Firearms Safety Testing One, Two, Three….

Firearms Safety Testing One, Two, Three….
By Maggie

AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Manasquan, NJ –-( There are many responsibilities that come with having children, but there are plenty of fun times too.

And teaching my kids to shoot is one of them.

However, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of your role as the parent sometimes…. it is one of the perks. Hence, the “range safety test”.

Several years ago after I began shooting, my children started asking me about when I would take them to the range. I would steal off for an hour and come home happy and pumped up and they wanted in on the fun. My teenage boys especially were interested but I was new to the sport and it was before I became an instructor, so I wasn’t quite ready to handle them at the range alone.

When I was ready, I told them we first had to spend time going over all the safety rules before we touched any guns. Then, they had to prove to me that they understood and respected the rules of safe firearms handling – both in words and in actions. This meant I drilled them on ALWAYS point your gun in a safe direction, ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and ALWAYS keep your gun unloaded until ready to use it, as well as other common sense rules related to safe shooting. I wanted them to understand that shooting is a very safe sport. In fact because of the extreme emphasis on safety, shooting is one of the SAFEST sports.

Firearms Safety Testing
Firearms Safety Testing

And then, one night we took the guns out and I showed them how to point the gun in a safe direction and check to see if it is unloaded. We did this over and over again. I would have one child pick up the gun, demonstrate the safety rules and safety check it and then put it down. Then the next child would pick it up and so on. It became clear after a short while, after many times of checking that the gun was empty, that my 13 year old son in particular thought the ALWAYS point your gun in a safe direction was more a MOM rule than one that governs the handling of firearms.

Not that he has any less respect for a Mom rule, but I did feel like I needed to clarify this one. Yes, as a Mom I am sure I do my fair share of repetitive reminding (ie, dare I say, nagging?) For example, things like “I said put your socks in the laundry basket!” (repeated about six or seven times in a row as he is darting right past them up the stairs – again.) Or the mantra “don’t forget your lunch” repeated twenty times before he heads out the door for school. Since teenagers, and especially teenage boys only really hear half of what you say anyway, usually the last few words, repeating yourself usually works at some point. And it can save you a trip to the school with a forgotten lunch.

Although my son is a good kid, I needed to be sure he was taking me seriously, so I decided to come up with a multiple choice test for my children to complete before I allowed them to visit the range with me. Now I am the sort of person who likes to have some fun – as serious as I am when I have my Mom face on, I am more of a softie inside when it comes to discipline, but the rule is you can’t let them catch on or they will walk all over you. So I came up with a “test” for them to take. It is written with a sense of humor, but it does not mean the topics should be taken any less seriously. Obviously, I would be standing directly behind my son, he would not be alone in many of these scenarios, but I wanted him to be thinking and to use his common sense.

Also, when I wrote this test I admit I was messing around. The test was merely a graduation of sorts, my son had already proven to my satisfaction that he was ready to learn to shoot. I did not share this with him though, he was all worked up about passing – although I was sure he would pass without a problem. As for the essay question, THAT was totally for fun. I was going to stop him before he even answered it, but when I saw him writing – my curiosity got the better of me and I didn’t stop him right away. And yes, he passed. On the first attempt.

Multiple Choice Exam for Range Privileges

  1. Choose the BEST Answer
  2. Must receive a score of 100%
  3. Exam may be taken as many times as necessary.

When handed a gun the first thing you do is:

  • Point it in a safe direction.
  • Check to see if it is loaded.
  • Text your friends to tell them you are holding a gun.
  • All of the above

You put your finger on the trigger:

  • As soon as the gun is in your hand.
  • As you are aiming your gun at the target.
  • Once you have your target in your sights and you are prepared to shoot it.
  • Whenever you want.

When you are about to enter the range you should:

  • Have your eye protection on.
  • Have your ear protection on.
  • Have your gun in your hand.
  • All of the above.
  • A & B

The range officer is there to:

  • Help you if your quarters get stuck in the soda machine.
  • Tell you where the bathroom is.
  • Hang your targets for you.
  • Make sure everyone is obeying the range rules.
  • Clean your gun.

Your last round went right through the bullseye! You should:

  • Turn around and high five whoever is standing next to you.
  • Yell out “Told you I could do it!” while holding your gun in a safe direction (ie downrange)
  • Place your gun down (facing downrange), if you need to turn around and talk to anyone.
  • Point your gun at your neighbor’s target to see if you can hit his also (since he can’t).
  • B or C

You put your gun down to tie your shoe and now you are done shooting. You release the empty magazine. The gun is now:

  • Definitely empty.
  • Definitely loaded.
  • Not sure – need to do a safety check.
  • Empty – you asked the guy next to you and he said so.

At the range, guns are allowed to be out of their cases:

  • Inside a port (or at a bench).
  • Any place you want as long as you are sure the gun is not loaded.
  • On the table directly behind you as long as you are watching it or loading it.
  • All of the above.

Every time you pick up a gun you should:

  • Find out what kind of gun it is.
  • Find out what kind of ammo it uses.
  • Check it to make sure it is not loaded.
  • Try and pull the trigger to see if it fits your hand.

At the range it is ok to:

  • Watch other people shoot from a polite distance.
  • Tap someone on the shoulder to ask them an important question while they are facing downrange.
  • Tell the range officer when you come in that you already know all the rules because you mother told you.
  • Play around using your finger as a gun and aiming it at people.

You have checked your gun and found it is empty, one, two, three…..twenty-five times. You can now point your gun:

  • Wherever you want, I mean Duh, you just checked it and it isn’t loaded.
  • In a safe direction.
  • At your sister, she just saw you check it and she knows you are just kidding.
  • Wherever a responsible adult tells you to.
  • All of the above.

Bonus points, will not take away from your score:

Turn over the page and write an essay on the following topic (500 words minimum):

Would you say that guns are dangerous or do you think it is people who are dangerous? Why?

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