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  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

10 Tips to Teach Firearm Safety to Children

There are many reasons why an adult would choose to keep a firearm inside of their home. They might want it for protection, they could be in a career where it is necessary, or they might come from a family of hunters.

We all know the risks involved with keeping a firearm inside a home with children. It is scary to think of our child inadvertently coming across a gun with no knowledge of what to do. Some families may decide to avoid this problem completely by not storing any firearms in their home.

If you are one of the families who do store them in your home, read on for my top tips on teaching firearm safety to children.

Photo by Sebastian Pociecha on Unsplash

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

1. Start Teaching Safety Young

When you are preparing for a new baby, you're probably not thinking about gun safety. However, you should think about what to do with any firearms inside your home before brining your baby home.

Firearm safety should be taught to children young. A common thought is to start teaching them as soon as they show interest. You want to make sure they understand that a gun is not a toy.

They should also be taught what to do if they find one. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program teaches this in a kid friendly, easy to remember way.

Before a child touches a firearm, stress how powerful they are. Make sure they understand the danger behind it and why it is so important to be safe.

A firearm can cause irreparable damage or life ending consequences. Do not sugar-coat this. You can show them the damage they can cause by shooting plywood, cans, and targets.

The goal is for them to understand and respect firearms and the power they have.

2. Teach the 5 Basic Gun Safety Principles

Knowing the 5 Basic Principles of Gun Safety is important for everyone to understand and memorize. Before handling a gun, ensure your child can recite each of these principles and can explain what they mean.

Quiz them on this frequently:

  • Assume Every Gun is Loaded

  • Point Gun in a Safe Direction

  • Never Point Your Gun at Anything You Do Not Intend to Shoot

  • Keep Your Finger Off Trigger

  • Be Sure of Your Target and Surroundings

3. Store Ammo Separately

Keep your ammo stored separately if you have a child in your home. This adds an extra safeguard against tragic accidents.

4. Provide the Right Tools

Do you have the correct tools to begin teaching your child how to handle a firearm? Before taking your child to a range to learn to shoot, purchase eye and ear protection.

5. Model Safe Firearm Skills

Your children look to you for everything. Model safe firearm skills to them. They are watching your every move.

It might seem like no big deal to take the occasional shortcut. Do not let yourself do this. In everything, assume your children are watching and model the behavior you want them to learn.

6. Involve Them When Cleaning

Before shooting a firearm, one should be able to take apart and clean it. Teach your child about all the mechanics and maintenance involved with the firearm.

Show them how you handle it safely and stress how important it is to follow the safety rules.

7. Enroll in a Gun Safety Course

When your child is ready to begin shooting a firearm, consider enrolling them in a gun safety course. It is best if you can find one geared towards children. Most states require this course if your child is going to be applying for a hunting license.

Think about attending the course with your child to brush up on your own skills and make it a bonding experience.

8. Start With a Low Recoil

Do not start your child practicing shooting with a real pistol. The recoil can be hard for adults to handle.

Start your child small with a pellet gun or a BB gun. Use these options to teach them how to handle a firearm without the high risks.

9. Practice With a Laser Bullet

It is not always practical to practice at a range as much as you’d like. Especially in this time of COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns, you want to look at alternative options to practice shooting skills.

Laser bullets are a great way to practice firearm skills like proper grip and sight alignment. A laser bullet can be used again and again.

10. Make Gun Safety an Ongoing Lesson

Teaching firearm safety to your children will never be done. This should be an ongoing conversation in your home. Give them time to practice their skills in a safe location.

Passing On Firearm Safety

Gun safety is something that is important for everyone to understand who might encounter a firearm. Put teaching your child these skills on your to-do list. You will never regret taking the time to ensure your children are educated and skilled with handling a firearm.

Even if you do not currently or never will keep a firearm in your home, I still encourage you to teach your child these skills.

If anything, ensure they know what to do if they ever come across one. They should: Stop, Don’t Touch, Run Away, and Find a Grown-up. Every single child should learn this.

Be sure to follow A Wild Lass on Instagram and Twitter for more bonus hunting content!

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*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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