Gun safety rules
Millions of shooters acquire guns every year, and the buyer’s largest percentage are first-time gun buyers. Therefore, it’s essential for them to practice gun safety until it becomes part of them.
Gun safety is a vital aspect anytime you handle your firearm. Why is gun safety so important? Well, it prevents unintentional shootings and gun-accident related deaths. It also reduces the risk of a gun being used by other unauthorized person(s) for different purposes apart from hunting, home-defense and gun competitions. Basically, observing and practicing gun safety keeps you and those around you safe.
Below are gun safety rules you, as a new gun owner or a seasoned shooter, must practice anytime you handle a gun.
1. Always Handle a Gun as If it’s Loaded
Gun accidents do happen regardless of being sure your gun is unloaded. Therefore, you must at least assume or treat the gun on your hands as if it’s loaded.
Irrespective of your gun experience, you ought to handle any gun with care, and you must not rely on safety, assuming that it won’t fire. Also, you should always inspect if a gun is loaded whenever you pick it up or when someone hands it over to you.
2. Keep Your Gun Unloaded When Not in Use
It’s a good idea to keep your firearm unloaded when you are not using it or storing it. Also, keep your gun in safe places with gun locks and ammunition in a separate place. This approach helps minimize the risk in case an unauthorized person access the gun. He/she cannot fire it. It also ensures children with little knowledge about guns can hardly access them, thus minimizing gun accidents and deaths associated with children.
In case your gun is mainly for home-defense, keep the gun and ammunition close enough to you such that you can easily access them and respond to a threat that might arise.
3. A Gun Muzzle Must Always Point to Safe Directions
One of the basic gun safety rules is always to point your gun muzzle in safe directions. Why is it important anyway? It ensures that you don’t point anything that you don’t intend to shoot or destroy.
This safety tip applies even when you think your gun is unloaded. It also applies when loading and unloading a firearm.
A safe direction is probably a direction where a bullet cannot hit anyone or destroy anything. In most scenarios, you should point your muzzle downwards or upward. Remember, you are responsible for any action anytime you handle that gun.
4. Observe Trigger Discipline
Until you are ready to fire, keep your fingers off the trigger. If you are not prepared to take a shot, you should keep your finger around the trigger guard on the gun frame but not in the trigger guard.
In case your finger is in the trigger guard, you might be distracted and end up accidentally firing towards someone or destroying something you didn’t intend.
5. Identify Your Target and What Beyond It
You must not pull that trigger if you have not identified your target and what’s beyond it. The essence of this safety tip is to prevent shooting unintended persons accidentally. Also, you must understand that bullets can penetrate through and beyond certain materials and the impact they might cause.
6. Handle Your Gun With Care in Case it Fails to Fire
At some point, you might load your gun, but it fails to fire. You must handle it carefully in such situations and ensure your muzzle is directed in a safer direction. Then slowly unload the firearm and open the action to check and correct the malfunction.
As long as you have a round in the chamber, it can be discharged if not handled carefully.
Remember, at times, a gun may have a delayed fire; therefore, you keep your firearm pointed towards your targets or safe directions.
7. Always Use the Correct Ammunition
If you want to fire your gun safely, avoid firing ammunition not meant for it. Firing the wrong ammunition can cause serious damages to your gun, and you are also prone to injuries. However, certain chambers can shoot various ammunitions. For instance, the 5.56mm can accommodate the .223 Rem.
You should always check the caliber specifications of your gun during the purchase. You must also check the ammunition you buy and ensure it matches your caliber.
The quality of the ammunition fired must also not be compromised.
Related Article: What is the difference between an AR-14 and AR-15?
8. Store Your Gun Properly and Out of Reach by Children
Most times, children will be curious about things and will try to touch a gun. In case they hold it and innocently pull the trigger, there is a high risk of gun accidents and destroying things in the house or around your home. Therefore, you should store guns in safe places where they cannot reach, such as safes or locked containers. Such storage may be enhanced with combination locks or biometric lock systems.
You can also utilize child-resistant gun locks.
Proper storage is not only significant in deterring children but also other unauthorized persons.
9. Familiarize Yourself with Your Gun
It’s vital for you to have a basic knowledge of your gun’s parts and how it functions. You should at least understand how to disassemble and reassemble it. It also includes knowing the capability of a firearm.
This point links to the next tip, which is about maintenance.
10. Learn Proper Maintenance Practices of Your Gun
A gun uses different parts that are prone to malfunction if it’s not maintained correctly. Therefore, you must practice basic maintenance such as regular lubrication of the action, cleaning the barrel and regular dusting.
You should also check on the manual guide what the manufacturer recommends about that particular gun’s maintenance.
However, this process is dependent on the above tip of familiarizing yourself with your gun. It will be hard for you if you cannot reassemble parts of your gun.
Above are 10 gun safety rules any gun owner should observe. Owning a gun is a fundamental right for citizens, but you have to be responsible once you have acquired it. By doing so, you facilitate your own safety and those around you.
Hundreds of deaths are reported annually as a result of gun owners not observing gun safety. Do not be part of this number.