At what age do you teach kids about guns? How to shoot?


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My nephew spent this weekend with us and I decided to teach him about hand guns. He has always seen me with mine and was always asking about it, so I got some snapcaps and started showing him how to operate the weapon. Everything from loading the mag to chambering a round. I even let him dry fire it with the snapcaps. He has been shooting .22 rifles with his grampa for about a year now.​

A buddy of mine thinks he is to young and I shouldn't be teaching him how to operate a hand gun. He says teach him about the gun but not how operate it. He does not think an 11yr. old should know how to operate a semi-auto hand gun.

Satfety first

All kids should be taught gun safety. From don't touch this unless you are with an adult. And that they are not toys. Don't point it something unless you want to kill it.
From my life,

I was lucky my dad was on Army shooting team so I learned early had a B-B gun at 4 he showed me pistol safety with his match pistols at 6 had my own shotgun at 7 shot M-16 and 14 at 10 nuff said
You definatly had a cool Dad
Whenever a child starts asking about guns and showing interest in them they shoule be taught the rules of handling a gun and how to safely handle one. Age is not a factor whether it is 4 or 14 or 24. You did the corrrect thing and in a very good way using snapcaps etc. You have allowed him to experience part of it and hopefully explained how to handle it properly and safely. A large part of the problem with children and guns is their natural curiosity will make them sneak aroung and get a handgun to play with because they see so much of it on TV even if it is stored properly. Children seem to be able to open anything, even safes.

Children, and adults, are so conditioned by TV (The A-Team was the worst) that only the bad guys will get shot that they have this false sense of security and need to be told and shown that it doesn't always happen that way. A Glock is not a cap pistol nor is it a BB gun or Airsoft. When a child starts asking about it that is when you start. In my opinion if he has been shooting a .22 rifle with his Grandpa then he is past time to learn about pistols.
All of my children (3 boy's and 2 girl's) learned how to shoot by the age of 5. I was a Range master for over 7 year's and a competiton shooter for over 20 year's and in Law Enforcementr for over 25 year's needless to say there were weapons around my home and they needed to know what they could or could not do with them.
P.S. one daughter and one son are now Police Officer's
As to what age is best to teach about safe use and handleing of firearms, there is no certain age, it really depends on the child, and his/her ability to accept instruction and be sure they understand the responsability, but it really boils down to being sure they will do what there told,and this would apply the same for pistols or rifles
I don't have kids but, I had a bb gun by 4-5 and was learning gun safety from that time on was shooting 22s next the shot guns then pistols. I believe by 10 I was solid with being around guns and safety knowing what I can use and what not to do.
I think education is the best "accident prevention". Curiosity KILLS.

Teach them how, when and where to use them and they are less likely to hurt themselves or someone else.
I agree with all of the above resonses. But I want to add that a lot depends upon the kid's maturity and his ability to learn. It varies sooo much around the age they become interested that it's impossible to say at what age it is proper to introduce them to guns of any kind.
People also need to keep their firearms in safe places out of reach of curious kids . I tought my kids at a very early age about the dangers of firearms. They were three and four. Since Ive shown them they never had a intrest in picking them up to play with them.
These are all great points! My boys are 7 & 10 and both know the safety rules.

I am going to be be taking my 10 year old to the range soon. I think my 7 year old is ready too, but there are no ranges in SE Wisconsin that allow kids under 10 and most don't allow kids under 12.
I taught my girlfriend's son how to shoot at 9yo. Now he can shoot better than his dad. :lol: He knows safe handling and knows not to touch the weapons when I'm not around. He's also been to a firearms class with me. Did much better than some of the adults there. That's in contrast to his friend who is shielded from guns and wanted to show off his dad's gun to him. :angry: The kid who has experience with guns did the right thing.
I started teaching my daughter safety at age 3 and let her start shooting at 4 with pistols and rifles. I think the earlier the better, kids are amazingly perceptive/capable if you set rules and enforce them early on.
My buddy followed a similar training as mine with his 2 kids when they were 3 & 4, at 9 yrs old his boy could handle a pistol more safely than half of the adults that take our concealed carry classes.
I agree with all the above post! I taught both my boys at real early ages on gun safety even if they didn't totally understand at the time I would continue to spend 5 minutes 3 to 4 times a week going over safety rules about guns. I had a brother-in-law at the time that was a police officer and he had a real bad habit of just laying his service pistol anywhere whenever he got home. I was always getting on to him because he had two young boys & girl running around and could reach his pistol and matter of fact one did when his was about 4. He came out carrying it by his side luckly by the grip and I happened to be standing close and grabbed it from him. It was loaded. It about scared us to death. I chewed his butt out and he got better about putting it up after that but still was careless at times. I'm a gun safety nut because while growing up I lost 2 friends shot while cleaning their guns, 1 friend leaned his gun against a small tree to pee and the wind causes the shotgun to fall & discharge tearing into the right knee. The doctor's had to cut off his leg below the knee. Another friend that was 10 yrs old was playing cowboys & Indians with a 8 yr old with toy guns, when the 8 yr old knocked the gun out of the 10 yr olds hand and jumped over a couch the 10 yr old grabs a youth single shot shotgun that the father of the 8 yr old always left loaded in the living room. The father used it for snakes and other critters. Anyway, when the 8 yr old jumps up over the couch the 10 yr old shoots the 8 yr old point blank right in the face with the 20 ga, 7 1/2 bird shot blowing part of his head off. My friend the 10 yr old commits suicide 10 days later so I lose 2 more friends. Then 5 yrs ago I lose a good friend when he reaches behind his truck seat to pull out a .22 rifle by the barrel, the trigger catches on a spring causing it fire shooting him right in the heart killing on the spot. His wife finds him 2 hrs later finding slumped in the passenger seat of his truck. He had just finished building his dream house all by himself on the land he was born and raised on. You can never be to safe when it comes to firearms! IMHO it's never to young to start teach kids gun safety whether they are handling them now or not. One of my grandsons lives with my wife and I, he was taught gun safety when he was 3 & 4. His 10 now and loves to shoot but want get near one of my guns unless he ask my permission. He even carries his play guns in a safe manor and it makes me proud when I see that.
I was 5 yrs old when my father (career naval officer) started taking me to the firing range at Crane weapons depot in Indiana. Got to shoot just about every small arm, foreign and domestic, up to a .50 cal. We (my 3 siblings and I) were drilled in firearm safety by the Old Man. In a conversation with my mother some 40yrs after those days at Crane, she told me that she was a bit nervous at first, what with having her children handling firearms, but in hindsight she was very glad we learned at an early age.

I've been shooting virtually all my life. My firends that I've had for 30+ yrs have been doing the same. We all learned about guns at a very early age. Of all the stupid stuff we did as kids/teenagers/young adults, not one of them ever involved a firearm. I'd say as soon as a child is old enough to start school (i.e. the formal learning process), they're old enough to learn about guns.
I was around guns all my life. All the men in my family had guns and I started hunting at an early age with my father. I don't remember how old I was when I went out on my first "expedition" by myself but my dad's shotgun was longer than I was tall. I am grateful for what they all taught me as a young fellow and tried to pass it along to my son many years later.
Of course it depends on the child. I was 4-5 when I got a bb gun. At 6 I was shooting my own .22 with shorts in it. I had the run of the farm. I got a Ithica 20g for Christmas when I was 10 1/2 and was hunting squirrels and rabbits by myself the next fall.
There are just too many opportunities for kids to pick up a weapon and NOT understand them. Too many video games where the dead guy comes back to life after getting taken out. Teach them as much as you can and are comfortable with early in their life.
okie, your experience sounds like mine. I have lost too many friends in my life to buy into a lot of the rhetoric expoused about gun owners being so safety concious. While gowing up in my family as well as the entire community there was never any thought about guns being bad or banned, it was just something that every man and many women had. Just another household item that no one gave any real thought about. I know now that more thought should have been given to the safety involving guns but there are lots of things that we did that were unsafe.

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