Whether you keep your gun for self-defense, competitive shooting, or “just because,” it’s critical that you keep gun safety at the forefront of your mind every time you handle it. Here are six rules of gun safety to help ensure that your gun ownership experience is safe and enjoyable!
Safety Measures While Loading & Unloading the Gun
The process of unloading and loading the gun is a “weak point” in your gun safety strategy, as this is when it’s easiest for something to go wrong. When you are loading your or unloading your gun, always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Try to think of its muzzle as the origin point of a Dr. Evil-style laserbeam that will incinerate everything in its path. Make sure the muzzle isn’t pointed at any person, animal or thing that you’re not willing to see destroyed.
Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger
This is actually less simple than it sounds. You see, guns are designed so they’re intuitive and easy to use—so it’s actually very comfortable and natural to let that forefinger rest on the trigger face. However, it shouldn’t ever actually do that until you are on target and ready to fire. Practice keeping your index finger straight and outside the trigger guard, especially when holstering and unholstering. Speaking of which…
Use the Right Holster
Your holster keeps your gun safely attached to you. Make sure you’re using a holster designed specifically for your firearm. If you’re not sure, contact the holster manufacturer and they should be able to tell you. You should also make sure that you’ve mounted the holster properly—if it’s an inside-the-waistband (IWB), for example, don’t try to wear it on your ankle.
Be Aware of Your Target and What Lies Beyond It
Rules of gun safety are not only for your own protection, but also for the safety of others. That’s why you should look around carefully to see what else is going on in your target area. Can you see behind it? Is there a backstop (say, for example, an earthen hill or a brick wall)? Remember that even rimfire bullets can travel up to half a mile with enough terminal velocity to injure a person.
Assume All Guns Are Always Loaded
Among the many rules of gun safety, one eternal rule is to always assume your gun is loaded even when it’s not! If you get relaxed because you know your gun is unloaded and become even slightly careless with it, you can end up hurting yourself or someone else when it is actually loaded. If you consider it loaded at all times, you will be extra careful with it.
Prevent Unauthorized People From Touching Your Gun
An “unauthorized person” is anyone that you haven’t expressly given permission to touch your firearm right in that moment. Depending on the context, an “unauthorized person” can be a burglar in your home, a would-be pickpocket, a friend who’s had one too many, or your kids. Because this rule is somewhat context-dependent, each person must make his or her own decisions about how and when to store their gun. The important thing is that you think it through, make a plan, and then follow that plan.
The rules of gun safety explained here are to help you keep safe what you value the most! So, follow these rules, stay vigilant, and stay safe.
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