Happy Father’s Day To All the Pro-Gun Dads Who Taught Us Right

Courtesy Luis Valdes

[ED: This was a great post from Luis about his father. It originally ran last year and we’re bumping it up for Father’s Day this year. Enjoy.] 

To all of the pro-gun dads out there, thanks for getting your kids into firearms. Fatherhood is a very important role in one’s life from a personal level, I want to say thanks, Dad, for teaching me about firearms. Thanks for getting me into shooting, collecting, and more importantly . . . for teaching me what the Second Amendment is all about.

I still remember my father taking me out to the range when I was about six and my Dad handing me my New England Firearms Pardner 20 gauge shotgun. I remember him teaching me about firearm safety, making sure I always pointed the shotgun in a safe direction, keeping my finger off the trigger, telling me to always treat it as if it’s loaded, and never pointing it at something I don’t want to destroy.

The NEF Shotgun I’ve had since I was six years old. (Courtesy Luis Valdes)

I remember Dad loading a 20 gauge #8 birdshot load and asking me if I was ready. I told him yes, of course, and, as a giddy school boy, which I was, I shouldered the shotgun, cocked the hammer, and let loose. And boy did I ever. It knocked me square on my butt and the hammer cut my cheek since I had my face too close to the receiver.

It didn’t stop me though. Dad told me to stand up, toughen up, brush it off, and try it again. And did exactly that and I’ve loved it ever since.

My Father is my role model and my hero. When he wasn’t getting me into firearms, he worked hard to provide the best for me. That meant raising me right with a strong set of morals and the desire to help others in need.

My Dad as a rookie cop in Miami in 1976 (Courtesy Luis Valdes)

Dad when he was a special agent during the drug wars in Miami (Courtesy Luis Valdes)

Dad, ready for riot duty (Courtesy Luis Valdes)

My father always made sure that guns in the house were secured in a safe manner. He also took the mystery away from them by taking me to the range often. Because if I was acclimated and used to them, I wouldn’t be so curious as to be dangerous as can happen when kids get a hold of firearms without the proper training.

So again, thanks Dad for raising me right.

Dad’s still at it in his 60s (Courtesy Luis Valdes)

Tell us your stories of how your Dad introduced you to firearms and any fun memories you have. And more importantly, if you’re a Dad, how you got your kids into guns.


  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Thank you, Dad. He started me with a BB gun and .22 SA revolver and I’m still gunnin’ in _my_ 60s.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      For me, it wasn’t my father. He was born in the States, but later (after I was born and my parents divorced, leaving him to chase skirts, which he did) he moved to Europe and became a citizen of the country he ended up staying with. He grew up here in the South and all-things-guns, but is now against private ownership and thinks the 2A allows for government registration, etc.

      Odd, since his own father – my grandfather – was a WWII soldier, master engineer, hunter, and avid firearms sportsman. I learned from him how to be a “man’s man” and take responsibility for my actions, provide for my family, protect the family name, respect my elders, train with my guns and know how to use/store/repair them, etc.

      So Happy Father’s Day, dad, because you’re my dad and I was taught to always respect you as my father. But Happy Father’s day to my grandfather as well, who fought hard all his life to protect our rights, and would be on the front lines today for the 2A if he were still alive.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Hmm. Was going to say the same, but looks like I was already here last year.

        Kudos to all of you who had great dads who taught you life lessons and shared memories shooting together. Not everyone had that.

  2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    In my case make that Grandfather,grandpa was the instiller of the basics and then the finer points,Dad was good in his own way but not quite the teacher my Grandfather was. Happy fathers day to both Grandpa and Dad,now both sadly gone from daily life.

  3. avatar Dave in Houston says:

    Sadly, my beloved Dad did not share my interest in guns but still I grew up with them….outside his knowledge.
    I have taught all 3 of my children gun safety and taking them to the range. Oldest daughter has a decent collection and son has a .45 for protection but isn’t interested in concealed carry. Youngest daughter’s kids play with toy guns and knows when her boys are old enough I will teach them gun safety and take them to the range with her approval.

    1. avatar Neil says:

      My mom taught me. She and her sisters were sharpshooters. I’ve bought a pink 10/22 to teach my daughters (not yet ready, but soon). Now my Mom, AKA Grandma, gets a kick out of inspecting my collection. “Her: Why this one when you have that one that looks the same? Me: That one is 9mm, the other 45 ACP…”. Since Mom fired my grandma’s 1911, no further explanation required.

      My dad is afraid of guns. Sold in a minute the 45-70 I was to inherit. I love him, but he doesn’t understand why I won’t let him handle a gun as he just never learned they aren’t toys and how to check the chamber (I tried, as did Mom).

  4. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

    Age 9, Christmas. A BB-gun and a pack of 100 10m small-bore targets. His instructions, don’t shoot your eye out, kid. And God help me if I were ever to shoot anything but those targets.

    About a month ago, I came across the remainder of the pack of 100 targets. I Think I’ll be hanging on to it…

  5. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    BB guns until 9 yrs old then 22’s and 410 shotguns. Upgraded to 11 shooting a Marlin in 35 rem. And a Winchester 70 in 30.06 my dad was silent as I held the Win about 2 inches away from my shoulder when I pulled the trigger, that hurt. Been a gun nut ever since.

  6. avatar Duane says:

    I drove the same year/model of squad car when I stated back in the 70’s.

    I looked that young also.

    My dad taught be to shoot from a very young age I was 5yoa when I shot my first pistol a 22rf Remington rolling block.

    I killed my first game with a daisy red Ryder bb gun. that was starling in the blue bird house.

    My mother said shoot that starling so I snuck up on it and killed it deader then a door nail. That was at age five also.

    Are guns hung on rack in our old farm house.

    All eight of us children knew not to mess with them until we had permission.

    I killed my first grouse with a 20ga 870 at 9yoa.

    One of the most profound moments was when the local evening news came on about two escaped prisoners.

    Who were breaking into house in and terrorizing families.

    My Dad took out his colt officers model 38 6 inch loaded it placed in in his night stand told us where it was and not to play with.

    He said if the prisoners would show up he would protect us.

    I took that lesson to heart.

  7. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Dad grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania and he was a subsistence fisherman and hunter before he joined the army. In those days during the depression putting some kind of food on the table was lots more important than the fish and game laws. I’m sorry but that was the truth about survival back in the day. Dad had a double barrel side by side 16 gauge and if you went out with two shells, you had better come home with two animals for the pot.

    As I grew up in the 50s and 60s I realized that my WW2 veteran dad had a great respect for firearm safety. Dad served as a medic and knew what a firearm could do to you if it was used improperly. He remained a shotgun guy most of his life because that’s how he was brought up and I don’t think that he ever killed a deer just because there weren’t a lot of deer around when he was a kid.

    Dad only owned one pistol – a p-38 Walther that he liberated from a German tanker. He was okay with my eclectic collection of rifles and pistols. We didn’t get out and shoot together as much as I would have liked but we understood and respected each other. For the record dad did buy hunting and fishing licenses later in life when poverty and survival weren’t foremost in his mind. He was a good man with a great sense of humor. Dad’s been gone for 25 years but I still miss him.

  8. avatar Wood says:

    I came by my interest in firearms without my Dad’s involvement. Dad was there for a lot of other things though. He’s been gone 14 years now.

    I just took my 7yo twin girls to the range for their first time last Sunday with .22lr Savage Rascal. We talked about the 4 rules on the drive down, and started off bench-rested at 10 yards to learn the basics and get some positive reinforcement; then we moved over to the steel house for plates at 25. Both want more!

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Around 6-7 years old. Grandpa’s farm in Mississippi squirrel hunting with Dad. Mossberg .410 bolt action with Poly-Choke.

  10. avatar Specialist38 says:

    BB gun at 5. Shooting and hunting (kinda) at 6 with a JC Higgins 410 and Springfield Bolt action 22.

    Also at 6 – got to shoot Dad’s Victory Model, my brother in laws 1911, and my sister’s airweight chief. Hooked on handguns ever since.

  11. avatar Knute(ken) says:

    My sons are taking me out for the best pizza in Montana, and perhaps the whole USA,
    and, as stated on the site above, this is, officially, the middle of nowhere.
    Happy Father’s Day!

  12. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I was about 6 and my brother was about 13. Dad was an instructor for the Navy and would take us to the range across from Miramar NAS on weekends. I got to shoot all sorts of cool stuff. The .30 carbine was my favorite. (Even got to eat my first rattlesnake during one of those outings.)
    I still have the Springfield.22 he gave me. It was his dads first. Dad used it to hunt for food for his family back in the 40’s. It’s still a great bolt gun.
    I inherited dads small collection when he passed a few years back. All keepers from a pretty darn good dad.
    “Any one can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.”

  13. avatar Someone says:

    My dad was an army officer and a very good shot with both hanguns and rifles. I still have medals he won in bullseye competitions. But he had strange relationship with firearms. You could say he was a bit of a Fudd, except he never hunted as far as I know.

    I learned shooting from him as a kid, using his pellet rifle and CO2 pistol. He took my brother and me to reserve officer’s shooting club competitions with him, where we learned to use army pistol and assault rifle. Later we started to compete too. (Not too successfully, I must add, unlike dad we usually ended up around a middle of the bunch.)

    But he never owned a real firearm and only used club owned guns for his training and competitions.
    When I bought my first pistol, he was there with me and considered getting a TT33 that he saw in the store, but never did. Later, when I was in my twenties and and started to carry, he often told me that I will get into trouble because of it. When he saw the content of my little gun safe couple of years ago, he asked what I need them all for and joked that I’m a closet militarist.

    After he passed away last September I found out that he has been carrying a pistol for last couple of years of his life. But not real one. He chose the 8mm, CS gas blowing one. I guess he never wanted to shoot anyone.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    My dad used to take us to gun shows in Kankakee,ILL. Had a NRA sticker on the front door(yeah thing’s have changed!) Took us shooting at the NRA range in Bonfield,ILL with a 22 6gun and a 22 bolt rifle. But it wasn’t important or emphasized at all. He was already an old man when I was a kid. Never got into guns until I was in my 50’s. Thanks anyway dad…

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Ditto 2020. My dad was an OK dad but a better husband to my mom. Took care of her until she passed away from cancer.

  15. avatar Stev says:

    My dad never had handguns. He had no interest in them. He did have a Remington 870, a Ruger single shot .22, and a 10/22. We went to the range regularly. When I graduated college, I began buying pistols and bought my own .22 rifle. My dad is now considering a CPL.

  16. avatar Hoyden says:

    Top picture: is that the “Miami Marksman’s slouch” or is he operating his Sig(?) from a beach chair?

    I envy the bristles! HFD all.

  17. avatar Jason says:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying! I have a portrait of my Pops tattooed on my arm so he’s always with me. I love the vintage pics of the author’s old man with the porno-stache and suppressed Uzi– what a time to be a man! These days if you wear a beard and like to shoot you’re likely to get a milkshake for it.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Just to clarify, as in concrete in a cup?

  18. I wasn’t able to teach my sons about guns. By the time I got around to it, they had already been shooting with their middle school friends.
    I’m late to the game but I feel about guns the way I do with cell phones. How did I get by without them?

  19. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m happy for you all. My father had guns but was also afraid to teach his own sons. He was really anti-gun.

  20. avatar Dude says:

    My dad never taught me anything about firearms, but I taught my own son. I’m fairly new to it myself, so my kids didn’t grow up around it when they were very young. Unfortunately, my daughter has zero interest in it. She wants to be an FBI analyst, and said she’ll train with them only if she has to do it for work.

  21. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    My dad was not into guns and is clearly an anti. He’s a good man in many other ways, but we’ve always had our differences.

    I’m doing my best to make that not the case with my son. We actually went out for the first time last week. He got a real treat as a first timer due to some unplanned challenges (I had planned on renting a 22lr) he got to shoot my .243 win AR-10, my .357 (with .38 spls) and my 12ga Ithaca 37. Definitely a lot more gun than the Winchester 290 I got to shoot first. He didn’t like the Ithaca but man he really liked the 243 and was deadly on that prarie dog target at 25 yards with the AR. I think he’ll really be a pretty crack shot as time goes by. Certainly better than his dad, but that’s not particularly challenging.

  22. avatar enuf says:

    Had to develop my own interest in firearms and wilderness. Can’t really place any credit for that with my father. Nor credit for much of anything else really. A good example of what not to emulate in growing up.

  23. avatar J. Smith says:

    Started off with the same an H&R 20 gauge. Been proficient with firearms since six. I was allowed to keep my 20 in my room taken apart so I could hunt squirrels after school. It was all I had, thank God when i was 12, my father was out of town and a local, hopped up on pcp tried breaking in the front door. The dog was ready, he would have slowed him at the door ahould he make entry. I was ready, standing 10 ft in front of the door with the muzzle leveled at about head height. It was only me, my mom and my sister. Took 30 minutes for the cops to show up and arrest him. One other thing dad did beside teach me to shoot, put fire in my belly and make sure I had enough grit to excel in life was too make sure the house was solid. Solid oak wood door on extra sturdy hinges with double dead bolts, and a pre-security door, and Bushes that were 6′ high and sharp blocking all the lower windows. The local didnt have tools or anything but he was finding stuff to try to beat down the door. Not sure if one round of 20gauge at near point blank range would have done it, but glad I had it, and a father that trained me and trusted me to keep it at the ready. I still have that H&R to this day, but have upgraded it to a 12 gauge. Next to my browning hp, will be the last gun that goes.

  24. avatar Forp says:

    My dad does not like guns because one of his friends died from being shot. With that being said, he’s never told me I can’t have firearms. Since then, I’ve purchased multiple guns and now he loves shooting my Henry lever action 22lr (quite possibly the most fun gun ever made). I’m proud to say that my dad is my best friend and better than anyone elses dad.

  25. avatar SouthAl says:

    Dad had plenty of guns, but was not into it the way me, my son, and some of my nephews are. He and grandpa got me started hunting, but dad really liked fishing more. The only reason dad ever “went to the range” (which meant putting a can on a stump in the field) was to sight in a scope-except for the one time I took him to shoot an AR a few years ago.

    The running joke in the family is that mom started the gun gene. I am fortunate to have some of the firearms she gave her dad, and my dad, over the years. She has great taste; Browning Sweet Sixteen, Remington 700 BDL in 30-06 (replaced the trigger for my nephew who now has it), etc. First Father’s day without dad. Truly a day to remember all he did.

  26. avatar Ralph says:

    My dad (a WW2 GI) was from the “firearms are tools” school, so he wasn’t for or against. I mean, how can you be for or against something that’s just a tool? That would be like being against a drill press and for a band saw.

    My grandfather, who never shot a gun in his life, got me started in shooting. Go figure. Dad got with the program, but without gramps I wouldn’t have fired a rifle when I was eight.

  27. avatar Canon says:

    Good piece Luis. Taught two to shoot today and working on the third. My daughter is already a better shot than I am but maybe my nephew will write a piece about me in 20 years 🙂

  28. avatar Darkman says:

    It may be Father’s Day but, here’s a Mother We can all be proud of.
    Nashville liquor store owner, 88, explains why she shot alleged shoplifter: ‘I’m fed up’ | Fox News

    1. avatar Dude says:

      That entire article is pretty hilarious.

      Authorities said it might be two years before they give her back her confiscated gun.

      “I told ’em, s–t, I might be dead by then,” Boyce said (88 years old). “But the law’s the law.”

  29. avatar SoCalJack says:

    My dad did not get me into guns. But dedicated almost half his life to the US Navy and taught me about duty, sacrifice, patriotism, freedom and the constitution. I enlisted into the military and that’s were I first got into guns.

  30. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I look forward to the day when the Socialist progressives and atheists get out of everyone’s bedroom. And stop replacing the father and his guns with a government check and the guns of a big city police department.

    And the father can return to his natural position as protector of the family and educator of firearms to the next generation.

  31. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    My dad, old school democrat, didn’t teach me much but supported it. He still carries to this day and actually has a few hidden gems. Most people get confused by him cause those politics are gone with the new woke generation.

  32. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    Amen! Thank You Dad, for instilling a love of Firearms, History and Hunting very early in your prodigal son. Your Grandchildren (my kids) are both 2A supporting Gun Owners, and your Great Grandchildren (my Grandkids)will be as well.

  33. avatar 48th Ronin says:

    My father, deceased since 1989, was a true outdoorsman from an early age. He grew up in a rural part of Indiana, and trapped, fished, and hunt to bring in extra food and money for the family. At age 9 he got me a “boy’s model” Winchester, bolt-action .22 single-shot rifle that I still have – I am age 71. He taught me how to fish and hunt. He was also a reserve police officer for 9 years.

  34. avatar Texas Twostep says:

    Dad was a sportsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, and took me out to do both plenty of times (especially fishing… man, we would bass fish a lot from our old canoe). Later, when I was a teen, he taught me how to reload and we had a lot of fun working up precision loads for prairie dog shooting. Shot a lot of centerfire rifle with my dad, and he used to amaze me with his one handed bullseye style pistol shooting. He has been gone 23 years now, and I still miss shooting and fishing with him to this day. Wish he could see my collection of milsurp guns, he would have really enjoyed that.

  35. avatar Guns keep us safe! says:

    My dad taught me, I taught my son and daughter! They can defend themselves, family, state, or country! Thank God for the second amendment!

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