Did you know that there were approximately 45,000 gun-related deaths in a year? Many of these could have been prevented. Therefore, firearm safety is crucial for every gun owner.
Whether you are at a shooting range or have a firearm at home, you should always prioritize safety. Here is everything you need to know about firearm safety tips to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Pointing Your Muzzle
The most basic firearm safety rule is that the muzzle should never be pointed at something you do not intend to shoot. If you pay attention to this, you can ensure that you will never get into a firearm accident where you may hurt yourself or others.
When loading or unloading the firearm, keep a watchful eye on where the muzzle is pointing. This is necessary to prevent an accidental discharge. If your muzzle is always in a safe direction, you can load your weapon without worrying about the worst.
A safe direction should be where a bullet cannot hit someone. You must also consider ricochets because bullets cannot penetrate ceilings and walls.
In some cases, the safe direction may be pointing the muzzle upwards, but you may also need to keep it downwards depending on where you are. Remember to never point the muzzle at anything that is not a target.
Even if you are dry firing with an unloaded firearm, you should keep the muzzle safely away from yourself and anybody else near you.
Keep the Firearm Unloaded
The next most crucial firearm safety tip is never keeping a loaded gun. Your firearm should only be loaded if you are at a target range or out in a field ready to shoot. When you are not using the gun, all your ammunition and firearm should be secure in the safest place.
You should also keep your ammunition away from the weapon. This will ensure that you never risk any children getting unauthorized access to your gun or ammunition.
Even if you keep everything in a home safe, always make sure to change the combination so that no one can guess it and enter the code when alone without anybody watching. Remember that it is your responsibility to keep everybody safe if you are a gun owner.
As soon as you finish using the firearm, you must unload it immediately. A loaded gun should never be in a truck, building, or car. Before you are ready to drive, check to see if your gun is unloaded before bringing it home.
If you need to hand the firearm to somebody else, you should always open the action and visually check the chamber. Then check the magazine and receiver to guarantee that no ammunition can cause an accidental misfire.
You should also never push or pull a loaded gun toward yourself or others. Unless you are going to shoot the firearm, there is no reason to have it loaded while carrying it around.
Do Not Depend on the Gun’s Safety
The golden rule of owning a firearm is to always assume that it is loaded and can fire at any time. This is because the “safety” on your gun is a mechanical device that can malfunction when you least expect it.
There can be times when the safety might be on even if you think it is not. Your gun’s safety should supplement your own handling.
Always assume the worst possible scenario instead of depending on the gun’s safety. You should also never touch the trigger on the gun unless you want to shoot.
Always keep your fingers away from it, even while unloading or loading the firearm. Be careful to never pull the trigger, even if the safety is on. There is always a risk of your gun firing unexpectedly and hurting someone when you release the safety, even if you do not touch the trigger.
Any blow to the weapon or strong movement can kickstart the firing mechanism of your firearm. For instance, if you drop your gun, it can fire even if you did not pull the trigger.
This is why you should never rest a loaded firearm against another object. There will always be a risk of changing position or sliding with enough force to discharge.
The only time you should feel confident that the firearm will not shoot is if you have unloaded it entirely instead of relying on the gun’s safety. See options to know how to buy the safest guns.
Look Beyond Target
You can never take that shot back once you buy a firearm and shoot at something. This is when you will give up all control over where your bullet will travel and strike. Therefore, you should never shoot unless you know exactly where the shot will hit.
Always ensure that the shell will not have a chance to injure anybody beyond the target you have chosen. There should be no target so important that you cannot take the time before pulling the trigger to guarantee that the shot will not harm someone.
This is essential because even a short bullet can race for miles with a high velocity. Some shotgun pellets can even go up to 500 yards. Always keep a clear head and a careful eye on the target you want to shoot and ensure that it will not ricochet to ruin your day.
Master Firearm Safety Today
Now that you know the basics of firearm safety, you should be able to shoot your shot safely without endangering any lives. It is also beneficial to wear ear and eye protection when shooting to prevent any clay target chips from injuring you.
Never rely solely on your gun’s safety. Always check the chamber and magazine to ensure that the firearm is unloaded before carrying it home and locking it up. Do not forget that if there is a cartridge in the chamber, your gun is still loaded even if you tried to shoot and nothing happened.
Finally, keep an eye on that muzzle and never point it at yourself or others. If you enjoyed reading this firearm safety guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.