I started with my girls at 3 and 4. I trust them more than most adults.My oldest which is 9 now has the love and Respect for firearms. Not only do we shoot together she also goes hunting with me religiously. She is one of the only kids I know that will get up at 3am walk in the dark woods and sit in a stand all day with out complaining. She cant wait until she can get he licence and go for real. They both have been exposed to firearms and hunting since they were born. They know I will answer any question they have. They also know if they want to see a gun in my collection all they have to do is ask. Since they are still both young I have a safe in my bedroom in which everything is locked up. and even if curiosity got the best of them there are trigger locks on every last on of them. Safe lock key hidden in the room trigger lock keys in the locked glove box of the truck. I don't want to take unnecessary chances
i nor my children never recieved a "talk"......we were introduced to a lifestyle by example . yes there were guns lie'in around my dads house, left untouched by 3 boys until we knew how and when to hold. basically the same in mine. no.... i don't just leave a gun out in the open for all to see but there there and my kids knew from toddlers those were big people things and as they grew they asked questions and i answered. sometimes this took place outside ....sometimes inside...but they started the convos.
My father never gave me "The Talk"...and he passed before he could ever really explain much of anything.
All I remember is him whacking his hand when working on my bicycle and Counting Hard...
and when asked why he was counting, he said, "So I don't say something that you aren't supposed to hear".
That's about the extent of the Sage Advice I remember...he passed when I was nine.
We are going to teach our boys safety safety safety...Military Style.
Wifey's gonna be in charge over much of the Basics...
I'm going to field the guts questions...gun guts, critter guts, etc...
Heck, I spend so much time working on 'em that they'll probably start by asking.
"Whatcha working on, Dad?"...and that'll lead naturally into what I'm doing, and why.
That'll also be the cue to start on serious information lessons.
__________________ Marlin & Calico Specialist
I'm not just Trigger Happy, I'm Trigger Ecstatic!!
Junior is autistic. I started talking to him about firearms safety (Eddie Eagle rules) when he was four. He knows not to touch a gun or ammunition unless Daddy is right there with him. I expect it will be another four or five years before he will be ready to go to the range with a .22 -- if then.
My daughter first got curious at age 3. That's when it started. Took her to the range at age 4 and let her shoot my .357 (loaded with .38 spl) with my hands around hers. She thought it was fun. I made it clear from the start (when she was 3) that she wasn't to touch any of my guns without permission, but anytime she wanted to handle them, all she had to do was ask. I taught her how to check and clear them. She'd ask now and then and I always made it a point to stop what I was doing, made sure the gun was clear, had her do it as well, and she'd handle it until her curiosity was satisfied and hand it safely back to me. Worked out great.
As she got a bit older, I'd take her to the rangfe with me and we'd spend a few hours of quality time shooting. Lot's of fun for both of us. She really enjoyed shooting my CZ 50 and thought it was cool that it was used by Czech border guards during the Cold War.
She's 27 and married now, and still loves to shoot when she can. Her favorite gun is my Glock model 20. I have several other handguns she hasn't had a chance to try yet, so that may change.
Yep....pretty much as soon as our son started understanding words well--maybe 3 or 4. DEFINITELY by 5 or 6 -- when you feel them ready to comprehend the mechanical and responsibility aspects. I've been shooting since I was 10 and carrying some form of firearm unsupervised since I was 12 or so--which is normal I think for kids responsibly raised around firearms.
You demystify it but train that it is VERY serious business. A gun is a TOOL which can be USED for all kinds of things; like any other TOOL it can cause harm if the operator misuses it in any way. Really no different than anything else around the house. The key is your kids can understand and further your philosophy with their friends who might not understand guns as well as them, or have been brainwashed in SOME way about firearms (and thus potentially handle them irresponsibly--when we have a brainwash or nanny state this results in irresponsible actions of kids--or adults--who should be growing up with wisdom faster than they are--relying on someone else to do life's tasks for them or protect them from something which is always bad).
Wow, lots of great replies here. I started teaching my kids gun safety as soon as they were able to comprehend and retain the knowledge. My son has gone on to acareer in the Marines, and my daughter has no use for firearms. Go figure! My grandsons want to learn, but we ran out of time last month. Maybe the next time! But, last Sunday I had customers over to visit, with their 8 and 11 year olds. The boys have been learning safety and hunting all rolled into one. The oldest took his first buck at ten years old, and it was a ten pointer! They decided they wanted to shoot my 44 mag pistol, so I helped them with it loaded with target rounds. Here's the pics!
They both did well, and learned that the recoil isn't as fearsome as they thought!
My kids were probably around 4 or so when I started letting them touch the guns, usually because I was cleaning them and they were asking about them. We don't treat guns like they are anything special, dangerous yes but not special. I think if you try hiding them or make them seem like some mystical item it makes the kids more likely to play with them. My boys are only 4 & 7, the 7 yr old shoots and has his own .17hmr chipmunk (his sniper rifle because it has a scope on it) but loves to my .22/.45 Ruger. The little guy hasn't been out shooting yet and goes back and forth if he wants to shoot at all.
Everytime I have the guns out I'll let them handle them and we go over the rules but I don't make it seem like a lesson, I try to keep it fun so they remember.
My dad is a retired LEO and he never once locked his guns up. In fact he kept them in his dresser. We were allowed to handle the guns as long as we asked so it just became something to move out of the way when dad needed his stash money out of the dresser.
No mystery and kids who listen you shouldn't have a problem.
I never hid firearms from my kids. That would make them something to sneak around and mess with! There's lots of people in the world who can't seem to get it right, and they end up having awful accidents. My family has never had to deal with it, because firearms are treated like power tools, dangerous but no mystery. They have no life of their own, and are after all inanimate objects. It's people who make them into evil things to hide from the kids.
Wonderful question and one we should all be thinking about as parents, potential parents or grandparents.
I personally don't think it is so much the exact age as it is the question of what age that particular child is old enough to at least partially understand the gravity of learning and knowing about weapons. There is nothing wrong with brief discussions with children who are say three to five years old. However, these cannot be real meaningful discussions at that point. Merely planting a few seeds of caution perhaps... Most kids in households of parents who own and use guns for recreation are likely to be somewhat versed and ready for a deeper more meaningful discussion around 10 to 12.
Again, personally, I feel that any type of firearm contact should be regarded as a very sacred privilege by ANY young person.
Gun fun was only had under adult supervision, until they were well versed in safety, and old enough to handle the responsibility. It really is a question of comprehension and retention, rather than age!
My oldest started asking questions at about 3 1/2. At 5 he got a Daisy. At 7 he got a single shot .22. I couldn't agree more with the thought of taking the mystery out of firearms. We talk about saftey alot. One of my proudest moments was after some shooting in the front yard, and we had started taking stuff back into the house. The 7 year old was correctly showing the 5 year old how to check that the ruger bearcat was unloaded and safe.
That is great! That's the cause of most accidents, when kids are handling "unloaded" firearms! When my son comes to visit, he spends half a day going through the house, and the shop, unloading all my strategically positioned firearms. When I ask why, he just gives me that Staff NCO "look", and continues to check firearms. He's been in the Corps for 14 years, and I'm finally learning not to question his actions. Safety is always first and foremost on his mind! I wish ALL kids had this safety concious mentality, because we'd never have to read about another "accident"!