It is incumbent upon gun owners to be ever vigilant to the importance of safe firearms handling. In the current state of national hysteria, this is especially true. Gun owners need to avoid giving the anti-gun crowd any fodder for their arguments to further limit our right to keep and bear arms. It is therefore the responsibility of every gun owner to use guns in a safe and responsible manner. The first step is to know, understand and follow with religious fervor the basic rules of safe firearms handling. These rules apply to all guns; handguns, rifles, shotguns and even pellet guns.
A gun is merely an inanimate object. Human action is required to discharge any firearm. Wrongful action may result in catastrophe. Action involving malice is a crime and there are laws that provide for the punishment of the wrong-doer. Improper use and discharge of a firearms is correctly called a negligent discharged….not an “accident”.
Properly used, a gun can defend life and liberty. Guns have been used to provide sustenance for centuries and in recent times gun fatalities and injuries due to negligence have declined substantially. Education is the key to safe and proper use of all firearms.
The following rules must be followed anytime, every time and all of the time. Whenever you are handling any firearm.
The FOUR RULES OF GUN SAFETY are:
#1– ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
This is the underlying premise by which we must conduct ourselves whenever we are handling firearms. It must be accepted as a given fact that the gun is loaded, unless and until you physically and visually inspect the firearm to determine otherwise.
#2– NEVER POINT A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO COMPLETELY DESTROY!
Yes, it is that serious! Think of a gun as if it were a “Star Wars” light saber, capable of destroying anything in its path. This requires that you must be constantly aware of muzzle direction. When you are removing the gun from a case the muzzle must be pointed in a safe direction. When re-holstering a sidearm, do not sweep the muzzle across your leg, stomach, foot or supporting hand. When carrying a gun from point A to point B, the action should remain open and the muzzle should be pointing upward.
#3– BE CERTAIN OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEHIND and BEYOND IT.
Bullets can penetrate walls and can even go through steel! Never shoot at anything until you have determined there is a sufficient back-stop. Furthermore, target identification is paramount to safe shooting. Low light conditions, fog, bright lights or sunshine can prevent you from positively identifying a target. If you can not identify the target with absolute certainty or you can not verify a proper back-stop, you should not take the shot. Shooting at a noise in the bushes is highly irresponsible and ultimately dangerous.
#4– KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE ON TARGET AND READY TO SHOOT.
Once the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun there is no calling it back. Find an index point outside the trigger guard. This is where the trigger finger should remain until you are ready to fire.
In addition to the aforementioned rules there are a number of other important safety precautions that should also be adhered to.
ALWAYS WEAR EYE AND EAR PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING.
DO NOT HANDLE FIREARMS IF YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING OR IF YOU ARE USING MEDICATION THAT MAY IMPAIR YOUR JUDGEMENT.
CHECK THE BARREL OF THE GUN FOR ANY OBSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LOADING.
MAKE SURE THE GUN IS IN GOOD REPAIR AND FUNCTIONING PROPERLY BEFORE USING IT.
BE CERTAIN YOU ARE USING THE CORRECT AMMUNITION (caliber and type) FOR THE GUN YOU ARE GOING TO SHOOT.