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View Full Version : What is the proper age to teach your children to use a firearm?



BILLYBOB
11-26-2004, 08:04 AM
I have two children 11 and 12/Boy and Girl. Soon they will be at an age where I will think that they are responsible enough that they won't need babysitters anymore. However, if I'm not home I would feel more comfortable knowing that there is a firearm in the house for them to use in case a hostile situation arose such as a home invasion.

Any opinions on this. I would like to hear your opinions or an input from someone who's in a similar situation.

Al Lipscomb
11-26-2004, 08:13 AM
Depending on maturity levels 8 and above are good times to start teaching them the use of firearms and safety.

Defensive use is a sticky issue.

Ragsbo
11-26-2004, 08:45 AM
They should already know basic firearm safety- even if it is never to touch one without an adult (or your) permission. They should be old enough to start learning how to handle and fire a weapon safely (start with a .22 or something light). Whether or not they are ready to use the weapon in self defense is a call you will have to make based on the maturity and competence level of the kid. My guess they might be physically able but I don't know about the mental aspects. Go slow.

BILLYBOB
11-26-2004, 09:00 AM
Thanks for your replies so far guys! It's much appreciated and I will definitely take your advice.

Joe Average
11-26-2004, 09:14 AM
I always hammer privacy into them. I go into great detail as to why they need to be discreet. You obviously don't want them running around telling anyone that they have access to firearms while home alone.

My kids are so cool that I'm very proud of them. It's been years and they know I carry 24/7 but none of them have ever told a soul. I'm am absolutely sure that not one of their friends are aware that there are arms in our home. It's the adults who know that I carry who have trouble keeping their mouths shut.

Ankeny
11-26-2004, 10:44 AM
I see a lot of pre-teen kids at organized shooting events. The level of pistol craft I have seen exhibited by 10-12 year old shooters is astounding. Of course, the question is hiw mature before they can have unlimited access to a loaded gun? Age and firearms maturity are not mutually exclusive. We all know "adults" who have the right to have guns, but the way they act leaves us scratching our heads.


It's the adults who know that I carry who have trouble keeping their mouths shut.

I gotta ask. How did they find out?

Joe Average
11-26-2004, 04:26 PM
I see a lot of pre-teen kids at organized shooting events. The level of pistol craft I have seen exhibited by 10-12 year old shooters is astounding. Of course, the question is hiw mature before they can have unlimited access to a loaded gun? Age and firearms maturity are not mutually exclusive. We all know "adults" who have the right to have guns, but the way they act leaves us scratching our heads.



I gotta ask. How did they find out?

I've invited friends and family to the range. I like to try to interest people. Some have even gotten CCW but once in a while one will get all giddy at first and blab.

danbh
12-14-2004, 04:58 AM
Wife and I were at the local range last week and a guy came in with his two boys possibley 7 and 8 and both of them were shooting a 22 pistol they looked like they have been there a few time before.. :)

Hicap
12-14-2004, 11:10 AM
I started my kids with air guns at around 8 years old.And let them shoot 22's when they where ready which was at around 10.Then they went to the centerfires when they where 12/13.Now they can shoot any firearm with respect.

Rokgrunt
12-15-2004, 04:25 PM
My kids have been around firearms their entire lives, and when they first started showing an interest, I took their interest serious by explaining what I was doing when I was maintaining my weapon, and constantly exhibiting and explaining gun safety. By the time my daughter was 7yrs and my son 5yrs we were regularly going out to bust clays.
Just remember you're their idol they learn from watching you,so if you aint up on firearm ettiqutte, get that way.

warhawke
12-30-2004, 01:24 AM
My dad waited until he thought my sister was mature enough to be included, thus I was 11 and she was 9 before he started us out (He started us on his Lightweight Commander in .45, for those who think only big guys can use a .45).

I want to take my oldest grand-daughter out now (she's 6) but mom and dad say not yet :mad: , well, won't be too much longer anyway.

Sam
12-30-2004, 11:20 AM
Depends on the kid.
Somewhere around 7-8 works. If they aren't ready at 12 start saving for long term custodial care.
As Rokgrunt said, you are the example, you had better be a good one.

Sam

repete34
01-09-2005, 04:58 PM
My son got his BBgun at 5 and it was kept in the safe just like a centerfire rifle. At 6 he got the .22 Chipmunk and the same rules and storage applies.
I have always made him say the 3 NRA safety rules and let him handle guns in the gun room to practice the rules.
Now he gets to enjoy the shooting after having shown he knows how to practice the rules, and he is 6.
I take him to the range and use my Beamhit so he can shoot at home when I don't have time to go to the range. I may enter him in a small bore match this summer if he keeps doing as well as he is. He has also shot other pistols with the use of the Beamhit.
As far as home defense, the emotional problems that come with shooting a person are where I am torn. But I would rather he have to deal with that through protecting the family. As opposed to some terrible thing happening to his mother or sister, because he wasn't allowed to protect them in a last resort situation.
Yes, it would be a hard thing, but how much worse would it be if he had to watch or listen to something happening to them? And harder for a boy in my opinion, as I have taught him to protect and care for women. (I do not intend that to sound sexist!) The final answer is his fingerprint will be in the bedroom safe this year. Confidense in him is where I draw the line. You have to decide what is the line in your house with each one of your kids seperately.

I knew of and had the ability to access my parents firearm as long as I could remember. I knew what toys were and what wasn't. They taught me what I could and could not touch, and I obeyed the rules. Yes, some of them I broke but I knew which ones couldn't be broken.