When it comes to children and firearms, education is key. Although not every child is ready to receive hands-on education, safety is something that should be taught in your household if you own firearms. Understanding this responsibility is key to owning and using a firearm. There are two main ways to teach children about firearms safety. You should consider the child’s maturity level and their current reaction to firearms. Not every child is ready, or mature enough, to take a hands-on approach to handle a firearm.
Although there are many young children who prove capable of handling a firearm, a majority of younger children may not be ready for that. Children, at minimum, should know these basics when it comes to firearms safety:
1. Firearms are not toys. They can be dangerous if not used properly. Similar to teaching young children other safety concerns in the household, for example, touching a hot stove or not to play with scissors, knives, or other sharp objects, teach young children that they are not to play with firearms. This would also be a good time to bring up that if they have any questions, they can always ask you. Children may become curious, and you want them to feel confident and not afraid to ask you in the future.
2. If they enter a room and see a firearm, they should stop, don’t touch it, and find an adult. This is not only good practice for them to know in your home, but also if they are visiting a friend or relative’s home and come across a firearm there.
You should have items in your home to secure firearms and ensure your children remain safe. Trigger locks, lockboxes, and safes are all objects you can use to secure firearms in your home and vehicle. If the firearm is to be kept ready for defensive use, a good investment would be a lockbox with either a manual code access or fingerprint access for quick access to a loaded firearm which is still kept safe from children.
An excellent website to be familiar with is www.projectchildsafe.org which is a website for a national organization “Project Child Safe” which promotes education and safety with firearms specifically around young children. There are many resources they provide for free, such as pamphlets, brochures, and safety kits.
For older children that display the curiosity and maturity when it comes to handling a firearm, you can enroll them in a basic beginner firearms course and seek out classes tailored for youth. Before handling a firearm, always under supervision, children should commit to memory and display a working knowledge of the universal firearm safety rules:
1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to shoot.
3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and what lies beyond it.
For yourself, it is recommended to regularly seek out additional training, as well as refresher courses in safety and fundamentals. It is important to not allow yourself to become complacent when it comes to training and understanding how important safety is when handling firearms.
Understanding firearm safety, the importance of it, and knowing how to talk to your children about firearm safety as they get older are all aspects you need to ensure you are comfortable with as a firearms owner. Safety should remain your first priority when it comes to owning a firearm, whether you’re a seasoned pro with custom rifles and guns or just a casual collector of handguns. With the proper education and training, your confidence will build when it comes to bringing a firearm into your home while ensuring the protection of your children.
If you’re ready to start your custom long range rifle with our expert gunsmiths, or just have a question on a gun safe recommendation- feel free ti give us a call at 877.618.6052.