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Posted: 3/10/2011 12:31:42 PM EST
I'm pretty certain a mentally handicapped person can't own/buy a gun but is it legal/acceptable to let one handle and shoot one? Please understand this person is quite capable of interacting and following instructions, he's not handicapped to the point where he does completely unpredictable things or can't understand/interact with people. He'll need close supervision, as anyone would their first time shooting. As long as I can clear it with the range and find a good time where there's no one else on the line, is this an acceptable/legal thing to do or am I just dreaming and this is totally unacceptable/illegal?
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 2:39:15 PM EST
At least on the legal side, this person would have had to be declared mentally incompetent to be legally barred.
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 2:57:23 PM EST
Me personally, I would say clear it with the ranger owner / operator. I would also go when nobody else is there.

Based on what you have told us, I would think it should be okay. Keep a VERY close eye on them and make sure this person FULLY understands how dangerous they can be when not handled properly. You may want to get them started with some snap caps so they can feel what its like t shoot the gun prior to using live ammo.

I commend you on what you are doing. It is great to spend some time at the range with people you are close with, always brings smiles. Giving this person an opportunity to enjoy firearms, when they can't buy one on there own, is a great thing to do.

Have fun, Be safe, & Share good times
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 3:04:32 PM EST
And leave the fully auto Uzi at home....
Link Posted: 3/10/2011 5:50:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By BlindFaith429:
Me personally, I would say clear it with the ranger owner / operator. I would also go when nobody else is there.

Based on what you have told us, I would think it should be okay. Keep a VERY close eye on them and make sure this person FULLY understands how dangerous they can be when not handled properly. You may want to get them started with some snap caps so they can feel what its like t shoot the gun prior to using live ammo.

I commend you on what you are doing. It is great to spend some time at the range with people you are close with, always brings smiles. Giving this person an opportunity to enjoy firearms, when they can't buy one on there own, is a great thing to do.

Have fun, Be safe, & Share good times


Great advice. I can't believe I hadn't thought of this. I think we'll start out with a BB gun and snap caps. Will still be fun, and it will certainly help me decide whether it's worth it to clear it with the place I'd want to shoot at. By the way, I assume you don't load a real bullet in a snap cap, right? Is it just a primer or a primer plus a rubber/plastic projectile? Are they ok to shoot in autoloaders (I know they won't cycle)?

Link Posted: 3/10/2011 5:52:44 PM EST
I have a couple of thoughts. First is ..depends on how they are mentally handicapped? Are we talking 1-mental illness or 2-devolpmental? If the first I would say illegal. If the second I would say most likely legal but check your own state laws to be sure.

Other thoughts––-How well does this person deal with loud noises? The noise of the gun may scare the person. Also how would this person deal with a gun if they found a gun un attended? Interducing them to guns may cause them to want to play with them or seek them out to play with. Only you can answer these questions as you know this person.

Im not saying do not do it....heck if you think its safe and no negative affects on the person then go for it. It may mean the would to them.

Link Posted: 3/11/2011 12:15:50 AM EST
I would just use common sense as when starting young children out. Single shot .22 or .410 would work and keep a close eye on them.

CD
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 4:44:29 AM EST
My son falls into this category he is not able to understand what damage a gun could cause.
I don't take my eyes off of him for one second while shooting and don't switch the safety off until
he is on target. he fully enjoys the experience and understands that only I handle ammo.
as a side note he is also visually impaired so we shoot big bright balloons.
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 6:00:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2011 6:02:21 AM EST by BlindFaith429]
This is what I meant by snap caps.



They are made in all calibers. They are anodized solid aluminum with a piece of soft plastic that the firing pin hits. No powder, no primer, nothing to go bang. It is used to help with trigger control. They do not have any powder, so they must be manually loaded and cycled.

Starting with a BB gun would also be a good idea, as it can be done in a back-yard with nobody around. Using soda cans as targets would be a great idea as they are responsive to hits, rather then punching a hole.

Also, the advice about starting with a single shot 22 would be a great idea. I don't know how handicap the person is, but starting small is always a good idea.

The sound issue is DEFFINITLY something to watch out for, as I have personally seen people react in a not-so-nice way to loud sudden noises, especially when they aren't expecting it. Ear protection is a must (as always).

As AZspirit said, it may be a good idea to have only you handle the ammo and only when the firearm is pointed safely, and have you switch the safety off when ready. I understand it is not a good idea to rely on the safety, and that is why you should load the ammo only when ready to shoot.

AZspirit, I am sorry to hear about your son, but I do applaude you for teaching him correctly and letting him experience the world of firearms. My prayers are with you.
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 10:02:35 AM EST
Also, load one round at a time when starting off. Semi-automatic could get dangerous if he/she is spooked by the sound.
Link Posted: 3/11/2011 12:06:37 PM EST
you should get him involved in politics instead,but he might over quallified.hats off to you for at least trying to include him.
Link Posted: 3/12/2011 9:18:33 AM EST
I'm an Adapted Physical Education specialist for a large school district here in Texas.
I work with students who have gross motor delays or require accomodations or modifications to the general ed P.E. curriculum.........basically a Special Ed PE teacher. (I'm also an FFL)

Not only is what you propose legal, but it is commendable.

Just a couple of observations:
"Handicapped" is NOT the appropriate term. Just as "retard" or "cripple" are hurtful, the term "handicapped" is not accurate either. Special needs means special needs.....and many persons while developmentally delayed are certainly not handicapped. The preferred terms are "people first" as in "a shooting buddy with a cognitve disability" rather than "a retarded guy I'm going to take to the range". It might seem to be based in political correctness, but the term but is actually a more accurate means of identifying the persons abilities. If it were your child would you refer to him as mentally retarded or as a child with a cognitive delay?
Similiarly, saying "he's confined to a wheelchair" for a wheelchair user is limiting language.....I have students who USE a wheelchair and can easily get out and kick your ass if your refer to them as handicapped or confined.

As a previous post mentioned, the nature of the disability will affect what you can do at the range. They may exhibit cognitive, social, behavorial or motor abilities at a stage of development far below their chronological age: example: a thirty year old with the cognitive abilities of a typical second grader. If so, practice your firearm instruction just as you would with any second grader.

If the person has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, they may have difficulty with the noise of shooting. I have several students who wear hearing protection while in the gymnasium- too much noise or noise of certain frequency is over stimulating, distractful or even downright intolerable.

I have several students who read & practice "social stories" before doing an activity. Example: Before going to the range. WRITE a short step by step story (with pictures if possible) of what you are going to do, how you will do it, what it will sound and smell like, how the person should behave, what are the safety rules and the consequence of misbehavior.

Ideally, you would provide the story a day or so before the range trip and again immediately before the trip.



Link Posted: 3/12/2011 6:55:48 PM EST
Wow

Jesus Christ! just take him out and shoot some stuff. Common sense rules apply. If he doesn't like it then so be it.
Link Posted: 3/14/2011 5:40:12 PM EST
just make sure to give em a decent head start and you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 6:35:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By pandur:
just make sure to give em a decent head start and you'll be fine.


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