My Dad was a WWII and Korea vet, and didn't have an interest in firearms. There was an old Italian rifle and an Arisaka with the chrysanthemum he brought back. As a kid I played with them, and had a cowboy outfit complete with fringed shirt, chaps and Roy Rogers gun and gun belt. That was about age 5 or 6.
Then a Red Ryder at 10 and no, I didn't shoot my eye out. Harassed a bunch of birds and paper plates in the back yard in Waco. Also later had one of the kind you could pump up for more destruction.
Real firearms didn't come along until we returned from Great Britain. Around 15 my hoodlum cousins took me out for a day in the woods where they produced their dad's P-38, a Ruger MK standard and a sawed off Stevens 12ga shotgun. I later bought the Ruger and then the shotgun which I still have today. The Ruger I have carried just about everywhere I've been, including airline flights (just gave it to the pilot to hold on to during the flight), through the military and on many hikes and desert adventures. It's not worth much in dollars but priceless to me. Then came the 10/22, Security Six, ad infinitum
I got my first gun - a Marlin single-shot .22lr rifle - from selling greeting cards in the 1950s. Neighbors (and family members) cringed when they saw me coming but I finally sold that case of cards. My dad bought my next gun - a single-shot Harrington & Richardson Topper .410gauge. That one was passed down to my brothers as the years went by.
Late bloomer despite carrying an M2 Carbine and an 1911 for four years, Ruger .22 Mag convertible and then in early 2000's went to town since then. Purchased enough to buy a safe and half long guns and half handguns. I guess I have made up for not really growing up with them like some here.
Growing up in far northern Minnesota, hunting was a religion. I was out killing tin cans with my dad and a Winchester single-shot .22 when I was 5. By 12, I was running a trapline carrying a Savage semi-auto .22, hunting deer with a Marlin .30-30, grouse with an Iver Johnson 20 gauge, and ducks with a Winchester Model 12. By 15, the Savage was replaced on the trapline by a Ruger ST6.
At 75, I'm still at it - except for the trapline.... no way am I ready for 5 miles on snowshoes these days.
I wasn't "always" into guns I had to wait until I was 9 yrs old to get a cartridge gun. I'd had a bb gun for a few years before that.
My dad had the good sense to buy me a Winchester 69,and had the millwrights at the Ford plant weld up a bullet trap to put in the basement. Year round shooting. Never got "woke" about guns...
Kind of a strange deal. I was IIRC 6 years old and WW2 was in full swing which would make it about 1944. Every once in a while family from elsewhere in the state would cather and we'd all go a few miles down the coast rad from San Francisco for a family picnic. This time someone had broght a few guns including my Grandfather who brought an old single shot .22 and a M94 Winchester carbine that datses to 1911. I since learned that it was a wedding present from his father in law. Any way, here's all these people shooting and to me it was like shooting firecrackers. Loved the sound. Somehow they convinced Pop to let me shoot the 30-30. I could hardly hold it and when it went off the butt slipped off my should, the gun came up and smacked me hard in the nose which then bled like mad. Needless to say I was hooked and on Labor Day weekend I was in Lake county California on my first deer hunt with that very same M94 30-30 in my tight grasp. I was all of 11 years old. The rest is history.
I started around 10 or 11 years old when my dad decided he wanted to go hunting. Up til then he only handeled a gun while in the army during WW 2. I went to the range a few times with him. I joined my jr. high rifle team, in NY, using a .22 single shot lever action Ithaca rifle. Got my own rifle at 13. A Winchester model 270 that I still have.