kids and guns

kids and guns

This is a discussion on kids and guns within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a general question, having just become interested in guns and self-defense due to recent events in my life, and having been raised in ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array cf18's Avatar
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    kids and guns

    I have a general question, having just become interested in guns and self-defense due to recent events in my life, and having been raised in a house without any guns. My son is one year old right now, so most of these issues are still a few years away for me, but for those of you who have had guns in your home while you raised children, how did you handle teaching them?

    More specific questions (feel free to pick and choose):
    - How did you lock up your guns? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests all guns be unloaded and locked separately from ammunition, but this seems to severely reduce the gun's usefulness for home defense.
    - At what age did you start teaching about gun safety?
    - Did you wait until they showed interest before introducing them to shooting?
    - Did you allow them to play with toy guns (cap snap guns? rubber darts? Nerf?) If so, did you allow them to point these at people and shoot them at each other in games of cops-and-robbers, or did you use the toys as an opportunity to explain gun safety and demand safe handling techniques during play?
    - At what age did you allow BB guns? What about actual firearms? (I read about an 8yo boy who died at the range shooting an Uzi, and that seems pretty young to me to be shooting an Uzi, but I truly have no frame of reference.)
    - Have you read Ayoob's "Gun-Proof Your Children"? I plan to read it, just curious if gun-owning parents consider it the quintessential manual or just-another-book, you know?

    Thanks! Any opinions are appreciated.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    Go to Cornered Cat for a good discussion of these and other issues.

    I keep my guns in a safe with electronic locks- fast to get open, secure. Or, it's on my person. Either one is safe.

    My son learned about gun safety as soon as he could hold one. He started shooting BB guns and airsoft at 4, and got his first rifle at 6.

    There are toys, and there are guns. Guns never get pointed at someone.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

  3. #3
    Ape
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    Sorry to hear of your family's trauma, but I'm also glad to hear everyone is OK "physically".

    As for when to start teaching your kids about guns and safety....... IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY in my opinion. My daughter started off with toy guns as soon as she was old enough to hold one. From that moment on I gradually and steadily started teaching her how to handle a gun safely. No matter if it was considered a toy or not! ;)
    She started shooting real guns at 4 or 5 and had her own gun by 6 or 7. She's now 11 and has 5 guns of her own and is the safest gun handler I shoot with! :-D

    As far as securing your guns from your kids is concerned........ I keep all of my guns locked up in my secured gun room other than the one's my wife and I carry all day every day. Even though my daughter know's all there is to know about gun safety and the dangers they pose, she's still a kid and can make poor choices if left to her own devices. :-/ So she only has access to our guns when myself or my wife is around.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - How did you lock up your guns? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests all guns be unloaded and locked separately from ammunition, but this seems to severely reduce the gun's usefulness for home defense.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics are anti gun. That is like listening to the Brady bunch on how you should keep your guns. I have two kids (both under 10 years of age) and I keep most of my guns unloaded and locked up, but my HD guns are kept loaded and locked up in a quick access safe, or I am wearing them. I have done this since before my kids were born.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - At what age did you start teaching about gun safety?
    As soon as they know what a gun is. I start off with the basics such as the NRA Eddie Eagle program. I start off with, "this is a gun, if you see one, don't touch it, and tell an adult" and I move from there. My 4 year old son is now repeating the rules of "All guns are loaded", "Don't touch the trigger until your ready to shoot", and "don't point it at anybody". I love my boy!

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Did you wait until they showed interest before introducing them to shooting?
    My daughter was interested at 5 years of age. I purchased her a BB gun and started working with her on it. She is now 7 and shooting pretty well with her .22 Cricket. See this thread,

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Did you allow them to play with toy guns (cap snap guns? rubber darts? Nerf?) If so, did you allow them to point these at people and shoot them at each other in games of cops-and-robbers, or did you use the toys as an opportunity to explain gun safety and demand safe handling techniques during play?
    Personally - I try to keep the guns demystified yet at the same time I try to keep them as serious business. In my opinion only, guns are not toys, and by training them as being serious they will keep them serious. Just my opinion and I know a lot of people don't agree with that, but no toy's here. (Super soaker type "guns" are an exception)

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - At what age did you allow BB guns? What about actual firearms? (I read about an 8yo boy who died at the range shooting an Uzi, and that seems pretty young to me to be shooting an Uzi, but I truly have no frame of reference.)
    My got my daughter a BB gun at age 5, but each child will be different. Unless a miracle happens, my son will not even be close enough to ready to own one at that age. He can't even pay attention to where is is walking. His imaginary dog keeps sidetracking him. I got my daughter her first .22 Cricket at the age of 6.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Have you read Ayoob's "Gun-Proof Your Children"? I plan to read it, just curious if gun-owning parents consider it the quintessential manual or just-another-book, you know?
    No I have not read it, however I hear its good. I strongly believe in gun proofing kids - and that it is impossible to childproof guns 100%. Gun safety is is based on redundancy. Don't touch the trigger until your ready to shoot. Don't point it at anything you don't intend on shooting. If you screw up one rule, the other can back you up. Child proof the guns, and gun proof children is the best route to go.

    I have never had more fun, than working with my daughter on the range. She will be out shooting me in a few years.
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    I guess I'm the odd person out here, my daughters did not touch my weapons until they were in their teens and that was that period and I never had a problem with it.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

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    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    No concern or problem for me here, inside my childless spouseless house, with unsecured loaded guns scattered and located about my house inside, not really hidden from the visiting village children of friends and lovers and others. I MUST REMEMBER THIS! NONE of my pistols have bullets inside their chambers...I think and hope...but every kids who has seen a cop or spec-op or spy or army/Marine TV or movie show knows how to rack back a slide because it really looks and sounds cool, even when done just for fun by children and fools. This may sound unsafe and dumb, but I must remember this EVERY time a kid comes.

  7. #7
    Member Array sandman1212's Avatar
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    well, I am like most others on this forum. The earlier, the better. My kids started at 4 with a BB gun and now I am having discussions about the best CCW weapons for my 18 YO daughter when she becomes of age to get her permit. My 11 YO son is my Skeet partner, and gives me and my friends a run for our money.
    KAHR CW45, RIA 1911 Officer, S&W Sigma 9MM, Savage 1907 .32cal(BUG)

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    More specific questions (feel free to pick and choose):
    - How did you lock up your guns? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests all guns be unloaded and locked separately from ammunition, but this seems to severely reduce the gun's usefulness for home defense.

    I carry on me all the time at home. My wife's firearm is out of reach. 2 shotguns are a little less than cruiser ready. Basically, they can't get to the pistols yet, and they can't manupulate the shotgun. But above that, I have talked to them about guns and they have looked at the ones we have. There's no secret, and less interest in sneaking a peek. BTW, check you state's laws on storing firearms, in many states it only becomes illegal if someone gets hurt or uses the firearm illegally.

    - At what age did you start teaching about gun safety?

    When I started carrying seriously. About 7 and 4 yrs old. Still doing it too.

    - Did you wait until they showed interest before introducing them to shooting?
    I do not force them to shoot. My youngest will shoot occasionally. My oldest has no real interest.

    - Did you allow them to play with toy guns (cap snap guns? rubber darts? Nerf?) If so, did you allow them to point these at people and shoot them at each other in games of cops-and-robbers, or did you use the toys as an opportunity to explain gun safety and demand safe handling techniques during play?

    I don't mind it. But I know folks who don't allow it. Personal choice really. There are pro's and con's to each.

    - At what age did you allow BB guns? What about actual firearms? (I read about an 8yo boy who died at the range shooting an Uzi, and that seems pretty young to me to be shooting an Uzi, but I truly have no frame of reference.)

    My youngest shot our .22 chipmunk at 5 yrs old for the first time. May need to get a BB gun.
    - Have you read Ayoob's "Gun-Proof Your Children"? I plan to read it, just curious if gun-owning parents consider it the quintessential manual or just-another-book, you know?

    Have not read it, but it sounds interesting.

    Thanks! Any opinions are appreciated.
    My answers are in Bold. My advice is to gun proof the kids and kid proof any guns you don't intend to use for SD. There are also some good options out there to lock up firearms and keep them close and quickly accessible.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Each kid, and parent, is diffrent

    - How did you lock up your guns? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests all guns be unloaded and locked separately from ammunition, but this seems to severely reduce the gun's usefulness for home defense.
    My EDC is kept in a quick access lock box, loaded. The rest are locked away and the ammo placed elsewhere.

    - At what age did you start teaching about gun safety?
    When the child's maturity level was ready for the 'added' responsability.
    Each kid is diffrent and you as 'Daddy' will know better than anyone.

    - Did you wait until they showed interest before introducing them to shooting?
    Not really, I started young teaching them, showing them, and instructing them what to do if they or a friend 'found' a gun or was 'looking' at So'n So's gun and showing it off. Not good.

    - Did you allow them to play with toy guns (cap snap guns? rubber darts? Nerf?) If so, did you allow them to point these at people and shoot them at each other in games of cops-and-robbers, or did you use the toys as an opportunity to explain gun safety and demand safe handling techniques during play?With the exception of the water guns, my children never really 'played' with toy guns....none of my or momma's doing.

    - At what age did you allow BB guns? What about actual firearms? (I read about an 8yo boy who died at the range shooting an Uzi, and that seems pretty young to me to be shooting an Uzi, but I truly have no frame of reference.)My oldest son, 8 (BB gun at 7). His two younger sisters, 14'ish.......they didn't show much intrest so I didn't press. They let me know they wanted to go to the range with me.
    The 8yo you mentioned was being 'supervised' by some dweeb and his father....at a gun show...., neither of which were qualified enough to realize that a full-auto Uzi might have been 'too much gun' for an child.

    - Have you read Ayoob's "Gun-Proof Your Children"? I plan to read it, just curious if gun-owning parents consider it the quintessential manual or just-another-book, you know?No. I like reading Ayoob's stuff though.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    I have a general question, having just become interested in guns and self-defense due to recent events in my life, and having been raised in a house without any guns. My son is one year old right now, so most of these issues are still a few years away for me, but for those of you who have had guns in your home while you raised children, how did you handle teaching them?
    Every kid is going to be different, but bottomline, I've taken away the mystery of guns by showing them at a young age that guns can be dangerous if not properly handled. It is going to depend on the maturity of the child and their ability to understand what you are saying. Now, I'm not saying you should leave your unloaded guns all over the house nor am I saying they need to be locked away with a safe, a chain lock, and biometric lock. Any time my kids wanted to see the guns, all they had to do was ask.

    More specific questions (feel free to pick and choose):
    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - How did you lock up your guns? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests all guns be unloaded and locked separately from ammunition, but this seems to severely reduce the gun's usefulness for home defense.
    I don't care what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest...I don't read Guns and Ammo for brain surgery tips. Personally, I've kept my gun on me/in a holster. When asleep, it's kept in a small safe in my room. My boys are 7 and 13, and they've managed to survive despite my ignoring medical professionals advice on something they are clearly not qualified to comment on.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - At what age did you start teaching about gun safety?
    Started teaching my boys when they were 3 yrs/old...mostly, Don't Touch...find mom, dad.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Did you wait until they showed interest before introducing them to shooting?
    Gun safety and shooting, IMO, are mutually exclusive. I have taught them gun safety, but only took them to the range when they had an interest and after we did some training at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Did you allow them to play with toy guns (cap snap guns? rubber darts? Nerf?) If so, did you allow them to point these at people and shoot them at each other in games of cops-and-robbers, or did you use the toys as an opportunity to explain gun safety and demand safe handling techniques during play?
    No caps gun.
    NERF guns--OK. Worked on trigger discipline (off the trigger until ready to shoot)...oh, and low-ready. We'd have NERF guns in the house/outside....but kept it "civil"

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - At what age did you allow BB guns? What about actual firearms? (I read about an 8yo boy who died at the range shooting an Uzi, and that seems pretty young to me to be shooting an Uzi, but I truly have no frame of reference.)
    No BB (or AirSoft) guns for us....started them on the .22. I want to teach them guns are lethal. I've seen/read too many "Oh it's just a BB /Airsoft gun...it's not lethal"....then someone loses an eye. IRT the MA kid with the UZI--the parents and the range were irresponsible for not having hands-on supervision.

    Quote Originally Posted by cf18 View Post
    - Have you read Ayoob's "Gun-Proof Your Children"? I plan to read it, just curious if gun-owning parents consider it the quintessential manual or just-another-book, you know?
    Have not read.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I use a Gun Vault for my HD guns



    My HD guns are always condition 1, whether in the vault or on my person.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  12. #12
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    My guns are loaded and around the house, as well as on my person. We have had the grandkids (ages 3 and 6) with us for a few weeks. When they are here, my EDC is still on my person, but everything else is in the safe.
    Now I have two safes, short and tall. The tall Browing safe is a dial combo with a wheel made of posts. I don't have to lock the safe, just take the posts out of the handle...impossible for the little ones to open, but I can grasp the center and easily open it for a quick entry. The safe is already in a closet where the kids aren't going into because they are NEVER out of our sight...but they still can't get into the safe.
    Thus, the guns are safely put away, and I still have quick access.
    Thirty years ago, I just had my guns in the closet. My boys simply knew where they were and never touched them (now in their 30's...they said that they never considered going near them), but they did get to handle and shoot them with me.
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  13. #13
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    I don't have kids but I did grow up with guns so I'll relay my experience.

    Growing up I played with a lot of cap guns probably up though my early teens. We used to have "war games" in the woods.

    I was introduced to a BB gun around 10yrs. Prior to that I did not know where any guns or ammo was in the house.

    I started shooting .22 rifles with my dad probably around 12 or so and we continued that until he moved out of state.

    It was a different time back then. Long guns were in cases, not locked and the ammo was locked up in ammo cans with a pad lock. When I got into my teens I knew the combo to the ammo but I never had a reason to go there. Heck I never even took the guns out of the cases unless we were at the range or it was going to get cleaned.

    I knew the difference between a toy and the real thing as did my friends that also shot. We had blown enough stuff up on the range to know they weren't meant to be messed around with. Plus I was shooting them at least once a week at the range and they were of no mystery to me so the want to peek at them or show them off wasn't there. The only thing that would come out of the closet at home was the BB gun as I had some targets set in the back yard to shoot at. And even though it was a BB gun it was always treated the same safe way as any gun. The lead pellets I had for it could do some serious damage to can targets on the range. Not something you'd want to get shot with.

    Now at home, my handguns are stored in a GunVault ready to go. Even though I'm the only one in the house I keep them in a safe so potential burglars can't get their grubby hands on them (or at least make it harder - good luck at guessing the combo). Bulk ammo is locked up in a different safe or an ammo can.

    I don't think there is any set age you can place a child as to when they are ready. They all mature differently and as a parent you need to be the judge of that.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    1) BIG gun safe. You and your spouse are the only ones who have the combo.
    2) Any age is good; mine all started at 4, and can field strip any weapon I have 1911, AR, etc almost blindfolded. they are 9, 7 & 5 respectively.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  15. #15
    AzB
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    You can gun proof your kids, but you can't gun proof your kid's friends. Lock 'em up.

    What age to start them at? Every kid is different. My daughter didn't show any interest until she was 12. Now she's 18 and a great shooter. She still has no access to guns without my presence.
    Az

    -- Luck favors the well prepared.

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