When it comes to gun safety and storage, it is not enough that you store your firearm in the best hard and soft cases for guns. A secured, locked storage is just one of the many aspects of safe and responsible gun ownership. There are many other things a gun owner should be aware of and do if we really want to keep our community safe.
Gun ownership has always been a hot button topic due to unwanted, and often tragic, gun-related incidents. Majority of these accidents could have been prevented with proper firearm handling and gun storage equipment. People opposing gun ownership points to these injuries and deaths when they voice out their resistance to firearms.
If every gun owner would only follow the basic gun handling and storage rules, gun-related injuries would be less common and our communities would be safer.
Top 10 Firearm Safety Rules and Tips
Equipped with a number of safety features, guns are generally safe when handled properly and responsibly. To ensure that these features are maximized and guns are used properly, gun owners should be aware of and practice the following firearms safety tips.
1. Enroll in a gun and shooting safety course
First-time gun owners must attend responsible gun ownership training or a shooting safety course; or at least, read manuals or books on this topic. Newbies should be closely supervised when handling firearms. It is important to understand and develop safe shooting and firearm handling habits before you ever own one.
2. Always think your firearm is loaded
Although firearms are generally safe, they are also lethal when used improperly. Every time you hold a gun, always consider that it is loaded even when it’s not and even if it makes you look stupid. Studies show that gun owners are extra careful when they are aware that their firearm is loaded. By consciously thinking that your gun is loaded, you develop the safe gun handling habits.
3. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
One of the most important gun safety rules is to never point the muzzle at something you don’t intend to shoot. Always keep it pointed towards a safe direction where no one will be hit. Injury due to accidental discharge of firearm remains the top reason for gun-related damages, injuries and deaths. As a responsible gun owner, make it a habit to consciously know where you muzzle is pointing at all times.
4. Unload your firearm when not in actual use
As soon as you are finished or whenever your gun is not in use, be sure to unload in. Never assume that a firearm is unloaded, do check it. Store the ammunition and the gun separately in secured compartments. As much as possible, only load the gun when you are ready to use it because any unauthorized access can result in unwanted consequences.
5. Don’t go around with a loaded gun
Always remember that keeping your firearm unloaded ensures maximum safety. Avoid going around with a loaded gun, even if it’s inside a gun case, a holster, or a scabbard. Never perform any awkward action, such as running, climbing a tree, or crossing a fence while carrying a loaded gun. There is always the chance of accidentally pulling the trigger.
6. Double check a gun’s safety
As mentioned above, firearms come with safety features. But just like any mechanical device, these features can malfunction and result in misfiring of the gun. You might also mistakenly think that the safety lock is “on” when it’s actually “off.” It is essential to always double check the safety and don’t over rely on it. Put in mind that a gun can misfire at any time. With safe firearm handling procedures, you can prevent such incidents.
7. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
Another basic rule in gun safety is to never place your finger on the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot. Many accidental discharges could have been prevented if the finger was off the trigger. In many firearms, the trigger is designed to be easily to activate. Any sudden motion can cause uncontrollable muscle contraction that could lead to firing the gun. Stress and lack of training are other possible reasons for accidentally clicking on the trigger. You should also keep your fingers away from the trigger even you’re just loading or unloading.
8. Pull the trigger only when you’re sure
Once a firearm is fired, you can’t hold the bullet back. This makes it very important that you’re sure about your target, as well as, beyond it. Never pull the trigger unless you know where the bullet is headed to. You also don’t want to injure anyone or anything beyond your target. Take the time to verify your aim before finally pulling the trigger.
Having a firearm in your possession entails huge responsibilities and a conscious effort to handle it safely. Hopefully, these eight tips can help you become a responsible gun owner.