Firearms Safety & Tips
Firearms Training of Western New York on firearm safety:
Safety is a mindset, not a lever on a firearm, the NRA defines a safety on a firearm “as a mechanical device that can fail.” and we must agree, the only true safety is between our ears. Safety consists of many important rules that must ALWAYS be followed to prevent negligence, injury and or death.
One of the most important things to instill in your gun handling practice/training is keeping your finger off the trigger and outside of the trigger guard, with a high index along the frame until you have your sights on the target/threat and you intend to shoot, and always keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction weather loaded or unloaded. You should never point a firearm at anyone unless you intend to use it. (Never muzzle anyone or anything you are not prepared to destroy)
They say that it takes 1,000 repetitions to form a habit (good or bad) and that it takes twice that amount (2,000 reps) to break a habit already formed.
The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
NEVER point the gun at yourself or others. Indoors, be mindful of the fact that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and doors.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger along the side of the frame, outside of the trigger guard with a high index as shown in the photo above. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and seek competent assistance. Always visually and physically check the chamber for ammunition.
These safety rules must be applied immediately, from the time, you first pickup the firearm until you stow it. When you learn to shoot; you must create safe muscle memory by practicing safely so that you do not instill poor habits which could later cause negligence to yourself or others.
· Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun’s mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling. The definition of a safety on a firearm is “A mechanical device that CAN fail.
· Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun’s general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun’s ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
· Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
· Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
· Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
· Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person’s particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
· Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun’s action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
What Should You Teach Your Child About Gun Safety?
If you have decided that your child is not ready to be trained in a gun’s handling and use, teach him or her to follow the instructions of NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. If you find a gun:
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.
The initial steps of “Stop” and “Don’t Touch” are the most important. To counter the natural impulse to touch a gun, it is imperative that you impress these steps of the safety message upon your child.
In today’s society, where adult supervision is not always possible, the direction to “Leave the Area” is also essential. Under some circumstances, area may be understood to be a room if your child cannot physically leave the apartment or house.
“Tell an Adult” emphasizes that children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher — if a parent or guardian is not available.
There are many other Gun Safety rules which are not mentioned on this page, please contact us if you have any questions regarding safety. Remember the real safety is between your ears. Always remember SAFETY FIRST.