Gun safety is a crucial component of owning firearms. Proper handling of a firearm not only makes the practice less deadly, it also helps promote safe and responsible use; if you believe in the right to bear arms, then maintaining safety, which creates a stronger public image for those rights, should be a high priority.
Even if you are a seasoned expert in firearms, it never hurts to review the fundamentals of gun safety.
Different organizations have different “rules” for gun safety. Online hunter safety courses, for example, have four rules, while the manufacturer Magtech has 12 Golden Rules.
However, the NRA has three rules for gun safety, creating a simple foundation of responsible use and helping to prevent injuries, all while encouraging proper operation of firearms.
NRA’s Three Rules of Gun Safety
Always Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction
Whether or not the gun is loaded, always keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction. This, according to the NRA, is the primary rule of gun safety.
Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger
Until you are ready to shoot, you should keep your finger off the trigger. This means when you are holding a gun at the range or in the field, you should keep your index finger out of the trigger area.
Keep the Gun Unloaded Until Ready to Use
To promote safety, do not load the firearm until you are ready to use it. If you are at the range, keep the gun unloaded (no rounds in the magazine or chamber) and don’t load until it is your turn to fire. Once you have completed firing, make sure the weapon is completely unloaded.
There are other rules promoted by different organizations, but these three rule create a strong foundation for you to build upon. Owning, carrying, and operating a firearm will always have risks, but these fundamental rules reduce your chances of an accident.