There are many rules to follow when it comes to firearms and shooting. These rules are guidelines made to keep everybody safe at all times. Shooting is an incredibly wonderful hobby to have, but it can also be a dangerous one if your guard is done and you neglect to follow rules that truly are fairly simple and straightforward.
The NRA, or National Rifle Association, is a gun rights organization that published a safety rules post on their website. It includes a list of rules that must be followed in order to actively keep everyone safe when it comes to shooting, handling, or even just properly storing a firearm. These rules help to keep things fun, while still being smart and safe with firearms.
Rule Number 1 is always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Following this rule will help in avoiding any injury if the trigger is pulled accidentally or unintentionally, or even in the event of a malfunction misfire. Practicing this rule keeps the shooter in the mindset of never pointing the firearm at anyone, regardless of whether their finger is on the trigger or not.
Rule Number 2 advises all gun users to keep their fingers off the trigger until they are sure they are ready to shoot the firearm. It is recommended that when someone holds their firearm, they rest their trigger finger on the side of the frame of the firearm. Once they are ready to aim and shoot, they then move their finger and pull the trigger. This rule will help to eliminate accidentally pulling the trigger before being truly ready, which is help to avoid shooting anyone or anything unintentionally.
Rule Number 3 says to always keep the firearm unloaded until it is ready to be used. This allows the user to be in control of knowing when their firearm is or is not loaded, keeping both themselves and others around them safe from accidental discharges.
Along with these 3 rules, the NRA posted several others that may seem like common sense, but should be shared all the same.
It is important for every gun owner or user to know how to safely and properly use the gun they are handling. It is recommended that learning the ins and outs of the specific gun be done before it is loaded, just to keep things as safe as possibly.
Along with knowing the gun you are using comes ammunition. It is incredibly important to only use ammunition that is able to be used with the particular firearm. Every firearm has the caliber type imprinted on it. Most ammunition will have the type imprinted on it and/or the box it comes in as well. If you are unsure, it is best to not shoot it.
Know the target you are aiming for. Make sure that the target is exactly what it seems to be. Also, be sure of what is between you and the target, as well as what could be beyond or near the target. It takes only a split second for situations to change and those changes could be deadly, if focus is lost.
Another important piece of safety advice is to always wear eye and ear protection. Shooting is a loud sport, protecting your hearing from any damage is as simple as wearing protection. Same with wearing eye protection. Shooting glasses can help to keep any debris or hot gasses from damaging your eyesight. It is equally important for those along for the fun to wear protection, even if they will not be physically shooting a firearm.
When it comes to handling and using firearms, an important safety rule is to never handle or shoot when you are under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and many drugs can alter your perception, making it easy for a mistake to happen, even if you may think you have a handle on the situation.
Guns should be stored safely away. Preferably locked in a safe or lock box, with the ammunition store separately. It is important to note that even though many firearms have built in safety features, these are not fail proof and can malfunction.
These rules, when practiced properly, can become an easy, every day act.
The NRA puts it quite simply - Think First. Shoot Second.