Our Top 9 Tips for Teaching Kids Gun Safety

Now that everyone has recovered from being sick, we’re finding that we have more free time. It’s been nice the past couple days! So nice!

Since Mark was off of work the other day, we decided to fire a few rounds at the gun range.

Black Hills during fall

Kids are posing while their Dad sets up.

The Gun Range

Gun range is a pretty lofty title for the place where we go shoot.  How to describe the “Gun Range??”

It’s an unmanaged unofficial range up on Beretta Drive in the hills.  I don’t know who owns it, but Mark’s co-worker told him about shortly after we moved to the area.

It’s pretty laid back at the range.

So laid back, in fact, the day we went to the range, the cows were loose!  A picture would be perfect right here.

Now all you gun haters out there…don’t be hatin’ on guns. We are not a gun-loving family by any means! But we think the right to bear arms is pretty rad and we choose to exercise that right.

Back to the pasture range…we brought our .22 survival rifle (which is compact and really a cool little gun). And our little itty bitty .380 with a laser that is not sighted in yet.

Survival .22 & .380

Survival .22 & .380

We have started teaching the kids about gun safety and drilling them on how to handle guns. They can answer basic safety questions pretty well and we run a TIGHT ship out at the range.

So here are our top tips for teaching kids about gun safety. And no, we are not trained professionals, just concerned parents.

Gun safety tips for kids

Mark helping L get set up

Our TOP 9 Tips for Teaching Young Children Gun Safety

  1. Never, EVER point a gun at ANYTHING unless you intend to shoot it.
  2. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
  3. Do not put your finger near the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  4. Always point a gun toward the ground. And not at your shoe because your foot is in there ~ that is E’s contribution.
  5. If you don’t know what to do, stop.
  6. Slow and calm movements are controlled and safe movements.
  7. The parent assisting must tell the child they are free to fire.  Without our go ahead, they are NOT allowed to pull the trigger.
  8. They (the shooter) yells “Fire” when they are ready to shoot.
  9. Hearing and eye protection are to be worn at all times while at the range, (unless they are in a vehicle).

L show-casing the ear plugs

Mark is always helping them, and right beside them.  One child is shooting, everyone else is in the van.  We go for 1/2 hour or less, short for the kids.  That’s it.

Me & Mr. Z, cozy in the van.

My Initial Reservations

In the beginning, I didn’t go with two older kids and I didn’t want Mark taking them to the range. But because our kids are fairly well behaved I wasn’t concerned with them not listening to us.  I think it was more the stigma associated with firearms and just fear of something going wrong.  Let me tell you…

Stigmas are stupid.

AND something can go wrong anywhere.

The benefits – which I’ll cover – outweight any negatives.  Truly, it’s been a positive experience.

Kid's Gun Safety Gear

Here is E with his hearing and eye protection

Why This is Beneficial for Children.

  1. We get to demystify guns and take Hollywood out of guns.  Remove the mystery.
  2. This allows us to squelch the desire to “play” with guns because they can appropriately use them under our direct supervision.
  3. They get to learn how to safely shoot them (at an age-appropriate level).
  4. They understand guns are dangerous and we are instilling respect for firearms.

So there you have it.  Any tips or benefits you’d like to add?