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How to teach young kids about guns

Posted by on Jun. 8, 2013 at 11:49 PM
  • 125 Replies

I'm talking 3-7 yrs old. I am not super familiar with proper gun safety. So help me out.....

Should you let kids touch and hold an empty gun?

Do you show them how to shoot it?

Do you simply let them look while you explain why they are dangerous?

I know that my kids will be entering homes with accessible guns. (Shouldn't we all assume that?) So with that in mind, what is the proper way to teach a young child gun safety?

by on Jun. 8, 2013 at 11:49 PM
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by Gold Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:17 AM
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Hmm. I've never assumed that I'd be entering a home with an accessible gun, though I see the logic of what you say. When my song was that young there were only three homes he went into besides our own, and not one of them had a gun, so it never really occurred to me to teach him anything about a gun.

by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

I've never taught my kids about guns. 

by Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:25 AM
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We hold the gun with them and tell them about it.  Let them feel it.  Shoot it with them near and show them the damage it can do.  Make sure they know never to pick one up without an adult.  My 6 year old has shot a BB gun but nothing more.  We teach him to always treat a gun like it is loaded, that it can kill (we don't sugar coat it), never to pick one up without an adult, that if he sees one he needs to tell a trusted adult, and to point it at the ground not at a person if it is loaded or not.  We try to take the mystery out of it and educate instead.

My son even asks if play guns are real before he will touch them.

My 3 year old just knows not to touch them yet.

by Milami on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:31 AM
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At age 2 my children were taught they never touched guns and that they were dangerous. At age 4-5 my children were allowed to hold an empty handgun while we explained the dangers of playing with guns or touching them when mom and dad are not around. They were told what to do if they ever saw or found a gun. Now at age 6 and 8 they have begun to learn to shoot in a controlled environment.
Gun safety is a continuing education.

by Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:38 AM
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 My kids are 5 and 3. NO they are not allowed to touch our guns. They are too young to shoot imo. They may watch and ask questions when it is out and I am cleaning it, or if I am open carrying. I teach my boys that guns are dangerous, if they are to touch one they could hurt or kill themselves or another, if they find a gun they are to run and tell an adult. My kids are allowed toys guns and we are always reminding them to never point it at anyone. I am very open with my kids, I let them know the reasons we have guns.I truly believe knowledge is power that can save lives. When they are older and mature enough they will be taught to shoot and do hands on gun safety. I started shooting at 6 but I do not see my kids learning to shoot until much older, maybe pellet guns... but thats another topic.

by Silver Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 12:49 AM

I don't own or plan to own guns. But my dad did. Him and my brother used to hunt. He had my brother go to a gun safety class. I was never into hunting or guns, but my dad showed it to me. He never kept it loaded, he always had the safety on and he kept them in locked cases under his bed. He told me what it was, what they used it for and that was about it. I never had any interest in using it, I didn't even want to touch it. With my borhter he had him do the class, he showed him the gun, and he said if he ever wanted to use it or play with it to tell him and they could go shooting or do targets. If they're old enough, give them an opening to interact with it in a safe way if they so choose. That will lessen the taboo and make them less likely to touch it without you knowing. If they are too young for that, wait until they're old enough or tell them it's only for adults, and if they still want to know about it later you will tell them. Always keep it in a safe place where they couldn't get to it if they wanted to, not a shoebox in the closet. A gun should always be in a locked case.

by guerrilla girl on Jun. 9, 2013 at 1:00 AM
I'm not worried about what my kids will do because I have taught them not to touch. I'm worried about what other kids who have access to these guns will do to them. Often it is the gun owners own child who knows where the gun is and does the accidental shooting
by Bronze Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 1:11 AM

We taught our DS that a gun (any type) are tools and they are never a toy.  We have not had any toy guns in our home until he turned 11 and was given a big nerf shooter thing.  To this day he will not pick a gun up, toy or not.  He has seen them used, cleaned, loaded, and locked up.  He knows what they can do and yes he has held an empty rifle while we talked about safety and care.  This has been standard practice for most of his life.  Now that he's almost 13, it might be time to let him shoot one depending on his attitude and behavior. 

by Mahinaarangi on Jun. 9, 2013 at 1:31 AM
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I helped my dad clean the gun :-)  He showed me how to hold one.  That was about it.  I hardly ever saw it, it came out of the closet, he went hunting, it went back in the closet.

I was about 6-7.  I was never allowed to shoot it.  I took my first target shooting with a bb gun when I was about 10.  I liked it.  If joining a shooting club was financially viable I would join, but its way too expensive.

My kids have held and seen a glock...they will probably never shoot a gun.  Im good with that.  If I was preparing for doomsday, lived with gangs in gangland or hunted to survive...different story.  But we are just normal people with humdrum hobbies like baking and facebook :-)

by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2013 at 1:53 AM

how about no.

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