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Teaching The Kiddos Gun Safety

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Scrod314, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. Scrod314

    Scrod314 Member

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    Hello...
    My best friend and I like to shoot quite a bit. Both of us have spent quite a bit of time teaching the kiddos gun safety starting at age 5. I don't think this is too young, but opinions may differ. We both always have guns locked up in safes, ammo locked up separately. You don't think age 5 is too young to learn the basics on a .22LR pistol? I wasn't taught much until my early teens.
    On a side note, I went over to his house to meet up and take his older boys to the range. His youngest son just turned 5. So, Dad was getting his gear together and had his pistol out. The youngest was curious, so my friend took the time to teach him some basic safety. After he finished the lesson, he asked his boy if he had any questions. That little guy looked up at him and said, "Pew Pew!" We both smiled at him, looked at each other, and said, "Yes." It was a great moment.
     
  2. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    My Grandparents had a glass-fronted gun cabinet in the living room decades before I was born and it was there until the ranch was sold after I went to college.

    We were taught from diaper age to respect the contents of the cabinet and not to open it without one of the Grandparents present.

    3 daughters, 11 grandkids, 4 great nephews… zero issues.

    My 4 kids all were taught firearms can be dangerous and to not only stay away from mine without a parent present, but to leave the area if at a friends house and someone starts playing with a gun.

    All but one of mine have shot since they were little and I, too, have had zero issues. (One is not interested in guns at all… and I’m OK with that.)

    Teach them young and teach them well. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
  3. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    What really burns my butt is when a kid with a new rifle is allowed -by his or her parents- to carry it around
    like it isn't loaded. The parents need training as much as the kids, if not more.
    Such actions are not allowed on my property and has cost me a couple of friends but at least it will
    make them think about it.
    Good topic.
     
  4. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    I think the trick is, when dealing with young children and possibly even adults, possibly even especially adults, when you see bad handling, make it an unforgettable moment. If you're a nice guy 99.9% of the time and you unleash the "ogre" in you for a brief moment, kids and adults alike will probably not soon forget.

    I've learned things this way, my uncle had a friend named Ray, for a time my uncle was very into archery and doing tournaments and stuff so he got me my own bow when I was around 8. We were on a 3D archery shoot and I bumped my uncles friend ray's bow with mine a few times throughout the course, apparently the 3rd time was one too many. He jumped my ass and I didn't bump his bow again. This is how kids learn.

    Of course repeated exposure and instruction from early on can negate having to bring out the "ogre" but if you're dealing with somebody who hasn't taught there kids properly, you can cram alot of "education" into a few seconds, lol. As did "Ray".
     
    Heir Kommt Die Sonne likes this.
  5. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    I have taught my kids safety from an early age to start respecting firearms, my oldest got a savage mark II for his 6th birthday, for this christmas my brother and I are going half on a Ruger Mark IV. He has been wanting a handgun for awhile and before someone replies, of course they are locked in my safe. I dont think 5 is too young to start (start with whatever BB, pellet, .22) there are kids right now 8,9, and 10 years old that have already killed grown men in certain parts of the world, I think you're ok teaching yours about gun safety and basic shooting.
     
  6. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    My three year old great grandson is already shooting the little Crickett rifle I bought for the GG kids several years ago. Of course his father is holding him on his lap and helping him shoot for now but he is learning the basics. His sister is six and shooting it by herself but with very close supervision. The two oldest GG kids have out grown the Crickett and have graduated to 22 rifles of their own. The oldest "stole" my Colt M4-22 and her younger sister has a S&W 15-22 inbound which she is eagerly awaiting.

    Start them while very young and teach them well is my preference.
     
    JTHunter likes this.
  7. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    I think that toy guns tend to promote unsafe gun handling among kids. They come to see guns as playthings, with no serious consequences. So, introduce them to real guns at an early age (under controlled and supervised conditions), but ban toy guns from the household. Make sure they know that guns are deadly serious. They need to internalize that you never point a gun, even in play, at anyone / any thing that you don't want to kill / destroy.
     
  8. GJeffB

    GJeffB Member

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    Couple of thoughts. Both of my children (now adults) and 3 out of 4 grandchildren (4-16 years old) showed a fascination for all guns at an early age. From the beginning the rule was "you can look at, touch, and hold any of my guns, as often as you want as long as I'm here with you, just ask." Initially I was taking them out of the safe daily. Pretty soon it was weekly. By the time it was monthly, the "fascination" had worn off and almost forgotten. But each time, they were taught to check for clear and control the muzzle. By then it mostly became "when can I shoot?" Answer was the same to all: when you can recite and EXPLAIN the 4 rules of gun safety. My adult children have followed the same regimen, we're satisfied that nobody will sneak out a gun because there's no need to. Just ask. And we now have a family full of safe, enthusiastic gun handlers. I absolutely believe the key is to remove the awe of guns and they just become another one of dad/grandpa's things.

    -jb, everyone parents differently
     
  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Mine didn't follow directions well enough at 5 to get her started. She was ready by 7, though. Between 5 and 7, I let her "help" me clean them and took her to a few gun shows. (I did that so that she would learn to tell a toy gun from a real gun by weight.) At around 7, I took her out with a BB gun. She's never been really interested in guns, so I didn't push it. At about 10, though, I did haul her out to a friend's house for some honest-to-goodness instruction. My buddy is an NRA Youth Instructor. He started her with a 10/22 and within a couple of hours, she was ringing steel at 100 yards with a benched Remington 700 in .300 Whisper.

    ETA: Just to be clear, the fact that my kid wasn't ready at 5 has no bearing on whether someone else's kid was.
     
  10. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    I started my grandson at six (he’ll be seven this October); but five or six is a good time to start, depending on the child.

    I took my grandson to the range for the first-time last weekend – he had a great time and can’t wait to go again.

    He’s been gifted his father’s CZ 513 – he shot that and the CZ Kadet conversion.

    Yes, safety first – all the rules I was taught and that I taught my son when he was six.
     
    murf likes this.
  11. GJeffB

    GJeffB Member

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    Spats, that ETA is probably the most important point. The little yonker has to be ready and interested. Heck, my daughter wanted to know about my guns early (10-ish), but didn't get really interested until her 20's. Kids are individuals too.

    -jb, like horseback riding. You're ready when you're ready
     
  12. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    The word "discernment" comes to mind, and as noted, a lot of adults aren't good examples to follow.
     
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  13. DeepSouth
    • Contributing Member

    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    This varies greatly by child. No one thing is going to work for every kid.

    Teach them and pay very close attention to what they are doing and how they are responding. Show them what a gun can do, shoot a watermelon with a rifle, if you hunt show them the effects of a bullet.

    The main thing to watch and treat them as individuals.
     
    BLACKHAWKNJ, ACES&8S and .308 Norma like this.
  14. Scrod314

    Scrod314 Member

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    Hello... Just to be clear, he didn't let his son touch the firearms. He emphasized it's not a toy. They do not have any toy guns around. Their Mom feels like toy guns could be a bad idea with real firearms in the home. Important things I heard were: never touch without Mom or Dad present. Firearm is always loaded, even if you think it is not. Never point muzzle at anything. He is careful about where everything is locked up, as am I. Our rooms have door locks. We both keep keys in our possession. Guns have locks on them, and then are locked in safes. Ammunition locked in separate safes.
    I do keep a firearm in a safe by my bed. I don't have young ones around as much. I taught mine at an early age. They know firearms are not toys and are dangerous.
    I believe I am doing everything correctly and as safe as possible.
     
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  15. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    I was never taught gun safety, I wasn't really around guns as a kid. My uncle let me mess with his guns relatively unsupervised. My dad stayed away from them until I got my own in 2019. Got myself an SKS, and him being an ex-soviet, he got excited and taught me Soviet doctrine(so I learned things a little differently).. then PTSD got to him, and that was the end of that.

    Taught myself, slowly but surely got into the habit of proper firearm etiquette.
     
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  16. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    I still remember unsafe gun handling among my peers when I was 10 years old (5th grade), in Texas in the mid-1950's. Some of them had their own guns at that age. One particular incident was a contest, in one kid's bedroom, to see who could eject live .410 shells the farthest from his single-shot shotgun. I'm still amazed that a gun didn't go off accidentally doing that. Another thing that seemed all the rage was drilling out the chambers of .22 LR rifles to take .22 WMR. These were 10-12 year olds that were doing this. The first time I was exposed to the concept of gun safety was at Boy Scout camp.
     
  17. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    That's right, and I don't mean to stray off topic, but I need to point out that hearing protection is as important, or maybe even more important, for the "kiddos" as it is for the adults. And, not all types of hearing protection works for every child.
    My wife and I started teaching gun safety to both of our daughters and three of our grandsons when they were very young, and we let them shoot - first BB and pellet guns in the back yard, then .22 rifles down at the gravel pit, eventually .22 handguns, and on up from there as they grew and became more mature. However, until our middle grandson got bigger, all of our ear muffs were simply too loose, and because of the smallness and shape of his ear canals, trying to install plugs in them was sometimes an exercise in futility. Ear plugs AND muffs even when shooting even .22 rifles was the rule for our middle grandson until he was 9 or 10 years old, and was bigger.:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
    .38 Special likes this.
  18. shafter

    shafter Member

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    As a general rule I think the earlier you can teach a child something the better off you are.
     
  19. Goofball84

    Goofball84 Member

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    I was about 5yr old when my grampa had me shooting his old pump 22. (still have that gun today 40years later) That gun was also what I thought my boys to shoot with a few years ago. This summer we have been shooting a lot more. The boys are doing good; very safe, and surprisingly accurate. Now they are 16 and are shooting everything in my safe. 22, 380, 9mm, 38spl, 44mag pistols and 22, 9mm, 44mag, 30-30 rifles.

    My wife was/is afraid of guns. I started her with an SR22 pistol. She was comfortable with that, and decided she wanted her conceal carry permit. Now she is browsing pistols on her own. I have got her to try 380 and 9mm. But she is still recoil sensitive and keep the SR22 as her favorite. She dont like revolvers, but is terribly weak at racking the slide. She is ok with the 22 and the 380 ez I got for her.

    I'm not a person that goes out looking to teach, but it was nice getting my family accustom to guns to be safe, proficient using them.
     
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  20. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    Teaching kids seems to be topic as well as their progress.
    Important use the correct TONE of voice with kids, don't make them feel scared of
    the teacher, just respect the rifle or pistol.
    Don't talk too much, I have seen parents that never stop talking the whole time the kid
    or kids are shooting. Just basic important information about safety first, don't stress the
    kids about accuracy at first, that will come.
    Too much information about accuracy and not about safety is bad leadership. A critical
    tone of voice about their accuracy is a teacher's failure.
    Make it fun and they will want to get better, safety included.
     
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  21. Col. Harrumph

    Col. Harrumph Member

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    Ditto to all the above! When my nephew was small and he wanted to see my guns, we went straight to the stash (I didn't and don't have a safe). He knew if he wanted to handle the Mdl. 27 he just had to wait until Uncle was home, and he'd get instant gratification. It may not work for every kid, but it did for him.

    Since my dad was orphaned young and grew up in a houseful of females he never learned anything about guns/fishing/camping/anything at all a country boy would naturally learn, so when my turn came he couldn't, and didn't, teach me. I learned basic gun safety the hard way (I won't go into details).

    Be gentle with small fry, accept their short attention span, and be firm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  22. Poper

    Poper Member

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    This ^^^^ , IMHO, cannot be stressed enough.
    A most excellent philosophy when instructing the youngsters.
     
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  23. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    Separate teaching how to shoot from firearm safety. If they can walk they need to start learning safety just like not touching a hot stove.
     
  24. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    ^^^^
    Exactly.
     
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  25. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    That was my approach, and it worked perfectly. I did allow Nerf guns and squirt guns in the house, but with the same rules as real guns. My wife made a bit of fun of me, wondering aloud how anyone could enjoy squirt guns if they couldn't be used to squirt people, but it was one of the few arguments I have won with her.
     
    murf likes this.
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