Recreation and Leisure

Firearm Safety

Many cases of accidental death, damage or injury are caused when firearms are not handled or stored properly. In order to minimize or eliminate the occurrence of these incidents, there is a collection of recommendations and rules that you can use when you are in possession of, or handling a gun. There is also a set of guidelines when your firearm is not in use.

The Mindset

The mindset for firearm safety is that these weapons must be handled with care and carefully stored because they are inherently dangerous. Guns have destructive capabilities, so they should not be played or toyed with to prevent accidents. The primary rules in handling a firearm include the following.

1. Even if you know that your firearm is unloaded, you should always treat it as if it is loaded. When your gun is ready to discharge but you mistakenly believe that it has been disabled or emptied, this can result in accidents.

2. Minimize the damage(s) caused by accidental discharge by pointing the muzzle of your weapon away from things that you do not target.

3. Keep your finger off the guns trigger, as it may move involuntarily and the firearm may fire accidentally.

4. Identify and verify your target positively, including what is on its left and right sides, and beyond.

Whether you are at a firing range or in your house, and you know that your gun is loaded, never leave it unattended. If you are leaving, unload your firearm, use slide lock if it is a pistol, and put it in a safe case which should also be locked.

Know your firearm very well. It means that you should know its firing characteristics so you can use it safely. Learn how to check the chamber, unload the magazine, engage the safety, clear jams, field strip, and examine the barrel. You should be aware of all the aspects of your weapon, so you can operate it safely and consistently.

Proper Maintenance

Maintaining your firearm is a big factor in firearm safety, because when your gun is properly maintained, it will retain its good condition and you can use it safely. The more years your gun in your possession, the more important your gun will become to you. Clean it after every use. When field stripping your weapon, you may inadvertently launch some springs and other small components, so it is recommended that you wear eye protection.

When the Firearm Is Not In Use

When your gun is not in use or you dont expect to fire it for a good amount of time, clean and oil it thoroughly and put it in a safe place. It should not be accessible to children and other family members, most especially to thieves. Make sure that all state and local laws about storing your firearm are followed diligently.

Following the above suggestions will make you a responsible gun owner. It will also help prevent injuries, damages, and loss of lives due to accidental firing. There is always danger in use of guns, but with a responsible gun handler, the risks can be minimized.

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