“I have a 3 yr old daughter and I would like to get her and myself in one of the programs together. This is more for her but I would like to participate as well. What beginner classes/groups do you have available for younger children, if their is any available? Also, I do carry, but I would also like to better myself with my EDC and knowledge of the sport. I’ve done mass amounts of research and I am not stupid to gun safety by no means, But everyone has room to improve and their is always something to learn. So if you could reply back and let me know what options I have, I would greatly appreciate it.”
First, thank you for your interest! And, I applaud you for getting started so soon! It’s never too early to plan ahead. Three is a bit young to learn to shoot, but it’s not to young for her to observe how you handle firearms (as well as all tools). Don’t go out of your way to “make a show of” handling firearms, but if she has occasion to see you preparing, cleaning, repairing– she will see how you treat them. At that age children can learn respect for property (“That belongs to your father”. . . ) and a general sense of respect for and how to handle tools.
When I was growing up my father always had guns in the house– the rifles that we saw were unloaded, ones that he was working on– so they were no big deal– and he treated them like any tool. “You don’t have to be afraid of it, but you have to respect what it can do.” I learned muzzle pointed in a safe direction, finger off the trigger at the same time I was learning to keep my fingers out of the path of the radial arm saw! I was way too young to handle either myself, but I remember the lessons— nothing dramatic, just dad talking about the tools he was using, when I had occasion to watch him using them. As she grows up, see what her interests are. Have a small bb gun or .22 when she’s old/big enough to try it, if and when she’s interested. Don’t force the interest! Take your cues from her when she’s ready. NRA’s Eddie Eagle program is focused on children and guns.
Appleseed or Revere’s Rider’s are probably the two most “family friendly” programs. They offer instruction in marksmanship and history for everyone from youth on up. There are a lot of 4H programs, school teams, youth shooting, air rifle, etc. in Indiana. I don’t know of any defined minimum age but the youngest is usually somewhere around 9 to 12 years old. Again, this is just a guideline– it depends on her interest, and when she is mature enough. It varies widely! Many kids are perfectly mature enough, but not interested– or the other way around.
Our new website will offer information on ranges and training opportunities, including videos produced by associates. The content will be updated continuously, so come back often! Please ask additional questions– it gives us the opportunity to answer questions that I’m sure many others have as well.
Thank you for your question. Good luck with a life-long adventure you can share with your kids.