10 Commandments of Firearm Safety
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. This is the most important gun safety rule. A safe direction is one in which an accidental discharge will not cause injury to yourself or others. Never allow your gun to point at anything you don't intend to shoot. Be especially careful when you're loading or unloading. Treat every gun as if it were loaded. And make it a habit to know where your muzzle is pointed at all times, even when your firearm is unloaded.
No one will be injured by an accidental discharge if you keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. It's as simple as that.
Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Load your firearm only when you're in the field or on the target range and ready to fire. Never let a loaded gun out of your sight or out of your hands. Unload it as soon as you're finished shooting - before you bring it into your car, camp, or home. Remember, unloading your firearm means unloading it completely, so there is no ammunition in the chamber or in the magazine.
Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.Before handling a firearm or passing it to someone else, visually check the chamber, receiver and magazine to be certain they do not contain ammunition. Always keep the gun's action open when not in use. Never assume a gun is unloaded even if you were the last person to use it. Always check for yourself.
Let common sense rule when you carry a loaded gun. If you're in any situation that could risk accidental discharge - such as crossing a fence, wading through a stream, or climbing a tree - always unload your gun. Never pull or push a loaded firearm toward yourself or another person. And never carry a loaded gun in a scabbard, detached holster or gun case. Safe storage of firearms is just as critical as safe handling. Never store guns loaded and be sure to keep your firearms in a secure place where no one can get their hands on them without your knowledge.
Take special care if there are children around. Kids are fascinated by guns. It's a natural curiosity that can have tragic consequences when not properly supervised. Store your firearms in a locked gun safe or some other location that physically bars a child from gaining access. Ammunition should be stored and locked in a location separate from your firearms. Never leave an unsecured firearm or ammunition in a closet, dresser drawer or under the bed. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure that children and others unfamiliar with firearms cannot get access to your firearms and ammunition.
Don't rely on your gun's safety. Treat every gun as if it can fire at any time, whether or not there's pressure on the trigger.
Your firearm has been carefully designed to maximize performance and safety. However, a gun's safety is a mechanical device and, like any mechanical device, it could fail.
Human error is a more likely reason for a gun safety to fail. By mistake, you may think the safety is on when it really isn't. Or the safety may have been disengaged without your knowledge. Or you could think your gun is unloaded when there's actually a cartridge or shell in it. A safety is not a substitute for common sense. It's merely a supplement to your proper handling of a firearm.
Don't touch the trigger on a firearm until you are ready to shoot. Keep your fingers away from the trigger when you're loading or unloading. And don't pull the trigger when the safety is engaged or positioned anywhere between safe and fire. Read your instruction manual to understand the exact location and operation of your firearm's safety. Even when the safety is on, maintain control of your loaded firearm and control the direction of the muzzle. In other words, don't rely on your safety to justify careless handling. If your firearm's internal mechanisms are broken or have been altered, your firearm may fire even when the safety is on. Remember, you and your safe gun handling practices are your gun's best safety.