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Kids and guns

At what age, if any, would you allow your child to shoot/own a firearm? What restrictions do you have?
I bought my son his first pellet gun when he was 8 and for Christmas last year we got him his 1st shot gun. (20 gauge). He bird hunts with my BF and is currently taking a hunter safety class. Our guns are always loaded and on the gun rack in plain sight. He knows that no matter what the guns do not come off the rack with out my BF's permission. I personally do not like guns but I believe my son needs to respect guns and I want to be the one to teach him.

Answer Question

Asked by CKasting at 3:36 PM on Jan. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 9 (304 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I think it all depends how you raise your child to respect guns and when and on what they are used for then that is your own parenting. You are doing all the right things that I would do. I was raised around guns and yes they were loaded and in plain sight also. I shot my first rifle at age 8 yrs olds. I went hunting with my dad and grandpa from age 5 until still now at 33.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • You have loaded guns out on a rack!? I hope a playmate doesn't decide to play with one,you're gonna end up causing a child's death!

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 3:57 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • I think the route you're taking is a good one. You are properly educating him about the responsibility and dangers of guns. It is the cases with the parents that don't teach their kids about guns before owning them and keep them hidden that worry me. Kids are curious, and no matter how well we think we hide stuff, they end up finding it and wanting to play with it. That is how most of the tragedies happen. I personally don't feel comfortable having guns in the house, but if I did, I'd do the same thing you're doing.

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 4:00 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • TMJ, I'm pretty sure the OP has enough sense to put the loaded guns away when playmates are over. She doesn't sound stupid lol.

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 4:01 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • I agree with anon. it depends on the family and the kids.

    I shot my first riffle at age 5 had a bbgun at age 10 and have shot numerous other guns, i never really got into hunting or anything but my brothers were.

    We did have guns around but they were never loaded. I think having the gun on the rack unloaded and ammunition put away is what i would personally do, but like i said its a family decision.

    I would also agree with TMJ that supervision is definately needed, especially when you have other children around.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 4:04 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • 16.I think any kid younger than that is too immature to understand and respect the safety needed around guns.I'm not understanding the need to have a loaded shotgun sitting out. Is this a self-defense thing? If so,I think you need to find a safer neighborhood!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • OP here. Just to clarify. People are taught to treat guns as if they are loaded. They stay loaded so my son never has any doubt. Consequences are severe re: touching the gun w/out permission. What would be the point when he knows how to load it anyways. Accidents happen when parents choose not to properly educate their children.


    Answer by CKasting at 4:17 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • My kids are 8 & 6 and started firing guns a yr or so ago. They only do so with me, my SO, or my parents. The guns are always locked in the safe unless they are being cleaned or we are going to the shooting range. The kids also fully understand that IF, by some strange chance, they were to find a gun lying around the house, they are NOT to touch it for any reason, they are to simply come to me, my SO, or my parents, and tell us where the gun is and one of us will get it and put it away. As they get older, my SO will teach them how to properly load, unload, and clean the guns in our house, but they will still be kept locked in the safe. We keep ours unloaded unless we're using them, but we have also taught them that they are to treat them as loaded, even if they just unloaded it themselves.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 4:24 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • You should never have a loaded gun within a child's reach. The amo should always be locked up out of the child's reach at all times. Though your child may know the rules, a friend may not. He may decide to play around with them and something seriously dangerous could happen.

    My dad shoots guns, my sister's soon to be in-laws hunt, etc. Both of my children (boy and girl) will be allowed to choose for themselves whether they want to learn how to shoot at 16. Only my dad is allowed to teach them. Only in the safety of a certified gun range at first. When they are 10 they can decide to have an airsoft like their dad has. Both children will be allowed to shoot airsoft pellets in the back yard with their dad. However, they will never own a gun of their own ever. Until of course they're adults living on their own. Only until then are they allowed to choose to own a gun. No guns are allowed in my house aside from airsoft.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 4:38 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • We have 5 guns in my house. My 5 year old has a 410 youth shot gun. She is more uptight about safety than most adults I know. We keep our guns loaded in the gun safe that stays locked, and it has a keypad so we dont worry about the kids getting the key. But at night one handgun goes under our mattress, and we carry one in the car with us always.It is very stupid to tell your kids not to touch guns, to forbid them. Curiosity kills the cat. My dd is familiar with guns, she holds them, shoots them, and really could care less about them now.

    Answer by Auntiemom410 at 5:48 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

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