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I know, every kid is different. But I was taught about gun safety at a young age, which at my house included live fire under VERY close supervision. My stepdad (who does not shoot, but was trained by his stepdad and the US Army) convinced my mother that boys need to understand the realities and responsibilities of firearms. I happen to agree.

Now that I have my own kids, I was wondering what the consensus is on what age is generally appropriate to teach children to be safe around guns, including taking them to the range.

What do y'all think?
 

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As you said depends on each child, my granddaughters were started at about 6 and 8 as that’s when they listened well enough to understand. I have another that is 11 and is still not ready to learn (working on her though)
 

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We started at 8 with long guns. And we didn’t push it...kind of like, took them out once and said if they wanted to do this again let me know. When they got older I ran them through the NRA smallbore benchrest shooting program that tested their dedication to marksmanship over the 10 - 12 weeks, I think around age 12.
All of them are better than average shots, and exercise good common sense and safety around firearms.
 

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It's never to early to talk to kids about gun safety. As soon as my girls showed an interest in shooting I started them with single shot BB guns. All four were at different ages. They were all very safety aware. They all wanted to shoot at different ages. The eldest was 12. The second was 8. And the twins were 15 or 16. The oldest has her LTC and carries(Glock 19) every day. My second went to gun shows with me from 8 years old and still goes. She doesn't shoot now, but is comfortable with guns. One of the twins still shoots occasionally and the other is ready to take her LTC class. My granddaughter(10) just started this last winter. Safety first. She is progressing nicely with a Red Ryder BB gun. Make it fun. Ear and eye protection, if you take them to a live range.
 

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I have three kids under my roof. Currently, a 12 yoa boy, a 10 yoa girl, and a 6 yoa boy. The older two aren't mine, but have lived with me around eight years. When I met their mother, I literally had loaded firearms all over the house. When they moved in, this changed. The whole time I have been a cop with a marked take-home vehicle.

All three kids have grown up with firearms as normal around them as a hammer or a screw driver. It's just another tool. When they want to, they are allowed to handle them, under my direct supervision. The older children have been shooting, with their father. I respected his wish to wait until he got to take them out, for their first time. I got the eldest a 22 semi-automatic rifle, for his tenth birthday, but we haven't got to shoot it. Mainly because his mother wants to go, too, and there isn't a lot of times we are all available and the weather is nice. She has always sabotaged me taking him, just the two of us.

My boy is six, almost seven and will get to shoot "his rifle", a 22 Savage Springfield I bought when I was 18. It was built prior to 1969. We will also take some other guns out, but not sure what he will want to shoot, that day.

I grew up in a household where guns were bad, even though my father had a few (kept at his parents' house). Growing up, I shot his BB and pellet guns and, occasionally, I would talk him into taking his bolt 22 and bolt 410 out in the country, when we visited grandma. When I got around ten, or so, my best friend and I took our BB guns and rode the train my father worked on (we weren't supposed to, but no one cared). He had the caboose hooked up and we sat in it, shooting out the windows at stuff. Some of the time, we sat on the back, with our feet dangling. We would wave at cars as we passed, with a "real gun" looking BB gun, in the other hand. A few miles outside of town, we got off and walked back home, shooting everything of interest, along the way.

Shortly after that, my best friend got a Marlin 22 Semi-auto and his father had one I would borrow. It is sheer luck and possibly a miracle we never shot each other or got in any real trouble. His grandfather owned thousands of acres in south-central Kansas. The kind of area where there's only a house every few miles. We would go out, in the wilderness for hours at a time. By the time we were twelve, we were spending days at a time shooting and fishing for our food and causing general hate and discontent in an otherwise peaceful landscape, with little to no adult supervision. Over the years, he got more firearms, including a couple of 22 pistols, a couple of 12 gauge shotguns, and some real hunting rifles. I took my first deer with his father's 7mm Magnum. We wouldn't think anything about strapping a pistol to our hip and riding dirtbikes around. We would even ride into the small towns and go to the store or to eat, open carrying all the way. One time, my friend asked if it was legal, I said it had to be. The 2nd Amendment was very clear. Being young and dumb, without a proper appreciation for what firearms can do, a fun game was to ride the dirtbikes and shoot while we road with "no hands". Other stupid things were done, but you should get the idea.


Every now and then you see some study or news special where they put a bunch of kids in a room and watch what they do if a gun is presented. As a kid, I would have played with the gun, even though I would be terrified my parents would find out. The kids in my house wouldn't think twice about it or really care. If anything, they might identify it compared to what we have, in the house, but unless it had candy in it, they'd rather play with toys. I know which way is a safer way to grow up.
 

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I started at 7 with my daughters -- a single-shot Savage-Stevens "Favorite" in 22 LR. They were old enough to listen and could start to understand the importance of paying attention. A few thoughts if I may: at that age be certain you get eye and ear protection made for children -- the normal stuff may not work on their smaller heads. One bad experience with improper ear protection could not only do damage, but scare them off from enjoying the experience in the future -- double up with ear plugs and muffs as the arms of the glasses may cause leakage around the ear muffs. I also recommend avoiding indoor ranges if you can and if possible get out where it can just be you and them -- more enjoyable and easier to communicate. Best of luck!
 

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My Dad decided once I was old enough to "find" them in the house it was time. My Mom's had a different opinion, Dad won. As I have gotten older it seems to me not teaching kids about condoms isn't going to stop them from having sex.

I took my nephews out when they were teens with their Mothers approval because I told her and she agreed even if your house doesn't have guns, even if your opposed to them the boys should know how to handle them safely because their sure to come across them at some point.

Good for you for introducing new shooters !
 

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Gbaby #1 started at 4 with a springer lever BB gun...Youth length 22 that year after he seemed to get all of the safety rules...ALL SHOOTING HIGHLY supervised.

At 5 we shortened a stock of a 10/22 to fit. will be able to spacer it up as he grows.


He shot his first deer this season.


Its never too early if the interest is there and the child is able to grasp the safety rules.
 

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I started my oldest at age 7 with a red rider. We had a "range" in the back yard and he learned gun safety and range protocol/etiquette. He graduated up through rifles and I started him with pistols at 12. He is now 17 and very proficient with both handguns and rifles.

Dad brag time- he is on our high schools JROTC rifle team and is ranked in the top 50 JROTC shooters in the nation.
 

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I got both of my sons started at age 5. I would recommend focusing on just being safe and having fun. Buy interesting targets for them with animals or whatever they are use to. My kids like shooting monsters they draw or coloring pages. The guns I started them on were a keystone crickett, ruger 10/22 charger, ruger sr22, and ruger bearcat. The charger is great if you add a bipod. You dont have to worry about stock length, bipods supports it for them and a red dot makes aiming easy for them.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So far my 7- and 10-year-olds are doing well with their Red Ryders (although my son, 7, needs help cocking it). Sandbags are great for learning to use sights across the back yard.

My son has recently taken an interest in 1911s. Until about a week ago, he didn't even know I owned any handguns, because he just wasn't ready. But he found Hickok45 on YouTube, and when he realized that Captain America carries a 1911....

He's still not ready to shoot a handgun, even closely supervised. But it's a good opportunity to talk about gun safety with him, to develop the understanding that guns require absolute, unfailing responsibility. Someday he'll get there.
 

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I got a BB gun when I was 5 and a .22 when I was 7 and been at it ever since. I was under my dad's "old Army" strict supervision until I was 14. Been 62 years now since I got that BB gun. Time flies.
When I married my second wife I had guns but the two kids I inherited were only 7 and 4 so I waited a year or so before I introduced them to guns. The oldest one has been hunting and shooting for a while and is pretty good at it. He is 38 now and spent 8 years in the military The younger one has found out what he missed when he was younger and wants to get into guns more now. Like has been said, it all depends on the kid. I now have two grandsons. The older one likes to shoot but isn't much into hunting. The younger one likes to go hunting but isn't into shooting that much. Last Christmas I got a video of the older one, who is now 9, burning up ammo with his dad's 300 Blackout. One day I had some pistols laying out on the dining room table and their mom almost had a cow when she say them picking them up and looking at them.. I told her I had given them permission to do it. To me, the worst thing you can do to a kid is tell them that guns are bad and they can't touch them. A kid will always do what you tell them not to, so I let them handle them while I was watching and they eventually put them back and went on to something else. They have both been taught by my son and I not handle guns without us around and they don't. When we hand them any gun the first thing they want to do is check and see if it is loaded. Solid training goes a long way with kids no matte how old they are.
 

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I started at six, my grandfather spent a great deal of time teaching and training with a single - shot .22 rifle he made to fit my size.
 

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This weekend:). I have a 12 y/o boy and 8y/o girl. My son is a very very immature 12 and daughter is a very mature 8!

She is asking a lot of late, while my son is “scared” which is odd as this has become a more recent thing.

With that said we are headed to my mother in laws “farm” this weekend so it’s a perfect opportunity to let the kids shoot out door where it’s just us. Crowded indoor ranges (where I live) are not really where I wanted to teach.

With that said, we will be shooting as a “family”... I plan on bringing my Chambers Custom .22lr for the kids. I’ll load one round and let them fire, and so on. I’m also bringing a Ruger 10/22, same concept. If I and the kids do feel comfortable I may let them shoot a 9mm (which is my carry gun), but it’s really going to depend.

They both know gun safety, they’ve sat at the table countless times and helped me clean my guns, and they have already shot air soft guns at cardboard boxes in the spare room and backyard.

It’s funny because when I originally got my Chambers .22LR, I bought it because yes, I really wanted a target .22Lr... but also because it’s the guns I wanted my kids to learn on (I know could be a bad idea, ha). I told Joe that this was the plan the day he built it... this weekend it happens!
 

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I have two girls, two years apart.
Both adults now. There was curiousity
but not any desire to actually
go shooting till the oldest reached 10.

Then I taught them gun safety and let them handle firearms
but only under my supervision. When they could tell me about
gun safety, and asked if they could go to the range and shoot I took them.
I never pushed them. I always talked about hou much fun it was if safety
was always followed.

Now both are avid shooters, and could teach a class on gun safety and handling.
They always challenge me at the range, and will best me from time to time.
They each own and are proficient with a G19, a LW Commander in .45. An 870; and an M4.
 

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I know, every kid is different. But I was taught about gun safety at a young age, which at my house included live fire under VERY close supervision. My stepdad (who does not shoot, but was trained by his stepdad and the US Army) convinced my mother that boys need to understand the realities and responsibilities of firearms. I happen to agree.

Now that I have my own kids, I was wondering what the consensus is on what age is generally appropriate to teach children to be safe around guns, including taking them to the range.

What do y'all think?
My dad taught me how to shoot a BB gun just before my 5th birthday. I was shooting a 12 ga at 8yrs old .

The only thing was, I had to treat every gun as if it were loaded . That meant toy guns too. If I ever pointed a toy gun in an unsafe direction , there were consequences . Nobody wanted to be on the receiving end of dads consequences . There were no warnings or second chances.

Looking back, I admire the way he handled it, and am thankful he allowed me the privelage to enjoy shooting at an early age . It’s something I’ve loved ever since then.

Many great memories were made .
 

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I grew up around guns, my dad was a competition skeet shooter as soon as I showed interest he had me shooting, I beleave I was 3/4 shooting a BB gun, he had me shooting at beer/soda cans that he would throw with a 410, soon that progressed to shooting skeet with a 20 then quickly to a 12 gauge. These are some of my greatest memories as a kid growing up.

Our daughter never really showed interest in guns until her late teens, she finally asked to go shooting, she is a great shot but has no real interest in having her own .
 
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