Firearms, magazines, and ammunition are constantly under attack for their ability to be used as deadly weapons. Gun control advocates believe that there are no right hands for guns to be in, and that they do not belong in a civilized society. The truth is that people kill people, and will find ways to do so even if they do not have a gun. But in untrained hands, guns can indeed become dangerous to the user and those around them.
For your safety and the safety of those around you, be it at home or at the range, it is critical that you adhere to the basic firearm safety measures. You are fully responsible for your firearms and any damage that they cause. It is your full-time responsibility to keep your firearm safely and securely stored, out of the hands of children or any unauthorized users.
5 Basic Firearm Safety Measures
1. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
At no time should you point your firearm in the direction of a person unless you intend to fire at that person. Do not handle your gun carelessly, and always point towards the ground, not the sky.
2. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
Unless you have personally confirmed that a gun is unloaded and locked, you should always assume that a gun is loaded. Guns are not toys, and in a split second, you could make a mistake that could cost a life.
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3. Keep your trigger finger outside the guard and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
When working with firearms, always err on the side of caution. Your finger does not belong on the trigger until you intend to fire the weapon. A twitch or spasm could cause a deadly mistake.
4. Be certain of your target, your line of fire, and what lies beyond your target.
Hunters often wear bright orange clothing to help them be detected if they were to walk into another hunter’s line of fire. Be aware of what you are shooting, what is in the way of what you are shooting, and what is behind your target. Especially in home defense, you do not want to shoot an intruder only to have the bullet continue on, through a wall, and also shoot a family member.
5. Always wear appropriate eye and ear protection when shooting and maintaining your firearm.
Many lifelong hunters and shooting sportsmen suffer from long-term hearing damage that cannot be corrected. Permanent ringing in the ears and an inability to hear full sentences plague those that did not wear ear protection. Eye protection is equally important, as debris from targets can be unpredictable.
Unintentional death and injury due to firearms can be avoided if you store your guns safely and securely. Any adult that is authorized to use your gun should be well-versed in firearm safety and familiar with your particular firearm. Any children in your home should be taught how to react when they encounter a gun, and to never touch or play with a gun. If they find a gun, they should tell an adult immediately and move away from the gun.