Children at the gun Range

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 01/31/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )




On the TV show 19 kids and counting
They took all the kids to the shooting range and let all kids who wanted to shoot do so. I believe the youngest was maybe 8-9years old.

The father said something a long the lines of of "Its educational. Its good for the kids too not only learn how to shoot but the safety precautions to take when handling a gun"

Would you ever take your child to a shooting range? If so what age do think is appropriate?


[deleted account]

Yes, my son will go, and actually has had some experience with air rifles.
We don't own any guns ourselves, but most people around here do. I live in an area where hunting and target shooting are very popular. I want my son to be knowledgeable about gun safety, know and respect the weapons, and not be curious about them.
Most gun fatalities around here are from kids who were curious about guns getting access to them behind their parent's backs and messing with them "just wanted to see it"
Most people do keep their guns locked up and separate from bullets, but kids are sneaky, and some idiot might not do so. I want my son to know what to do if his friends ever try to talk him into playing with a real gun.

Try - posted on 10/09/2012




That's horrible. You seriously won't teach gun safety until your son is in his teens?? I hope to god your FIL disobeys you - he might be the only thing that saves your son's life. You obviously refuse to.

Try - posted on 10/09/2012




I think that is fantastic. Keeping children ignorant of guns just makes them seem exotic and intriquing - exactly what I don't want. Showing them first hand what kind of damage a gun can do is a fantastic way to drive home lessons about gun safety, and I'd recommend even non-gun owners do this for their children

Laura - posted on 02/01/2011




Absolutely!! My 4 year old has gone out hunting with my husband (not actually held or shot) but we are a hunting family. I don't by hamburger because my freezer is full of deer burger and birds. My children are learning as young as they can to respect guns. As I said in the taboo thread my 4 year old also plays big game hunter on the Wii. At 4 and 2 they know the difference between real and fake guns, they know what animals are ok to shoot when and to never never never even aim a gun at a human.
And for any that don't want them to even see a gun until they are teens I would advise to at least do some basic education a little earlier or make sure that any friends house they go to will never have one in it. 7/8/9 year olds are more curious that the older ones about guns in my experience.

LaCi - posted on 02/01/2011




Absolutely, and I think 7/8/9 is a great age. Usually, at least around here, gun ranges have safety classes and such as well-which he would attend before hand so he can hear the rules from multiple people.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

JuLeah - posted on 02/01/2011




s taught to shoot a gun around that age. We had guns in the house (which I as an adult would not do) My father felt I ought to learn about them and be safe. I was taught to shoot several different guns and was really very good at it.

Jenn - posted on 02/01/2011




I wouldn't take my kids, but Brian is a big hunter and will take the kids when they are old enough. They have to be 16, and have passed the Hunter Education Course exam.

[deleted account]

Heck yes. All of my kids have completed phase one of our gun safety course. My 7 and 4 yr old went to the range with their grandfather and completed phases 2 and 3. ( I have it set up in phases.) So, anyway, my 3 yr old will be going to complete her phase 2 and 3 this summer. I was at the range with my dad by 2 yrs old and shooting by 2 and a half. My dad is ex-military so he knows what he is doing. He is a great marksman and he is always extremely vigilant with his kids (when we were kids) and his grandchildren. As soon as the kids are big enough that the earmuffs don't fall off they are out on the range. Our kids know what to do, what not to do, in all situations. They get taught from the time they can crawl because quite frankly there are guns, rifles, ammo, and so on everywhere in my fathers home and always has been. I leave my kids with him and just as an FYI for you haters, NO the guns/rifles are never loaded when kids are around unless at the range. I think that if you are ex-military or have an extensive background in gun/rifle safety then you can teach your child to keep their blooming hands off of them. Gun safes were created for a reason and I don't mean the display cases. Oh and classes meaning not that hunter safety type of classes. I mean more than 10 classes because let me tell you I have watched my dad give a class and there are some class A idiots out there that don't even know not to point even an unloaded gun in someones direction. I totally agree with the Duggar Dad and I applaud his desire to teach his kids in this manner.


Bonnie - posted on 02/01/2011




Yeah I saw this. The first thing that came to my mind is that some of them are sooo young. I don't feel it is necessary at a young age. Maybe by the age of 13 at least. They understand more it is for educational/security purposes.

[deleted account]

The only reason I could see myself personally taking my son to a gun range (at any age) is to train for the zombie apocalypse. But since that's not likely, no, he won't be learning how to shoot a gun anytime soon. My FIL has other ideas though, because he's an avid hunter and can't WAIT to get Jacob out there with him. He doesn't like it, but I've already made it clear that even after Jacob is old enough, he will be bow hunting ONLY. No guns. And the gods help my FIL if I ever find out he let him shoot a gun against my won't be pretty.

Now, that being said, I wouldn't mind my son learning gun safety, just as a precaution. But it won't be until he's older, and by older I mean 13, 14, maybe even 15. But it won't be so he can learn how to shoot a gun. It will be so that he knows how to properly handle one if he ever HAS to....not because he wants to. Does that make sense?

Edit: Up until that point, he's not exposed to guns anyhow ever, so he has no reason to know how to do anything with them. Up until the point where he is old enough, the only lessons I will teach him about guns is 1) DO NOT TOUCH and 2) They aren't toys (he doesn't own anything that even remotely resembles a gun).

Cassie - posted on 02/01/2011




I want to preface this with: I HATE GUNS!!! I think children should never be exposed to them.


They will always be a part of our life and will always be in our home so I have to think pro-actively and with my girls' safety in mind. Once our children are a little older, not sure on an age but I'm thinking somewhere after 5, they will learn how to properly hold a gun but that they are never to hold or shoot the gun unless my husband or I are with them. Corey is a police officer so there are always two guns in our home. We plan on taking them to a shooting range from a young age and allowing them to learn to hold and fire a gun properly to take the mystery out of it. They will attend gun safety courses several times as they are growing up. Hopefully it will be a great bonding experience for them and their dad.

If our situation were different, and guns weren't going to be in our home, I wouldn't want my children near them. Because of Corey's job, I want my kids educated on how dangerous they are. That education will involve allowing them to fire the weapon at a shooting range.

Tracey - posted on 02/01/2011




I don't think you can get a gun licence in UK until 14 years old so I would take my kids at that age if they were interested in shooting.
I have no problem with them shooting paper targets and my only concern with shooting animals for food is that they would have to be good enough to kill it outright on the first shot.
I am more concerned by the fact that the family has 19 kids than I am by their attitude to guns.

Sarah - posted on 02/01/2011




Nope! But then I hate guns, so I would never even think to go to a shooting range anyway!

[deleted account]

I remember my dad taking me for the first time when I was about 9 or so. He took my brother for the first time when he was 7 and my brother got his hunting license at 9 (funny note: he was the youngest person at the test - by YEARS - and he got the highest score on the exam. lol). My older sister, on the other hand, has never been shooting. My dad taught her the basic rules and precautions as well, but she had no interest in the actual shooting part, so he didn't push. The only reason I was so into it is because I used any excuse I could to be with Daddy and I loved just being with him. :) In my family, we grew up knowing not only what guns are, but what they are capable of and how to handle them safely.

Saying that, my oldest (8) does know what guns are and what they can do, but she has never been shooting simply because she has shown no interest in it (like my sister). I doubt my other daughters will have any interest either, but they will all know not to play with guns and why.

In our family, we are so big on it for a few reasons.

(1) It's just basic safety. I'm not gonna pretened guns aren't out there because they're scary and ugly. I have to be aware, and I have to teach my kids to be aware.

(2) My hubby's cousin actually accidentally killed one of his daughters while cleaning one of his guns. It was a manufacturing defect (it was not hubby's cousin's fault at all - unless you count the fact that he was cleaing his gun with the barrel pointing at the wall to the next room where his wife and kids were - but they did sue the gun company and the gun was found to be defective. They got a shit-load of money from that...), but it goes to show that one can never be too careful.

(3) my little brother's friend (who is always VERY responsible with his guns - he's a cop now) was cleaning his gun in my parent's living room once late at night. It was a night that I was visiting with the kids (I think I was still pregnant with my 3 year-old, if I'm remembering correctly). The gun accidentally discharged and took out my parent's tv. The really scary thing was that he and my brother were in the room below the room where I was sleeping with my then 4 year-old stepdaughter and I was pregnant (I think around 6 or 7 months) and if the gun had been pointing up it could have ended VERY badly. That incident shook me up (and still does, I am shaking with fear and anger as I type this and remember) and made me even more determined to ALWAYS teach SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY when in the presence of guns.

So, answering the question, I think 8 would be the youngest I would take one of my daughters shooting, but I teach them the basic precautions before that (we taught our oldest after the incident at my parent's house). They're never too young to learn how to be safe.

Nicole - posted on 01/31/2011




I would never take my child to a shooting range. My children should not need to know how to shoot a gun. If their job requires the skill, they will train for it then

Edit to add:

I was in army cadets when I was 13 and we went to a shooting range sometimes on a weekly basis. It was a lot of fun. We had a thankgiving event, where friends and family came and we all shot at turkey targets (pictures of turkeys not real turkeys) and my mom won the vegetarian award for not hitting a single turkey.

Becky - posted on 01/31/2011




Me personally, no, but their father probably will. He likes to hunt, we have guns in the house, so the boys will learn at a fairly early age to respect guns and handle them safely. I'm not sure what age is appropriate, but old enough to appreciate that guns can kill and that death is permanent, and of course, old enough to use the gun without getting hurt. Depending on the child, 8 or 9 may not be too young. My brother was shooting a bb gun at 5 or 6.

Meghan - posted on 01/31/2011




*cringe* Nope. I hate it. NONE of my ex's family or my family are hunters, military or police therefore there is no need for him to even be introduced to it!

Johnny - posted on 01/31/2011




Probably not. We live in a city and most people who aren't criminals just don't own guns here. I have a hard time seeing any good reason to take my children. We don't own any, and it's highly unlikely her friends parents will.

That being said, I went with my dad a couple times when I was around 11/12. He was trying to decide if he should sell his father's hunting rifles, so we took them out to test them and for me to get a chance to try them before he sold them. It was fun and interesting. I did learn about gun safety, although I've never needed it. I would enjoy shooting targets I'm sure, but I could accomplish that more quietly doing archery. And a woman with a bow freaks people out :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms