Gun Safety Rules – Ten Basic Gun Safety Rules for Safe Firearms Use

by Matt Adika, December 6, 2014

Guns are used safely millions upon millions of times every year, and each gun has the potential to kill or do serious bodily injury.  Any individual that owns a firearm needs to learn Gun Safety Rules which are the basic foundation for the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary for owning a firearm. Gun Safety Rules protect ourselves and others around us, we need to follow Gun Safety Rules at all times when handling any type of firearm, including handguns like revolvers and pistols, rifles, shotguns, muzzle-loaders, and even airguns.

1 . Always Point a Gun in a Safe Direction.

The most important Gun Safety Rules should be self-explanatory. It is the easiest and most important rule of all gun safety. Another way to say it, aim the gun in the direction that if the gun were to discharge, no injury or property damage will occur.

2.  Always Keep Your Gun Unloaded Until Your Ready To Use It.

Most people misinterpret Gun Safety Rules, and ask me “what am I going to do ask the bad guy to please hold on while I load my firearm?” This is not what we say when we say “until your ready to use.” When I get dressed in the morning and put my belt and holster on, and put that firearm in my holster, at that point its READY TO USE. If I have a safe at home and the gun is locked in the safe, IT IS READY TO USE. Now if i’m throwing a super bowl party where my friends are drinking and my gun is in my dresser drawer not locked, IT IS NOT READY TO USE. If i am on my way to the range in the car with my friends and I am loading my gun in the back seat, IT IS NOT READY TO USE. Most hunting accidents happen on the way to the actual hunt because the person loading the gun in the back seat accidentally shoots the person in the front. Bottom line is use common sense. Do not leave a loaded gun somewhere someone can stumble upon it and accidentally shoot themselves accidentally.

3 . Always Keep Your Finger off the Trigger.

Gun Safety Rules should be a habit that become second nature and has to be done EVERYTIME you handle a firearm. This is something that many people do not do and I see too often. Some idiot will have his or her finger on the trigger of a gun they are simply carrying, looking down the sights of, etc. Don’t do it! Your finger should be outside the trigger guard on the frame until your ready to shoot, then after shooting should be moved back outside the trigger guard and back on the frame.

4 . Always Assume That Any Gun, at Any Time, is Loaded.

Any time someone hands you a firearm, the fist thing you should do is check to see if the gun is loaded. Gun Safety Rules especially this one should be done habitually. Even if your best friend tells you its safe, check it anyway!  Don’t believe it until you see it for yourself. Better safe than dead. Make it a habit to check no matter what. This should be a common practice every time even if YOU know the gun is loaded. It take a second and can keep you and a loved on alive.

5 . Know What You’re Shooting At And Also What Is Behind That.

Your target is whatever you intend to shoot, and should be a conscious decision that is considered carefully. Remember we are shooting projectiles that travel upwards to 200 feet per second, and anything traveling at that speed has the ability to hit the target and continue to go travel through to the other side. This is an extremely important Gun Safety Rules because if you shoot a target where people or animals are somewhere behind it, you could kill someone. Don’t get lax about this. You need to know what you are going to shoot at, what is between you and it, and what is beyond it. Pay attention.

6 . Be Familiar With Your Gun And Never Practice With Live Ammunition.

Your firearm is like any tool you own. Take the time to Learn everything about it. The options, features and how it operates. Learn these things before you go shooting for the first time… I recommend to purchase Snap Caps or dummy ammunition at home to load, unload, chamber a round, decock the gun, pull the hammer back, learn the trigger pull in single, double, find out how to disable the gun and clean it. When you step up to the firing line, you should already know how to operate the gun you’ll be shooting.

7 . Don’t Shoot at Hard Surfaces.

Some Gun Safety Rules are not so obvious like that Hard bullets that hit hard surfaces tend to bounce or ricochet, even off water. It has a tendency to allow bullets and shotgun shot to ricochet (glance off) and fly off in an unintended direction. Not good. Hard surfaces like metal, rocks, and hard wood can do this too – and they can even send the projectile back to the shooter. Shooting yourself by accident can always be prevented and is not only dangerous, but humiliating.

8 . Don’t Rely on a Safety Mechanism.

A safety is a mechanical device and any mechanical device can fail. Not only might the safety fail and allow the gun to discharge, but it can also fail to disengage and if you need to use our firearm your screwed. If you follow the first three Gun Safety Rules ALL THE TIME then there is no reason to even have a safety. Your finger should be your safety.

9 . Use the Right Ammo.

Make certain the ammunition you’re using is right for your gun. Don’t assume that you have the correct ammo just because it can be crammed into the gun. The caliber of the ammo needs needs to match the firearms caliber exactly to work with the gun’s design and strength factors. The proper cartridge designation is usually marked on the gun barrel and the head stamp of the round. If you have any doubt, consult the gun’s manufacturer or a qualified gunsmith.

10 . Pay Attention!

When your adrenaline is pumping and your having gun its easy to get distracted and forget about Gun Safety Rules especially with your friends and family. Make sure you follow all the Gun Safety Rules discussed here today and do not be afraid to call out someone not following the rules even someone you don’t know, especially at gun ranges. It could mean the difference between your life and death. Gun Safety Rules are designed to keep you and others safe, and honestly they most are common sense, but most humans lack this trait when doing something new. even expert gun instructors need reminders here and there. Some people might not want to hear it, but everyone that owns a firearm has a responsibility to know all the Gun Safety Rules and actually follow them.

Make sure you check out the article about Concealed Carry and practice these Gun Safety Rules while carrying as well.

Matt Adika

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