When it comes to proper firearm safety, there are three important rules that you must follow in order to minimize the chance of an accident occurring. These rules are designed to not only prevent accidents, but also to minimize the damage in case something should go wrong. In fact, the design of these rules were to avoid negligent discharges of firearms so that no one would get hurt. A firearm that does not go off is one that is safe to be around.
Point the Weapon in a Safe Direction
This is the first and foremost rule of firearm safety, so always keep the weapon pointed up, down or away from anyone at all times. Generally speaking if you are outdoors, keeping the weapon pointed upwards as long as no one is on an elevated position is the best because it reduces the chances of a ricochet from occurring. You can also point the weapon down into the ground which means that if the weapon should discharge, it will wind up in the soil. Just be sure to point it away from your legs or feet.
Never Load Your Weapon until Ready
Until you have a reason to load your firearm, keep it unloaded. This is especially true in situations of home defense when you are not quite sure of what is happening. By keeping your weapons unloaded at all times, you can avoid accidents from occurring when handling, delivering or receiving a weapon from another person. Make it a habit to always check to see that a weapon is unloaded even if it came straight from the manufacturer.
When you are Ready to Shoot, Put Your Finger on the Trigger
While there have been reported cases of negligent discharges where no one pulled the trigger, the number of those incidents is hardly a fraction compared to discharges that were caused by someone accidentally pulling the trigger. So, if your finger is not on the trigger, then your weapon is for the most part safe. Only when you are ready to fire should you put your finger on the trigger.
In addition to the three main rules, there are other rules that you should keep in mind as well to further reduce the chances of having an accident with your firearm.
- Never point your weapon at anyone unless you intend to shoot them.
- Always keep the safety on even if the gun is unloaded.
- Keep your ammunition and weapons separate.
The final rule is more for home defense so that you it will take more time to load the weapon which gives you time to think. Being aware of what is going on is vital when handling firearms. Remember, there has never been an incident of a gun firing by itself when it was not loaded. So, if you keep your weapons unloaded until you are ready to use them and keep them pointed in a direction away from where anyone is at, then you will greatly minimize the chances of an unfortunate event from occurring.