As some of you have seen from my post on
Responsible Gun Ownership and Parenting I am a big proponent of gun safety, especially when children are living in the household. One of the best ways to teach children gun safety would be to actually give them hands on experience and teach them to shoot.
This article will discuss a few safety topics and feature the results of the first time I took my oldest son to the range with me. I highly recommend finding a range in your area and practice as often as you can. I am lucky to have a place here in Tulsa that offers great training as well as a great range. 2A Shooting Center is my go to range (when I can't get out to the wide open country)
The first thing you need to make sure of is that the child is mature enough to handle a firearm and able to understand and comprehend rules.
There are four main rules:
- Always treat the gun as if it is loaded.
- Never point the gun at something you are not willing to kill or destroy.
- Always know your target and what is behind it.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
The next thing I did is to make sure my son knew the gun we would be using and how to work it, use the safety, load and reload it.
In the case of my son's first trip to the range, we took my Ruger SR40 .40 caliber pistol and my Colt M4 semi-automatic rifle chambered in .22LR. The pistol was a bit big for him (he was 12 at the time) and he didn't feel comfortable shooting it. For this reason, he only shot the .22 rifle.
|Ruger SR40 Pistol||Colt M4 .22LR Rifle|
After getting to the range we had to obviously sign some paperwork making sure we knew the range rules and make sure we had our ear and eye protection. Then the fun came. We got our lane and selected our targets and had fun. Spent about an hour or 2 shooting and reloading. I recommend having multiple magazines if you are going to shoot a lot of ammo so you don't spend half our time reloading your single magazine.
Below is a Video of my son shooting at the range his first time.
Below is his target afterwards