Firearms safety is a subject that cannot be stressed enough. As responsible firearms owners, we have to be as careful as possible. There are organizations that love to capitalize of firearms mishaps, just to fuel the anti-gun campaign.
There are 10 basic rules, we refer to them as the ’10 Commandments’ of firearms safety. They are:
1. Always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction. If it is pointed away from yourself and others, an accidental discharge won’t hurt anyone.
2. Firearms should be unloaded when not in use. As soon as you are done shooting, unload your firearm.
3. Never rely on your guns ‘safety’. YOU are the first ‘safety’. Human error is the main reason for accidental discharge. A safety in no substitute for common sense.
4. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it. One you pull the trigger, it is too late. Know what you are shooting at, and what the backdrop is.
5. Use the proper ammunition. Carry ONLY the ammo for the firearm you are using. Putting the wrong ammo into a firearm can be disastrous.
6. If the firearm fails to fire, use extreme caution. First, muzzle in a safe direction, put the safety on, count to 10, then remove the magazine and clear the firearm.
7. Always wear ear and eye protection. Excessively loud noise, over time, will damage your hearing. Always wear hearing protection. Also, Eye protection keeps powder residue, casings, and other debris from damaging an eye. You only get two, protect them.
8. Be sure the barrel is clear of any obstructions before you shoot. Before you load your firearm, open the action to make sure the chamber and magazine are empty. Clear the firearm, making sure there are no barrel obstructions.
9. Do not alter or modify your firearm in any way, and have it serviced regularly. Do not change or alter trigger or safety mechanisms. Like any mechanical device, firearms are subject to wear. Have your firearms serviced regularly by a qualified gunsmith.
10. Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using. Any time you are going to use a firearm you are unfamiliar with, ASK about its safety features and operation.
There is no guesswork in carrying a firearm. You MUST know, at all times, whether your firearm is loaded or unloaded, safety on or off. There is no ‘I thought’ in firearms safety. “I thought it was unloaded” is too often heard after an accidental discharge.
Q. What is the most dangerous gun?
A. The unloaded one! Because, often it is NOT unloaded. Always open the action, and visually inspect for yourself. NEVER take someone word for it. Lastly, never EVER handle or carry firearms while consuming alcohol, under the influence of narcotics, or prescription medications. These are never a good combination.
As long as you use your common sense before, during and after you shoot, you will always have a great experience. Shooting is a great hobby/pastime. Something you can share with friends, loved ones, and maybe your children someday. Stay safe, and happy shooting!