If you have firearms in your home, it’s extremely important that any children in the household learn about gun safety. Not sure how to teach them? Here are some great ways to get the conversation started.
First and foremost, your child should know what a firearm is and why you own it. Sit them down and start by asking if they understand how a gun works; let them fully explain any answer they have, and then go back through and correct any misinformation. Throughout the process, listen to what they have to say and give a thorough answer for any questions they have. They may ask about using concealed carry holsters, when they can start using firearms, whether you’ve used one in self-defense, and any number of other questions. Encourage them to ask! The more they know, the safer they can be.
Talk About Safe Firearm Storage
One thing everyone in the household should know is where any firearms are stored. You should always have a designated area with a safe or other locked container specifically for your guns — with kids in the house, it’s a good idea to store the ammo separately. Show your children where the firearms are, how they’re arranged or mounted inside and where the ammo is kept. If you feel they’re mature enough for the information, you can let them know where you keep the key. If not, just explain that you know where it is at all times.
Clean Your Firearms
The cleaning process is a great opportunity to show your child the inner workings of a firearm. The next time you break down your gun for cleaning, have your child join you and show them the individual components. Piece by piece, you can teach them what each part does and how they work collectively to make a gun fire a bullet. If you both feel comfortable, you can let your children clean certain parts themselves. All of this helps them build a more thorough understanding of how your firearms work. This is also a great time to answer any of their questions.
Gun safety may seem like an intimidating topic to teach a child, but the right mindset makes all the difference. Getting rid of the taboo around guns show your child that they’re simply a tool with a purpose that shouldn’t be played with. Once you’ve achieved this, you’ve helped set them on the right path to a life of smart gun safety practices.