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Gun Safety Courses for Youth – 6 Things to Know How to Select One

By Maria Paiz October 23, 2023

Gun Safety Courses For Youth



*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.

Table of Contents:


Considering that in 2020, there were 45,222 fatalities caused by guns due to preventable, purposeful, and unknown reasons, finding gun safety courses for youth may prevent many of these incidents in the years to come. 

Understanding Firearm Safety: A Crucial Step for Youth

When it comes to gun safety, the earlier the education begins, the better. This is where youth firearm safety courses play a pivotal role. These courses provide detailed information about firearm handling, safe gun handling practices, and range safety under the watchful eye of an NRA Certified Instructor. They also help instill a sense of firearm responsibility, making sure young learners understand the gravity and potential risks of improper usage.

These courses typically cover several essential areas, such as safe handling procedures, trigger control during live fire, the right way to hold a firearm for a proper range grip, and practical methods for self-defense. They're not just about handling guns but about fostering a deep respect for firearms and the responsibilities they entail.

Enrolling in a Youth Safety Class: Learning Responsible Gun Ownership

Youth firearms safety classes go beyond traditional classroom instruction or online courses. They are designed to provide hands-on experiences in safe gun handling and proper shooting technique, all supervised by NRA Certified Instructors. A key aspect of such courses is making sure they're age-appropriate. They take into consideration the minimum age for attending the class, ensuring the instruction aligns with the learner's physical abilities and mental readiness.

One can't overstate the value of a youth firearms safety course. It imparts vital knowledge on a great group class basis, ensuring that the students are comfortable and open to learning. At the end of the course, students usually receive a completion certificate – a testament to their newly acquired knowledge and skills.

Now that you know why a gun safety course is necessary and advisable, it's important to mention that finding one is not a piece of the pie, especially for the youth. The majority of indoor range safety to gun safety training classes are quite expensive and may require the need to travel a long distance. Therefore, looking for the best and free options is your best bet. Here are 6 things to know how to select one: 

1) Gun Safety Course for Youth – What To Look For

When searching for gun safety courses for youth or great group classes, ensure that the system:


What to Look for on a Gun Safety Youth Course
Requires the permission of a parent or guardian.
Focuses on the community that is provided at no charge.
Removes the "magic and mystery" surrounding firearms.
Teaches the child respect for people’s health and well-being.
Teaches firearm handling and proper shooting techniques.
Provides an opportunity for real-life experience via shooting sports.
Allows for one-on-one training supervised by an NRA Certified Instructor.

2) How Old Do You Have To Be To Take a Gun Safety Course

Child holding a gun safely

Most youth firearms safety courses are designed primarily for children who may come into contact with or be in close vicinity to weapons due to various factors, including the possession of firearms by their parents. Children from 5 to 14 years old may participate in this educational opportunity at no cost.

Minimum Age: 5 Years Old.


3) What Gun Safety Course Should a Child Take

Now that you know the minimum age for gun youth safety courses, if your child is between the ages of 14 and 17, and you want them to learn firearms responsibility and proper shooting techniques, we strongly suggest that you enroll them in the NRA's Basic Pistol Safety Course and take advantage of the $50 discount (a parent must attend). This is a great group class for a token fee.

4) Where Can I Take A Gun Safety Course with A NRA Certified Instructor

NRA Member Logo with an eagle.

With the introduction of web-based courses amidst COVID-19, finding a gun safety course with an NRA Certified Instructor is now easier than ever. Follow the steps below to get started.


Find NRA's education and training course(s) near your area.

Enter your zip code and select a search radius.

You can also search course(s) by state.

5) How Long is a Gun Safety Course

If you have weapons in your home, you must teach your children that guns are not toys and should be treated just like they would any other tool. Generally, courses offered by NRA Certified Instructors are a minimum of 12 hours in length.

However, if you opt for a web-based course, you are free to begin, pause, and continue from exactly where you left off at any time. After your child has completed the training, they will be awarded an official NRA Certificate of Completion.

6) How Much is a Gun Safety Course

The fees for gun safety courses for youth vary. As discussed above, children from 5 to 14 years old may participate in this educational opportunity at no cost. However, if your child is between the ages of 14 and 17, we strongly suggest that you enroll them in the NRA's Basic Pistol Safety Course and take advantage of the $50 discount (a parent must attend).

Free Gun Safety Courses:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the civil rights group in the United States with the most extended history. With more than five million members, NRA has produced millions of safe, ethical, and responsible shooters and instructors, earning the reputation as the gold standard in the country for firearms safety courses. Here are the top three gun safety courses for youth offered by NRA.

*For class date and classroom instructions, visit

Top 3 FREE Gun Safety Course for Youth


Best Gun Safety Courses Online – Top 3 Places (FREE)

1) Offered by Metropolitan Police Department, this Firearms Safety Training Course is an online, no-fee course that should take around a quarter of an hour to complete. Under the District of Columbia laws, if you successfully complete this Weapons Safety Training course, you will have satisfied one of the prerequisites for owning firearms, safe gun handling, and proper range grip.

2) Offered by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Firearm Safety and Handling is a two-part video overview of firearm safety and handling under the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, covering the four most fundamental principles of self-defense, gun safety, safe handling, and safety class. The course is accessible to the general public free of the United States for absolutely no charge.

3) Offered by American Firearms Training, Texas Online Gun Safety Training—filmed in a professional studio with an NRA Certified Instructor—covers the introduction to gun safety. It is an interactive and exciting method to learn about gun safety without having to leave the convenience of your own home. The training is totally free of charge and without any advertisements.

FAQs (What Readers Want to Know)

What is the main goal of youth gun safety courses?

Youth gun safety courses aim to educate young individuals about the proper and safe handling of firearms. They focus on removing the mystery surrounding firearms and teaching respect for firearms and personal safety.

Who supervises the hands-on training during the course?

Hands-on training in youth gun safety courses is supervised by NRA-certified instructors. They guide students through live-fire exercises and ensure safe gun-handling practices.

Is there a fee involved in taking youth gun safety courses?

Many youth gun safety courses are provided free of charge to the community. However, specifics can vary from one course to another, so it's best to check with the course provider.

What other benefits do youth gun safety courses offer apart from firearm handling knowledge?

Youth gun safety courses teach beyond firearm handling. They instill life-skills like discipline, respect for others' safety, and understanding of potential risks. The courses also provide an opportunity to participate in community-based shooting sports, fostering camaraderie and sportsmanship.

The Final Cut

Did you know in the United States, injuries and deaths caused by firearms constitute a substantial public health problem? Regrettably, damages caused by firearms and trigger control live fire are among the top four significant causes of mortality for children aged 10–24, and homicides committed with guns are among the leading causes of death for children aged 1–9.

The paper, which was only just released and published in Health Promotion Practice, summarized the findings of ten research-extensive studies that looked at the efficacy of various methods for educating children aged 4 to 9 about gun safety. Now that you know some of the best online gun safety courses for youth, our part is done here; it's time for you to take action.


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