What Age?

This is a discussion on What Age? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; At what age do you start introducing the kids to firearms? I was thinking like 6-8 years old. Start with just the basics like safty, ...

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    Member Array jryan630's Avatar
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    What Age?

    At what age do you start introducing the kids to firearms? I was thinking like 6-8 years old. Start with just the basics like safty, respecting the weapon, and taking them out to fire a few rounds. Is that to much to soon?

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    It really depends on the maturity of the kid. The safety rules can be talked about starting at any age the child shows an interest or curiosity about guns, or even in response to seeing them on TV. Take a look at a Chipmunk .22 rifle and you'll see that it would probably fit half the 5 year-old kids out there.

    I think it helps if the kid shows an interest in recreational shooting, especially with air guns or rimfires that don't have a terrifying noise when fired. Let them see Mom or Dad or older siblings enjoying themselves shooting, and the fun will seem contagious. Safety is of course paramount, and I don't think that knowing the Four Rules is beyond the ability of young shooters. But keep the early shooting sessions shorter then the kid's attention span, keep it fun and keep it light.
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    Senior Member Array dV8r's Avatar
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    As gasmitty said.
    It all depends on the child, his/her maturity level, competency, level, trustworthiness and location.
    I was 5 when I got my first BB gun (Maybe a little too young for me, I did some dumb things with it.) but everything worked out. At 8 I received a .22 for my birthday, it went fine and all was well. At 10 I began hunting Pheasant with a shotgun, supervised of course. But we lived out in the country with the nearest neighbors almost a mile away. All this needs to be taken into account.
    Talk to the child, set the rules and start young. There is no age limit to learning to be a responsible gun person. As you talk to them be sure to tell them why it is important to be able to handle guns safely.
    To protect yourself and your loved ones from bad guys and bad governments.
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    StarPD45
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    I think the previous posters pretty much covered it.

    All I can add is you know your kids better than we do. It's your call.

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    It's never too soon to get them started on the basic of safety. I'd recommend getting a copy of the NRA Eddie Eagle program and start them with that.
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    Eddie Eagle is a good start.
    My grandson was aware of guns and what to do if he saw one...at age 4.
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    Member Array jryan630's Avatar
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    Thanks guys I appreciate all the responses.

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    Ex Member Array dbglock's Avatar
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    When my son was 5 he asked for a gun for Christmas. I knew he meant a real pistol, not a toy. I said we'd talk about it in a few years when he was older. He said, "C'mon, Dad, I won't shoot it inside!"

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    My boys are 5 & 3 and although they have yet to shoot a gun, they have handled mine (unloaded under close supervision) and know the basics of gun safety.


    1) never point a gun at anybody or our pets, 2) Never touch a gun unless Daddy says you can, 3) if you find a gun tell an adult and don't touch it.


    The 5 year old will go squirrel hunting with me this year if he behaves in Kindergarten
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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    I believe you begin teaching them long before they are old enough to shoot. There are plenty of teching opportunities throughout their young lives. Whenever they see you with a gun you can teach them. Also your actions will have more impact than your words so always obey the safety rules.
    When are they old enough to shoot? That depends on the child. A child that can follow directions is a must because safety comes first. You need to know your child and determine when they are ready. Some kids are ready at 4 or 5. Others might need to wait until they are 10 or older.
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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    Started my daughter at 5 with a single shot 22. Went over the safety of firearms at home. Put her in the prone position and a laid right next to her. We went through all preshot and post shot routines together every single time. As she got older and started to "catch on", I backed away little by little but always stayed close by for corrections and guidence. When we go shooting now (she is 13 and has a 22 semi), I am still close by, but my role now is observe (and load magazines). The one thing that I noticed when you first go shooting with your kids, they do the shooting and you do the watching. Do not plan on doing any shooting yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    My boys are 5 & 3 and although they have yet to shoot a gun, they have handled mine (unloaded under close supervision) and know the basics of gun safety.


    1) never point a gun at anybody or our pets, 2) Never touch a gun unless Daddy says you can, 3) if you find a gun tell an adult and don't touch it.


    The 5 year old will go squirrel hunting with me this year if he behaves in Kindergarten
    Your putting some mighty big obstacles in front of him!!
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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of what has been said. It depends on the individual kid and their level of responsibility, and the training/teaching starts well before the shooting. As soon as they can start learning, understanding and reciting the rules, then I would say handling guns empty and with supervision is fine. Let them see the guns whenever they want to. Curiosity and ignorance is what leads to most gun accidents. So if they are available whenever the kids want to examine them (with supervision) then the curiosity and "awe" will be minimized. They turn into just another tool that dad has in the house, and there are a lot of dangerous tools besides guns that they should know not to play with.

    I started with a BB gun, and after proving responsible, was gradually allowed to move up from there. I think a bolt action .22 should be a part of every "arsenal."
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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    I was introduced to guns and gun safety at the age of 3. My Dad took me out and gave me the ".357 vs. watermelon" show, without hearing protection. He made sure to explain that what happened to the watermelon could happen to my head if I didn't follow the rules. He also made sure that I knew I could go shooting with him at any time. All I had to do was ask.

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    I still will only take one of my daughters (10 and 12) at a time because their fingers tend to want to stay on the trigger. I want to make sure each gets my undivided attention when we are shooting.

    Wednesday night I took my 10 year-old shopping for a dance leotard at Academy. She told me she wanted a.22 pistol for Christmas! We will have to talk to Momma about that one. She did allow the 10/22 for her birthday when she was 9.

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