4yr old getting a BB gun

Jennifer - posted on 04/04/2009 ( 48 moms have responded )

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My sis-in-law & husband have decided to get their son a bb gun when he turns 4. (few months). The problem is that they want us to get one for our 3 1/2 yr old so they can have them together. I am NOT getting my toddler a bb gun. The other problem is that they live in town and can not shoot it there, so they would have to come out to our house in the country. How do I tell them no without any problems? I don't want them using it out here cause my son would want to use it.

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Jenn - posted on 04/06/2009

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Okay..  I'm going to offer the other side to all these posts. 



Watching A Christmas Story is yes, a good idea.  But we're not in the 70's anymore.  My parents live in the mountains & purchased a few BB guns to scare off the hoardes of squirrels (scare, not kill) and just shoot at Coke cans for fun.  They have an air gun that you have to pump to prime.  When I heard that my 4 years old (he's 7 now) was shooting it, I was LIVID.  But I was fairly calmed when I saw that it wasn't that bad. 



You have to pump the gun a minimum of 4 times in order to hit something 50 feet away.  My parents were only giving it 2.  The BB hardly rolled out of the barrel & would drop to the ground.  My son didn't know it, but they cheered like he got the target.  During this time, they taught him gun safety, such as holding it upright, always having a grownup around & never handling the gun alone.  The last of which is just NOW being taught in school.  Now that he is older, he has a respect for the weapon (the power of which is still defined by us) and he's a pretty good shot.  Helped him with motor skills, patience, as well as gun safety.  I don't have to worry about his curiosity in a friend's house, if the friend's parents own guns. 



If you don't want him to have one, then just say so and be prepared to tell them why.  Also, they may be able to shoot in town, provided they have a cardboard target and get one where they can determine how powerful it is.  The other thing you have to think about is, if your son visits - say for an overnight - he's going to shoot the thing.  Pure 4 yr old curiosity and "share your toys" will prevail.  It may be better for you to teach him responsibility on Your terms beforehand.    just my 2 cents - Jenn

Kym - posted on 04/05/2009

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I would tell them that if they choose to allow their son to play with guns, then that's their decision, but that you will not be allowing your son to play with them, and you won't be allowing them in your house or on your property.

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Jacqui - posted on 04/08/2009

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omg what are they thinking???you are just going to have to be tough and tell them that you think your child sees enough violence going in in todays world without ntroducing him to a gun bb gun its still a gun and the message is its ok to shoot.it will start off with a bb gun and when get older to a real gun.what if they shot at each other .those parents need a wake up call.even better print this reply off and let them read it then say you agree.lol good luck .be strong.

Stacie - posted on 04/08/2009

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NO child under the age of 12 should have a bb gun... EVER. Get him a toy cap gun instead... they are harmless and make a bang... but a BB gun, I would NOT advise that... too many 'accidents' happening with young children getting their hands on guns... even if it only bb's. Nope, no indeed.

[deleted account]

You know what I wouldnt even want my grown sons with something as stupid as a BB gun, and for sure NOT a 4year old having one.. Just say NO we are not getting our son one now and not in the forseeable future as we don't agree with them for children. I would think this would be enough for most adults to then think about oh she doesnt like them we wont take ours there!   But then again hey if they are silly enough to buy one for a four yr old maybe not, stand your ground and state your wishes, your son is important !!

Dianne - posted on 04/08/2009

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Just say no! A child under the age of 12 really should not have a BB gun. When I was a kid I knew a boy who had an (unloaded) BB gun shot at him- it made a loud pop right in his ear. It left him deaf for 6 weeks! Little children should be taught that guns are dangerous, not fun! Get him a squirt gun that looks like it's from outer space & the 2 boys can play harmlessly in any yard all summer long.

Joanna - posted on 04/07/2009

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WHAT I AM GOING TO SUGGEST IS HARSH BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO THINK ABOUT REPORTING TO THE SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY (AS I LIVE IN THE UK I DO NOT KNOW WHO TO SUGGEST) GUNS AND CHILDREN DO NOT GO TOGETHER

[deleted account]

Your son's safety comes before hurting your sister-in-law's feelings.  Be honsest and stick to your decision.  If they want to persue a weapon for a child you is too young to understand consequences, then that is their perogative.  Stand up for what you believe in.

Hillary - posted on 04/06/2009

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Ditto everything Amber Blank M. said.  Just way too dangerous, in my opinion!

[deleted account]

This is the problem with our society and why there are so many guns on the streets.  I believe that it starts when they are young.  They think it's ok b/c their parents bought it for them and they are not afraid to use it.  I see this all the time as I work in the criminal court system.  I would put my foot down and say NO WAY.  This is your child and if you do not like it you don't have to hang out with them...even though they are family.  Stick to your morals.

Chantel - posted on 04/06/2009

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I would just sit down with them and explain to them how you feel. I would never let my 4yr old mess with a gun. There are so many children that die from playing with guns and they are going to give their child one. If their son gets hurt they will regret it so bad. Plus its not fair for your son to have to watch the other little boy play with the gun and make u feel bad. Good Luck!

Cindy - posted on 04/06/2009

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Truth is always the best way.  Everyone is intitled to their own opinions.  You are not telling them they are bad parents, you are just voicing your concerns and there's nothing wrong with with saying no.  You shouldn't feel pressured to "bend" your beliefs to accomidate theirs.  You will not regret saying no, but you will regret giving in -plain and simple! 



I have 6 children and another good thing to do is be upfront with your child.  Even at age 4, they can understand "when your older", because we tell them that all the time.  Discuss and appropriate age with your husband and tell your son the age daddy and I say you can have a bb gun is _________, I know your cousin has one now, but you have to wait.  Then at least there hope for him, that will help you out. 



My sons started shooting (with grandpa) at age 8 and 10, the 3 year old just had to watch and maybe grandpa held it w/him a couple of times.  They still don't have a gun of there own.

Laura - posted on 04/06/2009

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You are so very right on not wanting him to have one or to let them bring it out to your house. It is your home and your rules, all you have to do is just tell them that you accept that they want their child to have one, but you will not be buying one for your son and you will not allow them to bring theirs to your house. They may be mad at you know matter how you tell them, but eventually they will accept it. I know we had a problem similar to this with my mother in- law and her drinking(Alcholic). She is fully involed with my chidern now, but was very upset at first. Reminder there is still no drinking allowed when she is here.

[deleted account]

NO!!!  That's the only way to solve it, just tell them you are absolutely not giving your child a bb gun, nor are they going to jeapordize your child's safety by bringing one to your home.  I am not a gun hater at all, my son started hunting at 4, and we did purchase his rifle at that age, but ONLY to be used when he is with his father, hunting.  It never gets brought out otherwise, and my son never even gets to clean it.  He was taught the importance of gun safety before he ever touched one.  In your situation, I'd say no because a bb gun is more recreational, rather than used at specific times, and ALWAYS under adult supervision.  Just sayin'........

Meagan - posted on 04/06/2009

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As a mother, your first priority is your child. Don't worry about hurting people's feelings or pleasing them. Just say, absolutely not!

Wendi - posted on 04/06/2009

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well thats not an good gift for a child son young. maybe a cap gun. i know a friend who gave their son a bb gun for xmas this past year. but hes 8. my hubby said hed like to give one to o ur boys for xmas or bdays when they get older. we chose on when they are 12 going on 13..... dont keep your mouth shut. speak up and tell her a gun for a child so young is a horrible gift. and tell them that you wont have it at your house. you will not tolerate it......... that is if you feel t hat way. speak your mind and make sure your heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2009

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I'M SORRY BUT A 4 YEAR OLD DOES NOT HAVE GOOD JUGEMENT AT ALL FOR THIS SUBJECT.  IF YOU LET HIM START THIS EARLY FOR A BB GUN HE MAY WANT A GUN VARY EARLY.  JUST CALMLY SAY FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILD  I DON'T THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA.

Heidi - posted on 04/06/2009

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I can't believe parents would want to give there 4 year old a BB gun.  That is completely insane.  My sons bio dad sent him home from one of there visits with a jack knife.  I was not at all impressed.  He was 4 at the time.  As soon as my son showed it to me I told him that it wasn't safe for him to have that because its a weapon and I told him that I had to put it away until he was older.  He is almost 10 now and I still won't let him have it even though he asks me for it every so often.  No young child should have any type of weapon.  They could seriously hurt them selves or someone else.  In a case like that I know its family and you don't want to hurt there feelings, but a BB gun is a weapon.  If your sister in law and brother don't understand that, then maybe you should have a long talk with them about safety and your concerns.   Just make sure your kids aren't around when you are talking about it.

User - posted on 04/06/2009

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If they love you enough, they will respect YOUR decision. My son is 12 and his father has gotten him a bb gun. He is not allowed to open it yet due to not showing any responsibilities. Right after he got it for Christmas a friend of ours told us her son shot her other son in the eye. It was a complete accident, but they are 12 and 14. So you can only imagine a 3 ad 4 year olds aim. Pull up research for back up or some of these posts. Good Luck and hope to see your turn out:)

Kate CP - posted on 04/05/2009

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I agree with the other mommies. It's your house, your child, and YOU make the rules. If they don't like it they can p*ss off. I wouldn't even let them come over to my house if the stupid thing was in their car! I would suggest you print out some news stories about children who have been severely injured or killed by BB guns. Here are a few links for ya:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/art...
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/bb...
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/boy-s...

I would also suggest you rent them the movie "A Christmas Story". ;P

Nicola - posted on 04/05/2009

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I agree with michelle i got really pissed off when my mother in law bought my son a set of toy cap guns. They went in the bin very fast. I find my kids make guns and swords out of sticks and things enough they really don't need real ones even toy ones.

Michelle - posted on 04/05/2009

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I would simply say "I'm not comfortable with babies playing with guns... bb or otherwise." Explain to them that only four years ago, they were in your stomachs and now they're wanting to hand them guns?

By no means am I saying guns are bad, the youngest photo of me shooting was at about 3 1/2 or 4. However, my father was a firearms trainer as well as the Director of Security and Surveillance at a large Resort/Casino.

The guns were never just handed to us to run around and shoot with. We were literally trained in the security precautions and dangers of weapons, bb and otherwise. We had specific targets to hit, and our parents held the gun as we shot towards the target only.

That was my parents choice to allow us to do that. Frankly, I now have my own nearly 3 year old son as well as a 1 year old son and there is no way in hell I'm taking them out shooting or giving them any sort of gun until their little minds can fully grasp the danger, etc.

For heck sake, I bought my son a water gun the other day, and he says, "I'm going to shoot the birds." I said, "No, we don't shoot birds." He says, "Oh, I'll shoot you, Mommy." I say, "No, you don't shoot people. You don't even aim guns at people." He says, "Ohhhh... you only shoot airplanes." They just don't get it. (I threw the water gun out after he was putting it in his mouth and pulling the trigger.)

Guns of any sort are not toys.

I'll step off my soap box now. :)

[deleted account]

Just let them know, you dont agree with someone at that age having a bb gun, and it would go against what you are trying to teach your own. You still love them but no. They will either respect you for that or be mad will need to get over it. I dont have a problem with bb guns given to kids, as long as the parents teach them safety, responsibility with any gun, and they are present when they are shooting it. Yes, it's okay for kids of a certain age to have one, when they can comprehend the issues, at 3-4, they can not. Get him a nurf gun and start teaching. I grew up around guns, and have them in my home today. My children know and respect!

Charlene - posted on 04/05/2009

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That is insane, I would never let my son have a bb gun and he is ten. He does want to hunt when he is older which is fine. What the hell do they think a 4 year old is going to shoot at 1. other kids(playmates) 2. and defenceless little animals. Check to see if there is any local laws with age limits on bb guns. Good Luck.

Helen - posted on 04/05/2009

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I find it really bizare that anyone would want a gun of any kind for their child - I mean why stop at a BBgun why not a flick knife or a chain saw !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[deleted account]

My first thought when I read this was "are you serious?" A 4yr old with a BB gun! I work in a Pediatric Emergency room and if this 4 yr old gets a BB gun he is going to end up in an emergency room with an injury or God forbid dead. What are you brother and sister n law thinking?



4 yr olds are WAY TO YOUNG to have anything like that. They are barely starting to figure out how to hold crayons, cut straight lines, and drink from a cup without spilling. How do you think a 4 yr old will be able to handle a gun?



You need to tell them that for your son you don't feel it is appropriate and that you are not comfortable with getting a BB gun. Just be honest. They can't be mad at you for being honest. And might I suggest you tell them that it would be in their best interest to NOT get their son a BB gun also.

[deleted account]

I say, guns are NOT TOYS! In this 'real' world we live in someone must have a licence to own a gun and be an adult so why would we give kids toy guns.. But I guess we give them toy cars also... Hmmmm I can't say what is right or wrong for others, but I do agree that if you are worried about the safety of your own kid just remember that YOU MAKE THE RULES for your child and at your own house. Saying that you discussed it as a family and have decided to impliment a 'no toy gun policy' at this time really should be enough. Unless the in-laws are pushy and ask you why.. Then just tell the truth, you kid is not ready and neither are you!

[deleted account]

Wait until he can make desicions on right and wrong.  4 year olds cannot for their own safety get your husband to tell his sister and husband that this is not a good idea for now maybe when they are older and understand more about safety. would you let him cross a busy street on his own even after you have told him the rules.  i think not.... and nerf toys are much more age appropriate.

Helen - posted on 04/04/2009

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why would any one want their child to have a gun at any age? In the uk it is quite rare to even let their children play with plastic toy guns.

Beth - posted on 04/04/2009

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Glad I am not the only only one that feels the same!  I don't believe 4yr. olds or 31/2 yr. olds should have BB guns but my inlaws on the other hand think it's OK for  a 3 yr.  too!  They bought my son one at the age of three years three months  without me knowing!!!  My husband is big into hunting and my son (he is almost 5 now) does play with toy guns etc... but of course he has been taught not to point them at anyone but he is a child an does point in the wrong dirrection and then we do have to take them away!  The BB gun is at my inlaws, they think its fine...I don't... they don't let him use it if I am there but they did untill my son out of the blue told me a BB hit him in is neck ...my father in law said it didn't but I said wonder if it was his eye!!!!!  HELLO this is my child not yours...you raised you son already and NO he didn't have a BB at 3years old!   Anyways I would tell you sister in law NO and if it causes a problem doesn't sound like you would miss them if they never came to your house!  They may be a upset but maybe they might just think you are right!  I told my father in law that the BB a father wants to give his son at the right age so now that he has a BB gun at 3, what are you going to buy him when he is 12 a machine gun????? My inlaws have no common sense! Needless to say they don't watch my kids very often!  I just worry too much!  

Amie - posted on 04/04/2009

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Well first I gotta say your in laws sound a little nuts. I don't know a 4 year old (my own son included) who needs a BB gun.
I'd tell them politely at first (cuz it may take more than once if their as stubborn as some of my in laws are) that you do not want it at your house. It is your house, your rules. They are dangerous even if it "is only a BB gun".
My sister got shot with one (she knows gun safety and how to shoot) but one of her retarded friends brought out his BB gun and was firing it off and ended up shooting her in the leg. It was close enough to it actually break the skin. Wasn't a horrendous wound or anything, but she went home limping and mom patched her up. She was 14 when that happened. I can't imagine that happening to my little guy. I'd have a conniption!
Since my family and my hubby's likes to hunt we've had this conversation on guns too and when our kids can start to learn. For us we decided on 12, possibly sooner if they show they are mature enough to handle it. My hubby was taught when he was 7 by his grandfather and he wishes they would have waited to teach him. They actually took him hunting though so the circumstance is a bit different with this example. He still remembers how bad he felt when he shot his first buck that year and it was 21 years ago.
Sorry started to ramble... but if you are not comfortable with the idea in any way tell them and stick to your decision. To me it's just ridiculous for a child that young to have any kind of "real" weapon.

Amy - posted on 04/04/2009

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I would just tell them NO. It's your home. A 4 year old does not need a bb gun.

Mary - posted on 04/04/2009

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This is your husband's sister? Have him tell her no. It is your house, your land and your rules. 4 year old is so young. My boys were 7 years old and trained by their cub scout leaders before I let them have BB gun. So stand up for yourself.

Aly - posted on 04/04/2009

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I think you should tell them 'no thank you i think there's enough shooting and guns in the world without encouraging children to join in' Stick to it and don't let any one tell you different. I personally think it's a disgusting idea.

Kris - posted on 04/04/2009

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Just say no. It's your child and you can just tell them you prefer not to have your child with a bb gun. I got shot with a bb gun when I was a teenager...and it HURT!!! lol I wouldn't give my toodler a BB gun either and wouldn't want them to bring it around my child either. Btw...Jen...cute pic of your son. :D

Tamara - posted on 04/04/2009

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I'd just say "no" and let that be the end of it. If they don't like how you're parenting *your* son, than that's their problem.

Kelly - posted on 04/04/2009

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Given the situation, I'd say you are setting a precedent here. Since the kids are close in age, you will have this sort of thing come up their entire lives. Better get used to it. I think enlisting the help of your mother-in-law is a good idea, but even if you don't do it that way, you really will just have to tell them no. If you let one dangerous thing go on at your home, it will just be something else next week, or next month. Maybe it will be a good thing, maybe they will eventually start realizing the danger in their foolish decisions (sorry to sound judgemental, but this just sounds crazy to me!). I worry for their precious little ones. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Sounds like they could use some advice in common sense. I understand wanting to stay in good standings for the sake of your mother in law, but you will have to put your foot down on this one. Your mother in law should understand and she should speak up and voice her own opinions as well.

Jennifer - posted on 04/04/2009

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It is not very common up here( Wisconsin). Hunting is very popular, but not til 12 yrs. They are not very good parents... they have called poison control 3 times for their 3 1/2 yr old for stuff he swallowed when he wasn't being watched(suppositories, medication, dog poop). They are very dirty people and they think it is "cool" for their son to have a bb gun. My husband is totally against it also. We try to stay in good standings with them for my mother-in-laws sake. They are ok to be around once in a while, just stupid parents. He is not the father. They got married in Sept. She is 23 he is 40. They both are unexperienced with kids. (and expecting their first together in Aug)

[deleted account]

I would be honest and tell them that I don't approve because your child is too young and you don't want him around a BB gun because you are afraid he'll get hurt and you aren't willing to take any risks where his safety is concerened. They should respect your wishes and if they don't they have a problem! The child is 4! Buy him a tonka truck or a motorized jeep! How about a water gun? Four years old is not responsible enough for handling a BB gun and understanding all of the safety that goes with it. If we were talking about 10 year olds it would be another story all together, but I personally think it's irresponsible buying something so dangerous for a young child. He could shoot his eye out or someone else's eye for that matter. I hope your husband supports you on this one. He needs to talk to his sister. I would jerk a knot in my sister and she knows it too! Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 04/04/2009

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I am going to sound judgmental here...but is it normal to get a child a BB gun where you live? It just sounds dangerous to me.

How to get tactfully out of it. Thats a tough one. You are going to run into people with different parenting styles. Your child's safety comes before your relationships outside your immediate family. I can understand why you want to remain in good standing with your sisinlaw.

Perhaps an alternative? Does it have to be a bb gun? How about a toy shooter. LIke something that shoots nerf balls or nerf darts. Otherwise you are just going to have to put your foot down and say no.

How does your husband feel about it. If he feels the same as you, let HIM talk to his sister. Just stress how uncomfortable it makes you.



I can't imagine letting my 9 year old have a bb gun, let alone my 4 year old.



Don't know if this helps, but hopefully it gets you thinking about a solution. good luck!

Chrissy - posted on 04/04/2009

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You just say NO. you also tell them it is to dangerous to have around your son and you would like it if they didnt use it around him. If that things gets shot at your son they are powerful enough that your son could get hurt. I dont know if you remember the story of the kid who blew his head of with a BBGUN in the back yard. His dad was right next to him and he looked away for one minute now the boy is dead.



Your son is important enough to say no. if they have a problem with it then they need to understand your a good mother who cares about your son. His safty comes before any thing else

[deleted account]

I would just tell them you don't think it is a good idea and that you don't want it around your son cause you don't think their old enough for it and your afraid one of them will get hurt!

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