Basic Gun Safety

Firearms are a great hobby and pastime. Clubs, organizations and leagues hold regular meetings to compare and compete with each other in various weapon activities.  For others, collecting can become a lifelong passion resulting with impressive historical and modern personal displays.  Without the right training, however, guns can quickly turn a joyous occasion into a tragic one.

It takes less than a second for an event to go horribly wrong.  Proper knowledge on gun safety is imperative for everybody that is involved with these weapons.  There are no exceptions; everybody from collectors to active users needs to be fully aware of basic gun safety rules for the protection of not only themselves, but also for those around them.

Know your range

Target practice is perhaps one of the most loved firearms sports, besides hunting itself.  Professional target practice ranges are designed with safety being foremost in mind.  Stray bullets will become wedged into ammunition stopping material.  Those that practice at home need to be fully aware of how far a bullet can travel.  Setting up a target practice range in your backyard or camping spot is a horrible idea that can lead to disastrous results.

A simple .22 short firearm has the capability of shooting a bullet up to one mile away.  If you are target practicing and you miss your target, what is behind it?  Is there anything within a one mile distance that can be affected?  Is the home down the road in danger of getting a bullet wedged into their siding?  Even worse, is a window in line with your target that you may potentially penetrate, harming those inside?  Consider the 5 mile distance of a .300 win mag firearm.  What is within a 5 mile distance past your target?  This is extremely important to consider when testing or demonstrating your firearms.

Do not leave Bullets in your Gun

This may seem like a very basic rule but it is still being widely overlooked.  It is very easy to lay down a loaded gun to attend to other matters. It only takes seconds for another person or even child to pick up that weapon and accidently discharge it. The danger is not only to themselves, it is also to anybody within the range of the gun’s bullets.

For every person that is skilled on handling these weapons, there are twice as many that are not.  It is not uncommon to see somebody pick up a gun and look down the barrel or point it at their bodies as they randomly inspect it.  A bullet in the chamber can mean instant accidental death to an unsuspecting person.

Store your Guns legally and Safely

This is another rule that cannot be stressed enough.  Gun storage is as important as gun usage safety.  Leaving a gun under your bed or in a closet for protection and ease of use is as dangerous to yourself as it is to somebody who finds it.  You not only run the risk of an unskilled individual playing with your weapon, you also run a risk of a very skilled criminal using your own weapon against you.

Maintain your Gun

Proper gun maintenance is imperative, not only for gun use but for gun safety.  A well maintained gun will work as planned without unpredictable results.  A gun that is not properly looked after runs a risk of jamming, backfiring or having other unexpected results. Any result outside of what was expected runs a risk of injury or possibly death.  An injury from a gun that was not properly maintained is inexcusable and completely avoidable.

Guns and other weapons can be a fantastic hobby and a great pastime. When used correctly they offer lifelong enjoyment, skill testing and outdoor fun.  As with anything, if proper precautions are used and followed, there is little to no risk of injury occurring.  However, without basic training of these firearms, an enjoyable experience can quickly turn to tragedy.

The victims are not always the user of the gun.  It can be the child playing in their backyard a mile down the road.  As a gun collector or user, it is your responsibility to ensure that your property is safe. Not only for yourself, but safe for those around you, too.  Do your part to ensure that you follow basic gun safety rules to protect the lives of yourself and the lives of others.

This article was written by Hermant. Z. Enualle, a firearms enthusiast, who believes that, enrolling for gun training classes, develops your confidence in handling firearms.