Gun ownership in the United States has skyrocketed in 2020, which isn’t surprising given the tumultuous year we’re experiencing. The pandemic, increasing political rifts, defunding of the police, and civil unrest have spurned even those in favor of increased gun control, to purchase a firearm to protect their family.
It is critical that new gun owners familiarize themselves with their weapons, as well as best practices for safety and storage.
In addition to the 4 basic rules of handling a gun, there are several key tips for gun owners to be aware of, especially in the current climate of unrest.
4 Basic Rules of Gun Ownership
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Always point your gun in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you plan to shoot.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
If everyone who owned a gun took the responsibility seriously and thought through using their weapon, we probably wouldn’t have calls for increased gun control.
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Gun ownership is a full-time responsibility, and a large part of that can be mitigated by always practicing safe storage of your gun.
A loaded gun should always be kept under lock and key so that it is not accessible by anyone other than an authorized user.
Children should be educated on guns, and what to do if they ever encounter a gun outside of the home. They should understand that guns are not toys, and know that they should never handle or play with a gun at a friend’s house.
If they do find a gun or are shown a gun, they should get away from the gun immediately, and notify an adult that they trust.
Learn Self-Defense Laws
You are responsible to know and abide by local self-defense and carry laws. It is up to you to research, understand, and follow these laws.
While you may have purchased your gun as a precautionary measure, using that gun can come with serious legal ramifications.
Avoid Situations in Which You are Likely to Use Your Gun
Recently, more protesters, counter-protesters, and rioters have been armed, and the results are deadly and devastating.
Before you go somewhere that you fear for your safety, and before you head out to protect others in their pursuit of free speech, rethink leaving your house with a firearm. There are plenty of ways to support causes without marching into a dangerous situation.
Avoid any situation in which tempers can flare up, aggressive behaviors are commonplace, and actions can be easily misconstrued or misunderstood. While you may be at a theoretical advantage by having a firearm, using that firearm will result in untold suffering for you, your target, and their family.
Know Your Weapon
Take the time to learn about your weapon and how to use it. Practice at a range and become comfortable with your particular firearm. Make sure that any authorized user of your gun (like a spouse or adult child) has the same opportunity to familiarize themselves with the gun.
Be sure that you are purchasing the correct ammunition for your gun and its intended use.
Owning a gun and being able to protect your family and your home is one of our most basic rights as an American. It is also one of our biggest responsibilities.
As more people than ever exercise their right to bear arms, take the time to educate yourself on proper use and storage of your weapon. Know your rights and avoid situations in which you are likely to use your weapon.
Be part of the solution, not the problem.