For parents, it’s important to teach children how important gun safety is. Gun handling and recognition is just as important as gun techniques, and children need to know how to properly use a gun. For younger children, it’s vital that children know to have a responsible adult present when using a gun and to never point a gun at someone, and for older children, they should always wear the correct protective gear and never attempt anything they’ve seen on screen. When children know how to correctly use a gun, accidents will be less likely to occur, but it’s important for children to realize what a serious responsibility that using a gun is.
- Never point the gun at someone.
Whether it’s a toy gun, BB gun, rifle, or handgun, children should be taught to never point a gun at someone. Even if it’s just playing or pretending, children should be taught that it’s never okay to point a gun at someone. When children are taught it’s not acceptable to point a gun at someone, an accident will be less likely to occur. Since children can’t tell the difference between a real gun and a play gun, they should always be taught that it’s not okay to point a gun at someone even if it’s just for play.
- Always have a parent or trusted adult around when using a gun.
Starting at a young age, children should be taught to always have a gun or trusted adult around when handling a gun. If they find a gun (whether at their house or someone else’s house), they should be taught to leave the gun and find an adult immediately. If they are allowed to use a gun for recreational purposes, they should understand that they have to have a responsible adult present and cannot handle it by themselves or with friends.
- Assume the gun is loaded.
When handling a gun, children should always be taught to assume that a gun is loaded and should handle it accordingly. If children assume the gun is loaded, they will be more likely to use safety precautions and handle the gun with care. They should be taught to check and see if a gun is loaded or not and if the safety is on.
- Wear the correct protective gear.
If a child is handling a gun for recreational purposes, they should wear the correct protective gear. Whether it’s a hunting trip or going to the shooting range, children should be taught to wear the right protective gear. Children should wear safety glasses, noise-canceling headphones, and close-toed shoes, and they should know that this is non-negotiable.
- Don’t use guns as a toy or prop.
It’s important for children to understand that guns don’t cause accidents but people using guns cause accidents. Using a gun is an important responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly and should be handled with seriousness. With children, guns should never be used as a toy or prop because children have a hard time distinguishing between a real gun and a fake gun. To make it easier for children, they should know that they are never to use guns for “pretend play” or if they are trying to be funny.
- Don’t attempt anything you see in videos, movies, or tv shows.
Using a gun in real life is different than using a gun on a video, movie, or tv show. It’s important for children to realize that they shouldn’t attempt to do the things they see their favorite characters do. Using a gun on screen involves props, blanks, editing, and multiple takes, and it’s important for children to realize the difference between onscreen and realistic actions.
Starting at a young age, children should be taught how to properly use a gun and safe practices when they use or spot a gun. Using a gun is a fun part of many recreational activities, but children should understand what a responsibility it is.