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


FN1910

New member
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.
 

50SR9

New member
The sooner the better. Granted, they need to be able to handle the weapon physically. I learned at the age of 4 or 5. I would go pheasant hunting with my dad and grandpa. I didn't use the 12 gauge at the age, but my dad always brought his semi auto 22 pistol. When the day was done he would always find something for me to shoot at with the pistol. At the ripe old age of 12, he bought me my first shotgun, a 12 gauge pump from Sears. He bought me that so he could have his 12 pump back. I was always gone with it and hunting. My opinion, when they can physically handle the recoil, hold it correctly and understand, that is the time to start. Teach them what guns are for, demonstrate what they will do, make sure they understand "once the trigger is pulled, you can't take it back", and my dad's favorite..."if you aren't going to eat it, DON'T SHOOT IT!" I must have heard that a million times. Respect for a gun goes a long way and is easy to teach. A big part of gun handling is, "Don't be an example, set one!"
 

gunnerbob

PEW Professional
It's up to the child, how they react to firearms, if they seem interested, and the maturity level... yes, even children have a level of maturity. There is no magical age to hit before you're ready to handle firearms. I was about 10 when I started shooting rifles, shotguns, and pistols... either a .22 or a 20ga.

My wife and I take our 2 yr old daughter to the range... one of us stays in the car away from the shooting of course, and we put ear muffs on her even though you don't need to in a car. She isn't sure what's going on but she's in interested. And, this is the only way both my wife and I can go shooting as often as we like... it's tough to get a babysitter most times.

It's up to the parent or adult to decide when a child is ready to be introduced to firearms.
 
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

heh. For me it was the opposite. I didn't start to shoot until I was in Boy Scouts. And that's when I discovered that my (completely non-military) father was an excellent shot. He had never gone out shooting before that I knew of, wasn't a hunter, and didn't serve (his draft number was scheduled to be up very soon when the draft ended.) First time on the Boy Scout range, he picked up a .22 and got five shots in the size of a dime. I was floored. That's when he let me know that even though he grew up in the city, he often visited his aunt 'on the farm', and learned to shoot there. Considering that by that point, he probably hadn't picked up a gun in 20 years, was pretty impressive.

And he probably hasn't been shooting since I left Boy Scouts, some 20 years ago now. Now that I'm writing this, I should take him out shooting sometime... (Although he didn't seem like he "enjoyed" it, it definitely seemed like a "we're here, I might as well" thing back in Boy Scouts.)
 

Lynque

New member
At whatever age the curiosity appears is legitimate to a rational, age-tailored-and-appropriate intro to firearms, particularly if they are in the home. My intro was st age eight, at summer camp where the owner directed an NRA beginning program on a 50' range he built. Later, my town's Boy Scout programs offered NRA riflery at its Police Department facility. I went on to earn NRA sharpshooter status, and for that, received a Remington .22 bolt action as a reward.

The key, having always been, is recognizing both use and misuse of firearms and their contrast. For what it's worth, comments I've read about children's exposure to firearms by TV are worthy, but my sum is very simple: TV and film (apart from specific programs on firearm safety) show the misuse to where it virtually eclipses the use.
 

M1911a1lvr

New member
I started to teach my son firearms safety when he was 5 years old, he didn't start shooting live ammo until he was 7 years old. He took the hunters safety class at 9 years old. He has shot 2 deer in the last 3 years and is getting into competitive shooting this year. The first thing i made sure of, is that HE felt he was ready to learn about gun safety, Not when I thought he was ready.
 

Seeya

New member
My Dad took me (7) and my sister (12) out Shooting as soon as we got back to the States. Taught us safety and how to shoot a J. Stevens single shot Rolling Block 22 LR. still have it needs a little work now as it dosn't lock up and will spit brass as the block dosn't seal at the barrel.
 

FN1910

New member
I started to teach my son firearms safety when he was 5 years old, he didn't start shooting live ammo until he was 7 years old. He took the hunters safety class at 9 years old. He has shot 2 deer in the last 3 years and is getting into competitive shooting this year. The first thing i made sure of, is that HE felt he was ready to learn about gun safety, Not when I thought he was ready.


Great point. Too many parents think they know all about their children's interest but usually it is the parents interest and the children don't care one bit.
 

Ed Hamberger

New member
My Father introduced me to shooting an old Gambles 28ga. double barrel and Remington .22 short, long, & long rifle whem I was five years old. He took me hunting when I was 6yrs old. I remember I nearly got my bag limit of seven Chinese Ringnecks that day. But try taking a kid that young hunting today, Sarah Brady and her band of anti-gun freaks would all over you in a hearbeat. But my 1st hunt was 64 years ago. By the way, we were still in Colorado at the time.
 

TekGreg

New member
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.

As soon as they are old enough to hurt themselves with one.

Seriously, a child can find a gun not only in his own house, but at a friend's, on the street or even at school. If you take away the "Forbidden Fruit" syndrome, that need of every human to desire that which they cannot have, then firearms become just everyday tools and not something of Hollywood and "movie magic" that they envy and have never seen close up or touched before. If you take away the mystery and magic, there is nothing to draw them to it and if they know how to use it there is much less chance they will hurt themselves or others.

My daughter knew how to operate a .22 semi-auto pistol at 4. She liked to shoot on the range, but firearms held absolutely no mystery for her, so she never touched them at home or anywhere else.
 

TekGreg

New member
My Father introduced me to shooting an old Gambles 28ga. double barrel and Remington .22 short, long, & long rifle whem I was five years old. He took me hunting when I was 6yrs old. I remember I nearly got my bag limit of seven Chinese Ringnecks that day. But try taking a kid that young hunting today, Sarah Brady and her band of anti-gun freaks would all over you in a hearbeat. But my 1st hunt was 64 years ago. By the way, we were still in Colorado at the time.

Luckily, Sarah and the bunch knows better than to get that close to hunting grounds and all those evil guns that go off by themselves...:fie: :cray: :sarcastic:
 

kelcarry

New member
Seems like most replies have positive tones and I disagree to a point. Learning to shoot must be done with an adult present right next to him all the time--there is no way that I can see accepting the fact that "my child" rises above the intelligence and responsibilty level of someone else's irresponsible, unknowing child who may listen to what you are saying but is hearing nothing you say. Semi autos? What kind? Age of child? Does not make sense again unless the adult is standing right there and even then I remember a scenario not to long ago and it involved an UZI-type firearm--dad was there, rangemasters were there, sanctioned, licensed shooting area---guess what? the kid (do not remember age--think around 10) lost control and ended up shooting himself dead--so much for a child and adults being around and a semi auto. I also find incredulous when some people reply with "my child knows and I taught him and I used to as a kid"--if the guns are not secure so that there is no way in hell they can access them, you are playing with fire and I surely hope and pray you never get burnt---it is always somebody else's child who is killed with a parent's gun--it is never yours---UNTIL IT HAPPENS. In direct answer to question---age? It will be what you consider right. If close supervision is there ALL THE TIME, I would think that around 10 and up or at least where physicality and mentality meet a parent's learned impression of their child without selling out to the belief that my child is just that perfect almost adult.
 

Rich M

New member
I took my son to the range for the first time about 6 months ago at 9 1/2 yrs old. He primarily uses a Baretta .22 but like to fire 1 or 2 rounds from my 9mm and .380. He currently has about 300 rounds fired, under his belt.
 

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