Did you know that 44% of the population lives in a household that has a gun? Unfortunately, many of these same households have children who aren’t familiar with gun safety at all.
This is dangerous because if a child or teen gets their hand on the weapon, it could end in tragedy. Sadly, many parents often put off talking to their kids about gun safety because they want to protect their innocence.
However, this can be a costly mistake. So, when should you start teaching your child about gun safety?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question in this article, we’ll be going over some general gun safety tips. That way, you can decide for yourself when you want to talk to your household about it.
When Should You First Talk to Your Child About Gun Safety?
As we mentioned before, there is no simple answer to this question. Ultimately, it depends on how actively you use your guns. If you use your guns for recreation and hunting, you likely have them out a lot.
As such, your children are exposed to them at a young age. In these cases, you should teach your children the basic facts about guns as soon as they’re able to understand.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to teach your child how to use the weapon at this age. You just need to convey that guns are not toys. Guns can kill people. You need your kids to understand the severity of this.
What you don’t want is for your child to learn about guns through things like video games or movies. Both of these things only reinforce the fact that guns are fun, frivolous things.
You should tell your child that they’re never allowed to handle the firearm until they’ve been trained.
And, even then, there should always be an adult present to supervise. At this age, the most important thing you can teach your child is to leave guns alone no matter what.
When Should You Teach Them How to Use a Gun?
We mentioned that you should teach your child some basic facts about guns as soon as they’re able to understand. But what’s an appropriate age to teach them the fundamentals of using a gun?
Again, there’s no set age that’s appropriate. Instead, pay attention to the maturity of the child. If a six-year-old is respectful and listens well, then you can teach them how to use a gun.
That being said, with more immature kids, you might want to wait until they’re in their teens to teach them. The sooner you can teach your child the basic rules of gun safety; the quicker guns will be demystified in their minds.
If you want a helpful resource on how to teach your kids about gun safety, make sure to check out this guide here.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Gun Safety
At the bare minimum, we recommend teaching your child the four rules about gun safety. First, you should always treat a gun like it’s loaded, even when you know for sure that it’s not.
Next, never point the weapon’s muzzle at something you don’t intend to kill. Whenever you’re not using the gun, make sure it’s pointed firmly at the ground.
Third, keep your finger away from the trigger until you’re aiming at your target. And fourth, make sure you are positive about both your target and what’s beyond it.
You should teach your target that even when you hit a target, the bullet can still ricochet off. So, you should be certain that there’s nothing in the vicinity that could be hit.
Keep Your Gun Secure
Even if you teach your child gun safety perfectly, there’s still no guarantee that they won’t make a mistake. Remember that you’re an authority figure to your kids.
And how many times did you disobey your parents growing up? If you were like most kids, you probably did it a lot. That’s why over two thousand unintentional shootings by children occur each year.
As such, a crucial component of gun safety is how you store your weapons. You should never have a gun in an unsecured location when you have a child in the house.
Make sure you invest in both a good gun safe and a gun lock for the firearms themselves. You should also never reveal the gun-safe combination to your children.
This will ensure that your child only has access to the firearm when you or someone with the combination is around to supervise.
Talk to Other Parents
If you have other parents, friends, family members, and people your child hangs out with, you should ask them about gun safety. This can be a bit of an awkward subject.
After all, you don’t want to anger the person by telling them what to do. But at the same time, if the individual has guns in their house, you want to make sure that they’re securing them safely.
This is especially true if your child is spending a lot of time at their house. So, don’t be afraid to break the ice on the subject. Not only will you be making your household safer, but also there’s as well.
Want a Safe Place to Teach Your Child About Gun Safety? Visit Texas Gun Club
We hope these safety tips helped you learn when to begin teaching your child about gun safety. As you can see, it’s never too early to teach your child the basic principles that guns are dangerous.
If you instill this value in them at a young age, they’ll always treat these tools with the respect that they deserve. If you want a good place to train your child to shoot, consider visiting Texas Gun Club.
We offer a variety of classes on our gun range. So, make sure to sign up for one today.
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