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10 Essential Gun Safety Guidelines

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Gun education and safety is important. Before using a gun, take the time to equip yourself with more information about how to handle a gun safely, how to use and store it. Anyone who has used a gun before knows that there are no second chances. Whether you are a first-time gun owner or an old pro looking to brush up on brush up your gun handling skills, the tips and guidelines outlined below will help you keep you and your loved ones safe.

Anytime you are handling a gun, remember that you are the key to firearm safety.

Gun Safety Guidelines

1. All guns are loaded, always

Whenever you are handling a firearm, handle it with the same precaution as you would a loaded gun. Do not assume that a gun is unloaded. You would not want to point a loaded gun at a friend or brother. Always confirm that a gun is unloaded yourself. This also applies even after someone shows you that a gun is clear and sets it down. Pick it up check whether it is loaded. Whenever a gun is out of your reach, even for 30 seconds, ensure you check it when you pick it up. There is no exception to this gun safety rule!

2. Do not point your gun at something you are not ready to shoot at

After performing your safety check, and are completely sure your gun is unloaded, this is not a leeway to start fooling around with the firearm. Remember the first rule always! The gun is always loaded. Never point a gun at toward anything you are not prepared to destroy.

3. Confirm your target and what is behind it before shooting

Bullets can go through your target and beyond. Additionally, you cannot stop a shot midair. Hence, do not shoot until you are sure of your target and what is behind it. It is imperative that you check what is behind your target before shooting. This is an essential step to gun safety and responsibility. It helps to eliminate damage to non-targets when a firearm is intentionally discharged. Also, before pulling the trigger, be completely sure of your target.

4. Keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to fire

As long as your finger is away from the trigger guard, your gun cannot discharge. Keeping your finger away from the trigger guard eliminates 100% chances of a negligent discharge. Always keep your fingers resting on the gun’s frame, outside the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.

5. Always keep the gun’s nozzle pointed in a safe direction

This is a primary rule of gun safety. Common sense dictates the safest direction. A safe direction is one where in the case of an accidental discharge; the gun will not cause injury to you or others. This rule is especially important when loading and unloading your gun. Make it a habit to know where your 'gun’s muzzle is pointed at all times even when you are sure it is unloaded. This will help reduce instances of injuries due to accidental discharge.

6. Use the right ammunition for your gun’s brand

Different firearms are designed to use different caliber or gauge of ammunition. Using the wrong ammunition, improperly reloading your ammo or mixing ammunition can be tragic to you or others around you. Make sure the ammo you use exactly matches the caliber of your gun. This information is usually provided in the instructional manual of your firearm. Carefully check all ammo to make sure it meets your gun’s requirements before loading it.

7. Learn the mechanical aspects of your gun

Take time to learn about how your gun operates. Not all guns are alike. Guns have different mechanisms that dictate how you should handle a particular brand. The manufacturer’s manual will have information on how to load, unload, carry, shoot, and store your gun. Read these instructions cover to cover to understand and familiarize yourself with all the different components of your gun. This is an essential part of gun safety.

8. In case you are not actively using the gun, keep it unloaded

Your firearm should only be loaded when you are in the field on the target range, ready to fire. Otherwise, your gun should stay unloaded. Confirm that there is no ammo in the chamber or magazine. Once you load your gun, it should never go out of your sight or hands. Unload the gun immediately after shooting. Also, when your gun is not in use, keep its action open.

Never store your gun when loaded. Make sure and reconfirm that it is unloaded before storing it in a secure place where no one can get their hands on it. This is critical in a household with kids. Children are naturally curious, and this could cause tragic consequences if guns are not stored out of their reach.

9. Do not alter your gun

This goes without saying. Do not try to alter or modify your gun whatsoever. By so doing, you will jeopardize your safety and that of others. Also, your gun needs to be serviced regularly. However, it should only be serviced by a qualified gun technician. Regular servicing will ensure your gun stays accurate, safe, and reliable.

10. Shoot sober

Never shoot when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances impair your judgment and physical coordination, which is hazardous when handling a gun.

Cleaning your firearm

Cleaning your gun is essential as it keeps it operating correctly and safely. Ensure you clean your gun every time you use it. You should also clean a gun that has been in storage for an extended period of time of using it.

Gun safety tips for cleaning your gun

  • Keep the gun’s action open when cleaning it.
  • Make sure the gun is completely unloaded before you start cleaning.
  • Ensure no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.

Always ensure that you store your gun and ammunition separately. A firearm in the wrong hands is dangerous. Ensure you have a safe and secure place to store your gun. After all is said and done, your gun’s safety depends on you.

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