We all know that gun safety is extremely important. But do we really know what it means to practice gun safety? Perhaps you’re considering a firearm, or you’ve had one (or more) for years. It’s never a bad time to brush up on gun safety to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in your home and in the field.
You should know the ins and outs of your firearm. Be sure you know how to properly fire it, and that you know what ammunition is appropriate. Check to see when it was last cleaned and serviced. Not only will this keep you and those around you out of harm’s way, it will also prolong the life of your gun.
Keeping your gun clean will ensure proper functioning. Your gun should be cleaned regularly to avoid moisture, dirt, grease or oil from building up and causing issues. The gun should also be inspected to be sure all parts are in good working order. You can have it checked out by a professional gunsmith.
One important safety measure we hear time and again is to make sure firearms are kept locked away and unloaded. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, any firearms should be unloaded unless you are actually using them. Don’t store guns loaded. It is your responsibility as the gun owner to keep your firearms from being used improperly.
Your firearm should be kept locked away or otherwise stored in a place that unauthorized users will not be able to access it. There are several options available, according to the National Rifle Association, including devices that directly attach to your gun to prevent it from being fired.
The locking mechanism on your gun should be used, but it isn’t perfect. Don’t count on your safety keeping you or the people around you out of harm’s way. You should always keep the muzzle of your gun pointed away from people and keep your finger off the trigger unless you are firing.
Wearing the right gear can also keep you safe around firearms. Wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
Of course, when firing, you should always know what you are actually firing at. Don’t just check your target. Look all around and beyond your target to be sure nothing in the area poses a danger. Bullets can travel far, even if they are ricocheting off another object.
Finally, if your gun does not fire properly, use caution. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. The NSSF suggests carefully opening the action, unloading the firearm and disposing the cartridge. Of course, care should be taken when performing all these steps.
When used properly and safely, you can enjoy your gun for many years. Always follow safety precautions and you can keep yourself, your family and all those around you safe.
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