The following are the most basic tenets of firearms safety. If you see someone breaking these rules, do the right thing and correct them immediately so they don’t look foolish, or worse still, injure or kill someone accidentally. When you are holding a firearm, YOU are personally responsible for whatever happens while it is in your hands. Thus the phrase, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Gun safety is no laughing matter: if you refuse to adhere to these rules, you will inevitably end up on the evening news, in prison, and give millions of responsible gun owners around the world a bad name. Accordingly, when a firearm is not in active use:
- Visually check the chamber(s) and magazine to make sure it is unloaded. Work the action at least once or twice to verify.
- DO NOT point the muzzle of any firearm at anything or anyone you don’t intend to destroy. Even if the firearm is empty, avoid pointing it at people. The only person or animal you should ever point a firearm at is someone that intends to do serious harm to you or your loved ones.
- Keep your finger well away from the trigger guard in its entirety until you are sighted on your target and ready to fire.
- Verify exactly what your target is and what lies beyond it in the event that your round overpenetrates. You are responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun and every inch it travels beyond your target.
Assuming you follow these rules religiously, you will be on your way to enjoying firearms safely and responsibly. When proper care is exercised, firearms can be among the most useful, powerful, exciting, safe, and valuable possessions you will ever own.
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