Gun Safety Rules

Three Rules of Safe Gun Handling


  1. ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction: This is the most important rule of gun safety. Safe direction means that the muzzle (or front end of the barrel) of the gun is pointed in a direction where injury or damage would not occur should the gun go off. The shooter should be aware of where the muzzle of the gun is pointed at all times.
  2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot: Rest your trigger finger along the side of the trigger guard while holding a gun. Do not touch the trigger until you are ready to fire the gun.
  3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use: When picking up a gun always check to see if it is loaded. While keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction and your finger off the trigger check to see if gun is unloaded. This includes removing the magazine, opening the action and inspecting the chamber(s) visually and physically to make sure it is clear of ammunition. Engage the mechanical safety if your gun has one. Do not touch the gun if you do not know how to open the action and inspect the chambers!

Use common sense when handling guns:

  • Know your target and what is beyond.
  • Do not use a gun without knowing how it operates.
  • Be sure your gun is cleaned properly and safe to operate.
  • Wear proper ear and eye protection.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.
  • Store guns so they are not accessible to minors.
  • Be sure to use the correct ammunition for your gun. Most guns will have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Check ammunition boxes and cartridges to be sure you have the correct ammunition for your gun.

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