Before anyone picks up a gun, he/she should know the rules of basic gun safety. This is especially important for the safety of others, including the safety of the gun handler. Most accidents are due to someone not knowing how to handle a gun. Knowing the basics of gun safety is vital, as it can help save a life!
The following are the basic rules of gun safety:
- A gun should always be pointed in a safe direction, NEVER at someone! What is a safe direction? A safe direction is away from anything or anyone where if the gun were to accidentally fire, it would not cause anyone harm. This means that a gun’s handler must know where the barrel points at all times. Whether the gun’s barrel points towards the ground or up in the air, it must NEVER point at any living person or animal, unless the gun handler is hunting and preparing to shoot an animal.
- A gun handler should NEVER put his/her finger on the trigger unless he/she is one-hundred-percent prepared to shoot and fire the weapon. Remarkably, this is the main source for gun safety accidents – having a finger on the trigger and pulling it without the brain actually registering the finger’s swift movements.
- The gun should always remain UNLOADED until a gun handler is prepared to fire a weapon. A gun’s safety should ALWAYS remain on until the handler is in a position to fire. Additionally, the magazine should be removed (if applicable) and the chamber should be clear of any ammunition.
Basic rules posted by the National Rifle Association further state:
- Always focus on the jumping targets before shooting.
- Gun safety is of the utmost importance. A gun’s safety catch is never a guarantee and gun safety should be practiced regularly and religiously.
- Guns require regular maintenance and misfires are always a possibility.
- Only use the ammunition caliber that is specified for use with each specific gun.
- Using safety goggles and ear protection, as firing weapons can cause hearing damage. Flying debris can also cause blindness.
- Never drink or be impaired by medication when handling a weapon!
- Guns should be stored in an area where they are not accessible to children; consider a fingerprint safe.
- Regular cleaning of weapons is necessary to ensure they function properly and to their full potential. A weapon should always be unloaded before cleaning it.
Steel shooting targets that are designed to successfully sustain extended wear and tear are ideal for people who are practicing gun safety. Not only does this allow gun handlers’ to not rely on someone to help reset a target, etc., but the high-quality steel plate targets will not shred, making them perfect for target practice.