Part of being a responsible gun owner is practicing gun safety. Exercising safe gun handling dramatically decreases gun-related accidents and tragedies. The following highlights necessary gun safety tips for gun owners.
- Loaded – Guns should be handled and treated as if they are always loaded. Most gun accidents occur when a gun handler assumes the weapon is unloaded, when it actually has a bullet in the chamber. The first thing a gun handler should do when holding a weapon is to make sure the gun is unloaded. If the gun is loaded and a gun handler doesn’t feel comfortable unloading the weapon, ask someone with knowledgeable expertise about how to properly unload the weapon and in the meantime, place the weapon in a safe area.
- Pointing – Even if guns are not loaded, they should never be pointed near or at someone. Always practice pointing guns in a safe direction, which helps to prevent accidental discharges that can result in damage, injury or death. Guns should be pointed in a direction or at an object that will not cause harm, meaning they should always be pointed away from humans and pets.
- Trigger – Fingers should never be placed on the trigger unless the handler is prepared to shoot the weapon. Fingers should remain in a position outside the weapon’s trigger guard, especially when handling the gun. While it may be comfortable to position the finger on the trigger, it’s extremely unsafe. In fact, if someone is walking with a finger on the trigger, they could accidentally trip, causing the weapon to discharge. The body’s natural response to sudden or loud noises is to tense muscles, which is often the cause of accidental discharges. Always use the gun’s handle when handling the weapon and only use the trigger for firing.
- Target – Shooters should know their targets and the areas surrounding their targets. Targets should be placed in a safe location that prevents stray bullets from impacting surrounding areas or accidentally shooting someone. If bullets miss the targets, they could easily strike a person. When in doubt, don’t shoot. It’s best to use high quality steel shooting targets, as these help prevent bullets from passing through. Jumping Targets specializes in selling these advanced shooting targets, which are optimal for target practice.
- Operate – If someone owns a gun, it’s important that he/she knows how to properly use the weapon. It’s vital that gun owners know how to load, unload and effectively address gun malfunctions. No two guns’ makes and models are identical, which is why it’s an important part of gun safety to regularly practice with weapons.
- Storage – Storing a gun in a safe location is vital. It is highly recommended that ammunition and guns be stored in secure locations, away from one another. If weapons are around children, consider locking them in a gun safe with a cable or trigger lock.