
    Way to young big risk of hearing damage
    waited on mine to be old enough to know whats going on and understand the rules thats for a gun range with range officer
  3. Tory

    Tory member

    Aug 29, 2004
    It's a SHOOTING RANGE; not a day care center

    and you can't shoot and baby-sit at the same time. I'll bet there was either NO eye protection or, like the muffs, it kept sliding off while daddy was playing.

    Little kids don't belong at a range.
  4. c_yeager

    c_yeager Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    Lets not forget that the guy is tending to his infant son with lead particles all over his hands. You shouldnt even eat or smoke a cigarette at the range without washing your hands and your gonna handle a child?
  5. pittspilot

    pittspilot Active Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    AZ, Free at last!

    Bad idea.

    Tough to keep attention on shooting and the kids, and lack of attention to both could be tragic.
  6. 36fan

    36fan New Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Idiot. He needs to take his parenting responsibilities seriously and sacrifice his play time.

    My kids (2.5 and 11 months) stay at the house w/ Mom, G-ma, G-pa, Aunt, or etc... while I/we go shooting. It won't be too much longer and my 2.5 yr can come w/ us and shoot the .22, but she requires too much direct attention to be running around while we're shooting right now.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Second chance at natural selection?
  8. TIMC

    TIMC Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2003
    My daughter was here last weekend with my 3 year old grandson. she asked if we could go to the range and I told her I would love to but the grandbaby could not go. She was a little upset but my grandson is my biggest worry not her feelings.
  9. Polishrifleman

    Polishrifleman Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Puget Sound, Washington
    Bad Dad????

    The range is a different story altogether. The resonance off of the concrete can bring a man to his knees if the ears are not protected let alone a child that doesn't and might never know any better thanks to dad.

    I regularly take my boys 5 and 3 shooting with me, muffs and foam but OUTDOORS very controlled only one shooter at a time so the other(s) can watch etc.. they are normally in the bed of a truck behind the firing line.

    Obviously the father doesn't remember firing the AR the first time without protection but I do and never again.
  10. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Senior Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Amerikan Twilight Zone
    Bad idea for all the reasons above. Unless there's hearing protection
    designed for infants and toddlers, nothing is going to provide a good
    seal in/over their ears and they won't be able to tell you otherwise.

    The lead and mercury (plenty of corrosive ammo is still in use) is a

    But, yes, there are people who put their playtime over their kids anyway.
  11. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    I take my 5 year old all the time. He went to the indoor range with us many times as an infant, but only in the lounge area - got him used to muffled gunshots. He has his own ear protection, knows the basic safety rules, and is a joy at the outdoor range. My son is very easy to watch, but we also assign one person to watch while the other shoots - we have no babysitter, so if we want to go shoot, he goes too.
    He loves the range, and love watching me reload, and shooting my reloads. Soon I will get him his own 22...when I can afford one....
  12. Guyon

    Guyon Active Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Over Yonder, Tennessee
    Bad idea. Too many health risks (ears, eyes, contaminants), and unless you want to watch him/her like a hawk, too many places and ways to get into trouble.
  13. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Participating Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    I have a 2.5 year old. No way would I take him to the range. He's just too young yet. I don't want him getting scared of it right away because of the loud noises and strange people. He wouldn't like it, and he wouldn't understand. I think anyone doing that is selfish, and don't want to give up their shooting time, so they drag the kid along with them. Be a parent and leave the toddlers at home, or don't shoot if you don't have anyone to watch them. If they aren't shooting, they shouldn't be going.

    I'll probably start bringing him when he's 5 or 6, but that all depends on him. My 6 year old nephew, I wouldn't let anywhere NEAR a range, but I know some 5 year olds that could handle it. Think about it, if you have trouble with them doing what they're told AT HOME, then NO WAY should you bring them to the range, that is NOT the place for them if they don't pay attention and won't mind.
  14. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Participating Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Boise, ID
    Our Daughter went to the out door informal range a couple of times as an infant. Mom sat in the car with her and read to her wile I was shooting. The sessions wern't very long as I was only doing load development. She has also been a couple of hunting trips when I was raod hunting, again, mom was with her in the car and the windows were rolled up when ever I was shooting. She is now 3, a couple weeks back we went up to the mountains with some friends. We did some plinking against a hill side. She has a set of youth muffs and saftey glasses. She sat in the bed of the truck and watched while we took turns shooting. We did always have at least one adult keeping an eye on her. When everyone else was taking a break, I did load up a single six and stood her in the line, she held it while I worked the action for her. She was very excited and to this day she still enthusiasictly tells people she shot 6 rounds out of daddy's gun.

    She has a plastic cap gun that we work on the rules with her. She is pretty good, but not to the point where I would let her loose with a real gun. When she is, I am thinking 5 or so, I will get her a bearcat or somthing.
  15. etex

    etex New Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    Lufkin, Texas
  16. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Central Florida
  17. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    North Central Florida and Miami Florida
    just plain dumb. Infants and toddlers require so much moment by moment attention, just to keep them out of trouble, that you would not have much time to shoot.
    The biggest thing is the hearing damage issue. Alltogether, a boneheaded idea.
  18. kihnspiracy

    kihnspiracy New Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    5 or 6 would probably be the youngest age I would consider.
  19. 3rdpig

    3rdpig Active Member

    Sep 13, 2004
    [rant mode]

    NO! Keep your little children away from adult activities like shooting! One of the things that bugs me the most is that new parents think that they can and should take the little darlings everywhere and the rest of us should have to modify our adult activities to make it safe for them. Some adult activities are NOT kidsafe and CAN'T be made kidsafe. Almost anything to do with firearms is one of those things. I can't tell you how many times I've seen activist parents try to force "kidsafeness" down the throats of people engaged in a lawful adult activity. It makes me want to scream!

    Somewhere around 8 years old is about the right age to teach them to shoot, but even then they shouldn't be allowed free run of the normal range on any given day until they're old enough to understand the range's safety rules and take responsibility for themselves, say about 16. We don't trust them to drive a car alone before this age, why trust them with a loaded firearm? Have a "kids day" at the range if you must, or make one end of the range open to parents with kids. But PLEASE don't saddle me with your kids when I'm trying to enjoy an adult activity like shooting! :cuss:

    Most of you here would monitor your kids closely and wouldn't let them bug other people and would make sure they're safe, but there are too many others that wouldn't. I see them every day, they have no clue where the kid is or what he's doing. Here in Arizona they let them bake to death in cars in the summer heat and let them drown in pools. There's no way to keep people like that out but let you responsible parents in. It's acutally been suggested here that you leave something of value, like a cell phone, near the kid so you won't forget them in the car. A cell phone? Valuable? Compared to your bloody kid? You want these people and their kids on a shooting range? I don't!

    [rant mode/]
  20. pax

    pax Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    Nope. IMO, kids shouldn't be at the range until they are old enough to actively benefit from being at the range -- old enough to shoot (a minimum of 4, 5, 6 years old if the parents are very responsible and the kid is obedient), or at least old enough to be soaking up safety lessons.

    Younger than that, there's not enough benefit to the child to balance the risks you are taking with noise & lead exposure.

    [implied conclusion to above quote]
    ... Therefore, someone should pass a law or at least a rule which punishes responsible and irresponsible people alike and prevents even responsible parents from making their own parenting decisions.
    [/implied conclusion]

    I don't like that much. I understand the impulse, but I don't like it.


    Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them. -- P.J. O'Rourke


Share This Page