One of the most rewarding parts of being a parent is passing on your knowledge and expertise.
From showing your children how to ride a bike, to helping them with their math homework, to teaching them how to change a tire, there are no shortage of life lessons to go around when raising your offspring.
But what about when it’s time to teach them how to shoot?
Whether you’re an avid gun owner or just a recreational shooter who likes to hit the local indoor shooting range, your child’s interest in shooting may have begun to pique. We all know kids want to be more like their parents, so this is only natural.
But before you just throw a gun in their hand, you need to first go over the proper firearms training methods with them, make sure it’s something they really want to do, and walk them through the ins and outs of handling a gun.
By enforcing the proper safety protocols with them at a young age, they will learn to be efficient, safe, and highly functional shooters.
Here are a few questions, tips, and tricks you can ask and implement when it’s time to teach your child how to shoot.
What Age Should They Start Shooting?
This all depends on your child, their maturity, and their overall interest. The last thing you want to do is hand over a gun, which is a huge (and dangerous) responsibility, to a child who is not ready or is genuinely disinterested. This lack of interest will lead to an unfocused approach, which can result in improper gun handling practices.
Remember, a gun is not a toy, so you should only start teaching your child how to shoot if they are mature enough to handle it.
One way to start off is to teach them the proper safety gear you need to wear, how the safety works, and how to properly care for and clean a firearm. That way, they understand the intricacies of shooting before they ever pull the trigger.
Reinforce Gun Safety
The importance of proper firearms training and safety cannot be overstated, especially with regards to new shooters.
It has to be your top concern and priority. Teach your child how to properly respect their gun, how it works, and the dangers of using a gun improperly. Before ever taking your child hunting, be sure to enforce that guns are deadly and should only be fired at specific targets and inanimate objects.
Start off by showing them how to handle a gun while it’s unloaded, from the safety to the trigger to the stance, and of course how to assess the area, point the gun in a safe direction, and keep their finger off the trigger when not firing.
Take Them To The Shooting Range
The best place to teach your child how to shoot is at the range. Here, you’ll get a chance to provide one-on-one supervision of your child in a safe, confined space. Walk them through proper etiquette at the range, how to set up, and how to properly and safely load their ammunition.
Your guidance and knowledge will not only make the learning process easier, but will help calm any nerves in your child before they shoot for the first time.
Take it easy on their first outing, and only give them targets or challenges that they can handle. Along with that, make sure they have a positive experience by teaching them how to aim, and give them an easier target that will produce tangible results.
Try Out Family Day
At the Machine Gun Nest, we offer exclusive Family Day discounts every Saturday to allow you an opportunity to teach your child how to shoot safely in a fun, welcoming environment. Whether they’re already seasoned veterans or handling a gun for the first time, our indoor shooting range in Frederick is here to help promote firearms safety, training, and bring the sport of shooting into a new, positive light.
Our Family Day special runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and features range time for the kids, eye and ear protection, one target, and one rifle rental.
Remember, your children must be at least 10 years of age, and they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Learn more about Family Day at the Machine Gun Nest, and bring your kids down for firearms training in a safe environment this Saturday!