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Toddlers and toy guns

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 Did you/will you let your toddler play with toy guns? If not, at what age do you think it would be appropriate?


by on Nov. 14, 2011 at 8:11 AM
Replies (81-90):
by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 4:39 PM

My girls do not have guns, but that's just because they've never boughten one or wanted one.  As my dh is very big into shooting and there are guns in the house (locked up tight w/o ammo) we already discuss guns and guns and how they are never to be pointed at ppl.    They do build the occasionally lego gun for "shooting animals to eat" (ie. hunting).  If they wanted a toy gun, yes I'd let them buy one and play w/ it, but the rules would be the same as they are for the occasional lego gun: No shooting at ppl, even if it isn't real.  You can pretend to shoot bears or deer, but no ppl or our pets.   My kids are 3 and 4 btw.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Totally agree.  Guns should never be taboo IMO.  Our guns are locked up, but my dh does occasionally carry (he has a license to carry concealed) and our kids have been around the guns.  They see them somewhat regularly as dh gets into the safe w/ them present or has his hand gun on.   There is no way our kids can get access to a gun w/o us (they're in safes w/ key pad codes to punch in), but our kids also know for a fact that if they want to see a gun all they have to do is ask.  We will always show them if they are curious and wondering.  There is no need for them to sneak it even if they could.  Guns are not taboo, and as of right now, our kids have never shown any sort of issue w/ wanting to handle them.  They both know they aren't toys.  They both know they can kill and what death is (there have been a couple family members who have died that they can remember).  They know they aren't to ever play w/ a gun if they came across it because it could hurt them/others badly, but they also don't have any wonderment about them that they would feel a need to handle it because they're not taboo -they've seen them many times and they're just not a big deal.

Quoting MonicaV1982:

I totally agree! My husband is a gun enthusiast and will be teaching our daughter, due in April, to shoot. I think it stems from fear and laziness. And frankly making it taboo makes kids more curious.

Quoting BEXi:

It's called education. I'm the youngest of six kids. My dad had a loaded .42 magnum strapped to the back of his nightstand and we all knew it. We all knew how to load and shoot a gun before we were 5 years old. We were taught gun safety, what real guns are REALLY for and how much damage they can do. We learned from the JUMP they are not toys. I guarantee the majority of children shooting people because they found mommy or daddys gun is because their parents HID the gun, made it taboo, and didnt bother teaching their child how guns work, what theyre for and what they can do.

Did I mentioned my oldest sister is mentally handicapped and she was able to process NOT to touch the gun. It's not that hard, most parents dont even want to try. And I totally suggest doing gun safety with your children even if you DONT have guns in the house.


I am glad that worked with your family. I however, am not going to take that risk. I have had my father and my ex also teach my children gun safety and gun respect but at an age when it can be thoroughly understood. I personally dont think guns are toys and when they are, it loses the respect one is supposed to have for firearms. My fiance is a cop, or was a career cop, and we discussed this very topic. Kids kill every year because they use weapons they do not have the maturity to understand. THey always tell you that they thought so and so would get up just like every time they played. Here is the deal though. Its great that the boys in your family were taught to respect guns and the power they hold. However, you dont know if the other kids have that. It would be nice if kids were all taught to respect them but they arent. I chose not to allow my kids to play with toy guns because I wanted that fear and respect to remain. I continue to see it being a wise choice. Whether someone else has a different result is a matter of what worked for them. I grew up in the south where guns were a way of life. I just wanted my children to think of them as weapons and not toys. So far, that has worked with them. My 14yo is practicing for the sharp shooter tryouts with his JROTC sharpshooter team. My fiance is working with him and I can tell that he has a healthy fear and respect for these weapons. He is at an age where he can respect the weapons he will be using. He is very good at it, considering the limited exposure he has had to firearms of any kind. He never forgets his safety measures and he treats my fiance's firearms with the respect and care they demand. He wouldnt have been so attentive at 10. I am glad I didnt allow my boys to have toy guns. I see the resepect he has for the real ones and that is all the proof I need to show my way was best for MY boys. 

Quoting Bethsunshine:


I did not let my boys play with toy guns. I didnt want them to think of guns as toys. I wanted them to remember that guns are weapons and nothing to be played with. I live in the south and its a right of passage for a father to pass a firearm down to his son but I put a rule into play that I asked my exhusband and my father to adhere by and they did. I asked them not to pass on a firearm to either of my children until they felt that particular child had reached an age to which they would trust him with their personal vehicle. Basically, "When you are ready to hand the keys to your car to my son and allow him to drive it in public, you can give him your gun." Neither of my boys have guns and they are 14 and 17 and about to be 18 and 15. You wouldnt let your child pretended to smoke crack so handing them a toy gun and telling them its ok to pretend with a weapon every bit as deadly makes no sense to me. the minute you turn it into a toy you take away the fear factor that should come with every weapon on harmful item known to man. Kids will not respect something they have pretended to have. Every time they fired their play guns at Joey he got back up. That may not be the case when the real thing is fired. There are some things in life that should never be toys. Weapons that kill are one of them, in my opinion. Turning them into toys takes away any hope of respect. 

That's not true!! I grew up in a house with guns, because my dad was a hunter. My brother and I also had toy guns and BB guns. We were taught from DAY ONE that you don't touch Daddy's guns, no matter what. Guess what? We never did! My brother was given a real gun for hunting when he was about 12.

In our house, we don't own any real guns because my husband isn't a hunter. However, my boys have toy guns of all kinds as well as Airsoft guns. When we visit my parents,( they live in SC, we live in PA so we only see them once or twice a year) they know not to touch Grandaddy's guns. My dad took them out a few years ago and let them shoot at a target to teach them gun safety. I trusted him totally, because I know how he is about gun safety and respecting guns.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Even if you don't have actual toy guns little boys will find a I've had 2 and 3 yr olds use their hands as guns and build lego guns and even use random toys as guns by pointing them at me and saying 'pow' I think its fine. They only thing I do not allow is wrestling and hitting. I am a preschool teacher with 11 two yr olds in my class most of them boys.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM
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We don't allow play guns because we are a pro-Second Amendment household and I would never want my children confusing a fake toy gun with a real one (not that he knows where our guns are kept, but better safe than sorry).

My blogs, opinionated as all get-out:

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:23 PM

All of my kids have had toy guns whether it is nerf or BB or other kind.  Each of us also have real guns, which the kids have been taught to respect and use properly.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Nah. He'll pick up a stick at some point and pretend it's a gun. He'll chew his PB & J sandwich into the shape of a pistol. He doesn't need to be given any guns! (He's 2). The best thing I can do is not show him TV with guns. When he starts playing guns, I'll discourage it, but I probably won't make a big deal out of it.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I don't let my boys play with guns. I'll try my hardest not to let them play with them period.

by on Nov. 15, 2011 at 10:30 PM

HECK NO!! and NEVER is it acceptable to "play" with guns. If children have guns they should be taught to use them responsibly and with adult supervision. Even toy guns should be supervised by adults too. One exception might be water guns but these days kids see a lot of violence and you always want to make sure your kids are using them in a fun, not violent manner.

by on Nov. 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM

I don't think it matters whether or not you give a child a toy gun. I've seen little boys and taken care of little boys who never had a toy gun in their lives, yet would pick up a stick, baseball bat, I've even seen it done with a football, and turn it into a gun. As long as they're just playing and understand the difference, then it's going to happen. That being said, I wouldn't intentionally go out and buy toy guns, but I've watched my 4 yo cousin pick up sticks and "shoot enemies just like dad" (his dad is in the guard) and I wasn't going to tell him his dad is wrong.

by on Nov. 17, 2011 at 2:06 AM

My neighbor in Alaska kept guns (lots of folks hunt up there) & she went on & on to me about the need for handguns also (we lived so far out on a mountain).  She told me all about teaching gun safety & always storing the guns separate from the bullets.  She pointed to the highest shelf of her closet & I saw the bullets stacked there.  It all sounded pretty reasonable until one day when she walked in from the dryer with a warm load of her boys clothes.   As she dumped them onto the counter & started folding four hot 357 Magnum bullets rolled  off the counter onto the floor.  Her boys were 3 & 4 years old...

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