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Gun Proofing Your Children...educate me on raising kids around guns

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Carbonfly, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Carbonfly


    Nov 20, 2008
    Columbia, SC
    So my wife is currently 23 weeks pregnant and we are very interested in raising our child to be a responsible person around firearms. So I guess my question were you raised and what tips do you have to ensure the safety of your family around guns?

    Personally, my family has pictures of me shooting high power rifle at 5 years old. I was always supervised and safety was #1 before any shots were fired. I was hunting by age 11 and killed my first deer when I was 13. By 16, I was hunting on my own with my family in the area to assist if needed.

    My family never introduced me to competitive shooting, but now that my wife and I are competing, we would love to share that with our child in the future. At our most recent USPSA match we had 12 year olds shooting in our group. It was amazing at how focused the were on safety and technique. These young men even ran some stages, keeping score and running the clock. It was very neat to see.

    I've read Massad's book a few times and it is pretty solid...But I would love to know if there is any other books I can pick up on the subject.


  2. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    Never trust a child alone with a weapon. Get a safe & a bedroom quick access safe.

  3. hogship

    hogship It's MY Island

    Deny access.

  4. Carbonfly


    Nov 20, 2008
    Columbia, SC
    Thanks. I've got the safes and everything not in use is locked down. I'm more interested in education philosophies about introducing your kid to guns. What gun did you start with, etc.
  5. Top_Shot_31


    Apr 8, 2011
    Idawahio, USA.
    Can't really offer up anything specific to guns. My dad had hunting shotguns, but sold them when my oldest brother (8 years older than me) was young and hasn't had any since, so guns were never a thing in my house growing up. My mom even made her best efforts to remove toy guns from the police sets she bought us.

    My oldest brother became a police officer at age 18, and I got to shoot his Glock 19 for the first time when I was 11 or 12. Only got to shoot five rounds, but I was hooked.

    My first piece of advice would be to NOT force anything upon the kid other than safety. Don't try to force the kid to shoot if he/she doesn't want to. That comes from the time I've spent coaching kids, some of whom were forced into the sport because of mom and dad and hated every second of it.

    In general, just preach common sense. Wear a helmet, wear your seatbelt, don't eat laying teach a kid how to have common sense, that will go a LONG way in gun safety.

    Good for you for introducing your child to firearms, I wish more people did it. Good luck!
  6. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    I was raised in a different time. I knew that if I messed with the guns
    they were in closet & dresser drawers, I would get te beating of my life.

    So, in short, fear kept me from messing with them. I would please
    urge you to use a different tactic with your child. Living in fear
    Getting beat as a child is no way to grow up.
  7. checkyoursix


    Dec 15, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    My philosophy has been to respect their interests, rather than forcing guns or anything down their throat. My daughter couldn't care less, and so be it. My son shoots IDPA, is not crazy about guns but knows and respects them.

    Start when they ask, answer questions honestly. The 10/22 or a small Henry are perfect for kids, stay on 22's a while don't rush anything.

    Never become over confident and leave guns around. I still supervise my 19 years old, the combination of the safe is for parents only.

    Reward correct behavior, never dompromise on safety, maintain strict routines. On the latter, an example. My son and I always place an old unique tin can on a shelf during dry fire sessions. It's placed there for the duration after guns are checked and placed away afterwards. Probably not necessary now, but my son has ADD so I prefer to stick to the routine.
  8. hogship

    hogship It's MY Island

    OK, good.........

    The thing to instill into their minds is that guns can be used for good, or bad......honor, or dishonor. It isn't the gun that chooses those things, but the person who uses them.

    I started out both my sons with this single shot Marlin 15YN 22LR youth rifle:


    It was good for the first shots, learning safety, trigger control and sight alignment...... I don't think I would change this rifle choice, but be aware that it won't take very long at all before kids are ready to move up to something else. Kids don't want to load single cartridges......they want to shoot a lot, see the cans jump......and have all the fun! Forget about iron sights until later.....get a cheap scope and let them concentrate on safety rules at first. Have them learn the basics......then set them loose on reactive targets.....cans, shotgun shells, clay pigeons, balloons, Ritz crackers........these are the kinds of targets that make all the fun happen!

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  9. In my case it started with toy guns, both rifles and pistols.
    I was not allowed to point them at the dog or any human family members, only the cat was fair game.
    I learned how to carry guns, about muzzle control and keeping the finger out of the trigger guard long before I joined the Cub Scouts and got a BB rifle, then after earing my Marksmanship merit badge in the Boy Scouts, I got a real .22 rifle. Treat all guns as loaded, even toys guns.

    Whenever I got the opportunity to run amok home alone, I'd sneak into my Dad's stuff and play with his old shotgun.

    I never found his ammo, and now doubt that he had any, so I somehow obtained a few rounds of 12g to keep for emergencies.
    Never got a chance to fire that shotgun until I inherited it. Moral of this story is even a very well behaved, well trained "good boy" like me will get hold of hidden guns if possible. You can't hide stuff from a boy.
  10. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)

    I think its exactly the opposite, they should have every opportunity to access them. So that when you're around, there is no mystery.

    I grew up with guns in the closet, I knew where every gun in the house was, and when they finally moved to a safe, I knew where the key was.

    Yet, in all those years, with 4 kids, we never had a single ND/AD/incident.

    I was taught how to deal with them, played with them, shot them, and raised with them around the house. They were no different than a hammer.
  11. I have a 6 year old Daughter and a 10 month old son. My guns have lost their fascination with my daughter. Every so often, I leave one of my pistols in her room (unloaded of course) to see if she will tell me that she found it.

    My dad gave me a 357 model 19 when I turned 18. I carried it in my car until he bought me a 4006 for Thanksgiving. I think I was 21 and was one of the few that always had a gun with them. Maybe this was the case because I never told anyone?

    I grew up around guns. I grew up hunting. Shot my first deer at 8...and saw what a bullet would do to a deer at age 5. I never messed with them...because I was never denied being able to shoot them anytime I wanted. Gun safety was like manners...I had to do both even when dad was not around.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  12. 427


    Nov 23, 2009
    Nothing was locked down on my house. Loaded weapons were/are by the door(s).

    My dad from, the beginning, stressed safety. I remember, before I fired my very first shot, we went over function, how to break it down, and most importantly safety. He stressed to me that I wasn't to point things at people, toy guns or even my finger. He told me what firearms can do to people. When we finally got to the actual shooting, he went over basic marksmanship skills how to use a sling, ect. After we were done, he showed me how to clean it. He stressed to me, though his experience, the importance of a well maintained, and clean weapon. Then he gave me a some field and tech manuals. At the time, I couldn't read all that well, but it was cool just to look at the drawings.

    30+ years later, I still remember that day.

    I should mention that my dad was an instructor for part of his time in the military.

    I grew up viewing firearms as a tool - a dangerous tool, but a tool nonetheless.
  13. SomeDay


    Mar 15, 2005
    I grew up knowing exactly where the guns were in the house and where the keys to the trigger locks were. I didn't go after them simply because they weren't a mystery to me. When I was old enough, my dad started me with his bb gun. When I was in cub scouts, I shot bb rifles, and in boy scouts .22's and other flavors. I was taught gun safety when I was young and never forgot it.
    Should they be locked up, of course. That isn't to say that I never cleaned my guns around my kids - of course I did, it was one way that I was able to gauge their interest. While the older ones never showed any interest, my youngest approached me when she was 8 last year and asked if I would take her shooting. I purchased her first rifle - a .22 Crickett - right after that and we haven't looked back. Each kid will show interest at his or her own pace and in his or her own way. Be patient and you will eventually have a good shooting partner!
    BTW, I read the same book before I purchased my first gun, it helped.
  14. rustygun


    Jun 14, 2009
    Well let me illustrate two different methods. One that didn't work and one that has so far. When i was little my dad had a shotgun a 22 and a blackpowder pistol that he never used and were kept in the closet or dresser drawer. Nobody talked to me about guns just to stay away from them and to leave the alone. Most of that was because at the time my mother was very anti gun when i was growing up. I wasn't allowed to even have toy guns or watch shows like GI Joe. I got the same threats ..touch the guns and you are grounded and getting the belt. Of course that just made me be careful when i went to go mess with them.

    I didn't really learn about guns till i was 16 or so. My dad's knowledge of firearms were from when he was a child and the ones he had just sat around. He took me groundhog and rabbit shooting at the family farm to help clear the critters from the garden. My interest and knowledge didn't really start till i had moved out and a friend bought a desert eagle that we shot a few times. I was always curious about guns but never had an outlet to see what the deal was. That could have been very dangerous.

    I took a different approach with my oldest boy. I wanted to remove the mystery of guns and how they work so he wouldn't be drawn to experiment on his own. Better to know what the things can do so you wont be stupid with them. Or my worst fear is that with a passable knowledge of guns at a friends house he would want to mess around with one. So my boy knows the rules about safe handing and to tell an adult if he's out and finds one and what not. Every gun is always loaded everytime he looks away even if he just checked it. No ammo around while cleaning. And never to pick up a gun unless i hand it to him with the chamber locked open. Then he's free to look at and handle it with my supervision in a manner that teaches smart safe barrel control etc. My guns are always locked up and he is still curious but now i know at least maybe he wont be drawn to be dumb like i was as a kid.
  15. one thing to remember..back in the day when there was any accidents as long as the kid wasnt hurt and was sorry, no harm no foul..

    now there are laws about leaving firearms around children and a DA will not care if little sally knows gun safety when your in a courtroom.

    im not saying that you cant have your kids around guns im just saying that in this day and age maybe waiting till there alittle older and not leaving loaded weapons around may be wise.
  16. Osborne


    Jan 3, 2012
    Dang complete opposite here :p got my first glock/gun when I was 19 and that was earlier this year, Feb I think. I had to school my parents on guns. ( mostly my mom)

    I REALLY need to invest in a safe when money permits , I'm already up to 5 guns and they are just laying all over my room ....

    I always grew up around guns at my grandparents etc all my life and I never thought once about touching them, I just knew not to... I guess every kid is different though
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  17. checkyoursix


    Dec 15, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    In my house, as I think is the case for most people, I don't only have my kids but oftentimes other kids of both genders. Leaving guns around because your kids are competent leaves you completely exposed to risks created by kids that you know very little or nothing about. In my opinion, that is an unacepptable risk.

    Where I live on top of the risk there is the issue that many parents are very uneasy about guns, and in order to maintain cordial relations I prefer to secure everything in a safe or on my person, and they don't know about the concealed part. Some will scoff at this attitude, I respect their opinion but choose that my kids are not shunned because of their dad.
  18. ggarciatx

    ggarciatx Cold War Sailor

    Aug 28, 2004
    South Texas
    at the age of 5 with a Daisy BB gun. I pretty much grew up on our ranch when I was not in the city going to school. We had livestock at the ranch, so shooting was handled carefully. My dad bought all of his guns in the 50's and never bought one while I was alive. He owned 2 British .303, a straight pull Schmidtt Rubin (sp) rechambered in .308, an Italian 6.5 Carcano, a Winchester Pre-64 30-30, a double barrel .410 and a J.C. Higgins 22 revolver. During the years he let me trade the ones (one .303, Schimitt Rubin, Carcano) to upgrade for more modern guns. They were kept in his closet and we had access to them when needed. He taught us how load, check for safety, and unload them all. While he taught me to hunt, he was startled when I started hunting with a Mini-14. Some of my best memories are of both of us going hunting together. I lost him 4 years ago and still remember our last hunting season together right before. He was still using that .303 Mk4 Savage Enfield. I have it now and would not let it go for anything. That rifle along with the Winchester were the guns that put food on our table the most. I started off teaching my two with Marlin model 60s. My 14 year old daughter took my dads place on the hunts the season after he passed. Bet he is smiling down on that. I recently came into a blessing of 3 step daughters. One of whom literally can put most men to shame with her shooting skills. She is a natural if I have ever seen in learning fast how to handle a rifle. She is only 16. The 12 year old loves to shoot too. I keep the firearms locked up in a safe when they are not being used. You will learn your own kids personality and learning skills. Use them to your advantage. Good luck and congratulations on the child.
  19. fasteddie565

    fasteddie565 Combat Diver

    I use the Eddie Eagle program from the NRA.

    It worked well for me. Remove the mystique of guns by teaching your child to safely handle a firearm and then allowing your children to handle them under your supervision. All three of my daughters grew up with Eddie Eagle, I have loaded guns all over my house with never an issue. I also use gun safes and smaller hand vaults as a part of my plan.
  20. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Your kids may be trained; but what about their friends when they come over?