Owning a gun is an incredible responsibility. Guns, when used properly, have the potential to protect you from an intruder, or allow you to feel safe when home alone. When used incorrectly, however, these weapons can be incredibly dangerous. Prior to purchasing or using a firearm, make sure to acquaint yourself with the following best practices for gun safety.
- Learn About Your Gun
Before making a purchase, do your research. There are many different gun models, all with different firing capacities, difficulties of use, and built-in safety features. Think about the purpose behind your purchase is. Will you be using this gun to hunt with? Or simply for home protection? Other things to think about would be whether or not you have small children in the house and need additional safety features.
Once you’ve made your purchase, familiarize yourself with the gun model you chose. Know how it works, what features are equipped, and especially what kind of ammunition it uses. Using the wrong ammo could result in injury to the gun, yourself, or others around you. Familiarizing yourself with even the smallest details about your model could help save your life.
- Safely Store Gun When Not In Use
When not in use, ensure your gun is safely stored where children or other adults can not get to it. A locked gun cabinet or a case stored in a high, hard-to-reach area are good choices. Also be certain that your gun is ALWAYS unloaded when not in use, and that, if available, the trigger locking mechanism is engaged.
- Don’t Point Gun At Yourself or Others
Many tragic, often fatal accidents have occurred due to carelessness. Pointing a gun at yourself or others, even in jest, can have devastating consequences. If the gun misfires, or you were unaware the gun was loaded, you could end up actually shooting someone over something that was only supposed to be a joke. The only times a gun is to be pointed at another human being is in war and personal protection.
- Use Proper Protection
When firing a gun you should always use proper ear and eye protection whenever possible. The loud noise emitted when a shell is ejected from the barrel of your gun can result in hearing loss, while gun-smoke residue or stray bullet fragments have the potential to blind.
- Take Good Care of Your Firearm
Taking good care of your firearm will greatly lower the chance something will go wrong mechanically. Never alter your firearm in any way, because this will not allow it to work properly – thus, raising the possibility of mechanical failure. Also make sure you get your guns serviced regularly by a professional. Many small issues may be caught during regular services, before they turn into big problems down the road.