If it’s your first time going to the gun ranges, then you should know first how to behave yourself in the gun range for safety reasons. Here are some safety tips to follow at gun ranges to give you an idea of what to do.
8 Safety Tips to Follow at Gun Ranges
The top gun ranges in the United States strictly implement safety and proper handling of guns. They also set up some safety rules that you have to follow unique to their own gun ranges. Before going into the gun range, you should know these rules by heart and follow them.
Aside from that, there are gun safety tips that you have to follow at gun ranges. It’s a common courtesy for yourself and for the other people using the gun ranges. These safety tips are provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
Always Point the Muzzle in a Safe Direction
Pointing your muzzle in a safe direction is one of the most basic safety rules. Never point your gun at anything you don’t have intentions of shooting at all times. The case is true even when you’re loading or unloading your firearm.
If an accidental discharge happens, there’s less chance injury can occur because the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. You should also take into account that bullets can possibly ricochet and that they can penetrate walls and ceilings.
Make it a habit to know where the muzzle of your gun is pointing at all times. You also have to consider cases like tripping or tumbling to keep in mind to point your muzzle in a safe direction.
Firearms Should Be Unloaded When Not in Use
Your firearms should only be loaded when you are in the field, the target range, or the shooting area, and when you are ready to shoot. When not in use, your firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place and ideally separated from each other.
Unload your gun after you are done shooting. Your guns should never be loaded even at the comfort of your car or range backpack. Every time you handle a firearm make sure to always open the action immediately and visually check the chamber, receiver, and magazine.
A general rule to follow when handling firearms inside the gun range is to assume a gun is always loaded. This is true even if you’re carrying your gun on a road trip or going to the gun range.
Don’t Just Rely on Your Gun’s Safety Mechanisms
Treat every gun you hold as if it can fire at any time. Every firearm contains a safety mechanical device. It can become inoperable after many years of use or faulty manufacturing so you should not only rely on it.
You might even mistake the safety to be on when it is actually off. The safety mechanisms only serve as additional support in safety for proper gun handling. The most important thing is your common sense and knowledge of gun safety.
Consider Your Target and What’s Beyond It
Some gun ranges are located outdoors where wildlife can roam around the target range. Don’t shoot unless you know what your shot will hit. Make sure your bullet won’t injure anyone or anything beyond your target.
The same can be said in an indoor gun range. You won’t know if a child happened to trespass in the target range. That’s why you have to check the surrounding of your target before firing.
Use the Right Ammunition
It is your responsibility to know and use the correct ammunition for your firearm. Read and be aware of the warnings and that includes the gun’s instruction manual and any information on the ammunition box.
Handle Carefully When Your Gun Fails to Fire
There are some cases where the cartridge may not fire when you pull the trigger. If this happens to you, always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your face away from the breechloader.
Carefully open the action. Unload the firearm and dispose of the cartridge in a safe way. You can also ask the gun range staff for help if you don’t know what to do.
It’s important that you remember to point the muzzle in a safe direction. The gun could go off any time with a faulty cartridge so it’s better to be on the safe side.
Wear Eye and Ear Protection
All shooters should wear protective shooting glasses and hearing protectors when shooting. Most gun ranges require you to do so anyway. If a gun range, doesn’t require one, then they probably have no regard for your safety.
Most gun ranges provide eye and ear protection for rent if you don’t have one. Wearing protection lessens the chance of injuries in case of unfortunate incidents.
Respect the Gun Range and Its Rules
One thing you can do to respect the gun range is to clean up after yourself. Place your trash into the trash receptacles and your spent brass into the recycling receptacles.
Follow the rules of the gun range and respect your fellow shooters who just want to have a good time at the gun range.
If you follow these safety tips then you will have a safer experience at the gun range. It’s important you apply common sense in everything you do at the gun range. If you think what you’re doing is dangerous then don’t do it.