Every year, a lot of people get shot as a result of an accident – all because proper safety measures were not followed. There are certain gun-handling risks that we all need to know. Safety comes first, particularly when you are handling something that may drill a lethal hole in someone.
Handling guns involves following a number of safety rules. To make sure that nothing this unfortunate happens to you, here is a gun safety guide to ensure that everything is dealt with properly.
- Always Unload Your Gun When Not Using It
A golden safety rule for every gun owner is to always unload a gun when you aren’t using it. Granted, you may get away with it if you store it in a safe, but even then, it’s much safer to actually unload the gun. You might also want to make sure the ammunition is stored close by. In the event that someone breaks into your home, you need to be able to quickly load the gun and defend yourself.
- Always Assume Your Gun Is Loaded
You may be in the habit of unloading your gun each time you put it away. You may be compulsive about it, with a perfect track rate as well. Never has there been a moment when you HADN’T unloaded your gun before locking it in the safe. However, all it takes is that one moment when you forget for a disaster to happen. This is exactly why you need to always handle the gun as if it’s loaded, even if you believe for a fact that it isn’t.
- Don’t Point Unless It’s Something You Want to Shoot
Unless it is something you particularly want to drill a hole in, do not point your gun. This is particularly the case when you are unloading or loading your gun, as it is very easy for you to accidentally press that trigger and injure someone. Even if you believe that there is no one around, don’t point unless you have a target. You have no idea who might be around or who you might accidentally injure or scare half to death.
- Don’t Rely on the Gun’s “Safety”
Every gun has a “safety” feature that will prevent you from accidentally shooting your weapon. When the safety is gone, that is when you can point and shoot. However, not only is it very easy to forget you put the safety on, but these mechanical devices can also malfunction. All it takes is for you to position it incorrectly for a disaster to happen.
- Take Your Finger Off the Trigger
Once more, unless you are planning to take a shot in the next few seconds, do not go anywhere near the trigger. Don’t even run your finger until the last minute, when you intend to take your shot. There’s no saying what kind of distraction might fall on you, resulting in an accidental yet potentially deadly shot.
- Put It in a Safe Place
This should go without saying, but your gun should always be stored in a safe place. To make it clear, your bed drawer or under your pillow is NOT a safe place. If a disaster were to happen, you need to know that your gun is in a safe spot, easy to reach for you. Look for a good fireproof gun safe, as it will have various security features to ensure the gun does not end up in the wrong hands.
- Don’t Use Expired Ammunition
Yes, ammunition has a shelf life. While most of the time shelf life tends to be quite generous, it can also be affected by its storage condition. To make sure your ammo does not expire sooner than it is supposed to, keep it stored in a dry and cool area, preferably a safe.
- Use the Correct Ammo
Aside from using ammo that is not expired, as a safety measure, you should always use the CORRECT ammunition. Upon receiving your gun, you will be informed exactly what kind of ammo works best – so you might want to choose properly. There is no “one size fits all” kind of ammo, so if you don’t want your gun to function improperly, choose the right type of ammo.
- Always Clean Your Gun
Cleaning your gun is something that you should always do if you want to remain within the proper safety standards. A clean gun leads to optimal firing, which is why you should ensure it’s always cleaned after use and placed in storage. Failing to do so regularly might cause the gun to misfire, which will obviously lead to injury.
- Practice with Your Gun
As a gun owner, you need to learn as much as you can about your gun. You need to know all of its quirks, its features – you must know exactly what makes it tick. Not only should you study its user guide intently (the kind of ammo it needs, its range, etc.), but you also need to practice with it as often as possible. This way, you will know that there aren’t any blind spots for when you need to use it.
- Use Ear and Eye Protection
When you watch an action movie, you probably see the main character always flawlessly firing a gun without using any protection. However, when you shoot a gun, a kind of controlled explosion also occurs – and we all know that explosions and soft tissue do not mix well. If it’s possible, invest in the right eye and gear protection, particularly if you plan on using the gun for a longer time (i.e. hunting grounds, shooting range, etc.).
As long as proper safety measures are followed, there are no dangers involved with shooting a gun. Follow these tips, and aside from keeping yourself safe, make sure that those around you are safe as well. If you are a beginner, you might want to enroll in gun safety training to get a safety certificate as well.