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TheDaggle 04-01-2010 06:03 AM

How young is too young?
I'm waiting on my first gun, and wondering what a good age would be to take my son to the range and teach him basic gun safety and handling. He is 5, but very psychologically and emotionally mature for his age, and my dad took me out at 3, but I wonder if 5 isn't still a little young. Granted, I'm brainwashed by the liberal state I was raised in, but I'm really on the fence here. I'd like him to have a healthy respect for firearms as early as possible, without exposing him to something he isn't ready for. When did you start teaching your kids to shoot? Are you glad you picked the age you did?

Tackleberry1 04-01-2010 06:36 AM

My oldest son in about to turn 18. He had his first BB gun at 5 and his first .22 rifle at 6. By the time he was 9 he could out shoot most adults I know with his .243 deer rifle, of course he could not hunt WA State until he was 12 but that gave him a good 4 years of practice before shooting for blood.

He was more than ready at 6 and begging me to take him before I finally did.

Here is a quick list of why I think this was the right age for my son.
1. He watched me load up guns to go shoot for many years before he was BIG enough to come along. You see, I did not push him to join me, it was his desire to be with dad that got him out there.
2. I took him to the Mountain, not the Range. The first year of shooting was never more than JUST THE 2 OF US. These trips were about HIM, spending time with HIM, reinforcing my dedication to HIM, and teaching HIM proper firearm handling without the distraction of friends, family, or other shooters.

This is the path my father used with me and it worked well for my son. Just remember that at these ages there brain is not fully developed, you'll have to coach him, remind him, and then coach and remind him some more but the lessons will sink in and he will never forget the time spent with you and the lessons leaned.

To this day 1 take a week off and drive 460 miles to take my Father hunting each Fall. We reap what we sow and I'm sure my son will do the same for me when I can no longer get out there on my own.

Good luck and be safe. Your about to embark on the best relationship you'll ever have!:)

TheDaggle 04-01-2010 06:47 AM

Posts like the one above are why this is my forum of choice. Thank you, sir.

yesicarry 04-01-2010 07:42 AM

My Dad started me shooting at 5. My daughter is already beginnig training with a Nerf Dartgun at the age of 3..

It all depends on the child's parent..

Jynx 04-01-2010 08:07 AM

I also fired my first gun at 5 years old. Dad started me out with a BB gun, and then later in the year allowed me to shoot the .22 revolver. My dad is an old school cowboy type though, so I guess it totally depends on the parent. My dad never kept his guns a secret from us. He just made sure to teach us what they can do from very early on. It was not uncommon for him to leave it in the bedside drawer. We'd sneak around looking for hidden candy, but knew better than to mess with the firearms. Out of my 2 older brothers and I, I am by far the most gun savvy and they asked me to take their sons out around 5 years old as well.

masterPsmith 04-01-2010 02:52 PM

They are never too young to start firearms safety training if you have firearms in the home. "Curiosity killed the cat", the same goes with children. Take away the curiosity with proper training and you won't have the problems other people have. I learned at an early age, as did my kids. My grandson started at age two, under my wing. He is five now and is a great shot. He is also a safer shooter than most adults that I know. He will not touch without first asking and will not go near my gun room without my permission or unless I am in there. If I am in my gun room and he comes to the door, he stops and askes if he can come in with me.

Start them young to prevent future problems..............................


mpd8488 04-01-2010 03:08 PM

I probably got a much later start then most folks here and didn't start until I was around 8 or 9 I think.

Anyways, I don't have kids, but I've seen guys come with young kids to the range where I shoot and other shooters are always butting in between the father and sons. They certainly mean well, but I'm sure it makes the kids nervous (I get the same thing when I bring girls to the range too). Like Tackleberry said maybe take him somewhere where he can feel comfortable in his own shoes and not have to worry about impressing random folks.

Car54 04-01-2010 03:48 PM

I was in L.E. when my kids were born so I always had guns in the house. I began instructing them shortly after they began to "wander". I always kept my carry gun on top of the refrigerator and as they grew older I told them more and showed them more about the guns. My son is now into guns but my oldest daughter depises them even though her husband is a Border Patrol officer. (she voted for the other side too...*&%# liberals)

detroit2786 04-01-2010 04:06 PM

I'm glad you posted this question because I been wondering the same thing.

My daughter is 3, and I have a son on the way in may. I have begun allowing my daughter to have some exposure to guns. It has been limited to letting her know what they are and instructing her never to touch one and if she sees one to go get daddy. It is cool to here her say Daddy Gun DON'T TOUCH!!every time she sees a picture, I haven't yet put her to a test , but I will probably do that shortly. This lesson did however stoke her curiosity, so they other night when I was cleaning my guns, I let her come into the room so she could see them. She was very excited, so I tried to reinforce the don't touch rule. I think she is doing good, but SHE really has no idea what a gun really is and probably won't for a while. I'd love for her to be profienct with firearms, it is a skill I wish I had learned.

What about toy guns?

Whe I was a kid I played with them and if my dad wasn't around we would point them at each other and play cops and robbers. If my dad ever saw us point even a toy gun at anybody he would take it away.

dunerunner 04-01-2010 04:19 PM

No age is too young to teach gun safety. Ok, the child had to be able to communicate, but my granddaughters are three and I have already started teaching them.

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