How young is too young for a firearm?


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My husband was so excited when my son turned 6 because he was old enough to go to the firing range. Now that he's 7, he has his own BB gun and is shooting like mad. He gets up early to shoot. Right after school, he runs to the yard to start shooting.

People look at us like we're crazy (we live in the city) but he's loving it. And getting better and stronger at the same time. What do you think?

Old Irishman

New member
I started my grandson age ten shooting a bb, IMHO a youngster should be at an age where they understand safety first and foremost


New member
I gave my son a BB gun at age 4, a .22 rifle at age 7, and a 12ga shotgun at age 11. He won the NM Junior Skeet Shooting Championship at age 12.
tenesseevols has it right. It depends on the child. My stepson? BB gun at 10, and it may have been a little early. He's now 17, and I haven't let him shoot a powder-gun yet. (He lives primarily with his biological dad now, so that's his responsibility now.) My daughter? BB gun at 7 (which she's about to turn,) and I figure she'll be ready for a powder-gun by 10.
I had a BB gun at age 6 and Marlin lever action 22 at 10 (1964) but I was raised on a ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska nearest neighbor was 6 miles nearest town 23 miles...... Every one deemed me responsible enough not to shoot the livestock........ Today a life like that is not PC. Depends how well they trained and how responsible they seem


Three boys all shooting at different ages maturity and safety count one a 7 one at 10 one at 5, dove hunting by 10 deer one year later.


New member
Agree with what vols said... Maturity is the key! Every kid is different. If he is shooting a bb gun and is not hitting anything he isn't supposed to and following orders, let him go. He must understand though, that when he breaks the rules, there will be consequences. - No exceptions. (I would be really surprised if he didn't break the rules once! He is a boy for cryin out loud.) I still remember getting my hide tanned! YEEOUCH.
Just sayin....


New member
I agree with the others, maturity is the key. I would have him shoot with supervision until you are sure that he will act responsibly


New member
My son just turned 7 and I got him his first weapon, an airsoft handgun. Rules are, it is treated like a real gun, never pointed at anything you do not intend to shoot. It is stored with my other weapons and he is not allowed to get it on his own. He can only shoot it under my supervision. Maturity is key, but proper handling and safety MUST be taught at an early age. Telling a child they can't touch something" because I said so" is how kids get shot.


I've got an 11 year old niece that's safer with a gun than several 50 or 60 year olds that I've shared the range with (for however short a time it may have been). Age has very little to do with maturity or common sense.


New member
No real magic number... My son was 7 when I got him the Airsoft. Age 8 when he went with me for his first range trip. Age 9 he had his own 22 rifle (legally mine until he comes of age)... He was 9 1/2 when he fired my 22 pistol, Beretta 92FS, M&P45, and AR15... He's a great shot with both the 22 rifle and pistol. He understands the power of the weapon and has respect for it. Safety is paramount and he gets that.

My daughter has fired my 22 pistol and the 22 rifle. She fired the AR15 once and has not come back yet for more. She prefers the rimfire stuff for now... small steps... You'll know when they're ready... Good luck and stay safe... Don't worry about the naysayers and the shock and awe folks, they don't get it. The passion, respect and love for the shooting sports...

Providence Ranch

New member
Maturity and safety-consciousness are the watch words. Age is irrelevant. I have six kids, and each of them is different. If there is ever a number seven, ill be learning a whole new set of variables again.


New member
I would judge by attitude, strength, and desire. My older son shot his first turkey at 7. Daughter started deer hunting at 11. Younger son got caught in the legal trap and had to wait until 12 to deer hunt but was shooting rabbits before that. It's up to you to determine when the child is mature enough and has the self control to absolutely follow the safety rules. I suppose everyone has heard the tragic story of the youngster who was allowed to shoot a small submachine gun, couldn't control it, and was shot in the head. No one wants a situation like that. The child must be strong enough to properly control the firearm and the trainer should never be out of arm's reach while a loaded gun is in use by a young child.


New member
Both my Father, and Grandfather had me out shooting when I was 6 years old. My Father began teaching me Gun safety when I was 5. My family was an military Family. I remember how excited, and
Scared I was the first time I shot my dads Model 41 Smith & Wesson .22 Cal Which I still have today.

In my opionion there is no age limit on gun safety, and handling.The younger the better.When you hear that a child found a weapon in the home, and shot themselves or someone else It's because they were not educated on gun safety.I knew never to touch any weapon without my father present.

If all gun owners taught their children proper gun safety at an early age, there would be allot less accidental shootings in the home.


New member
I will be getting my son his first BB gun on his 6th birthday (coming January). He is good about safety and following directions so we will see how that goes. I am pretty excited about it. I remember when my father gave me my first BB gun, we always had good times going out and shooting.
One time I broke the rules and shot it without him knowing, a neighbor saw me and told him so he took the gun and broke it in half. It was about a year before he gave me another chance and I didn't make the same mistake again.


New member
Great! I started my grandaughter at 5 1/2 yrs. with a Crikett single shot 22. She loves shooting with me.


New member
I have an 11 and 9 yo, I "trust" the 11yo much more than I do the 9. Both have pellet rifles, but neither shoot unsupervised. The 11yo gets his first trip to the range next weekend and after some training, he will get to shoot our 10/22 and my Colt Mustang. I even may let him try my 226 if he goes through the dry fire process ok.
When I was younger, I was hunting with friends at around 11 or 12, but I grew up around that and had all the respect in the world for firearms. Most kids now know more about electronics than any type of an actual shootin' iron


New member
I also agree with Tenesseevols (still, ROLL, TIDE, ROLL!)
Like Trophyhunter, I was taught about gun safety while still a baby. I think that is the way it should be done.

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