They say that knowledge is power, and that is never more true than when you are dealing with gun safety. Below we will give you some of that knowledge, but don’t let it end here. We strongly encourage training and practice.
This is the first article on our website, so we thought we would start at the beginning. If you are new to firearms, this should be your very first lesson. ALWAYS remember these rules and ALWAYS follow them.
Below are the four rules of gun safety and how to follow them. Read each rule, commit it to memory, and pass them along to those you teach in the future.
The 4 Rules of Gun Safety
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded…always.
- Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Treat every gun as if it is loaded…always.
View every gun as a loaded gun. This rule is tied to the other three rules. Knowing a gun is unloaded does not allow you to skip steps 2-4, it ensures that you are always following the other rules of gun safety.
This is most important when transferring possession of a gun between you and someone else. Just because the other person checked to see if it was loaded right in front of you, you still need to check for yourself as soon as you pick it up.
Treating a gun as a loaded gun is the primary rule, the rule that helps enforce the other rules. If you are violating any of the other rules, then that means that you are violating rule number 1.
Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
This does not mean only while you are holding the gun, but also when you set it down. Remember, if you are treating every gun as if it were loaded, you will never point it at something you will not want to destroy.
One thing many people forget is to keep the gun pointed away from themselves. It is easy to forget and have your muzzle pointed at your feet, leg, arm, or anywhere for that matter, while you are transitioning the firearm. This commonly happens when someone is either holstering their weapon, turning to talk to someone, or even just preparing to fire the next round.
The way I usually explain it is to imagine that there is a flashlight on the end of your gun. If it would shine on something, you better be prepared to destroy it. If you are at a range, keep the gun pointed down range at ALL times.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
Here is where many people in the early stages of learning about firearms make a mistake. However, it is not only them. If you watch any television or movies, you will see the same mistake made by actors all the time (well, maybe now you will notice it all the time).
You should always keep your index finger extended straight and outside of the trigger guard until your target is in your sights and you are ready to fire. This simple step prevents virtually any chance of you accidentally pulling the trigger.
Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Once the gun has been fired, anything that the round hits is YOUR responsibility. This includes everything you did not intend to hit.
People may be struck while in front, to the side, behind, or even beyond a wall. Each round that leaves your gun must not strike others inadvertently. Getting proper training will help with all of gun safety, but it will help with this rule the most. Learn to quickly judge your surroundings.
Training and Practice
These are the four primary rules of gun safety. Know them, learn them, and practice them. We recommend you get professional training. Many of your local ranges will have classes listed either on their website, or at the range itself. If you are nervous at first, find a friend and go together.
After you get training, then it is time to start practicing. Practice, practice, practice. You will be training your body and mind on what to do at all times while handling a firearm.
- Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting or being around a shooter.
- If your gun does not fire after pulling the trigger, pause while keeping the gun pointed in the same direction because the round could go off at any time. After a short wait, attempt to remove the round while keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Learn the firearm you are using. This is especially important for a person who is going to be carrying the firearm on them for self defense.
- Keep your guns in a safe location at all times and away from unsupervised children.
- Know what ammunition is to be used in your gun, only use ammunition that is compatible with your gun.
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