Making a firearm accessible to a child.

This is a discussion on Making a firearm accessible to a child. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; At some point, after forty years of living in Houston and Houston suburbs, for some reason all the bad crime news started getting to me. ...

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Thread: Making a firearm accessible to a child.

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array MMABC's Avatar
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    Making a firearm accessible to a child.

    At some point, after forty years of living in Houston and Houston suburbs, for some reason all the bad crime news started getting to me. There's been an awful lot of it lately. I got it in my head that I wanted a pistol. I bought one, and I'm taking a CHL class tomorrow.

    I've also been reading about the laws, gun rights, the Heller case and what not. BTW I have another thread, same topic, in the legal section.

    I've handled lots of rifles and shotguns for hunting over the years, and I've never had any apprehension about that. They've always been unloaded at home with ammo kept well out of the way. Only if I seriously think about self defense at home that's really defeating the purpose.

    So, what do you all do to secure guns from children while keeping them available for immediate use for self-defense? I have ten year old twin girls and a 16 year old boy. I've trained them on safety, and I intend on continuing to re-enforce that. I have a shotgun and a 1911 .45 I'd like to have available for self defense. What advice do you folks have to offer?

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    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Keep the pistol on you at all times, when legally possible. When you lay down to go to sleep put it in the SecureVault SubNine pointed out. Then when you get your CHL you can carry the pistol even more places you go, not just the car and home.

    I keep my shottie int he master closet, that will be my last stand area since the way in is in a manner that I can pick off an intruder when they enter my master bath.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Don't have kids at home anymore, so not a big issue. But do have a 6 year old granddaughter. When she is at the house, guns that are not in the safe, such as my nightly defense weapons and swat team "go-bag" get locked in bedroom closet.

    Then my SD pistol is worn on my person.

    Btw... as soon as she turns 8 I will be sending her to APT Firearms Academy to enroll her in some of their "Next Generation" classes for kids ages 8-14.

    They have a children's rappelling course, wilderness skills course, small bore junior rifle, and small bore junior pistol classes and children's handgun fundamentals course for kids in that age group. She's already excited and looking forward to some of that.

    All classes are one day with the exception of the wilderness skills class which includes and overnight and all are in the $100-$125 range.

    An investment I am happy to foot the bill for so my granddaughter can learn some "life skills" at an early age.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Ex Member Array MMABC's Avatar
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    Can I say this out loud, in public? I think that I can and have safely trained my almost 11-16 year old children to be around and handle guns. That means they understand and expect that all guns are loaded, know how to handle them, and know when not to. This was how I was brought up, around guns, in my home and the homes of my friends and family. I don't feel the need to lock them up and defeat the purpose of having them in the first place.

    I also don't force my kids to wear bike helmets. I have a trampoline with no safety nets, and eeeh gads, I have a swimming pool! God knows how often they've done those things without adult supervision! I don't secure my household chemicals. I also drive them around in a car, in Houston. I feel down right criminal. All this national campaign for gun rights and opposition specifically to legislation on gun safes and trigger locks, am I alone in my tendencies toward criminal negligence?

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    +1 on the gun vault. If it's not with you, it should be safely locked. Avoid the problem before it happens!

    Stay safe.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMABC View Post
    Can I say this out loud, in public?

    I also don't force my kids to wear bike helmets. I have a trampoline with no safety nets, and eeeh gads, I have a swimming pool! God knows how often they've done those things without adult supervision! I don't secure my household chemicals. I also drive them around in a car, in Houston. I feel down right criminal. All this national campaign for gun rights and opposition specifically to legislation on gun safes and trigger locks, am I alone in my tendencies toward criminal negligence?
    It's funny how just teaching your kids about safety from they are young and not shielding them from everything in life puts them way ahead of their peers and builds self confidence.
    NRA Member

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    I would find a place safe from view, but my kids (when they were your kids' ages) knew where they were...never touched. (They tell me that they never did touch them...in their 30's now.)
    I took them shooting, and they had both respect and fear of my directions in the use of weapons.

    I think your kids (you know them) are old enough to be trusted.
    If we have younger kids around, one weapon is always on me, the rest are in one of two safes.

    Stay armed...gun-proof the kids...stay safe!
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    Member Array KSJustice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NKMG19 View Post
    It's funny how just teaching your kids about safety from they are young and not shielding them from everything in life puts them way ahead of their peers and builds self confidence.
    +1 on the GunVault and educating your kids to take away the mystery of firearms. That's my method as well.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    When I was growing up, I had a gun rack hanging above my headboard from the time I was around 10, not to mention the other guns around the house. The only lock we had around was the one on the front door and it was hardly ever locked.

    People live in different worlds. For some kids, a gun being in the house would result in an insatiable curiosity that would cause him to try to get to it no matter what the parents tried to do. And some kids have easy access to firearms and can be trusted not to do stupid things.

    The difference is in how the kids were brought up. A rural kid who has been shooting since he was 4 is much less likely to do something stupid than an urban kid whose parents have never let them touch their gun.

    From the tone of your post, it doesn't sound like you are looking for concrete ways to prevent your kids access to firearms, but are looking for confirmation that you are not the only one who believes those concrete ways are not necessary...Well, you're not the only one.

    But, as much as I don't think there should be a law against child access, I absolutely believe there should be consequences for if a child does access a firearm and injures themselves or others.

    It's kind of like owning a Corvette. You shouldn't get a ticket every time you drive it because you have the potential to speed, but if you do end up speeding then you deserve the ticket.
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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    By the time my kids were 10 years old I was able to leave my loaded handguns out on nightstands at night. My kids started shooting a 4-5 years old and grew up with guns. They are safer with firearms than most adults I have shot with. It all depends on your children though. There are many lock boxes available that will keep your children away from the firearms yet allow quick access. Good luck and congrats on getting your CC permit.

    NCH
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    NCHornet

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    The biggest risk left that you have no control over is your Kids Friends coming over. You have to take some account for that in any plan you make. Your not always going to know when they come over and not going to have control over what they might do if they found the gun. And they do snoop around. Without your own kids supervision sometimes. So, you cannot control everything, all the time, even in your own home. I agree with the teaching part, but the access part is sort of a risk unless they are locked up.

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    Ex Member Array MMABC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    From the tone of your post, it doesn't sound like you are looking for concrete ways to prevent your kids access to firearms, but are looking for confirmation that you are not the only one who believes those concrete ways are not necessary...Well, you're not the only one.
    It's a complicated decision. You have to judge the responsibility and maturity of a child against your ability to actually have the gun available for self defense. As my children have grown up, I didn't like the idea of having an operable gun in the house. Now, on the other hand, I think the risks have swung the other way.

    But, as much as I don't think there should be a law against child access, I absolutely believe there should be consequences for if a child does access a firearm and injures themselves or others.
    There are consequences in Texas just for the child gaining access. For example, it's illegal for a 12 year old to go rabbit hunting without an adult. I disagree. I could be held criminally negligent for misjudging the maturity and irresponsibility of a minor. If the law applied to children under 12, I might agree with it more.

    It's kind of like owning a Corvette. You shouldn't get a ticket every time you drive it because you have the potential to speed, but if you do end up speeding then you deserve the ticket.
    That's not a good analogy. I'm not getting a speeding ticket. I'm talking about a Class C misdemeanor and not for me speeding, but for misjudging the maturity and responsibility of a 16 year old driver and giving him the keys to the Corvette. The state licensed the kid to drive, he gets a ticket, and I get a Class C misdemeanor. If he wrecks, and injures someone, even if it's not his fault, I get a Class A misdemeanor. Only not if I'm a farmer. In that case, I get off scott free. Outside of this analogy, I can put a 16 y.o. kid behind the wheel of a 500hp Corvette for real, and I don't think there's any laws on the books to hold me criminally negligent no matter what he does.

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    Ex Member Array MMABC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    The biggest risk left that you have no control over is your Kids Friends coming over. You have to take some account for that in any plan you make. Your not always going to know when they come over and not going to have control over what they might do if they found the gun. And they do snoop around. Without your own kids supervision sometimes. So, you cannot control everything, all the time, even in your own home. I agree with the teaching part, but the access part is sort of a risk unless they are locked up.
    I feel like it's safe for my 11 and 16 y.o. children to understand the rules of gun safety. I like the idea of knowing that if I leave my 16 y.o. at home with my girls, that he has access to the shotgun for self-defense.

    For other children, in my home, I don't think there's much risk there. Guns are in the master bedroom, out of sight, and kids are supervised enough where snooping around in my bedroom isn't allowed.

    If I'm not home, I trust that they will follow the rules that other kids aren't allowed, with or without the gun access issue. To me, both parents being gone, the kids inviting over friends, my kids allowing the other kids to get access to what they know is a loaded gun, and then having an accident seems pretty damn remote.

    On the other hand, across the street, my neighbor's 16 y.o. had a ND with a very high powered hunting rifle when he was home alone. He was playing with it, and it went off. I don't know if it was loaded to start with, but obviously it wasn't "secured." Fortunately, it fired into the concrete slab, and no one was hurt. He had a difficult time explaining a hole in the carpet and a fine dust over the whole room though! Bottom line, they misjudged his maturity and responsibility. I'm not sure I would have trusted him, but they did. I don't think it was a case of criminal negligence on their part.

    I don't know how to predict the future. Will something bad happen? A bad guy, or an irresponsible kid, which is more likely?

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    Ex Member Array MMABC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCHornet View Post
    By the time my kids were 10 years old I was able to leave my loaded handguns out on nightstands at night. My kids started shooting a 4-5 years old and grew up with guns. They are safer with firearms than most adults I have shot with. It all depends on your children though. There are many lock boxes available that will keep your children away from the firearms yet allow quick access. Good luck and congrats on getting your CC permit.

    NCH
    I appreciate all the responses. I do understand folks recommending securing all the guns. I am interested though in how other folks feel about it in their homes.

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