A gun owner depicts responsibility with their firearm by observing gun safety while handling and even in storage. Gun safety is a critical issue that any shooter must consider since nobody anticipates a gun accident, not even experts.
It’s estimated that around 77% of accidental gun deaths happen in homes. Also, as gun sales spiked to 70% by March 2020, so did accidental shootings by minors scaled up to 43% compared to March 2019. That means there is a significant need for basic gun safety awareness. Below are some of the “nuts and bolts” each gun owner ought to observe to enhance gun safety.
Safety Measures/Rules To Observe When Using A Gun
Treat All Firearms As If They Are Loaded All The Time
When you come into contact with any gun, treat it as if it’s loaded until you inspect the chamber, and you are sure it’s unloaded. In case you are not familiar with a particular gun’s action, get help from someone else to confirm if it’s chambered with around.
Always Point The Muzzle In A Safer Direction
It a fundamental rule, and everyone must adhere to it. You should never point your muzzle at someone/something you don’t intend to shoot or destroy.
Take this rule into consideration, even when loading and unloading. In such a situation, accidental discharges are likely to happen. Remember, you are responsible for any action as you handle that particular firearm.
Be Certain Of Your Target And What’s Beyond It
Before you pull that trigger, you ought to be certain that you have acquired your target. Additionally, it’s crucial that you know what is in line with your fire and what is beyond that particular target.
You should probably avoid or delay firing if there are other people or objects too close to your target and you don’t intend to destroy.
Always Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Fire
If you are not ready to take a shoot, hold your gun with the fingers outside the trigger guard and on the frame. It’s another way of avoiding accidental discharge of a loaded firearm.
NOTE: The above points are the basic gun safety rules every gun owner must observe. Below are other essential safety measures to observe.
Shot The Right Ammunition
Most guns come with a barrel that is stamped with details of the compatible ammunition. Also, the box from which you buy your rounds has information on the ammunition. You can only shoot safely if your gun is loaded with the right ammunition.
Handle Your Gun With Extreme Care And Caution When You Have A Misfire Or A Malfunction
At times, a gun may fail to fire despite pulling the trigger. In such cases, you need to handle it with caution since around might be chambered. To avoid possible gun accidents, you ought to observe other rules such as pointing the muzzle in a safer direction, keep off the finger from the trigger and go further to confirm if there is a chambered round. In cases, it’s loaded, eject the round before doing anything else.
Avoid Shooting Any Firearm While You Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Over-counter Substances And Drugs
When you fire a gun under the influence, you are likely to make an impaired judgment or even cause physical injuries to yourself.
Wear The Right Gear While Shooting
Guns are loud, and some emit gases; thus, you need to have proper gear that protects your eyes and ears. It safeguards you against possible damages. It’s most applicable when doing drills or in shooting competitions. Those around should also wear protective gear. However, in situations of self-defense, it’s not practical.
Practice Regular Maintenance And Cleaning
It’s essential to keep your gun in the right condition to enhance its reliability. Always do regular cleaning to eliminate dust, rust, and particles that might clog in parts of your gun.
If you have the skills to disassemble and assemble your gun, you can services it occasionally. However, if you have little/no skills, you should seek such services from the nearest gunsmith.
Additionally, it’s important you learn the basic handling and mechanisms of your gun.
Safety Rules While Storing A Gun
Generally, gun storage involves preventing your gun from unauthorized access and use. Here are the basic rules to observe. It’s another responsibility that comes along with being a gun owner.
- Use gun locking devices and lockable storage cases. This prevents unauthorized persons from accessing the gun and also prevents accidental discharge.
- Always stores your guns separate from ammunition. Also, and very important, unload your guns before storing them.
- Ensure you have good storage places to keep your guns safely. It could be in a gun vault, lockable cabinets, and safes. Also, storage places should be built of quality and sturdy material.
- Take the initiative to teach your children the dangers and risks of interfering with guns. Also, you can ensure that where you store guns is hardly accessible and lockable. Finally, make the children understand that a gun is not a toy, even if it looks like one. Nevertheless, you should closely supervise them if they come into contact with a gun: children are full of curiosity.
Gun safety is very important for those around you and yourself. The above-discussed rules and measures are not complicated to understand and follow. It will save you from possible gun accidents that might cost you a lot and those near you.
As a gun owner, you must show and practice the responsibility of handling your gun safely every time. Make it your habit to do so.