Firearms Safety Procedures
Firearms Safety Procedures
Before you even pick up ANY firearm, let alone purchase or shoot one, you should know these procedures completely. Firearms are tools and like any other tool; they are just machines. They do not know right from wrong, do not operate themselves, and have absolutely no respect for you or anyone else…so you had better respect them or the consequences could be dire.
Remember well only you are responsible for what you do and in the case of firearms usage TRUST NO ONE BUT YOURSELF.
NRA Gun Safety Rules
The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
When using or storing a gun, always follow these NRA rules:
Know your target and what is beyond.
Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun's mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun's ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun's action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
...and the late, great Col. Jeff Cooper's Four Rules of firearms safety.
1. All firearms are loaded. - There are no exceptions. Don't pretend that this is true. Know that it is and handle all firearms accordingly. Do not believe it when someone says: "It isn't loaded."
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy. - If you would not want to see a bullet hole in it do not allow a firearm's muzzle to point at it. EVER!
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target. - Danger abounds if you keep your finger on the trigger when you are not about to shoot. Speed is not gained by prematurely placing your finger on the trigger as bringing a firearm to bear on a target takes more time than it takes to move your finger to the trigger.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it. - Never shoot at sounds or a target you cannot positively identify. Know what is in line with the target and what is behind it (bullets are designed to go through things). Be aware of your surroundings whether on a range, in the woods, or in a potentially lethal conflict.
Two items that I would like to mention, that were implied but not specifically covered, is one, simply removing the magazine does not mean the gun is unloaded – you MUST clear and proof the chamber as well. Moreover, two, NEVER hand anyone a firearm with the action closed. You should unload the weapon yourself and then, with the cylinder out or the slide or bolt locked back, hand over the gun with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
One would be advised to enroll in a simple firearms safety class prior to pursuing any interest in the shooting sports or combat shooting fields. Contact the NRA, your state rifle association, or your local rifle/pistol club for more information.
Thank you. I like reading these kind of posts.
You are welcome...safety cannot be overemphasized...
NRA Rule #3 seems to conflict with Cooper's Rule #1 - LOL
Thanks I can use this to teach my boys more on gun safety and exercise the point of gun safety
Yeah I'm with Rentacop on that one! Rule #1 An unloaded gun is a paperweight, if you're gonna carry, carry in condition 1. :D
Good posting, this should be read once a month by all.
Thank you all...
I wish people could come up with something different than a unloaded gun is a paper weight. An unloaded firearm that takes a few seconds to load is a lot more useful if someone is shooting at you than a paper weight. :)
OK..."an unloaded gun is a paperweight that only takes a few seconds you wont have to load"...:D
Sorry man, I couldn't help myself...
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