We’re no strangers to the destruction of lives and property firearms have caused and continue to cause. We therefore cannot overemphasize the need to constantly practice the safe handling of guns since research data tells us there are 270 million firearms in the United States today.
To aid in ensuring safe practices of gun handling at home or on the shooting range, make these key gun-safety principles your own. Let them become second nature to you every time you handle a gun. In all Armed Defense Training Association (ADTA) events, whether at demonstrations, dry practice events or live-fire events these same principles are enforced :
1) Regard And Treat Every Gun As If It’s Loaded: You could be absolutely sure that a particular firearm is not loaded but still, go with this rule for safe handling of firearms. It’s good to have these rules become natural habits. Upholding them each and every chance you get will help them become second nature to you.
2) Never Point A gun At Anything You’re Not Willing Or Ready To Destroy: Get yourself into a mindset to always have your gun pointed towards a direction that would safely stop the bullet should it discharge accidentally. At the shooting range, doing target practice, if you’re not in the firing line yet, your firearm should be kept in its holster, muzzle-down, cased and pointing down, away from crowds and people.
When you’re in the firing line, keep your gun pointed downward.,
Cleaning or handling your gun at home, make sure it’s unloaded. Find a safe direction ahead of time. Know that bullets penetrate and go through wall panels windows, wood floorings and ceilings. Good options on where to have your gun pointing downwards would be a full bookcase, a full freezer or a sand-filled bucket.
3) Be Sure Of What You’re Targeting And What’s Behind It : For the entire path
and trajectory each bullet takes when fired from your gun, you alone are responsible. Keep in mind that even as you hit your target, the bullet may still continue through and hit another thing. When ADTA live-fire events are staged, the locations are set with a designated bullet trap backstops or berm to make sure the fired rounds are stopped safely and are confined within the range area. You should be responsible enough to fire only at directions where you can be sure the bullets won’t stray.
4) Keep That Finger Away From The Trigger: Until you’re at the firing line, on target and ready to fire, keep your trigger finger away from the trigger. At responsible shooting ranges, when you’re seen holding a gun but not shooting, you’ll understandably be asked to index your trigger finger. This means you have to keep your trigger finger straight and resting flat alongside your gun’s body, outside the trigger guard.
These then are the 4 basic principles of safety when it comes to handling firearms. Making them part of your habit will go a long way towards being a responsible gun-owner and staying away from firearms-caused accidents.