When you have a teen that is interested in learning about and learning to use firearms, whether for hunting, for sport shooting, or other purposes, your primary concern is likely for their safety and the safety of the people around them. Firearm safety is an important topic and one that should be addressed in several ways to ensure that the lessons sink in. Learn some of the steps you can take to teach your child firearm safety effectively. Then, you can be sure you are taking all of the steps possible to keep them safe as they pursue an interest in firearms.
Supervised Firearm Handling
The first step toward teaching your child gun safety is to allow them to handle a gun under close supervision. Allow them to hold an unloaded gun. Teach them, in the process, how to determine if the gun is loaded or not. Show them the different parts of the gun and show them how to properly hold the weapon. Have a few sessions like this before you ever let your child do anything else with a firearm. It will help teach them to respect the weapon and help to instill the habit of checking to see if the gun is loaded every time they pick one up.
Sign Them Up for a Gun Safety Course
Many shooting ranges and other firearm organizations offer gun safety classes to families and individuals that want to use firearms but want to do so with the utmost safety in mind. These classes are ideal for any type of gun handling including hunting rifles, handguns for home protection, and more.
Your child will learn the basics of using a gun in a safe manner. They will learn the proper ways to store firearms, how to maintain their firearms, and even how to draw and shoot their weapon. Many of these courses include range time with one-on-one instruction from the class teacher to ensure that your child follows the safest possible procedures in gun handling (though range time is generally handgun-based).
Spend Ample Time on the Range With Your Teen
Gun safety classes are great for learning the basics of how to handle a firearm. However, range time in these classes is usually limited to a few hours total. As such, before you allow your child to hunt or otherwise handle a firearm on their own, you will want to spend ample time at a shooting range with them.
Monitor the way they hold their gun, the way they shoot, their accuracy, and the like. Once they are able to go through the process every time in the safest way possible, and their accuracy reaches consistent and accurate levels, then you are likely ready to take them out hunting or could allow them to enter shooting competitions and the like.
Keep in mind that generally if your child is under 18, they will need a legal guardian present for any range time anyway. However, after they prove their skill levels to you, you may not need to watch their every move with the same scrutiny you started with.
Now that you know some of the steps to take to teach your teen firearm safety, you can get started right away. For more information and tips, contact your local indoor shooting range.