Gun Safety: The Unabridged Version

safety first

There are some who aren’t used to being around guns, or don’t yet know safety procedures. Here is a somewhat comprehensive list of tips to follow and stay safe around firearms:

  • Always treat a firearm as if it were loaded. This way you won’t accidentally fire.
  • Always make sure the is gun pointed in a safe direction. Never point at anything you do not intend to shoot, even if you think it’s unloaded
  • Load and unload with the muzzle pointing in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
  • Know your backstop before you fire. Make sure it will adequately contain the shot even if you miss.
  • Know your target before you fire. You may shoot completely through the target or miss. A bullet can travel up to 1 ½ miles.
  • When receiving a firearm make sure it is unloaded. Never take anyone’s word for it.
  • Know the gun and how it works. Make sure it is in good operating order. Don’t use it if it fails to work correctly.
  • Always check the barrel to make sure there are no obstructions. Don’t look down the end of the barrel.
  • Clean your gun regularly.
  • Make sure your gun is unloaded before cleaning.
  • Only use correct ammo.
  • Wear protection for the ears and eyes.
  • Never put your hand over the muzzle of a gun.
  • Never use alcohol, prescription, over-the-counter or any other drugs before or during shooting.
  • Never store guns where they will be accessible to children or unauthorized adults.
  • Don’t carry a pistol in your pocket, waistband, or purse. Use a proper holster or case.
  • Don’t carry a loaded chambered gun in your hand, waistband or pocket while crossing a ravine or stream, or climbing a tree or fence. Only do this while the gun is unloaded and in a proper holster.
  • Never leave a gun unattended and loaded. A child may mistake it for a toy.
  • Store ammunition and firearm in separate locked containers. Make sure they are out of the reach and sight of children
  • Instruct children to have a healthy respect for guns. Supervise them around guns at all times.
  • If a firearm fails to fire after the trigger is pulled, continue to aim the weapon at the target for 30 seconds. Slow primers may “hang” and then fire.
  • Don’t shoot at hard surfaces or water. The bullet may ricochet where you do not intend.
  • Keep yourself and others clear of the ejection port. Spent casings are hot and may burn. Flying cartridges can harm unprotected eyes.
  • Be careful with semi-automatics to keep all body parts free from the rear of the slide and the ejection port. When fired, the slide on semi-automatics moves very fast.
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