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Teaching Kids Gun Safety

Before I get to the purpose of the blog, I need to give you a little background. Growing up I remember shooting guns with my dad, family, and friends in our basement. This is where my dad used permanent marker to draw an iron sights diagram on the HVAC duct work (see photos below) to teach me how to aim. We had a pellet gun range in the basement and it was the place to be! I remember shooting targets, little green army men, ceral box posters, old Christmas light bulbs, and anything else I could get my hands on. The army men were my favorite to shoot. I would set them up as if they were fighting each other, pick what color I wanted to win, and shoot the others. I have so many good memories of shooting in the basement and I wanted to start those memories for my boys.

Also at the end of the blog, there are a few shooting competitions/games I will share. We played these games this past Thanksgiving & it made for some fun competition and memories. If you enjoy shooting, check those out!

Here a few pictures of the set up I had as a kid!

The boys are at a really fun age for the boys. Hudson, currently 7, is really wanting to start shooting and hunting. So far, we have introduced the boys to Nerf guns. We have had some intense games of capture the flag. Boys vs mom and dad! Other than that, we haven't talked much about real guns.

For Hudson's birthday he wants to go deer hunting (in July)…sorry kid, that's not when deer season is. That being said, look out deer, in December 2023, here we come!

We decided to document the process of teaching our kids about gun safety and thought it might benefit someone out there. If you know of a parent that is starting to teach their kids about gun safety or their kid is wanting to get into this….here are a few things we are doing.

*Disclaimer: we are not gun safety experts but this is what we are doing for our kids.

First, what should our boys do if they see a gun laying out in the open! Our guns are properly stored and locked away, but you can never be too careful. So we teach our boys what they should they do if they find a gun out in the open.

  • Step 1: Stop

  • Step 2: Don't touch it

  • Step 3: Tell an adult about it

  • Step 4: If an adult is not around, do not let anyone touch it.

We have asked our boys this question several times and they are able to answer the question the correctly. Phew - but now if the event ever happens, we pray they put it into action.

A few more safety tips:

  1. If you're shooting, you're wearing protective eye gear.

  2. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to pull the trigger.

  4. Never point the gun down range when someone is down range (make sure everyone is behind you when shooting).

  5. Learn how to walk and hold a gun upright (resting on the shoulder so the gun isn't pointing at the people)

  6. After every shot, put the safety back in the on position.

Shooting school:

  • Step 1: Draw a picture of how to line up iron sights.

  • Step 2: Grab the pellet gun and show the kids iron sights and what/how they line the sites up with the target. (using your drawing and the gun at this time)

  • Step 3: Have the kids tell you how to line up the iron sites (check for comprehension)

  • Step 4: Start with dry fire reps (no ammunition in the gun)

  • Step 5: "Follow through with the shot" as my dad says. During dry fire shots, make sure the trigger is being squeezed and kid is not "jerky". Keep your kids eyes lined up with the site/target the entire time (even after the trigger is pulled). Kids will have a tendency to pull their head up right when the shot is being fired or flinch. This is a no no....keep their eye on the sites during and after the shot is fired.

  • Step 6: Add ammunition and make memories!

Below are a few items I recommend buying:

1. Zombie Targets - The boys love these!

2. Official NRA Targets - Growing up we had shooting competitions in our basement. We would shoot five shots at these targets, highest score wins!

3. Wadcutter Pellets - These pellets have a flat head and leave a clean hole in the target, which makes it easy to score your shot.

4. Bullet Box Trap - Growing up we always shot pellets in our basement and my dad made our pellet trap. This one has good reviews online.

5. Pellet Gun - Hudson really likes the scope over regular iron sites.

6. Gun Rest - This is really important for kids, they are not strong enough to hold the gun still and need to rest the gun on something. This one is adjustable, which is great for kids too!

A few games/competitions we played this Thanksgiving

  1. In the photo below, can you see plastic bags hanging in the distance? There was a bowling ball in the bag. The competition was to shoot the string/twine holding up the bag. The bowling ball was only used for extra weight, you could use something else in place of it.

  2. The next game we played was 3 card blind poker. We hung a deck of playing cards on a large cardboard panel. We taped all the cards, including jokers on the cardboard, about 2" apart (jokers were wild). If you wanted, you can add a little money to the game too. For example, you can play $5 to get in the game. You get three shots to hit your cards and have to pay a quarter for every extra shot you take (to get your three cards). Yes, sometimes you don't hit your cards on the first three shots. Person with the best three card poker hand, wins the pot.

  3. The good old Official NRA Targets. Shoot five shots, see who gets the best score.


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