Most gun owners know when to follow firearm safety rules, but it seems my social media streams are flooded with images of poor safety. I’ve seen images of prom pictures with poor gun handling, hunting photos with bad barrel placement, and red carpet events with trigger fingers engaged. Additionally, I just returned from the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings in Dallas, Texas. There are plenty of gun companies displaying their wares at the show.
A true give away that you’re not an experienced gun owner is the way you handle them. That means if you’re violating any of the Four Rules of Firearm safety, you look like a dummy. You don’t want that, no do you? Of course, you don’t. A violation of the rules could add you to a list of statistics of which you don’t want to be included. You’d better learn the rules.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about displaying your passion for the Second Amendment and sharing the fact that you’re the face of gun owners, but you need to do it properly — NOT like Hollywood! Practice the rules!
When should you follow the rules? ALWAYS!
Always, always follow gun safety rules. That means even if you think the gun is unloaded, even if the firing pin has been removed, even if your only taking a picture, and even if the gun looks real but is not.
I’ve had many people tell me, “but it was unloaded.” NOPE! That’s a violation of rule number one.
ALWAYS follow the four rules of firearm safety. Rule breakers are not impressive. It’s a distraction from their photo, and they’re dangerous at the range or in the gun shop. Never get so comfortable with a firearm that you forget the rules.
Four Rules of Firearm Safety
1. Treat EVERY gun as if it is loaded.
This means that all guns should be handled as though there is ammunition in the chamber and even applies to inert and toy guns. Practice safety all the time.
2. Never point the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.
Remember that a bullet being expelled from the barrel of a gun cannot be taken back. Once a gun goes off, that is it. Where ever your muzzle is pointed is where that projectile will go and whatever it hits will be destroyed.
3. Always keep your finger OFF THE TRIGGER and OUT OF THE TRIGGER GUARD until you are on target and ready to shoot.
This is a rule that seems difficult at first. Afterall, guns are designed with grips that allow our fingers to easily reach the trigger. Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard. If you experience a bump, trip, or slip, you do not want your finger depressing the trigger before you are ready. When I’m teaching, when I’m at gun stores, when I’m at trade shows, and other times I see this rule violated. JUST DO THIS ONE!
4. Always know your target and what is beyond.
Rule number two mentions not pointing the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy. That means if you have the muzzle pointed toward the wall in your house, the bullet could possibly go through the wall. You need to be aware of what is on the other side and if you’re hunting, you need to know where other animals are located.