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#203492 02/10/10 02:03 PM
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This goes along with the air rifle thread. How old do you let kids shoot air rifles when supervised and how old before they can go out on their own?
I went out shootin' stuff when I was pretty young. I have a stepson that is fifteen now and he still scares the hell out me. I have a seven year old that is as mature as the fifteen year old.
My wife is way overprotective but I don't want to be to unprotective.
What do you think of shotguns and rifles?

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When supervised, as young as they show interest and it's safe.

Unsupervised? It all depends on how mature/trustworthy they are, and how well they have all the safety rules drilled into them.

There are some 40+ year olds that I wouldn't trust unsupervised - I've seen them on TV!


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I think in this matter it has nothing to do with age.
This is 100% maturetie and thrust.
You are responsible whom ever you handover guns and amo to.
There has to be a purpose to carry guns, to me thats only two reasons target practise or hunting.
Started off at age 10 my selfe with a boltaction 22lr, and advanced to 410 shotgun witthin a year.
I was never aloud with friends, allways by myself and had to acount for ewery single shott fired, clean the gun, gut and particepate in handeling the game all the way, to the dinner table.
Including eating whatever I brought home.
As for your 15 years old, you got to train him until you have a mutual thrust on gun handeling, that thrust may never come, if so newer let him handle your guns on his own.


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My son got his first BB gun when he was 8, and was taught safe and responsible use of it, also only under adult supervision.
All the grand kids have also been taught safety and responsibility, and any infraction causes the loss of privileges.
I would also add one more right to carry a firearm to andedammen's list, self defense.



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A kid should not be in a neigborhod or amongst people were he/she needs a gun for selfdefense.
As for a grown up you better dear using a veapon for self defense, if you pull it.
So yes self defense is also on my list, but.................


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When I mention the right to self defense I'm not talking about children carrying firearms. But my children and grandchildren are taught that learning to safely handle firearms is important to retain their right to own a gun, which is important to help retain their rights as a free citizen.



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My 11 year old Grandson has a BB Gun, 2 pellet rifles, 2 22 rifles, a 22 pistol, a Remington 222, a Remington 870 20 gauge, a Weatherby 243, a customized 6.5x 55 Swede and a Jap 7.7 mm.

He doesn't touch any of them unless I'm with him. He also reloads his own ammo or he doesn't shoot the 222 and 243 unless he reloads his own.

His first BB gun came when he was 4. He was not allowed to shoot it until he could recite the laws of gun safety and name every piece of the gun.

He has killed 3 bucks and one hog but nothing else. We don't kill anything that we don't eat.

I trust him but never step away when he has any kind of firearm. Actually I trust him a lot more than I do a lot adults.


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I started shooting at 5 while being supervised and hunting at 8 while within an arms reach of my father and grandfather. My dad was much the same way with me. I had to recite all the gun safety rules and know all parts of a gun before I could shoot with it. I started out with single shots and by the time I was 12 I was using pump action and lever action guns. I started shooting semi auto pistols at 15. I killed my first squirrel at 8 and deer at 10. It's all about maturity not age. As others have said, I see lots of adults every night who shouldn't ever have guns. But there are plenty of 16 year olds I'd have no problem walking the woods alone hunting... I know I did when I was 16 and managed to be just fine. My dad also put a watermelon out at 25 yards and shot it with his 30-06. Seeing that think blow into a million pieces was a real eye opener...


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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Tough subject. I guess the way I have handled it with my 16 year old is like this. We both took a firearms safety course together. He only goes out with a firearm if I am with him. Sooner or later he will leave our home for good. At that point he will be on his own and I can only hope the time he spent with me in the woods will stick with him. He is very responsible, but I just can't bring myself to turn him loose with a firearm while he is under our roof...du

Last edited by david u; 02/11/10 12:52 PM. Reason: vocab

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I have 4 sons. Each were on their own in the woods with a .22 by about age 10. They were allowed to use a shotgun or .44 Marlin lever alone about age 12.
But they were around guns from the time they were born. Guns weren't kept out of reach or hidden from them. They were taught all the rules & respect for firearms & they learned them well.
Like CJ said. It's about maturity.
BTW my oldest is now an NRA instructor & teaches CCW in 2 states.


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A big thing IMO is to not make guns taboo or a mystery. If you say they are bad and don't ever let your child touch them, you're just asking for it. My dad made it very clear when I was young to not handle firearms when I was young if I found one. However, if he was around if I wanted to go shooting just let him know and off we went. I shot lots of different guns at lots of different things. The mystery wasn't there, so curiosity didn't get the cat. You tell a kid to never touch guns they are bad, most kids are gonna touch one and since they have no experience with them, they will end up doing something stupid. Guns are only as dangerous as the person using them...


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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Raising kids to be rsponsibble beeings are a difficult task on all matters.
The subject here (fire arms)have a lot of simmilarities with driving any weicle.
How to behave when in posesion/charge of one.
Then we have to be good examples, for them to follow.
I think when they reach 15-20 years is a very difficult age, thats when they realy start pushing the boundrys/limits, mingling with "friends" you don't know(neiter the parents of these), experimenting with alcohol(X-drugs?).
They have reached a age where its natural to go
hunting/driving/camping on there own.
Thats were I hope they have the guts to opose or don't drift along with the rest, when their basic education/upbringing tells them so.
It takes guts to oppose to your friends at seirtan ages, specially if your argument is my father/mother has told me no.

We can't demonise weapons cars ........ but be more honest on ouer nearby incidents, and be carfule knot to brag about or make a funnie storie out off our own/friends mistakes, when they are so young that they can't distinct the chime of the story.
(How stupid/silly/imature we where, an lucky that we now can tell and laugf about it).

Also keep in mind what status you can achive amongst friends if you are allowd carring a gun or driving a weicle under age, you might ewen hand it on (let friend borrow) to lift your status further.
This is common/natural amongst kids and not a bad boy streetgang
thing.

A wery big part of my arms educatin, was handeling the game(respect). It anoid my mother, and now my wife when I hand it on.
But it made me, and now my kids understand, wounded is wounded and dead is dead, there is no reset buton in real life, but most surtanly possible/potential consequenses.

I don't know if thread starter gets any viser, on the subject but raising kids has no reciepie/formula only guidlines, and even when you do it all "right" there is a possibiletie to fail.
So learning/listening to each other, and to do ouer best in advice/guiding is an important matter, the world is becoming so small, so the luggage our kids are carring in the matter of behavior, can most surtantlie have a impact on each others life.
And in the end we all wana be proud of them


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Paul, I think you really said a lot about the "no reset button in real life".

Parents can play a part in giving good judgment to their offspring but only a part. I have 3 grown Daughters. If it were mathematically possible, I would say that they are all 180 degrees different. Two of them are basically NUTS!

I often say that I have 3 daughters. One of them is mentally challenged. Problem is that I can't always figure out which one it is. It seems to go from one to the other with sometimes 2 of them appearing temporarily sane.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 02/12/10 07:22 AM.

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Thats a great it depends question. And it really depends on both the parents and the kids. Both. My cutoff is age 10. And even with the bb gun it is all of the rules, do not load until you are ready to fire. Safety always on, until you are ready to fire. Always point the weapon downrange. Always know what is behind your target, and is there any chance of ricochet. Never let your little brothers play with it or go down range. And I am always there. None of these rules applied to me, but I was raised out in the country. Plus I am normally out on customers ponds out in the boonies. If there was ever it depends question, this is it. And the boys just love the bb gun, even shooting at stick on red targets.

It's strange because my father was a recoiless rifle, heavy mg trainer during Korea. He had a guy on another range shoot a burst when another instructor and a sarge were down range, nailing them both. It stuck with him forever. He just got this blank expression on his face when he told that story. If anyone ever preached firearm safety with conviction it was him.

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 Originally Posted By: andedammen
But it made me, and now my kids understand, wounded is wounded and dead is dead, there is no reset buton in real life, but most surtanly possible/potential consequenses.


That says it all right there. Once the trigger is pulled, there is no calling the bullet back.

I was taught not to point the gun at anything that you didn't want dead. I didn't have a lot of firearm training from my Dad, and learned a lot by myself. The biggest eye opener for me was shooting a wounded deer in the head with a 30-06.

I think one of the most graphic things that you can do with a child is to take a watermelon, cantelope or something like that, and have them shoot it. It ain't like the movies or a video game!


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I think the age or how old question misses the point. I was duck hunting up where duckdude works in a blind with a guide behind us calling them in. The guy I am hunting with has never taken a hunter safety course, is unfamiliar with his weapon. I took one when I was 15, was brought up around them and have the utmost respect for every weapon and the damage they can do in the wrong hands. So we are sitting there between flocks and out of the corner of my eye I see him fumbling around with his auto. Was jammed. I personally love my Browning BPS 12 guage 3" wetlands pattern, but to each his own. My pump never jams. Pretty soon boom. My heart stops, an accidental discharge. I can tell because he was fumbling around, there were no birds, and the shocked look on his face. I immediately look at our guide who is also one of my best friends to make sure he is ok. My heart gets going again and I say what the ----? I will never sit in a blind with that man again. And I say man, he is in his early 40's. It is not always about age.

Safe hunting is no accident.

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I took my 8 year old nephew squirrel hunting last year with my old youth model 410. He was just big enough to handle but did well. I spent a lot of time on safety and target shooting before we took to the woods and was by his side supervising the whole time. He had shot a pellet gun prior. He is mature for his age but my sis bro'inlaw are city slickers with no gun interest at all. Age is less important than maturity and teaching. I know of a 5 year-old that killed a deer with 243 with dad sitting beside him in the shooting house.

-HH


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