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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Default How old before you teach your child to shoot?

I was discussing this with my fiancee'. As some of you know we have a little one on the way, what age should I teach our child to shoot at? I said I was thinking around the age of 5. She is adamantly against this age. She thinks I shouldnt teach the child how to shoot until atleast the age of 12 or 13.

My reasoning in teaching my child to safely use firearms at this age is because firearms are a big part of my life now, a hobby, a life style. I want to pass this on to my child. Also, by the time our kid is age 5 I'll have graduated college and have become a police officer (if all goes according to plan) which means my family will be a greater target than the average family. Something that seems to happen when homes are invaded is the children are often over looked while mommy and daddy get the heat. If got forbid mommy is incapacitated and unable to defend herself against the threat atleast my kid will have a chance at helping out.. I'm just thinking about this right now, I'm not set on anything. Maybe 5 years old is too young to give my child these types of instructions, maybe reserve that for a later age, however I don't think 5 is too young to take out to go shooting a .22. What are your thoughts folks?
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

The earlier the better, but 5 is a little young. I remember being around 7 or so before actually having hands on. You can always teach without the actual shooting, good primer. I have a 6 yo boy and he's just not ready. Hopefully another year will get him there. Good luck.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

I tought my nefue and my little brother both at Age 6. They took to it well and listened very well. Just explain to them with out scarying the shit out of them that the gun can hurt you but can be fun if used right =D
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

Never too young to start learning. I was a "tag-along" from about age 3. I learned the basics and was eventually rewarded with being allowed to actually shoot a BB gun at age 5. I joined the NRA for my 7th birthday (1954) and received my first weapon. My test was to carry a flashlight for a whole day. The flashlight was turned on and I wasn't allowed to let the beam touch anything that I didn't want to shoot. I'll never forget that. It taught me to ALWAYS know where my weapon was pointed.
I think you have to judge each child individually. In 40+ years of firearms instruction I've seen 5 year olds that I'd trust with my life and "experienced" hunters/shooters who shouldn't even be allowed to have rubber bands.
Just use common sense...don't scare them and don't bore them.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thanker92 View Post
Never too young to start learning. I was a "tag-along" from about age 3. I learned the basics and was eventually rewarded with being allowed to actually shoot a BB gun at age 5. I joined the NRA for my 7th birthday (1954) and received my first weapon. My test was to carry a flashlight for a whole day. The flashlight was turned on and I wasn't allowed to let the beam touch anything that I didn't want to shoot. I'll never forget that. It taught me to ALWAYS know where my weapon was pointed.
I think you have to judge each child individually. In 40+ years of firearms instruction I've seen 5 year olds that I'd trust with my life and "experienced" hunters/shooters who shouldn't even be allowed to have rubber bands.
Just use common sense...don't scare them and don't bore them.
Could not of said it better myself.-GGGGREAT POST
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

My son is already learning. He'll be 3 in December. I took all the mystery out of guns by allowing him to handle mine (unloaded and double checked of course) whenever he asks. After the first four or five time he pretty much lost interest in it. He does still ask occasionally and I still let him handle it but he has a couple rules.
He cannot touch it unless he asks me first. He knows that if he asks I'll let him. That way if we are out at a friends house or the park or anywhere else he will ask me before touching it thus alerting me to the presence of a gun in the area. I have tested this theory both at home and at a friends house and it worked both times.
Second rule is absolutely no pointing it at himself or other people. I do watch him pretty closely when he is handleing my gun and he rarely forgets this rule. When he does we go over the rules again with him repeating them back to me.
He has "fired" a 357 mag revolver once. I supported it with my own hands over top of his and pulled the trigger. Although there was only a shotshell in the gun and had MUCH less recoil than norman he got the point. He just gave me a strange look and walked away looking for his mom. Later we were out walking and he saw the target and got one of those "very serious" looks only a child can get and asked "a gun?" while pointing at the target. I said "yep, The gun did that"
"Wow, Holes"

I will be teaching him to shoot with a BB gun when he is strong enough to hold it steady by himself.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thanker92 View Post
Never too young to start learning. I was a "tag-along" from about age 3. I learned the basics and was eventually rewarded with being allowed to actually shoot a BB gun at age 5. I joined the NRA for my 7th birthday (1954) and received my first weapon. My test was to carry a flashlight for a whole day. The flashlight was turned on and I wasn't allowed to let the beam touch anything that I didn't want to shoot. I'll never forget that. It taught me to ALWAYS know where my weapon was pointed.
I think you have to judge each child individually. In 40+ years of firearms instruction I've seen 5 year olds that I'd trust with my life and "experienced" hunters/shooters who shouldn't even be allowed to have rubber bands.
Just use common sense...don't scare them and don't bore them.
Great idea with the flashlight! I gotta remember that.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

I started teaching mine at about 8 , but was teaching them safety way before that
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

I believe firearm safety and cleaning can be taught at whatever age the child is cognitive enough to understand it, shooting on the other hand is a totally different issue.

I don't think you necessarily have to teach your kid to shoot at the same time as you teach safety.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: How old before you teach your child to shoot?

This is in no way a question of age, it is a question of interest, maturity, and how responsible they are. Age is just a number, if your child shows interest and maturity and the responsibility it takes to handle a loaded firearms, then and only then is it time to teach. Weather it be 5 or 15.

P.S. This is only my personal opinion and beliefs.

Here is a great oen started on this very subject.
http://www.pafoa.org/forum/question-...too-young.html
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