Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

How to Teach Your Child Gun Safety

As an overprotective modern parent who gets nervous when my kids ride bicycles to a friend's house, I would not teach my children to hunt if I thought it were dangerous. Better they have a gun in their hands, than, say, a skateboard. Hunting and shooting have low accident rates precisely because we place so much emphasis on gun safety. Although hunting should be fun, teaching kids to be safe shooters doesn't call for much sense of humor. Treat the topic seriously, and children will respond to the gravity in your voice.

ASSIGNMENT NO. 1: DEMYSTIFY GUNS

Young boys, especially, find guns fascinating. Keeping guns forbidden and mysterious only increases their allure. Let your kids handle your guns with your permission and under your supervision. Show them how to check whether the chamber and magazine are empty. Let them point the gun in a safe direction. Teach them now that the only time they are ever to touch a trigger is when they want the gun to go off.

Take them to the gun club, where they will see targets smashed to bits. Show them the bloody holes your guns put into the animals you bring home. A friend likes to impress new shooters with the power of firearms by shooting a cantaloupe at 10 paces with a 12-gauge. The distinction between real and toy guns will be as clear as the difference between real and toy cars.

ASSIGNMENT NO. 2: GIVE THEM A BB GUN

Owning a BB gun can teach children good safety habits or bad ones. Kids of my generation roamed the woods with Red Ryders and no parental supervision. There's a better way. Give a child a BB gun a year or so before he or she is ready to start shooting .22s and 20-gauges. Store it with your guns and make a point of treating it like a real gun—which it is. Let your young hunter bring it along, unloaded, on short hunts with you. Insist that he carry it with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Pack a few BBs along for some safe target shooting at the end of the day.

ASSIGNMENT NO. 3: SPEND TIME AT THE RANGE

The more often you take your children shooting, the more practiced they'll become in handling guns safely. At the range, insist that muzzles point up, down, or downrange—always. Keep control of the ammunition yourself, and dole out shells one at a time. Kids will be scrupulously careful about muzzle control until they fire a shot. In the excitement of hearing the gun go off, they will turn to you, swinging the gun, or drop it down so it points at their toes. If the gun is empty, it's a teachable moment, not a potential tragedy. Insist on eye and ear protection, and emphasize its importance by always wearing it yourself.

ASSIGNMENT NO. 4: PICK FIRST HUNTS CAREFULLY

Your first real hunts should be for squirrels, waterfowl, deer, turkeys, or doves, sedentary hunts where the game comes to you. Leave your own gun at home. Sit right with your hunter, whispering advice and giving the go-ahead to take the safety off and shoot. Save upland hunting for last. It requires walking with a loaded gun for long periods as well as split-second shoot-or-don't-shoot decisions.

ASSIGNMENT NO. 5: LEAD BY EXAMPLE

You're trying to instill lifelong safety habits, and nothing you say speaks as loudly as your own actions when you and your child hunt together. Handle your own guns with extra emphasis on safety. While we're at it, boats, ATVs, tree stands, and motor vehicles can be just as deadly as guns if used carelessly. Your young hunter will learn all about them by watching you.

Comments (7)

Top Rated
All Comments
from mattreney wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

i think you should teach your kid slowly. say you plan to have them hunt with a 20 guage. once their used to bb guns let them use a .22 and maybe a few more until their ready for the 20. always shoot the gun first so they know what noise and kick they could expect so their not as nervous

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jesse wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I defonatly think parents should be teach ther kids gun safty and how to shoot its tradichon and plane comen sice thay should start out slow with a bb gun or some thing but thay should learn

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Love2Hunt wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

These are some great tips and useful to any parent who wants to teach their child responsible gun safety. This info can be helpful to all though, a great reminder to some of those who are a little rusty on safety issues.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from poco1994 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

good good

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rocky d bashaw wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

i taught my girls at an early age about guns. they are now 11yrs and 13yrs, they hunt with me, key is with me so i can continue to teach them and not let them slip. they both do very well and think before they do anything with a gun and treat every gun all the time as if it is loaded. all my guns are always loaded and they know that, although i keep them i a gun save at home. my girls ask me why i keep them loaded, i said a unloaded gun is not any good if i need it. never treat a gun as if it is not loaded and never point a gun at anything you dont plan on killing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawman328 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Great post!! I too believe that as long as a gun is a big mistery (i.e. Thats Daddy's Gun don't touch!)every time a kid goes by the closet it will call their name.
Thats why you hear of the little kid shot, with his parents gun, they will get a chair and they will check it out! I took the same approch my Dad did, every time I asked he would stop what he was doing, make it safe showed me how to handle it.
when he shot it, we shot it if we wanted to. He told us if we wanted to see it to ask him and we could. As with me, my kids got the same thing, with the same results, except that my wife and I were both Cops and there were guns around all the time.
It maybe a pain to stop and make it safe and let each one take a turn (I had 4) but it's well worth the results.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from obx-shooter wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I started my three sons with a single shot pellet rifle with a rifled barrel when they were about 8. I wanted them to get the idea of accuracy being more important than volume. Before they went on their first hunt I (1) spent enough time at the range to make sure they were comfortable with their hunting rifle and (2)talked at some length about the role hunters play in game management after first talking to a wildlife biologist to make sure I got it right. After the 'harvest' I made sure they understood how to care for the meat from 'the field to the table'. The skills my oldest started on with that pellet rifle has served him well as a soldier in the U.S. Army in combat and in competition shooting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Jesse wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I defonatly think parents should be teach ther kids gun safty and how to shoot its tradichon and plane comen sice thay should start out slow with a bb gun or some thing but thay should learn

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Love2Hunt wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

These are some great tips and useful to any parent who wants to teach their child responsible gun safety. This info can be helpful to all though, a great reminder to some of those who are a little rusty on safety issues.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mattreney wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

i think you should teach your kid slowly. say you plan to have them hunt with a 20 guage. once their used to bb guns let them use a .22 and maybe a few more until their ready for the 20. always shoot the gun first so they know what noise and kick they could expect so their not as nervous

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rocky d bashaw wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

i taught my girls at an early age about guns. they are now 11yrs and 13yrs, they hunt with me, key is with me so i can continue to teach them and not let them slip. they both do very well and think before they do anything with a gun and treat every gun all the time as if it is loaded. all my guns are always loaded and they know that, although i keep them i a gun save at home. my girls ask me why i keep them loaded, i said a unloaded gun is not any good if i need it. never treat a gun as if it is not loaded and never point a gun at anything you dont plan on killing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawman328 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Great post!! I too believe that as long as a gun is a big mistery (i.e. Thats Daddy's Gun don't touch!)every time a kid goes by the closet it will call their name.
Thats why you hear of the little kid shot, with his parents gun, they will get a chair and they will check it out! I took the same approch my Dad did, every time I asked he would stop what he was doing, make it safe showed me how to handle it.
when he shot it, we shot it if we wanted to. He told us if we wanted to see it to ask him and we could. As with me, my kids got the same thing, with the same results, except that my wife and I were both Cops and there were guns around all the time.
It maybe a pain to stop and make it safe and let each one take a turn (I had 4) but it's well worth the results.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from poco1994 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

good good

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from obx-shooter wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I started my three sons with a single shot pellet rifle with a rifled barrel when they were about 8. I wanted them to get the idea of accuracy being more important than volume. Before they went on their first hunt I (1) spent enough time at the range to make sure they were comfortable with their hunting rifle and (2)talked at some length about the role hunters play in game management after first talking to a wildlife biologist to make sure I got it right. After the 'harvest' I made sure they understood how to care for the meat from 'the field to the table'. The skills my oldest started on with that pellet rifle has served him well as a soldier in the U.S. Army in combat and in competition shooting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs