4 month old child- how do you all carry/ store/ and educate your children?

This is a discussion on 4 month old child- how do you all carry/ store/ and educate your children? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all, My wife and I have a baby boy at home, he is 4 months old. Concealed carry is rapidly approaching here in Wisconsin, ...

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Thread: 4 month old child- how do you all carry/ store/ and educate your children?

  1. #1
    Member Array skorittnig's Avatar
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    4 month old child- how do you all carry/ store/ and educate your children?

    Hi all,

    My wife and I have a baby boy at home, he is 4 months old. Concealed carry is rapidly approaching here in Wisconsin, and I have open carried fairly often--especially around the house.

    My firearms are unloaded and locked up when I am not wearing them. When we did not have a child, I would keep a loaded firearm out and not think twice about it. My wife knew it was loaded, and would just leave it alone--times have changed I fully intend to teach my son about firearms/and firearm safety-- and hopefully he will take an interest in IDPA and USPSA.

    My question to you all is:

    1). how do you store your carry firearm when not wearing it (both in the day and at night)?

    2). how/when did you decided it was the proper time to talk to your child about firearms/safety?

    3). how/when did you decide it was appropriate to reveal that you carry a firearm for self-defense? How did you explain this?


    Feel free to add any additional info. that I may not have asked about.

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Member Array Thetoulman's Avatar
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    Here's some well written info on guns and children.

    http://corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx#Kids

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skorittnig View Post
    Hi all,

    My wife and I have a baby boy at home, he is 4 months old. Concealed carry is rapidly approaching here in Wisconsin, and I have open carried fairly often--especially around the house.

    My firearms are unloaded and locked up when I am not wearing them. When we did not have a child, I would keep a loaded firearm out and not think twice about it. My wife knew it was loaded, and would just leave it alone--times have changed I fully intend to teach my son about firearms/and firearm safety-- and hopefully he will take an interest in IDPA and USPSA.

    My question to you all is:

    1). how do you store your carry firearm when not wearing it (both in the day and at night)?
    When my boys were younger, I kept it in a bedside lock box (like a COM safe)

    2). how/when did you decided it was the proper time to talk to your child about firearms/safety?
    When they were old enough to ask questions--and even then, giving them the simplest answer. It depends on what works for you. For me, when my kids were 3 to 4, we didn't talk about dad's gun...it was a family secret. As they got older, it wasn't so much a secret as much as it is something not talked about with anyone outside the immediate family (carrying a gun, that is....going to the range or the like was open for discussion)

    3). how/when did you decide it was appropriate to reveal that you carry a firearm for self-defense? How did you explain this?
    I determined it based on my boys ability to understand that there are bad people in the world, and that my job is to protect them.

    But here's the kicker--you and your wife NEED to be on the same page about this. I'm not saying she needs to carry...I'm saying that she needs to support you in this decision and NOT undermine what you are trying to teach (personal responsibility, safe/responsible firearm handling). Additionally, as your children grow up, it doesn't hurt to teach them gun safety rules, even if you have to use a NERF gun to help teach them.
    Last edited by SIGguy229; January 17th, 2011 at 09:46 AM.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    +1 to what SigGuy229 said. I use a GunVault. Kids will vary in their maturity. The answer to the "when" question will vary from child to child.

    Good luck. Being a dad is way cool.
    I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen

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    Member Array Sledzep01's Avatar
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    Keep it on you all day then you know where it is and that it is safe.
    Do not hide it from the kids. Be sure they know you have one and that you are responsible with it. Always answer your children with the truth when they ask questions at any age on any topic (really, try hard to do this as much as possible) They are already learning that they cannot touch the sharp knives right? Not to play with matches etc if they are learning that, they can learn that your weapon is very dangerous and should not be touched.
    BY age 5 or 6 I would let them see it up close ONLY after you made exaggerated motions to triply check that it was not loaded so that they can see how committed YOU are to being safe and doing it right.
    The only way to parent is through "Do what I Do" not through "Do what I say"
    If you do not carry all the time a safe is your best bet. you can put one of those 1 pistol biometric safes just about anywhere they cannot reach and feel very safe and yet have near instant access when needed.

    My Boys are 10 and 12 They have both fired my .380 but not my .45 yet, they have said no when I offered. (I am a gun owner for 15months or so) they see me wearing it all the time, we talk about it all the time. They are allowed to handle it any time they ask after I show them how to clear it and that it is clear 3+ times. Take the curiosity away and they will not go look for it when you are not around.

    Sled
    Last edited by Sledzep01; January 17th, 2011 at 09:42 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Good advice from SIGGuy up there ^. That's pretty much how I handled it with my son.

    In regards to firearm storage, I used to keep them all in a large safe. I found two problems with that approach;

    1. I didn't have easy access to them if needed. They were useless if I was on the wrong floor and an intruder broke in.
    2. I developed a bad habit of temporarily 'stashing' guns as I came in the house instead of storing them properly. I'm not proud of this statement - this is how terrible accidents happen.

    My solution was to purchase 5 small GunVaults and mount them in hidden, yet easy access points throughout the house. My 10-yr old son knows where they are and what's in them, and also that he is never to touch them, nor tell his friends about them. GunVault also has a nice feature where you can check to see if somebody has been tampering and trying to guess the code. I check them periodically and am blessed by a very responsible kid.

    I wish you all the best in raising your boy. I'm sure you'll do great!
    __________________________________
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    The BIG item I would focus on is training. You have to make the guns in your home a part of your children's lives where there is no taboo, no "cool" factor, but a lot of respect. We have 4 kids 13 and under, and all of them go shooting with me regularly. Any of them who want to hold one of my firearms is always welcome to ask, and we will take it out and let them handle it. They clean guns with me all the time. They shoot them with me and get to know what effect they have. The oldest 2 have been hunting and have experienced firsthand what happens when you pull the trigger.

    The result of all of that? The guns in my home are about as interesting to my kids as the mop. There is no mystique to them! Also, there is great respect because they know well what the gun does.

    I also limit television for my kids, because the TV's version of what guns do and real life is wrong. I let them watch Mythbusters though, because that show is accurate and good.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    The BIG item I would focus on is training. You have to make the guns in your home a part of your children's lives where there is no taboo, no "cool" factor, but a lot of respect. We have 4 kids 13 and under, and all of them go shooting with me regularly. Any of them who want to hold one of my firearms is always welcome to ask, and we will take it out and let them handle it. They clean guns with me all the time. They shoot them with me and get to know what effect they have. The oldest 2 have been hunting and have experienced firsthand what happens when you pull the trigger.

    The result of all of that? The guns in my home are about as interesting to my kids as the mop. There is no mystique to them! Also, there is great respect because they know well what the gun does..
    Exactly.....my boys also know if they want to look at something in the safe, all they have to do is ask. While I have a COM safe for bedside use, I also have a large safe for other pistols as well as long guns and associated gear....
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    The BIG item I would focus on is training. You have to make the guns in your home a part of your children's lives where there is no taboo, no "cool" factor, but a lot of respect. We have 4 kids 13 and under, and all of them go shooting with me regularly. Any of them who want to hold one of my firearms is always welcome to ask, and we will take it out and let them handle it. They clean guns with me all the time. They shoot them with me and get to know what effect they have. The oldest 2 have been hunting and have experienced firsthand what happens when you pull the trigger.

    The result of all of that? The guns in my home are about as interesting to my kids as the mop. There is no mystique to them! Also, there is great respect because they know well what the gun does.

    I also limit television for my kids, because the TV's version of what guns do and real life is wrong. I let them watch Mythbusters though, because that show is accurate and good.
    Absolutely. Although I may have ruined my son on my two favorite hobbies (guns & motorcycles). He's already bored with both of them.

    Uh - that was sarcasm regarding Mythbusters, right?
    __________________________________
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  11. #10
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Four months old may be a little young to start a discussion with him, but by six months, take him to the range and start with a .22 .

    By nine months, it's time to try Daddy's 1911 from back in the Great War.

    /why, yes, I'm being silly....

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    New Member Array tamccain's Avatar
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    I just want to reiterate a little of why the other guys have said.

    I think one of the biggest things we can do in regards to gun safety with kids is to remove the mystery. My son is 5 years old and he likes to go to the gun range and shoot guns. He gets to shoot my 22 with either my help or my wife's help. When he gets a little older I will let him shoot my 9 mm and even my 270. I want him to have a healthy fear of a gun, but also take away the mystery so he doesn't have the desire to go and play with them.

    This does not replace appropriate gun safety, but should go hand in hand with gun safety.

  13. #12
    Member Array nlax2011's Avatar
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    Just subscribing to this thread as there's some good advice here, keep it coming! Also have a ~4month old at home (first child) so this will be an upcoming issue in our household as well. Right now the wife and I are used to having our personal handguns bedside within easy reach but that will need to change.... most likely with a couple gunvault type safes like others have mentioned.

    And for those that have already answered.... Of course this will also vary depending on the child's maturity level, but do any of your children have access to your safe? And I would think a biometric or combo safe would prevent the issue of a young child getting into a keyed safe if a key was accidently left around.

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlax2011 View Post
    And for those that have already answered.... Of course this will also vary depending on the child's maturity level, but do any of your children have access to your safe? And I would think a biometric or combo safe would prevent the issue of a young child getting into a keyed safe if a key was accidently left around.
    - My daughters are too young (6 and 3) for me to trust with my firearms. I have a GunVault and put the key in another manual combination safe and just use the push buttons. I may give them the combination when they are older, but they are still to young to trust.

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    Member Array Sledzep01's Avatar
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    Something else to consider.
    I do not hunt. Yet?
    My new neighbor does and has offered and I will probably take him up on it. His son is the same age as my eldest. Then I will be able to show my Son's. As someone said above that I am too hurried to quote right now, hunting shows them what a firearm really does. When Bambi falls down dead is a tremendous teaching moment in my book.
    I do not yet have that tool in my arsenal, but I do hope to.

    Sled

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Good advice so far.

    2 kids here...7 year old son and 17 month old daughter. Long guns go in a large safe in our bedroom, handguns go in the GunVault by our bed. I never unload our carry handguns except for cleaning - the more you fool with them, the greater the risk of an accident. I close and lock the bedroom door while holstering/unholstering to avoid any distractions, and double check to ensure the safe is locked. I also do this so my son does not see me holstering up...kids say the darndest things at the darndest times.

    While home, I keep a Ruger LCP holstered in my pocket. I'm only unarmed while asleep or in the shower. This also limits the number of times I need to open/close the safe, which limits the opportunities for an error.

    Enjoy being a parent - t'aint easy!
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