Gun safety is about understanding, identifying, and respecting all the potential dangers, then taking responsible steps to mitigate them.
One key to handling a firearm safely is feeling confident, as nervousness and uncertainty could result in an accidental discharge or other mistakes. However, you also don’t want to feel overconfident, as that can lead to potentially careless behavior.
Even experienced gun users can sometimes slip up, which is why it’s essential to regularly review the basics of gun safety and emphasize that even the most minor rules are important.
Why Gun Safety Matters
Gun safety is a literal life or death issue. As a gun owner, you want to make sure you use and store your gun correctly, both to protect yourself and anyone else who might have access to your weapon.
Unfortunately, gun accidents affect all ages. Unintentional shootings are a significant cause of death for children under 14. Many people underestimate a child’s ability to access a gun, but even a three-year-old can pull the trigger.
Aside from the potential human tragedy, any accident involving a gun you own could potentially result in financial or legal penalties, even if nobody was hurt.
Gun Safety Tips
Even if you’ve heard these tips before, it’s crucial to not only review them but also make sure you’re implementing them correctly.
Store Your Gun Properly
Always store your guns in a locked storage space such as a cabinet, safe, or gun vault. Gun vaults are essentially safes with a special, padded design that holds your gun securely and protects it from damage.
For extra protection, use a gun lock, a steel cable that threads through the chamber to prevent the gun from firing. Don’t rely on the gun’s safety alone.
Along these same lines, unload your gun before storing it, and put your ammo in a different, secure location.
Watch Where You Point Your Gun
Never point your gun at anything you don’t want to shoot. When carrying your gun out of its holster, point it to the ground.
Along these same lines, treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Whenever you’re handed a gun, check it yourself, even if you’re 100% confident it’s unloaded.
Keep Your Gun Well Maintained
A gun that is well maintained is far less likely to surprise you by jamming, misfiring, or experiencing a mechanical problem.
Use a gun cleaning kit to keep your firearms in proper working condition. Clean your gun approximately every two weeks, even if you haven’t used it. A gun kept in storage can develop rust fairly quickly without regular cleanings.
Protect Against Secondary Dangers
Even responsible gun use creates the risk of certain hazards. When firing your gun, always wear ear and eye protection.
Also, before firing, always understand what’s beyond your target. Will the bullet pass through the target, ricochet, or otherwise behave in an unpredictable way?
Gun safety is about understanding, identifying, and respecting all the potential dangers, then taking responsible steps to mitigate them. With proper storage, locks, handling, and education, you can keep a gun in your home while also keeping your family safe.