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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’m a 16 year old that has just started hunting and shooting this year. I was raised in a very anti gun house hold. I’ve been working towards buying my own gun for almost a year just trying to gain the trust of my parents to allow me to buy one. I have took a hunter safety class, shooting lessons, And I go to the range or go hunting with my friends every chance I get. Recently I went to a barbecue where we were gonna shoot some clays. I left a shotgun on the pouch unloaded, safety on, and an open breach. Someone who has no experience or education on firearms grabbed the gun by the barrel and look straight down it. I instantly moved the barrel back into a safe direction and told them to never ever do that again no matter what. After that happened I did not put the shotgun back in it’s case because I knew I would be on the pouch for the rest of the night and the gun would not be left unattended in the hands of an incompetent person. My parents heard about this and now think that I’m to irresponsible to own a firearm. So basically the point of this post was to ask if that was a mistake on my end and if so is it enough to loose all trust in my capability. (Edit. After reading this post again it does seem like I set the gun down and just walked away, I had literally just took the gun off my shoulder and sat down right next to it. Also thanks to everyone who has replied with how I could better handle that situation)
 

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I believe that you will hear that you were at fault and not at fault, depending upon the view they have. It is never a good idea to leave a firearm open and unattended, even if it is unloaded. I do think that you kept the experience from getting any worse and I believe you have learned a valuable lesson. Look at gun ownership as a huge responsibility and your parents are being cautious because they love you and want you to be safe. Best of luck, stay safe and God Bless! JM2C
 

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Other than the gun being left unattended, I don't see where you did anything wrong.
Sorry but leaving a gun unattended is wrong. Just leaving a gun loaded or not loaded leaning on a porch with other people around is not a good thing that is why I want to know who picked it up and how old they are.
If it was some one over 21 then it is as much there fault as the poster but if it was a kid then it is ALL the posters fault. If there was kids around then that gun should have been locked in a case or safe intill it was ready to be used.
You do not just leave a gun sitting around.
Loaded or not.
 

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We leave shotguns on the rack at my club. They are unloaded As a member you have to go through a lot of training. Live and learn. A gun should never be left unattended other than in a controlled setting. Put it back in the case and better yet in the trunk of your car.
 

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I think you should have put the shotgun back in it's case when you finished shooting it. Then put the case in a secure location.
 

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Do Not leave guns unattended. You did right by having it unloaded, action open and safety on. However, if it will be left unattended it needs to have at least a trigger or action lock. Preferably in a case and maybe out of sight depending on the setting. If the person who picked it up just happened to also have ammo, things could a gone downhill fast.

You seem like a responsible kid to me and I think you learned a valuable lesson. If I am right, then you will never leave a gun unattended the rest of your life. Shooting sports are a lot of fun and guns are not dangerous – only the person with the gun can be dangerous.
 

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I would have put it back in it's case and put it away. There was no reason to leave it uncased on the porch whether you were there or not. You can't keep your eyes on it every minute. It's not enough to lose trust in yourself but it should have taught you a valuable lesson. You're young, you're going to make mistakes. It's part of the learning process. Just do all you can to make sure your mistakes don't get someone hurt.
 

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I remember years ago being on the road and finding that I was going to be staying at a hotel near where a lot of TFF members lived and invited them to a beer and pizza meet and greet so we could meet each other. When I suggested we all unload and put all weapons on a bed before we opened the first 12 pack it was actually kind of hilarious the sheer number and types of firearms that appeared almost out of no where and were safely “made safe.” 😎. And yes we safely “handled” each other’s firearms which was pretty much the whole conversation until the beer and pizza disappeared. But I’ve always wondered what any “non gun person“ would’ve thought had they peeked into that room😂
 

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But to the OP, you are going to run into this your entire life, interacting with people who don’t know about or worse, are scared of guns. And it sounds from your background you may be exposed to such people more than most.

Always remember you are actually in a “teaching moment” every time you handle a firearm, you have no idea who may be watching. Do NOT get angry or defensive, even if you are right!

Use it and turn it into a lesson on proper gun safety. Explain why you left it in the condition you did, unloaded and with the action open. Apologize for not putting it away, and how we all have to constantly be learning! Politely explain your “mistake” of assuming that anyone present would also be aware of the gun safety rules, such as not picking up a firearm without permission of the owner first, and showing them the proper way to pick one up, always controlling the muzzle, why and how to check to see If a firearm is unloaded, always assuming the firearm is loaded even when you KNOW it isn’t, etc.

Done properly, and WITHOUT anger or condescension, you can easily turn it into a learning experience for all AND demonstrate your “maturity,” which by the way has NOTHING to do with age...
 

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Leave a gun on your front porch here in NY you wouldn't have it very long!
 

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I don't see anything wrong in what you did, at all. You can't help it if you have an idiot come by and want to look down the barrel. To expand a little on what howlnmad said about the TFF BBQ. While we are shooting and lunch is called, there are up to 20 maybe 30 guns left laying on the range firing positions along with all the ammo you will ever want.
 
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