Gun Safety Tips for COVID-19

During this time of the coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty, protecting yourself and your family is critical. Whether you are an experienced firearms enthusiast or a first-time gun buyer, safety should always be your primary concern.

Shoot Safely

The number one rule of gun safety is to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire. Leave your gun unloaded until you are ready to shoot. Always handle guns as if they are loaded. Do not shoot your gun unless you are certain that you have the correct ammunition. Make sure that your ammunition is not expired. Guns can cause hearing damage and eye injuries, so it is important to have proper protection for your eyes and ears. Never drink alcohol or use prescription, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs when handling a firearm. Always properly clean your gun after use. If you don’t clean your gun, it can impede firing and lead to unsafe conditions.

Get the Right Education

If you are a first-time gun owner, a firearms safety class can teach you how to safely and properly shoot, clean, and store your gun. Practice makes perfect and it is necessary to improve your shooting skills and become comfortable with your firearm. Due to the coronavirus, gun stores and indoor shooting ranges in Las Vegas are closed in some states. It may be possible for you to take a class online, although an in-person class that allows you to practice with your firearm is the gold standard.

If you are looking to conceal carry your firearm, you will need to familiarize yourself with the laws in your particular state. Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming do not require a permit to conceal carry a weapon. In Alaska and West Virginia, this law only applies to residents of the state. Twenty-seven states are shall-issue states, meaning that a license is required to carry a concealed weapon, but a gun owner does not need to have a reason to do so. Other states have may-issue laws, which means that local authorities determine whether or not a conceal carry permit can be issued. In Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and parts of California, the majority of citizens are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

Safe Storage

Storing your guns safely is essential to being a responsible gun owner. This is even more important if you have children or if children visit your home. Leaving a firearm unsecured–under the bed, in a closet, or on a nightstand–around children can lead to tragedy. Guns should always be stored unloaded and in a locked container out of the sight and reach of children. Ammunition should be stored in a separate locked container. Use a safe with a combination lock or a fingerprint recognition lock. When your gun is being used, it should be in your possession and under your control at all times.

Gun Safety and Kids

If you are a parent, it’s crucial to talk to your children about gun safety. Children need to understand that guns in real life are dangerous and not like the guns they see on television, movies, and video games. Young children who see fictional characters “shot” or “killed” may not comprehend the risks of real guns. Tell children to treat any gun that they see as if it was real. Teach children to never touch guns and to immediately tell an adult if they find a gun. It is your responsibility to make sure that your gun is always kept safely away from children.

Gun sales have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. According to the FBI, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) processed 3.7 million background checks in Mar 2020, the highest number since 1998. Whether you are a veteran or novice gun owner, it’s important not to panic and to exercise your rights safely.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.