Looking forward to testing out your first firearm? Before you head to the shooting range or out into the field, you need to know proper safety protocol. Guns are both recreational tools and weapons and should be treated with caution.
Gun safety is crucial to learn before you handle a gun so that you and others around you can stay safe and healthy. A gun can be an easy thing to take care of and handle correctly, but it can also be easy to have an accident. And when it comes to guns, if you aren’t handling them well, they could be deadly.
1. Like It’s Loading
When you’re handling a gun, from the moment you take it out of its case to the moment you put it back in, you need to treat it like it’s loaded and ready to be fired. Maintaining this mentality will prevent you from making other easy mistakes like waving it around or pulling the trigger accidentally.
When it comes to gun safety rules, this is the first one on every list. It’s not a bad idea if you’re new to handling firearms to look up “gun safety classes near me” and you will learn this lesson in those classes as well. Even if you know it isn’t loaded and the clip isn’t even in, treat the gun like it could go off if you pull the trigger.
2. Watch Where You Point
Do not point the gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot. You should never point the gun at another person, whether it’s loaded or not, or at anything you wouldn’t want to damage. It is easy to forget you’ve already loaded a gun or to slip up and place your finger on the trigger too early.
You should keep your gun lower until you are ready to fire it. This is true whether you are at an outdoor or indoor range, whether you are with friends or in a professional setting.
When asking the question “what is gun safety” it is important to understand that it’s to prevent people from being killed. Guns are easy to handle when you know what you’re doing and very easy to mishandle when you don’t. Similar to the first rule, this one may feel too cautious, but it can save someone’s life.
3. Trigger Touch
Any gun safety course will teach you that you should not place your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Even when setting your aim, you should keep your finger off the trigger till the last moment when you want to fire the gun.
This rule, along with the other two above, helps prevent serious accidents. Even if you only remember one of the three, you could prevent death due to a misfire. And practicing all three is often required at a range, and should be common practice wherever you are.
4. Unload Handoff
You should never hand off a loaded gun. It is very easy for a gun to be mishandled when giving it to someone else, and there is the possibility it could fall or be handled awkwardly and misfire. By giving someone a gun that is unloaded, you will never have to risk that happening.
If you are firing with a friend at a range, simply shoot your rounds and then hand them the gun when they are done. They can load their rounds themself so no one is handing off a loaded weapon.
5. Target Awareness
This is one of the gun safety rules that is especially important if you are shooting at an outdoor range or anywhere outside. You should always know what is behind your target and what else could get hit. You never want to set up a range or target where there will be people behind where you’re shooting or other precious property.
At a professional range, you will not always need to worry about what is behind the target. But you should still be certain there are no people moving about restocking things or switching out targets near where you are shooting.
6. Sober Shooting
This is another obvious rule but never handle or use a firearm while under the influence. This is for alcohol, but also for anything else that might leave you inebriated and not functioning at 100%.
Handling a firearm is already incredibly dangerous, so there is no need to add in a substance that impairs your judgment, vision, and reaction times into the mix. And on top of that, it is also a crime.
7. Storage Safety
How you handle your gun away from a range can be as important as how you handle it in one. Storing your gun in a safe place can prevent a lot of tragic and unwanted accidents from taking place.
You always want to store your gun and your ammo separately, and in safe places where they are not easily accessible. When you are packing your gun back up after being at a range you want to make sure it is unloaded.
Good Gun Safety
The best gun safety rules are there to keep you and others around you safe and alive. Mishandling a firearm can become deadly very quickly, so it is important to follow these rules and any additional rules set up at your range or gun club.
When you’re handling a gun, always remember that it can be a deadly weapon, even in the hands of someone who knows the rules. Practice caution and good sense, and you will avoid any unwanted accidents. If you want to ensure you’re handling your weapon properly, you can go through training to perfect your firearm usage.