Updated: Apr 5
Handguns are one of the most commonly owned firearms in the US. Although they can be a great tool for self-defense, they also pose a unique set of risks to young people. Unfortunately, having conversations about gun safety may seem taboo for some parents, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we’ve put together a brief introduction to youth handgun safety to give parents the information they need to talk to their children about guns.
Getting the Conversation Started
First, it’s essential to get the conversation going. Firearms can be a polarizing topic, and there’s a good chance that your child might have preconceived notions about guns. Listen to your child’s thoughts and opinions on firearms; don’t just jump in with your own views.
It’s also important not to wait too long before having this discussion. The moment you bring firearms into your home is the moment that you need to have this conversation. It doesn’t have to be a formal conversation either. Just start by casually mentioning firearm safety when you two have a minute alone together.
What To Say to Them
There’s a chance that your child will be scared of handguns due to nightly news stories they’ve overheard or things they might have seen on the internet. Whether they have a fear of them or not, you need to reassure them that nothing will happen in your home. Let them know that guns are only bad when bad people have them.
Once you’ve calmed them, you can explain how this firearm will help protect them from those bad people. This should help reassure them. Kids want to feel safe and secure in their homes, so that needs to be the primary goal of your talk.
When talking to them about gun safety, here are a few phrases to consider using:
“Guns can be dangerous if you don’t handle them properly.”
“Responsible gun owners take all the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe.”
“A gun is not a toy. It’s important to always be aware of where the gun is and who it’s pointing at.”
“There are rules that we have to follow when handling guns to stay safe.”
Show It to Them
If your child is still a bit uneasy, the last part of our brief introduction to youth handgun safety is to show them your firearm. They’re too young to handle it themselves, but seeing you with it might help them understand that it’s not dangerous in the right hands. Plus, you can show them that it will be in a safe place, like our quick access pistol boxes. However, don’t share the code for the safe with your child. You don’t want them to open it when you’re not home.