Understanding gun safety is a critical part of gun ownership to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. With gun safety training, you will learn a certain mindset and the appropriate habits of gun safety by following specific rules.
Jeff Cooper, who is an influential figure in modern firearms training, has formalized and popularized the Four Rules of firearm safety. At Federal Firearms, we are going to give a crash course in the Four Rules of safe gun handling to give you insight on how to safely handle your firearm.
Whether you are a first-time gun owner or an experienced marksman, these gun safety rules are crucial to keep in mind when handling firearms.
Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
When handling a firearm, you should always treat it as if it is loaded until you can personally and accurately confirm that the gun is unloaded. Before and after handling a firearm, you should perform a safety check on the firearm. Even if you have verified that the gun is unloaded, you should still treat it with the same care as you would a loaded weapon.
You should safety check your gun as soon as you pick it up, even if you have just set it down. You also need to safety check the gun prior to putting it down or handing it to someone else. Keep in mind that even if the magazine is removed from the firearm, you could still have a round in the chamber, so be sure to check the chamber.
If you are handed a gun by someone else, check the gun to make sure it is clear. Even if the person says the gun is unloaded, you shouldn’t consider it to be unloaded until you have checked it yourself.
Never point a gun at something that you aren’t willing to destroy.
Pointing your gun at an innocent person or animal can have devastating results. It is crucial that you keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, away from an innocent life, to avoid disaster. By keeping the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction, even if you have a negligent discharge, innocent people and animals around you will be safe.
It is important to be aware that in some situations, there may not be a safe direction to point the firearm. Bullets can penetrate easily through walls and other barriers while traveling long distances. For example, someone living in an apartment in an urban area may not be able to avoid causing harm in the event of a negligent discharge.
In any case, when cleaning, storing, storing, or transporting your firearm, you need to keep it pointed in the safest direction possible.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target.
Guns don’t just go off by themselves. While there are some older guns that aren’t drop-safe and others that can have a mechanical defect, although extremely rare, almost every instance in our modern-day, someone has to pull the trigger for a gun to be fired.
You need to keep your finger, or other things, off the trigger of your gun until you are ready to shoot. It is important to train yourself to keep your finger out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target.
To do this, practice picking up your gun, pausing, and placing your finger in a safe spot such as the space above the trigger on the frame of the gun. Take the time to get a feel for this finger placement and commit it to memory. Be sure to place your finger there safely every time you pick up a gun.
Know your target and what is beyond it.
As mentioned earlier, bullets can penetrate walls and other barriers while traveling long distances before they lose their lethal force. This can cause you to aim and one thing and hit another if you are not sure of what is beyond your target.
Before shooting, you need to make sure that there is no one down range or anyone about to go downrange. You also need to make sure that you have an adequate backstop to stop your bullets. Even a .22 caliber bullet can travel over a mile before it loses its momentum.
You also need to make sure that there are no people or animals ahead of the firing line or are about to go ahead of the line.
There are a variety of other gun safety rules, but these are the top four rules you need to follow for safe gun handling.
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