Acceptable age minimum for shooting guns?


Active Member
My daughter just turned 4 years old. Now before you all start firing at me (no pun intended), just hear me out. I think it's way better for young kids to understand and have a respectful fear of firearms (safe) instead of an overwhelming curiosity (very unsafe). Most firearm-related accidental child deaths are because of parental stupidity... they didn't lock away the gun. But I can't help but wonder if it also had something to do with the child's curiosity... and it's good for a child to be curious about things! That's where we have the opportunity to teach them and guide them safely.
Now, I'm not just going to put a gun in the hands of my 4-year old daughter... that would be insane. I started the thread that way just because I wanted to stir the pot a little... heh heh.
But in all honesty, what would you consider to be the minimum age for teaching firearm safety/use?
FYI - to answer my own question, I think 8-10 years of age is acceptable.
Keep in mind that when I say "firearm" I'm not talking about a shotgun or an assault rifle... I'm talking a little .22 or something. Low recoil, gets the kid to understand exactly how potentially dangerous it can be/etc.


Active Member
I started shooting when I was about 7. This was just a bb gun. I moved up to a .22 when I was 9. I also was took a hunting safety course when I was 11 (although I could not get the license until I was 12). I never hunted, but I did do target practice. It was just something to pass the time while I was in NY.


Well-Known Member
I started shooting right around age 4-5 when dad got me my first bb gun it was a Daisy. Had my first .22 and bow at age 6. My first shotgun (.410) by age 8 and by that time I had already been taught to shoot with most all of my dads guns. Although, I'll never forget the day he let me shoot his Thompson Contender. Scared the crap out of me and I didn't touch it again till I was a teenager. So I think I learned to have a pretty healthy respect for guns at an early age. Guns were always locked in cabinets and keys were locked in a safe.


I work as a police officer and a lot of guys I work with teach there kids about guns from ages 5 on up. I agree that if you teach them to respect the firearm and that this is not toy. I agree most incidents occur because parents were negligent and not securing the firearm in a safe place, as far as letting them shoot the firearm i would say 12 and up unless your letting them shoot a pellet gun or bb gun then i would say 8 on up. Don't have kids yet but i will have to cross the bridge some day down the road, good topic


Active Member
I don;t remember how old I was. I really depends on the kid though. I know my brother got his kid a chipmonk 22 when he was like 4.


I started shooting guns, mostly .22, when i was 5-8. Cant remember that long ago tho and not sure i want to say it with a cop here but it was around the time I started to drive an automatic pickup around our fields lol. I do know if it was me i would start on a bb gun and then once they get the accuracy part down, how to hold it, and some gun safety down to slowly work to a .22 with a long barrel so its quieter and then work up from there. I know my dad is still a little jumpy cause he started out shooting a 410 which kicks and barks a little so you don't want them getting jumpy or worse, turned off of guns all together.

bang guy

I remember my pellet gun from when I was probably 8. I loved it. I actually wore that thing out. Didn't get a firearm for quite a while because most countries don't allow them. I was 16 when dad gave me a shotgun as a present when we moved back to the states.


Well-Known Member
My dad was/is a big hunter. I was taught early in my life that guns are dangerous and not to touch the. I got my first pellet rifle- a Benjamin Sheridan .22 when I was 8. There wasn't a bird that was safe. Lol. I got really good with it and started hunting squirrels and rabbits when I was 11. When I was 12 through 15, I went duck hunting a lot and got really good with a shotgun. I shot skeet for my school and did some rifle shoots for my NJROTC class in high school I stopped hunting when I was 18, before I met my wife.
My wife and I are having a daughter. When she's 3-4 I'll teach her not to point toy guns at people or herself. When she's older I'll let her shoot a bb gun for fun. Maybe starting at 7-8. If she takes any interest in it, I'll take her to the rifle range. I enjoy target shooting and challenging myself, just got wore out on hunting- since I grew up in and work in a taxidermy shop.


Active Member
I was 4 when I first learned to shoot. But I took each of my kids out with me shortly after they could walk and had them stand next to me while I shot my .357 and SKS at onions and watermelons. I explained that's what guns do to people, too. None of my 3 kids ever picked up a gun unless I told them it was ok and 2 of them (20 and 16 y/o) say they still remember that and it scared them badly. Lesson learned.
mantis(even though I was raised around dozens of guns I was never allowed to own or keep one until I was 18)man51


dad showed me taught me how to shoot around 8.. every cents then I've been hooked (18 now) yesterday i did some long range rifle shooting hitting targets as far as 400 yards;p you know your shootin when you have to calculate range and mil hold;p i love it


Active Member
At my age, I have full rights to shoot both the BB gun and the compound bow whenever I want...
my dad has a .22 in the garage, and I am allowed to shoot it, but as long as he knows about it...


I learned when I was about 5-6. Mom and Dad are both hunters and wanted my brother and I to understand guns and respect them.