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How worried should I be about DD's friend's family having guns in the house?

(30 Posts)
Booboostwo Sun 08-Nov-15 18:54:27

DH returned DD's friend home today after a play date and was invited in. In their living room they have about twenty guns in a cabinet (made of wood, with a bar across the guns and a lock at one end). DH was a bit gobsmacked and kept starring at the guns so they explained that they belong to the father who is a keen hunter.

We are not in the UK and I have no idea how guns should be kept here but I don't like this at all. I will come out and say I don't like guns being kept in homes but if you must have them they should be out of sight of children. Do i trust this guy to know what he is doing with regards to gun safety around children?

DD is 4yo so too young to fully understand what she should do if anyone had access to a gun. The family have older DCs who may or may not share their dad's hobby.

MerdeAlor Sun 08-Nov-15 18:59:41

I wouldn't allow my child into that house. You are justified in reacting in whatever way feels instinctual.

itsthecircleoflife Sun 08-Nov-15 19:06:47

Meh. Wouldnt bother me. I grew up on a very rural farm and we had guns in the house. Granted they were kept in the pantry cupboard and not on display, but still.

I dont see the big deal if im honest but I can see why you would be uncomfortable- like any situation your not familiar with.

I really cant see the guy being a serial killer though, so I think your DD is safe to go there for a playdate. Would you stop your DD going to someones house if their parents kept their knives on display in the kitchen for example?

ragged Sun 08-Nov-15 19:15:43

this is a common problem in the USA.
I would take parent aside & ask about how consistently the guns are kept locked. This is key.

Booboostwo Sun 08-Nov-15 19:15:49

I certainly don't think he is a serial killer! I think he's is passionate about guns, which is fine, I worry how cautious he is about keeping them in a home with kids. I don't know how careful he is about his guns, e.g. keeping them out of sight, keeping ammunition locked up separately, never letting the DCs touch them, etc. I also don't know if his oldest DCs share his hobby and are used to handling the guns which would also worry me.

They have asked DD to join them for a weekend away in their camper van which she won't be doing because she is too young and unsettled at night, but I would also worry about guns in a camper van being even less secured than in the home.

Pipestheghost Sun 08-Nov-15 19:19:02

Tbh that would worry me, but then I'm in the UK.

RebootYourEngine Sun 08-Nov-15 19:19:08

My neighbour (in the uk) has a gun for sport.

The rules of his licence say that he has to keep it locked away and it must not be fully made up. /complete. You wouldnt even know that there was a gun in my neighbours house.

I allow my ds to go to that house. I am not sure if i would let my ds go to that friends house OP. i dont like that the guns are on display.

winchester1 Sun 08-Nov-15 19:20:36

What country are you in maybe one of us knows the local laws?

We have guns so personally I would just talk to them about it. Given he hunts and actually uses the guns rather than having them for home protection I'd expect he is very careful.with them and more than aware of how dangerous they are in untrainned / children's hands.

Booboostwo Sun 08-Nov-15 19:26:06

I'm in France. We've always lived rurally where people tend to have guns but they have always been kept well out of sight in sturdy gun lockers, bolted to the wall.

winchester1 Sun 08-Nov-15 19:32:06

Sounds similar to here, most guns are locked away. Are you sure the guns are useable and not just antiques or family souvenirs, and his real guns are in a safe?

ragged Sun 08-Nov-15 19:40:00

You need to ask around your neighbours, what are cultural norms & the best way to approach raising your concerns. Bottom line, doesn't matter what he has on display, main thing is your 4yo mustn't possibly get truly near loaded guns.

velourvoyageur Sun 08-Nov-15 19:41:58

My uncles have things called carabines which are like little rifles for shooting pigeons. My younger cousins have been allowed to use them since quite small, at least age 6, when they still needed help holding them!
I don't like it at all when it's used for something other than trying to get the bullseye in a paper target. But my cousins are very nice, very well adjusted kids. They're more cavalier with wasps and spiders than I'd like, but apart from that....and their aim is a hell of a lot better than mine....

You can explain to your DD how you feel about it and that it's not normal, and if she wants to go back then she'll be equipped with some information about it.

ILiveAtTheBeach Sun 08-Nov-15 19:45:27

I'd be a bit uncomfortable with it. I don't mind guns, I mean from the perspective that your DC could get hold of one. My Dad has loads of guns. They are meant to be kept in a locked cabinet, but frequently they are stashed behind furniture (just in case of intruders). I know how to shoot and handle guns, and have done since I was little, but other children wouldn't know this. As a teen, upon hearing a noise downstairs I loaded a revolver and went looking for intruder. It's been taught to me and I'm a good shot. But no, I wouldn't want my DC there, YANBU.

Booboostwo Sun 08-Nov-15 19:51:16

They are proper guns. The dad is a big gun fan and keeps a lot of them.

There are so many stories of DCs accidentally shooting themselves or others in countries with gun cultures - that is what worries me. DD is too young to walk away from dangerous situation. She probably wouldn't touch a gun but she'd be around if one of the older DCs decided to get a gun out and show off.

alltheworld Sun 08-Nov-15 19:51:43

If you are uncomfortable then just do not let your d d go there. All too often children in the u s get hold of guns at home and shoot each other. Probably the risk is minimal but it is your call.

Booboostwo Sun 08-Nov-15 19:53:09

They hunt a lot of wild boar around here and you need proper shot gun for that. The hunting season has only been open since September and already there have been two fatalities in the area. One was a walker shot by a hunter, another was a hunter shot by his mates.

Senpai Sun 08-Nov-15 19:54:59

I live in the US in a state where they practically give out a free gun with every happy meal.

I would not be allowing my small child in that house or any house where guns were kept.

Guns kill more friends and family members within a gun owner's house each year than all our mass shootings combined. It takes only one time of absent mindedly sticking your loaded gun on your dresser to "unload later" to have a gun accident. Anyone with young children should have their guns over in a safety deposit box at the bank until they're older. My parents got rid of their guns as soon as my mother got pregnant, and haven't had one since.

I will be teaching my child gun safety and taking her to a shooting range when she's older so she understand how to use them. I don't want them to be a big scary thing for her as she will be growing up in a gun culture, but I do want her to understand that they're not toys either.

MerdeAlor Sun 08-Nov-15 19:58:05

In France too OP and I hear awful stories of how cavalier the hunters are with their guns.
I keep the dogs and cats well away if I can, esp the cats as they are used as target practice.

eurochick Sun 08-Nov-15 19:58:31

I came on to say yabu but hearing that you are abroad in a place that doesn't have as strict gun laws a as we do, yanbu. I don't like the thought of them being on display like that. And I am a keen shooter, but think that the keeping of guns should be as tightly regulated as it is here.

bikingintherain Sun 08-Nov-15 20:00:43

I read a good article on this a couple of weeks ago. Cultural or not, you have to be sure that your child is 100% safe and no accidents could happen.

There is a good analysis in this article as to what that looks like.

bookishandblondish Sun 08-Nov-15 20:06:14

Have you seen the cabinet?

It sounds very similar to the farmer's houses when I was a kid - very secure and no way of accessing guns by accident. I grew up in the UK in a rural area - I saw a lot of guns when I was a kid (7 upwards) but only ever saw them fired ( clay pigeon) when I was 21.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 08-Nov-15 20:06:14

Well put it this way my child would not be returning back there.
How many times have tragedies happened when children have got their hands on guns. Yes I know they're locked away but that wouldn't ease my worries.

peggyundercrackers Sun 08-Nov-15 20:19:58

Sounds like the guns are in a cabinet which is locked and the guns are secured correctly, wouldn't bother me for my dd to go there or be with the people.

Mistigri Sun 08-Nov-15 21:14:39

It sounds like the guns are stored safely but without knowing the family a bit better I can understand why you might be nervous.

Our old neighbour and his grandson were hunters and had rifles, but the guns were always kept safely in an upstairs room, and they would never have had the guns out when my kids were round their house.

It depends on how much you trust them really.

Gaspard Sun 08-Nov-15 21:22:21

Accidents can happen even when precautions are usually taken. I could never be at ease in the situation you describe.

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