When they are used properly and responsibly, guns should be perfectly safe. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be respected at all times, however. A gun is first and foremost a weapon, and it is designed to kill. Thousands of people are injured every year in the United States through accidents involving firearms. Many of these accidents can be easily avoided as long as people follow these basic firearm safety tips.
Always point the muzzle away from things you don’t intend to shoot
This is the most basic firearm safety tip, but it is also the most important. If every gun owner followed this rule, there would be almost no firearm accidents. If you are handling a gun, always keep it pointed someplace where it won’t hurt anybody if it were to go off, preferably at the ground. You should also remember that bullets can ricochet or pass through walls and ceilings, so a gun can hurt someone even when you think it’s pointed someplace safe. Never raise a gun into a shooting position until you are ready to fire at your target.
Never assume that a gun is completely safe
A gun without ammunition will obviously not be able to hurt anybody, but it is often difficult to tell when a firearm is completely empty. Many accidental shootings occur when a gun with “no ammo” goes off unexpectedly. When it comes to something as deadly as a gun, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and assume that it is loaded. You should also never rely completely on a gun’s safety. The safety is a mechanical component, and all machines are capable of failing at inopportune times.
Unload firearms that aren’t in use
While it makes perfect sense to treat a gun as if it was always loaded, you should also always unload a firearm that isn’t in use. Not only will this prevent children from accidentally using the firearm and hurting themselves, it will keep unauthorized adults from using it as a weapon should they get their hands on it.
Always be aware of what is beyond your target
Once a gun has been fired, you have absolutely no control over where the bullet will go and what it will hit. Before you take a shot, make sure you know where you are shooting. Even when you think you are aiming perfectly at your target, there’s still a chance that you could miss and hit something else. Always be aware of your target, and keep your gun’s safety on until you are ready to shoot.
Do not alter your firearms
Although it may be tempting to do so, you should never attempt to alter or modify your guns. Doing so not only usually voids factory warranties, it can also be very dangerous. Modern guns are far more complex than many people realize, and they should only be serviced and repaired by those with the proper training.
When it comes down to it, firearm safety is all about common sense and treating guns with the respect that a deadly weapon deserves. If you want to learn more about firearm safety and how to shoot, consider taking a class on the subject. Shooting sports are very safe, but only if you use your head and follow the rules of firearm safety.
This post is a guest post contribution.