The world can be a scary place, and as a parent, you want to prepare and equip your child to be safe and know how to protect themselves. In many states, the ownership and use of firearms are legal so long as the requirement is met.
You can also teach your child to learn to shoot a gun, but you must be careful. About 1 in 3 children in the US experience gun-related injuries. 50% of those children are the victims, 40% are friends and relatives who unintentionally wound a child, and 30% are self-inflicted injuries.
It only takes a second to cause damage or lose a life with a gun. Children are least likely to understand the weight of a gun or how to use it with proper guidance. If you want to teach your child in a safe manner, continue reading this guide for tips.
When Is It Safe to Teach Your Child About Guns?
Children are quick learners and can pick up what you teach them or what they see. You will know the best time to teach your child about guns once you see they express interest.
If they aren’t curious or inquisitive, it is better to wait. There may be children who never express interest.
In those cases, you must be able to discern their mental capacity for understanding and teach them for their own safety. You may wonder, at what age can a kid shoot a gun?
Boys tend to be more curious and eager than girls. Nonetheless, by the time your child is around 6-7, you should start talking to them about guns. By the time they are 8 and up, you may be able to help them learn how to use a gun, depending on their development level.
Only when your child demonstrates proper reasoning, behavior and self-control should you teach them. When you do, it must be under strict monitoring and control by you or another experienced adult.
Inform Your Child on Gun Rules
Children and guns don’t mix well together in an uneducated environment. Before your child ever touches a gun, you need to tell them rules and gun safety tips. First and foremost, you should talk to them so they know guns are dangerous and are not toys.
As an adult, you need to set a good example of gun handling practices when you show them how you use it. You should always store guns away in a proper manner and teach your children how they should be stored too.
The most important gun safety rules you need to tell them is to point guns in a safe direction, keep their finger away from the trigger until they must shoot, and keep guns unloaded at all times unless in use.
How to Teach Your Child to Learn to Shoot a Gun
Once your child shows interest or they are at the right age, you can teach them to use guns to take the mystery out of guns away. Children love to touch things, especially things parents forbid them to touch.
You can prevent finding your child holding a gun in their hands without your consent by allowing them to explore. First, you can show them your unloaded gun, or buy one if you haven’t, and talk to them about how to use it. While you do this, you can rotate the gun, take it apart, or show them how you clean it.
You can give your child a toy gun at first and let them mimic you as well. You can start off by teaching them how to hold the gun after you inform them of gun basics. You can review safety rules again during these lessons to verify your child understands them.
During this time, you also want to incorporate visual aids while you teach your child how to shoot. Depending on their level of maturity, you can show them pictures of gunshot wounds of animals or people. You can also show them what a shooting range looks like and the hole you leave behind after shooting.
The point is not to frighten your child or emotionally traumatize them with images, videos, and audio. The idea is to get them to understand the purpose and power of a gun so they do not take it lightly.
If you enjoy shooting and going out in the woods, you could also take your child with you. When you are ready to teach them to shoot outside, don’t take your gun with you for that first hunt. Emphasize talking and safety first and at all times while looking for teachable moments.
Finding the Best Gun Safety Courses
If you don’t have the time or believe you have the proper knowledge to teach your child how to use a gun, you can enroll them in gun safety courses. Your child can learn one-on-one with an instructor, other children, or with you there. If you decide to join, it may also be helpful to take courses to refresh your mind or learn things you didn’t know before.
Training courses equip your child with first-hand experiences they need to know how to handle a gun. Most importantly, the conversations, topics, and survival basis instructors provide ensure your child learns to use guns in a safe manner.
Instill Wisdom and Safety
Teaching your child to learn to shoot a gun is a great opportunity to help kids be safe during moments they need it. You never want your child to be a victim in a home intrusion or accident that could have been prevented. However, you also do not want your child to be a victim due to a self-inflicted wound or accident.
You can ensure your child is knowledgeable on guns and knows how to use them at home or when they are out by working with an experienced gunsmith. If you live in Texas, contact us for indoor range gun courses. We are here to help you and answer any questions you may have regarding guns and child safety.