The three basic general rules of safe gun handling
- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don’t want to shoot.
- Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
- Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
Safety Rules Related to the Shooter and His Behavior
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Never pass a firearm to another person, or accept a firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open and you’ve personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded.
- Before handling any firearm, understand its operation.
- Never rely on any mechanical device for safety.
- Think before shooting: once you pull the trigger you can’t take back the shot you’ve just fired!
- Never joke around or engage in horseplay while handling or using firearms.
- Be alert at all times; never shoot if you’re tired, cold or impaired in any way. Don’t mix alcohol or drugs with shooting.
- Don’t sleep with a loaded firearm in your bedroom if you sleepwalk, have nightmares, sleep restlessly or have other sleep problems.
- Safeguard your sight, hearing and health. Always wear eye and ear protection. Endeavor to limit your exposure to heavy metal particulates and gases, and minimize your contact with aromatic organic solvents (such as those commonly used in gun cleaning products).
- If you see unsafe behavior any time when firearms are being handled or used, speak up and take action to correct the unsafe behavior at once.
- Receive competent instruction from a qualified person before beginning to shoot. If questions arise later, after you’ve been shooting for a period of time, get answers to those questions from a competent authority.