About the Study Guide

You are looking at the Washington Handgun Education Study Guide. At the present time, you cannot obtain handgun education certification from Handgun Safety Course. However, you can use this Study Guide as a resource to learn more about handgun safety.

All family members, not just the gun's owner, should know the rules of firearm safety and how to handle a handgun. This includes children.

Remember that children are curious and may play with a handgun if they find one.

If your children could be around handguns in your home or some other location, remove the mystery surrounding guns by covering safety information with your family.

  • Point out the parts of the handgun and tell what the parts do.
  • Demonstrate how to handle the gun safely.
    • Explain the safety rules about treating every handgun as if it were loaded and never pointing the muzzle at anyone.
    • Explain how the handgun's safety works.
    • Show them how to unload the gun safely and how to release a cocked hammer.
  • Make sure children understand that guns can kill themselves or others. Emphasize that they should never handle a gun unless they are with a responsible adult. If they find a gun when an adult is not around, tell them to follow the rules for children listed below.
  • Take your children with you when you shoot. This will:
    • Help satisfy their curiosity.
    • Help prevent them from trying to handle the gun on their own.
    • Give them the opportunity to make up their own minds about becoming a shooter.

Encourage your children to take a handgun safety course.

Teaching children handgun safety

Rules for Children

(Adapted from the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe© Program and used with the NRA’s permission)

A child who finds a gun when an adult is not around should follow these rules.

  • Stop, and tell others who are with you to stop.
  • Do NOT touch the gun.
  • Leave the area.
  • Go tell a responsible adult.