Gun (Nerf) Safety

There are no second chances with a gun and the rules for safe gun handling must always be followed to avoid accidents.

  1. Always treat the gun as loaded.
  2. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  3. Always keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  4. Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
  5. Never point the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.
  6. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

These rules should apply to nerf guns as well. I had a #momfail today when my almost 2 year old son asked me to pull the plunger back on his nerf gun, so he could shoot it. He normally loads the gun afterwards, which is not good nerf gun safety. Today though it was loaded and without even realizing it, I shot him straight in the eye with a dart. Total mom fail! At first I kind of laughed but then realized as he began crying that he could have actually been injured. I examined his eye to make sure he was alright; everything was fine and he went back to playing like nothing happened.

My son LOVES playing with the nerf gun and pretends anything that even looks remotely like it is one. He isn’t even two yet so I am not really concerned about it since he doesn’t even really understand what a gun is. But what about older children? Should we limit their pretend gun use?

What if instead of limiting we talk to our children about guns, asking open ended questions like “Looks like you are having fun, what are you doing?”. Instead of “Guns are dangerous”, “don’t do that”, we will be able to teach our children better. I feel that we should emphasize how much fun it is to “pretend” and should remind our children of proper toy gun etiquette, which means no pointing at faces or at people not playing.

A great activity for children who are playing with guns is target practice. Set up a board with a bulls eye (maybe something more advanced for older kids) and let them work on their aim and hand eye coordination. Frugal fun 4 boys has some great diy target how to’s.


Gun safety is no joke, whether it be a toy gun or a real gun. So here’s a topic for debate: Would you limit toy gun use? Would you limit gun scenes and killing in tv shows and video games? Before allowing your child to go over to a friend’s house would you ask the host parents if they own any guns? If the answer is “no”, perfect go play, but what if the answer is “yes”? What would you ask next? How many guns do you own? Are they loaded? Are they locked up? Do your children know where they are? If they get angry about these questions, would you still let your child play over at their house?


“12 Golden Rule | Gun Safety Rules | Safety University.” Magtech Ammunition,

Sarah, et al. “How to Make a Nerf Spinning Target.” Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls, 10 Nov. 2016,