Guns are dangerous weapons when they are not appropriately handled, and they can easily cause harm to those around you. You should never be messing around with guns as there is no undoing the actions you could have created with a firearm. There are a few rules that must always be followed if you want to ensure that those around you as well as yourself are safe when handling a firearm such as a gun.
The rules are as follows:
- Always treat a gun as though it is loaded.
- Always keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Always keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Always be sure of your target and what may be anywhere around it.
- Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
1) Always treat a gun as though it was loaded
You should never trust anyone that may say the phrase “it is unloaded” as you never know when they might be lying and that could cost you someone’s life even. Your priority with any firearm should be to point it in a safe direction, check the chamber to ensure that the gun is cleared unless you are getting ready to shoot.
2) Always keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction
A weapon that is appropriately holstered or stored safely would not be a threat. However, it is, when in the hands of someone that there is a risk. This rule applies when using a gun in self-defense or in practice, and it states that the muzzle should always be pointing in a safe direction (reference photo) . The muzzle of a firearm should never be looking at anything that you would not want to cause harm or damage to. If you do not want to take a human life, do not point it close to anyone, including yourself! Do not use both hands to re-holster your firearm as this practice is very unsafe. A well-equipped holster would only accommodate holstering with one hand so stay away from holsters which might collapse after withdrawing the gun.
3) Always keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot
The best way to prevent accidents from happening is to place your “trigger finger” usually the index finger along the frame of the firearm until you can keep your sights on the target. You should never be firing a shot until the views are directly on the target and you have made a definite decision to shoot. Allowing your finger to get close to the trigger before you are prepared to fire can be extremely dangerous. Once you move the sights of the gun away from the target, your trigger finger should simultaneously move away from the trigger. Under stress, any random movement or mishap could result in an accidental shot. This rule is applied any time you are handling a gun.
4) Always be sure of your target and what may be anywhere around it.
Know where your target is and what is behind it and what is in front of it. Never shoot at anything you have not correctly recognized. You should remember that the bullet usually doesn’t stop after you hit your target but can continue passing through additional layers of walls. In a self-defense situation, always pay keen attention to who may be behind your target as you would not want to take the risk of hurting an innocent person. Be extremely aware of your surroundings. Do not make any assumptions.
5) Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it
Guns should only be loaded when you are at the firing range, shooting area or when you are prepared to shoot. When you aren’t using the gun, it should be stored in a secure place that is inaccessible to children or unauthorized adults. Unload your weapon anytime you are finished shooting with it. Whenever you might be handing a gun to someone or handling one yourself, always open the action right away and visibly check the magazine, receiver, and chamber to ensure that there is no ammunition. Never assume a gun is unloaded.
These rules are intended to encourage gun safety by highlighting the basics of gun handling incorporating the do’s and dont’s with guns in general. Follow these safety guidelines outlined above and remember, gun safety is up to you.