should I buy my 15 year old son a pellet gun?

My son has asked for a pellet gun. He is 15 almost 16. His grades are not the best and I all ready told him his grades had to come up. Inside Las Vegas city, you can't shoot any type of gun. it's against the law. I told him he needed to take hunter safety first and then we'd talk about a gun. He stormed off screaming that I never buy him what he wants and now I look like the bad guy. please help me deal with this teenage billy the kid.

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, there are two trains of thought I can think of on this question.

    1. Is it OK to buy a gun for a teenager? I grew up in Alaska where guns are very common. I started shooting literally before I can remember (probably around age 4 or 5). Before the age of 8, I was shooting high powered rifles under adult supervision. By the time I was 16, I think I had 4 or 5 long guns already. I owned real guns with real bullets. I hunted unsupervised once the law allowed me to do so. I have yet to kill or hurt any human with a firearm. However, despite my extensive knowledge of firearms and being mature for my age, during my fragile teenage years, I did find myself becoming lax about gun safety. It's not that I am stupid or I was intentiionally being careless, it is just sometimes you get caught up in the moment and forget about being safe.

    Is it OK to buy a gun for a teen? I would say yes. However, if he has yet to be exposed to firearms, I would keep a very close eye on him. Lock the gun away (even a BB/pellet gun) when not in use in a safe or with a trigger lock.

    2. More general...should you buy your teen something they want...

    Nothing makes me cringe more than the words "I want". I beleive that the standard of living has increased dramatically for most Americans since their childhood (when I was growing up, a 2400+ square foot house, several cars, 4 or 5 TVs, McDonalds 3 times a week, and a house full your favorite toys (be it firearms, cars, golf clubs, or whatever you want as an adult) was unimaginable). As a parents, most of us want to give our children more than what we had. I find myself falling into this trap.

    I would say that you could potentially make this a good lesson in life for your son. Make your son work for the rifle. You can either give monetary credits to your son based on criteria he meets or make your son go out and get a job (by the age of 15, I was bussing tables, washing dishes, waiting tables, cooking, or doing whatever job was needed to be done at a local restaurant. Eventually, by the time I graduated high school, I worked my way to a chef...all for $0.75 above minimum wage).

    As far as giving your son credits...lay out dollar values for actions you wish to encourage in your son. If you want him to get good grades, make an "A" worth $3 each, "B" $2 each, and a "C" $1 each. Your son mows the lawn? Give him credit for $5. Keeps the house spotless? $10 a week. Changes diapers? $0.25 each. Roofs the house? Buy him the rifle. Mandate that at least 25% of the credits you give him must come from grades (or whatever percent works for you).

    I'm not sure how much you are looking to spend (some pellet rifles can run up to a few hundred dollars). Adjust your values accordingly (if he want's a $30 rifle, then I'd give him less money for most things).

    Children need to know that things will not always go their way. Outline a plan and sit down with your son and tell him this is what he needs to do to get from "A" to "B" to get his rifle (Hunter's Education is a great idea BTW). If they don't like it? Too damn bad.

    You can try to change the deal a little bit to try and teach your son to aim high and be persistant at accomplishing a goal. If he is willing to work for the $300 mark, let him know that you will by him a 22 rimfire rifle, a scope, and a membership to a local shooting club rather than a pellet gun.

    Good Luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, I do not think you should buy your 15 year old a pellet gun. I see nothing wrong with someone of that age (or younger) having a gun if they are mature and can responsibly handle one.

    My opinion is due to what you said about YOUR son-you already told him that he needed to improve his grades first, which he has not done. Then he had a temper tantrum when you told him no. That is not responsible, mature behavior and certainly would not get any child of mine what they are asking for.

    If his attitude is already so bad, a potential weapon is not a good idea for him. Nevermind that since you apparently live within the city limits of Las Vegas, it is illegal anyway. If you purchase a gun for your teenaged son, I think you are opening yourself up for a whole lot of trouble.

    Again, I have nothing against guns-we own several, and my children are younger than your son and they do use a pellet gun (supervised) and as they age, they will be taught to properly care for and handle the other guns. It is just your son's attitude that makes me think that NO, he should NOT have a gun-pellet or not.

    I hope this helps.

    Source(s): Common sense and research Personal experience and opinion Mom of two and oen ont he way!
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think his reaction to you is the perfect reason why he shouldn't own a pellet gun at this point.

    That being said, I think he needs to be given responsibilities so he can start to demonstrate to you ways that he can start to be mature without having to rely exclusively on his grades.

    My eldest son is NOT the academic type regardless of the tiresome efforts of his parents, tutoring and all the support in the world. He's a great kid but if I were to lean only his his academic successes as an indicator of his maturity then he would never be allowed to do anything!

    If you are certain his academic ability is impeded by his own immaturity then yes, I think it's good that you encourage him to improve in his grades, but I wouldn't let that be the only (or most significant) determining factor.

    I think you need to establish why he wants a pellet gun, especially if it can't be used in your area. What does he think he's going to be shooting? Does he think it makes him suddenly cool to have one? Is it a dare? If he's serious about sport shooting, then get him into a club where he can learn from professionals (and someone other than you, who is too emotionally connected to him) all about gun laws, gun safety and responsible handling. That way also he can use the firearms that belong to the club (if they have their own?) and you won't have to worry about the safe storage of the weapon.

    You are NOT the bad guy; your job is to raise an emotionally and psychologically healthy individual who is able to be a responsible contributor to society. If in doing that you say his grades need to improve, then his grades need to improve.

    Don't be bullied into making a decision about a weapon because he has a tantrum. Instead continue to encourage him in his school work, spend quality time together teaching him new and exciting things in challenging and meaningful ways and as he demonstrates his handle on the little things, give him more big things to be in charge of.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): Mother of 4, rifle owners (I do not live in the USA) and hunters. Each of our children are taught to handle a firearm. The 2 older boys will own an air rifle next year for the purpose of rabbit shooting.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The day you let it bother you that you "look like the bad guy" is the day you and your kids are doomed.

    You are being absolutely reasonable and he is being a normal teenager with poor impulse control. You will both get through it.

    Stand tough, make him improve his grades and take the course and figure out where he is going to shoot it WHEN and IF he gets the gun.

    Source(s): Ten years of living in gun-crazy Texas, God help us all.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't see anything wrong with pellet guns but it sounds like your son is not mature enough to be responsible with one. Besides, if it is illegal to shoot one where you live, he shouldn't have one.

    As far as handling your son so that you don't look like a bad guy, get used to it! That is part of your job as his father. You are not there to look like a good guy. You are there, among other things, to set appropriate limits with your son so that he grows up to be a mature, responsible adult. Sometimes you don't get to look like a good guy until he gets married and has children of his own.

    You might try telling your son that you don't owe him anything and that what he does get will be as rewards for improved behavior (like improving his grades).

    If you are firm and consistent with your son so that he comes to know that you mean what you say, and that he will get rewards for appropriate behavior and will lose meaningful privileges (everything is a privilege except eating 3 meals a day, a roof over his head, and inexpensive clothes to go to school) when his behavior is not appropriate; he should start to settle down and become the son you would like him to be.

    Source(s): I used to work as a RN on psychiatric units in hospitals on both adult and adolescent units. Personal experience.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Your son is acting like a small child and that along with bad grades ("not the best?") does not add up to someone I would want weilding a pellet gun. You do not look like a bad guy, you look like a parent making a proper decision. When he acts like the man he wants to be treated like, then he'll get what he deserves. He doesn't deserve it yet.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i had my first pellet gun at 10 but i had taken a gun saftey course at 9 and a review course a few years later but i say tell him to drop the bull, pull the grades up, take the course and give it to him only then

    also i would tell your relative you said NO!! or his grampa or someone else may go over your head

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  • 1 decade ago

    Tough love!!! you should let him yell and get as pissed off as he wants.... just stand strong and don't buy it.... point blank! This guns CAN kill people too.... he is to young to have a gun anyway... what does he really need it for?? You are suppose to be his father not his friend... so it really doesn't matter if you LOOK like the bad guy.......

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  • 1 decade ago

    im 15 and just a few months ago some stupid boy at school shot me with an airsoft gun in my neck... it hurt & it was after a school function so he didnt get in trouble. Obviously if hes still throwing fits hes not mature enough for a gun....

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  • tammer
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Where can he use it???????

    Make him take a saftey course.... then look into a shooting range if its something he is interested in. ( and they keep the guns)

    But his grades would have to come up and he would have to show responsibility to get this privilage....... Like months and months to prove it, not days...... If he isnt willing to work for it and prove he is responsibile then its a clear NO

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