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Gun Safety (young children)

1. Stop.
2. Don't touch.
3. Leave the area.
4. Tell an adult.

NEVER give children realistic looking toy guns or let them to play with such toys. If your child has toy guns you may want to use them to demonstrate safe gun handling and explain how they differ from genuine guns. There should be no chance that a child could mistake a real gun for a toy.

Safe Gun Handling

1. Point the gun in a safe direction.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger.
3. Keep it unloaded until ready to use.

Gun safety is largely common sense. If one treats every gun as if they are loaded (loaded or not) you will naturally keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger (until ready to shoot), which are the key safety measures that need to be ingrained in every person who uses or handles a gun.

Safe Shooting

1. Know the target and what is beyond.
2. Know how to use the gun safely.
3. Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
4. Use the right ammunition for the gun.
5. Use eye and ear protection.
6. Don't use alcohol or any drugs.
7. Know that extra safety measures may be needed in some situations.
8. Unload and clean guns after use.

Safe Storage

Store all guns in a locked gun safe. If not stored for security use a gun should be unloaded with the ammunition locked up separately in a locked steel box (e.g., a petty cash box).

Safe Transportation

Guns should be unloaded and fitted with a trigger lock when transported unless carried for security use. If a handgun is carried for security use it should be in a secure holster with at least two built-in retention devices to prevent it falling out of the holster or being snatched (e.g., a Safariland SSII security holster).


NRA Gun Safety Rules
NRA's gun safety rules for young children and gun users.

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air rifle shooters

Older children who have an interest in guns need to be able to learn how to safely use a gun. This is best done by having them join a sporter air rifle match, in which inexpensive target air rifles are used (expensive accessories like shooting jackets are also banned).

Air rifle competition is a very safe and highly regulated sport that promotes concentration, discipline and the creation of friendships that transcend cultural and social barriers. Male and female competitors are on an equal footing as the shooting sports are primarily about mental discipline, not strength, speed, fitness or athletic ability.

If there are no air rifle clubs near where you live you may wish to start your own club using the CMP and NRA resources provided below.

Civilian Marksmanship Program

Air Gun
CMP webpage about their air rifle matches.

Coaching Resources
CMP webpage with information for shooting coaches.

CMP Publications and Training Materials
CMP gun safety and marksmanship training information.

The First Shot
CMP online magazine for competitive target shooters.

Sporter Air Rifles
Information about Sporter Air Rifles.

CMP Downloads

A Junior Shooter's Guide to Air Rifle Safety
CMP guide to air rifle safety for junior shooters.

Air Rifle Marksmanship For Youth
A resource for youth-program leaders, decision-makers, parents and youths thinking about air rifle competitions.

Air Rifle Range Safety Rules
CMP safety poster for air rifle ranges.

CMP Advanced Shooters Journal
Shooter's journal that is also suited to junior air rifle shooters.

National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules
Air rifle rules published by the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council.

Teaching Rifle Positions to New Junior Shooters
CMP guide to teaching rifle positions to new junior shooters (air rifles).

National Rifle Association of America

NRA Family
An online magazine for junior NRA members and their families. Leading online source for gun safety, videos, gun-cleaning tips, how-to articles, wild game facts, gun facts and tidbits. Post images from hunts, shooting competitions and family outings.

NRA Training
Portal for NRA education and training.

NRA's Home Airgun Program
Provides parents, teachers, activity and club leaders with information and guidance on BB and air gun shooting sports.

Program Materials Center
NRA gun safety and marksmanship training information.

National Youth Shooting Sports Cooperative Programs
NRA webpage with information about shooting sports for youths.

NRA Downloads

Air Gun Shooting Sports Safety Guide
NRA's guide to air gun safety.

NRA Trainer's Ethics Guide
NRA ethics code for shooting coaches.

NRA Sporter Air Rifle Position Rules
Official rules for NRA sanctioned sporter air rifle matches.

The NRA Home Airgun Program
Provides parents, teachers, activity and club leaders with information and guidance on BB and air gun shooting sports.


Gunproof Your Children

Gunproof Your Children - the best book about gun proofing children.

Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program

Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program - the best gun safety program for schools.

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