There are tons of rules guiding gun usage and control. I know, “rules” right? No one likes them. However, you may want to pay attention to these rules and ensure you follow them because your safety and precision when your firearm is in use depends largely on these rules. Either this is your first time going hunting or you have experience using your gun, it won’t hurt to check out the rules below.
Here are 5 essential gun safety rules:
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
- Never point your gun at anything you do not mean to shoot
- Be a hundred percent sure of your target and always take into concern what lies behind your target before shooting.
- Do not be trigger happy. Always keep your fingers off the trigger until you are absolutely ready to shoot.
- Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
Now, let’s see what the big fuss is about with these rules.
The first rule is to treat every gun as if it were loaded.
This has to be hands down one of the most important rules of gun safety. Either you are hunting with you Winchester, Ruger or some other shotgun or rifle, you need to accord to your gun the level of respect you would if it were loaded. This prevents so many mishaps. You don’t want to be the guy who accidentally fires his gun. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight. In December 2018, an FBI agent’s gun accidentally fires while he was dancing in a night club. Wow! A loaded gun, intense body movement and a building filled with people, not the greatest combo to be honest. Luckily, the victim survived the shot.
Never point your gun at anything you do not intend shooting.
You would not believe the number of gun misfires that occur in the United States every year. In 2014, 2,549 children died by gunshot and an additional 13,576 were injured. I know it’s tempting sometimes to have a go with your gun. As deadly as it can be, a gun is still a pretty much cool weapon. Sometimes, you get tempted to show off your bad boy to some of your buddies to get some “street cred.” It’s a bad move because mishaps happen. A gun can stay loaded for over 6 months. You might think it’s just an old piece of firearm lying around so you decide to fondle around with it and boom! Someone gets hurt or even worse, you shoot yourself. August 2019, Lexington police say a man accidentally shot himself. It was believed this accident occurred while he was cleaning his gun. Why he pointed his gun to his own body while cleaning it, I have no idea but this a classic case of “poor gun control 101.”
Be sure of your target and even more so, what lies beyond your target.
Most times, you get pumped up by the thought of hitting your target that you forget to check what is behind it. You need to have a clear sight of your target and be sure of everything else that your shot could hit especially when you go hunting. Animals like the white-tailed deer and antelopes are remarkably agile, fast and easily spooked. The lowest of sounds like rustling leaves or footsteps and they set off. You might have your target locked and loaded and just as you are about to pull the trigger, your target gets spooked and jumps out of the way leaving you to shoot at whatever is behind. In 2019, an Iguana hunter armed with a pellet gun in Florida missed his target and struck a pool boy working in somebody’s yard. It must have been one huge Iguana not to have seen a boy in the background.
Keep your fingers off the trigger.
Psst! Pretty basic right? Well, not so much as dozens of deaths and injuries occur every year in the US from the plain old “my finger slipped story.” Pontiac, 2019. A man accidentally shot his wife while trying to break up a fight outside his home. Apparently, his daughter was in a fight and while trying to break out the fight, he pulled out his gun and attempted to shoot in the air but he actually shot his wife in the stomach. Poor guy, he wanted to be a troubleshooter. Only that he shot but not at trouble. There is no reason why you should attempt to shoot a gun in any direction at all when you have people around moving rapidly in a fight. Things can get really bad, so you need to keep it one hundred with your trigger finger.
Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
“Safe direction” means different places to different people. Most people will say keep it pointed “downwards” or “upwards.” However, where you point your gun depends largely on where you are. If you have little ones at home, you certainly don’t want to be pointing it downwards when you are not looking as a baby could have crawled underneath without your knowledge. You don’t want to point it upwards either if you have people living above you. Even if you do not, you might need to crack your safe open to get money to fix your leaky roof. The NRA has advised to point your gun at an object that is capable of stopping a bullet. February 2020 in Oklahoma, a man while cleaning his gun at home accidentally shot his best friend who was playing video games. Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes called the event “an unfortunate, tragic event while mishandling a loaded firearm.” Maybe he had no idea the gun was loaded, we can never be sure. One thing we know is that if he had not pointed the gun towards his friend, he would have probably finished his game.