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When is the Right Age to Teach Firearms Safety? by Amber Kunau

March 2, 2016
Amber Kunau on the range

“When is the Right Age to Teach Firearms Safety?” by Amber Kunau

One question I hear frequently is when is the “right” time to teach your kids to shoot a gun and teach them gun safety. To simplify, I break this down into two separate categories because I believe they are different questions with different answers. We all hear stories about accidental shootings with children being involved and I firmly believe that knowledge is power. The earlier children learn basic gun safety the better. Even if the parent doesn’t have guns in the house, there is a remarkably good chance their friend’s parents do have guns.

Teach your children to never touch a gun without an adult present. Teach them to tell their friends the same thing.  Teach the NRA basic gun safety rules whether or not they they are ready to shoot a gun.  Teach them to every child you know.

When the time is right for them to learn to shoot they’ll already remember the safety rules. There is no right answer to when the right age is to teach your child to shoot. Only you as the parent can know for sure. Things to consider are the ability of the child to listen and follow instructions. Their individual capability and their attitude towards wanting to learn how to shoot a gun are important.  Start slowly with a low caliber gun and see how they do. Praise them for following the safety rules.

You can have your children take a kids firearm safety class. Don’t raise your children to fear guns. Teach them that if they are not used SAFELY that bad things could happen, but that is the point of them learning how to do it safely just like mom and dad do.  If you do these things you will prevent accidental shootings and a useless fear of guns.

Knowledge is power, and children love to learn.  You can instill in them that they are knowledgeable mature little humans that will grow up as the next generation of responsible gun owners. My daughter was 6 years old the first time she shot a gun.  She earned a certificate of gun safety in a kids firearms class that I co-taught with a fellow instructor who is also a parent of young children. She loves to go shooting with me and she has a healthy respect for guns.  She does not fear firearms because she knows how to use them safely.. because I taught her well.

Amber Kunau

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