There are several gun safety tips and rules you should know. You can learn more by checking out our helpful guide right here.
Almost a third of adults in the United States own some sort of gun. Protection is the top reason for firearm ownership, but there are many useful reasons and ways to bear arms.
You could have any kind of gun and use your weapon for sport, your job, protection, or anything else, but there are some basic gun safety tips you always need to know. Each one applies to any kind of firearm you can imagine, but you’d be surprised how many gun owners cut corners.
No matter whether you’re a beginner or a practiced shooter, it’s never a bad time to review the rules of gun safety. Here’s a quick list that makes a great primer or refresher on the subject.
1. The Most Basic of All Gun Safety Tips
The most basic gun safety rule is to keep your firearms locked up and well out of reach of anybody who can’t be trusted with a weapon. Only the adults who own and/or regularly use guns should be easily able to access them.
It can be tempting to skip this step if you use your gun often, have used one for years and years, or want a weapon at the ready for protection. Still, you never know when someone you know or even a robber might come across your gun with bad consequences.
The reality is that keeping a gun on your bedside table puts you in danger more than it keeps you safe.
2. Don’t Leave Kids Unsupervised—Even Teens
A large part of keeping children away from guns has to do with how you store them long-term. It’s easy for gun owners to get lazy in the short term though, so always remember that you need to store your gun even if you’re leaving it for a minute. Pay extra close attention to where you leave your firearm when children are around.
Another mistake gun owners make is to leave their older kids with their weapons. Your 12-year-old might be great with a rifle and your 16-year-old might have been shooting for years but they are still children. Their brains aren’t developed all the way and they are unlikely to realize all the consequences of their actions.
3. Don’t Stare Down the Barrel in the Field
Almost all “accidental” shootings are preventable with proper safety and handling. One of the most shocking kinds of gun accidents is also one of the easiest to prevent: being shot in the head while looking down the barrel of your own gun.
It’s simple to prevent because there’s never a reason to stare down the barrel of your gun while it’s loaded, let alone when you’re out shooting. If your gun is having an issue, stop what you’re doing, unload the weapon and take it apart to find the problem. If you’re cleaning a gun, make a habit of checking the chamber and unloading the weapon before you start.
4. Training Doesn’t Always Mean Shooting
The stereotypical gun training session involves shooting at targets, but there’s more to gun use than aiming and pulling the trigger. Dry fire drills are common in army training but are important for any gun user. So, what are dry fire drills and what are they good for?
They involve going through the motions of handling and using your weapon without any ammunition.
If it seems weird to shoot without bullets, consider that there are some things you can’t learn from shooting at a target. You can’t learn how to run with a firearm or to do complex maneuvers. Learning to use a gun in a dry run before you shoot for real teaches you not just how to shoot a gun, but how to handle and use it in the field.
5. Trigger Finger Is a Horrible Habit
When you buy your first gun or start a job where you use one, it’s common to have at least one action hero fantasy. Many on-screen and comic book gun users are a fine inspiration in plenty of situations, but when you’re using a gun is not one of those times.
A common gun safety error fictional characters and even real police in documentary shows make is trigger finger. Trigger finger is slang for the habit of keeping your finger on the trigger of the gun when you’re not planning on shooting.
The reason it’s a problem is that it’s so easy to shoot either on accident or without thinking enough. Only put your finger on the trigger when you’re about to shoot the gun to avoid needless scares, injuries, and deaths.
6. Make-Believe Your Empty Gun Is Loaded
The last tip should make it clear that it’s not smart to imitate fictional shooters, but there is one time you should always make-believe with a gun. In fact, you should do it every time you handle your firearm: Pretend it’s loaded, even when it’s not.
This might seem silly, but adding this to your gun routine keeps you and others safe. If you treat your empty gun like a loaded firearm, you won’t treat your loaded gun like it’s empty. Handling a loaded gun without taking precautions is an enormous risk, so make this gun safety tip a habit.
7. Do Firearm Maintenance on a Regular Basis
You might not think of cleaning and servicing your gun as a safety tip. However, guns that aren’t maintained well are more inclined to break or malfunction. Accidents can prove fatal whether you’re out shooting or handling your gun in another setting.
Doing regular cleaning and maintenance on your gun is important for weapon safety because it cuts down on problems. A well-maintained gun won’t have any major problems in many cases. Fewer gun issues mean fewer chances for avoidable injuries or deaths.
Plus, being proactive about gun upkeep saves money you’d otherwise spend on big repairs.
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