Firearms are dangerous tools, and that’s why carrying a gun comes with a great responsibility. Before ever coming close to a firearm, gun carriers need to realize how risky the whole situation is and that carrying a weapon entails acquiring enough knowledge about gun safety. Gun safety is often seen as hard and complicated; however, we have rounded up a few tips to make learning gun safety easier and to assure that all weapons are kept away from children and untrained hands. Read on to help protect yourself and the ones you love.
See also: Gun safety rules to teach people.
Find a Secure Place to Store Your Gun
The first step you need to take is finding a secure place to store your gun, preferably a safe one. This is to ensure that your gun won’t end up getting stolen, in which case, it may be used in a crime or an illegal act that would get the gun owner in trouble. Gun safety also entails keeping all weapons away from children or untrained people who may end up hurting themselves or others. Gun safes come in many shapes, sizes, and price ranges. A handgun safe can be purchased for less than 50 USD.
However, there are different types of safes to choose from, which is why many people often find it difficult to select the type of safe that would suit them best. First, consider the type of lock you need. Gun safes that require combination locks may not be your best option. Combinations could be easily guessed or could be completely forgotten by their owners. Safes with key locks may be a better option, because they are more difficult to break into.
Second, consider the thickness of the safe’s steel, because it determines the degree of protection the safe provides. You should also be familiar with the number of weapons a safe can hold. If you have more than one gun, it would be counterproductive to get a safe that can only house one gun.
Learn How to Handle a Gun Properly
Another crucial step of achieving gun safety is teaching people about the precautions they need to take in order to keep themselves safe around guns. It’s not only important to learn how to store a gun, you should also know how to handle one.
Always Point the Muzzle in a Safe Direction
The gun’s muzzle should always be pointed in a safe direction. When the firearm is pointed in a safe direction, intentional or accidental discharge will not harm anyone. Whenever you carry the firearm, always make sure you are able to fully control the muzzle direction and angle, especially if you are walking or traveling.
Even when you know that the firearm is not loaded, you should treat it with the respect of a loaded gun. If you have checked the gun a few times and know for a fact that it’s unloaded, still don’t point it at people.
Keep Your Finger off the Trigger
In order to avoid any danger, make sure to always keep your finger off the trigger. This prevents any accidents. Unless you plan to shoot, it is best practice keeping your whole hand away from the area where the trigger is. Even when you are about to shoot, keep your finger away from the trigger until you point the firearm at the target.
Know Your Target and What’s behind It
You should also be absolutely sure of what your target is and what is behind it. Bullets can go through the target, coming out the other side and may, therefore, strike an unintended target. It’s also important to avoid standing behind anyone who is about to fire. The muzzle blast from the firearm can startle those around the shooter. Even small guns can put out a blast to make a grown-up jump. Larger firearms can be even more startling; in some cases, they actually cause headaches.
Unload Your Gun When You Are Not Using It
To achieve optimum gun safety, all firearms should be unloaded when not in actual use. When you hand a firearm to someone, you should make sure it’s unloaded. And if you are not planning to use the gun immediately, it should be unloaded in the same manner. If you are moving the firearm from one location to another, you should also make sure it’s unloaded. If you are transporting the gun from one place to another outside your home, make sure you always have the proper permits with you. It may be illegal to carry a loaded firearm without them.
Use Proper Ammunition
Every firearm is designed for one specific caliber and possibly even a specific load of ammunition. Using improper ammunition for your firearm can pose a serious threat to the shooter and others around the firearm. It is always the best option to go for manufactured ammunition.
Wear Ear and Eye Protection
Wearing ear protection is highly recommended. The sound from a small caliber rifle fire may not cause pain, but it can still damage your hearing. If you notice ringing in your ears for an extended period of time after a shot has been fired, this is a sign that your ears are exceeding their percussive limitations and may possibly suffer permanent damage. In addition, there is no joking when it comes to wearing eye protection. Even if you wholeheartedly believe that there is nothing wrong with your firearm, small problems can occur if your firearm heats up from firing or from ammunition defects.
Never Shoot Hard or Flat Surfaces
Almost all hard and flat objects are very dangerous to shoot because they can cause the bullet to bounce back in unexpected and dangerous directions. A bullet may even bounce back towards the shooter. To ensure their safety, gun owners should never shoot wood, rocks, dirt, or water.
Never Leave Your Loaded Firearm Unattended
If you have a loaded firearm, never leave it without your direct supervision. Even inside your own home, either keep it locked in a safe place or make sure it is with you at all times. If you cannot keep the firearm close, then it is best to unload it. For optimal safety, lock the ammunition in a separate area.
When gun owners keep themselves well informed of gun safety measures, the risk for any accident significantly drops. The issue of your as well as your family’s safety should never be taken lightly. When it comes to gun safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.