10 Gun Safety Rules You Must Know
Gun safety is the sole responsibility of the person handling or owning that particular gun. It is therefore imperative that you do everything in your power to handle that gun safely. Read on and discover some of the cardinal rules that you should never break if you want to prevent needless accidents.
10 Gun Safety Rules You Must Know
1. Point the Muzzle in a Safe Direction
It is very hard for you to shoot something or someone if your gun is not pointing at that person or object. It is therefore very important for you to always keep your gun pointed where it is safe to point that gun. For example, find a direction where there are no people or animals. Your gun should then be pointed in that direction until you are sure that you are ready to use that gun.
This rule should also apply when you dry-fire (shoot without ammunition) your gun. Why is this important? It is possible for you to wrongly assume that you removed the ammunition from your gun. Keeping the gun pointed where it is safe to shoot can then avert any accident that would have resulted if a bullet is discharged at the time when you think that you are dry-firing the weapon.
2. Be Certain of Your Target
You should never fire your gun until you are sure that it is pointed towards a legitimate target. For example, avoid firing your gun when you hear a sound coming from a bush near you. That sound may be a person approaching. You may therefore injure that person when you mistakenly thought that it was an animal that you were hunting.
Similarly, you should also be sure that the area beyond and around your target is safe. Ammunition can miss its target. Bullets can ricochet. Ammunition can go through the target. Thus, you must examine the area around and behind the target so that you eliminate the potential for an accident when a bullet leaves your gun. Remember that it is impossible to call back a bullet once that bullet has left the gun!
3. Only Load Your Gun When Needed
You should develop a habit of unloading your gun once you no longer need to use it. For instance, you should never carry a loaded gun into your car when your hunting trip has ended. Similarly, you should never climb a tree when you have a loaded gun. The gun can accidentally discharge if it drops to the ground.
It is always advisable to assume that a gun is loaded when you are receiving it from another person. The first thing that you should do in such a case should be to keep that gun pointed in a safe direction. You can then open the action and conduct a visual inspection to confirm that the gun is not loaded.
No effort should be spared in ensuring that guns are not loaded when not in use. An unloaded gun can never discharge accidentally.
4. Never Rely on the Safety Mechanism
The "safety" on your gun is a mechanical component that may fail to do its work at any time. Furthermore, it is possible to assume that the safety is set in the "on" position when it is actually "off".
You should therefore be careful at all times when you are handling your gun. Avoid careless mistakes, such as pointing the gun at another person, just because you think that the safety mechanism will prevent that gun from discharging a shot.
5. Use Appropriate Ammunition
A cardinal gun safety principle involves using recommended ammunition only. Gun manufacturers usually provide detailed instructions in gun manuals in order to guide gun owners about the right ammunition to use. Many guns even feature inscriptions stipulating the ammunition type that they should be used with.
Never use any ammunition that is not recommended for your gun. Such inappropriate ammunition may destroy the gun. You could also be injured when the wrong ammunition fails to discharge from the gun.
It is also a good habit to check your ammunition before you load your gun. Ensure that the ammunition is not wet. Avoid putting lubricated ammunition in your gun because it may affect the operating mechanisms of that gun.
6. Keep the Barrel Clear
You should never load your gun until you are sure that there is no obstruction in its barrel. Use a cleaning rod to remove any obstructions, such as twigs and bits of paper, that may have found their way into the barrel. Only load your gun once you have visual confirmation that nothing is inside the barrel‘s pore.
7. Never Modify Your Gun
The components of guns are carefully designed and assembled by manufacturers to operate in predetermined ways. It is unwise for you to try to alter any of those components when you lack the skills to so. For instance, you should never try to modify the trigger of your gun.
Always refrain from using a gun if it has any sign (such as a shortened barrel) that it was modified. Only qualified technicians should repair or modify guns.
8. Know Your Gun Before Handling It
Guns can differ so widely that the safe handling techniques for one gun may be unsafe for another gun. For instance, some guns require the barrel to be folded while others don't require the barrel to be folded during transportation.
You should therefore never assume that all guns should be handled or used in the same way. Read the manual of each new gun that you acquire so that you know the rules of using that gun. Only then should you proceed to use it.
9. Be Careful When Your Gun Fails to Fire
Sometimes, ammunition may fail to leave a gun when the trigger is pulled. When that happens, keep the gun pointed towards a safe direction. You should then remove that ammunition after carefully opening the action lever of that gun. Safely dispose of any ammunition that fails to fire.
Always implement all the gun safety precautions given for handling a loaded gun even if that gun hasn't discharged its ammunition when you pull the trigger.
10. Place Your Finger on the Trigger at the Right Time
Never keep your finger on the gun's trigger unless you are ready to fire that weapon. Your finger should be on the frame of the gun until you have identified a target after scanning the areas around and behind that target. Chances are low that your gun will discharge ammunition if your finger is off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
Gun Safety - The 10 Rules of Gun Safety
You should always keep the gun safety rules above in mind at all times. Only then will you reduce the likelihood of being accused of negligence when your gun discharges a shot at a wrong time and in a wrong place. When in doubt, ask a gun safety expert for advice.