We’ve all heard the news and seen the reports. Gun sales have exploded in 2020. More importantly, first-time gun owner rates have increased. According to the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation, more than two million Americans have become first-time gun owners during the first half of 2020. With new gun ownership, gun safety is essential.
Guns are powerful. At first, they may seem like intimidating tools… because, just like any tool, they can be used responsibly or irresponsibly. If you’re a new gun owner, learning the safety rules should be your number one priority. Period.
Whether you’re a new gun owner or a seasoned shooter, going over the beginners’ rules to gun safety is always a smart exercise.
Follow these tips and become a smarter owner. Here’s the beginner’s guide to gun safety.
- Safety Rules
Before you pick up your firearm, it’s important that you know these rules like the back of your hand. You should be able to recite these rules on command. Not only will they keep you safe, but they’ll keep everyone around you safe.
- All Guns Are Always Loaded.
Treat every gun as if it’s always loaded. Even if someone tells you a firearm is empty, check for yourself. This will keep you disciplined and make sure you never irresponsibly handle a gun.
- Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until the Right Time
Once your firearm is loaded, always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re aiming at your target. This will prevent accidental discharges.
- Always Keep Your Firearm Pointed in a Safe Direction
You should never aimlessly wave a firearm. This, again, prevents accidents. If your loaded firearm were to ever fire, it should always be in a safe direction.
- Know Your Target and What’s Behind It
Whether it’s at the range or in a self-defense situation, you need to be sure of your target and what lies behind it. When you fire your gun, there’s a possibility you may strike something behind it. Be cautious.
- Operating Tips
Now that you have the firearm safety rules memorized, it’s time to learn how to safely operate your new firearm. These operating tips will keep you and your firearm safe.
- Learn How Your Firearm Operates
These are a few basic things that every shooter needs to master before carrying. They include how to load, unload and clear any malfunction from your firearm. Not every firearm is going to work the same, so be sure you know exactly how to load and shoot your firearm.
- Use Correct Ammunition
Using damaged or incorrect ammunition can destroy a gun and cause you serious injuries. It only takes one cartridge of improper caliber to destroy a gun. Be 100% certain that the ammunition you are using matches your gun’s specifications. If you have any questions, look at your firearm’s manual.
- Storage Safety
Just because you’ve mastered how and when to use your gun doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. All new owners should store their guns safely and securely to prevent unauthorized use. Keeping your weapon secure ensures that you know where it is at all times and that it keeps working properly.
- Know Where Your Firearm Is at All Times
Having a specific place to store your firearm not only keeps it safe but also ensures you know where it is at all times. You’d never want to be in a home defense situation and not know where your firearm is. You’ll never have to worry about home intruders getting a hold of your firearm if it’s properly stored.
- Prevent Unauthorized Use
Many gun owners live with family or friends in the household. You never want someone unfamiliar with firearms getting ahold of one. This is especially the case with children. Guns are powerful tools; make sure they never get into the wrong hands.
- Keep Your Weapon Working
If you want to keep your firearm as good as new, you’ll need proper storage. You want to keep scratches, rust and moisture away from your firearm. This reduces the probability of malfunctions with your firearm.
Pro Tip: Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.
Being a firearm owner takes a patience, self-discipline and responsibility. Once you know and live these rules, we welcome new firearm owners with open arms. Welcome aboard! For more information on firearm safety, visit our Firearm Care page.