Firearm aficionados know best just how lethal these weapons can be, but whether you own a gun for increased safety at home, or for recreational purposes, you need to know how to use and store it correctly. This is especially vital for families with kids, as preventing accidents and injuries is necessary with the right precautions. In addition to how you use your gun of choice when it’s loaded, all the way to how you store the firearm and the ammunition, there are key steps you should take to ensure overall safety for all gun owners.
Even if you regularly visit the firing range and know how to use a gun expertly, that knowledge should be further backed by preventative safety measures you can take at home. Let’s cover a few of the most cardinal, common-sense rules of safe gun use and storage, to make sure that your firearm can be used properly and perform its purpose without causing any harm.
Keep your trigger finger away
If you’ve watched your fair share of action movies, you’ve noticed that some insist on actors keeping their fingers on the trigger throughout various situations – this is by no means model behavior that applies in real life. You should always keep your finger off the trigger until you are absolutely prepared to shoot at your target. Some weapons don’t have built-in safeties, whereas, in other models, this feature isn’t too reliable, to begin with. Train to keep your finger off the trigger at all times, and this will soon become natural to you as a gun owner.
Learn how to aim your weapon
What may seem like a simple, common-sense issue can be often neglected in regular gun use. First and foremost: the muzzle of your gun should be pointed in a safe direction, away from people around you. Even if your gun accidentally fires, no one will be injured simply because you’ve maintained the direction of your aim. That said, when you aim at a specific target, make sure you also know what’s around and behind that target. If you fire your weapon, anything downrange from your target can end up injured inadvertently, hence the need to always be aware of how you aim.
Get to know your manual
Even the most experienced shooters need to get to know each weapon separately. That said, no matter how many years of practice you have under your belt, always read the gun manual before you start using it. You’ll learn the most essential maintenance tips, and you’ll be able to make the most of your weapon of choice for years into the future. For beginners, consulting the manual for each gun as to how to safely store it, and how to use the ammunition is key to practicing safe gun use, too. It’s always best to get proper training before you can independently use your gun – so keep the manual close, and visit your nearby shooting range, too.
Store your gun safely
One of the most dangerous issues concerning guns is unauthorized use: if your kids can find and reach your weapon, you risk jeopardizing their safety. Since the gun is your responsibility, it’s best to use high-quality gun safes made of durable, lasting materials such as steel, and designed to keep intruders away. Safety features such as biometric scanners for locking your vault with your own fingerprint and diverse capacity options make this a no-brainer for every gun owner. Just make sure that your ammunition is stored separately from your firearms!
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Follow the regular maintenance protocol
Obstructions in the chamber, dirt build-up, carbon build-up, lack of proper lubrication, and a number of other problems can make your gun unsafe. The key way to prevent it all? Regular and proper maintenance. If you’re not certain how to manage your gun and how to clean it properly, you should consult the manual regularly or take your weapon to a professional.
Always use the correct ammunition
Mismatching guns and ammunition can truly be dangerous since it can damage the gun itself, but much more importantly, it can lead to severe injuries and death when used. The fact that certain types of ammunition can fit inside the cartridge is no proof that you can safely use that particular gun with those bullets. Before you load your weapon, always double-check that the bullets match the model of your gun.
Family education is a must
You might be the primary gun owner in your household, but you should never underestimate the role other family members play in ensuring safe gun use. When you purchase a gun, talk to your spouse and your kids about it, and make sure they understand the rules and the precautions you’re taking. Teaching your youngsters the importance of taking firearm safety seriously will help them grow up into responsible adults that don’t take these serious matters for granted.
In addition to these basic rules of thumb for gun use, make sure you follow what the manual of your firearm states. This will help not just prolong the life of your gun, but ensure greater safety for you and everyone in your household. Take great care of your gun, and you’ll always be able to enjoy it safely and with your mind at ease.