When to Teach your Child about Firearms
At Frontier Justice, we find ourselves frequently asked “when should I teach my child about firearms?” As a family-oriented business, it is our mission to ensure that your children enter the world of firearms safely, and we’re always thankful to be asked such questions! It is exciting to think about the next generation of responsibly armed citizens, and to be a part of their journey is incredibly humbling. Today, we will be sharing with you our guide on when you should teach your kids to shoot a gun, and how best to do so!
1. Teach Your Child About Firearms – Pre-K – 8 Years Old
Teaching your child about firearms and gun safety can start at a young age. While they may not be ready for live fire, providing them knowledge about what a gun is, and how to react if they find one, can help prevent accidents. At the ages of Pre-K to 8, you will be teaching your children about firearms safety and respect, rather than handling and operation.
In the United States, we are an armed citizenry, and while you may be conscious of firearm safety and security, it does not mean everyone in your life, or your child’s life is as well. Safe storage of a firearm isn’t a guarantee, and if your child comes into contact with a firearm accidentally, giving them the tools to recognize what a gun is, and how to react is vital. (We cannot emphasize the importance of safe firearm storage enough, to learn more, read this blog).
A great learning tool for this is the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program is a gun safety program designed to prevent gun accidents with children. It’s the equivalent of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” for children and guns. The program teaches a simple, four step process for what to do when encountering a firearm. The program mantra is:
- Don’t Touch
- Run Away
- Tell a Grown-Up
It’s simple, effective, and essential to teach your children about firearms safety early in their lives. Respect for a firearm, and an understanding of how to react if they encounter one is the main focus when teaching your young children about firearms. The Eddie the Eagle Program can be found online, with a helpful video and easy to remember song as well. Watch it here.
2. Teach Your Child About Firearms – 8+
The Eddie the Eagle program is a great place to start at an early age, but what should you be teaching your child about firearms when they are a bit older, and their inquisitive nature continues to grow? We recommend that at this age range, you begin considering live fire gun training for your child in a safe and controlled environment.
Our First Shots for Parents and Kids Course is just the place to begin this journey. In this class, we teach your child about firearms, with an emphasis on safety, respecting the tool, and how to handle and operate one. This class is one we love because it brings both the parent and child into the educational environment together, and gives kids the opportunity to learn hands on, first with dummy guns with our expert instructors, and then on the range with you and the instructor! We utilize .22LR handguns in the class due to the minimal recoil as well.
The Four Fundamental Firearm Safety Rules
Our objective with this class is to give a child (and their parent/guardian) a positive initial firearms experience in the safe handling and shooting of a firearm. We focus heavily on the four fundamental firearms safety rules, and hands-on instructing to satisfy your child’s natural curiosity, while proving heavy emphasis on why the safety rules are so critical.
As a reminder, the four fundamental firearm safety rules are as follows:
- Always assume the firearm is loaded
- Always point the firearm in a safe direction
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
- Always know what you’re shooting at, and what’s behind your target
These rules don’t stand alone from each other, either. They all work together to promote proper firearm safety, at home and outside of your home.
You assume your firearm is always loaded, so you keep it pointed in a safe direction, with your finger off the trigger, and before firing you consider not only your target, but what lies beyond.
If you leave one rule out but follow the other three, you have failed to safely handle that firearm and could endanger someone’s life or your own.
Use the Simulator – Firearm Free Education
If you’re not comfortable with teaching your child about firearms with live fire yet, come visit us and use our simulator! This is a completely sterile and firearm free training environment, that utilizes Glock 17’s outfitted with laser diodes and over 600 unique simulations for training! The simulator is great for kids who want to learn about guns, because it has a variety of fun and child friendly games, like shooting watermelons, balloons, and moving circular targets! When in the simulator, our instructors still affirm and emphasize the importance of the firearm safety rules, and will train your child to operate it just like a real gun. The simulator is also a fantastic tool to teach your older children about firearms with! From shooting zombies to competitive games, the simulator has ample to offer anyone at any level of comfort or age!
3. Continued Education
Teaching your child about firearms does not end when a two hour class or simulator session is completed. Far from it! At Frontier Justice, we welcome families to continue that educational journey on our ranges each and every day! A Frontier Justice membership is a great way to effectively teach your children about firearms in a safe, family friendly environment! By visiting our facilities, you’ll be shooting at our state-of-the-art ranges with your family, providing them with safety, supervision, and education in a fun environment. Memberships allow you to shoot with a guest for free with every visit! If you have more than two people you would like to bring along with each visit, we recommend our family memberships, which cover up to four members of your family (plus a guest each!).
Teaching your child about firearms can feel like a stressful task, and while it does carry great responsibility, it is our duty to provide you with the best possible training and tools to make it easy. With an emphasis on safety, we can help you begin this journey. Visit us in store or online, sign up for our classes, and learn with your child and our expert instructors today.
We are proud to serve our community through quality equipment and firearms education. Learn more about what makes Frontier Justice different by reaching out to us, signing up for our membership club, or scheduling a class. You can also always simply stop by to check out our store, boutique, and range for yourself!