Gun Safety is everyone's responsibility.
Gun ownership carries with it the responsibility of knowing how to use and maintain it. Accidents with firearms don't "just happen;" they happen because circumstances make them possible. The major causes of firearm accidents are IGNORANCE and CARELESSNESS. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. One can obtain knowledge by learning how your guns and ammunition operates and how to handle them. Learn proper marksmanship skills through education and practice. Carelessness is neglecting to apply the gun safety rules. Apply the elements of gun safety by having a positive attitude. Remember to keep guns pointed in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. As a responsible person, you can make sure that your firearms is always handling safely, and hence without accidents.
There are "10 Commandments" to follow on gun safety.
Listed below are the common sense rules that everyone should learn:
- Treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun.
- Guns not in use must always be unloaded and their actions open. Guns should always be transported in cases to the shooting area.
- Always be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions. Make sure you are using the proper size of ammunition for the gun you are using.
- Always handle and carry your gun so that you can control the direction of the muzzle at all times. Be aware of all "safe directions".
- Know your target and what is beyond it. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. Guns are not toys. Avoid all horseplay while you are handling firearms.
- Unattended guns should be kept unloaded. Guns and ammunition should be stored separately. All firearms should be kept in a secure place where children, careless adults and unauthorized persons cannot have access to them.
- Never climb a tree, fence or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm. Never grab a firearm by the muzzle and/or barrel and pull it towards you.
- Never shoot a gun at rocks, trees, and flat hard surfaces or at water. When target practicing make sure your backstop is adequate.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks and drugs before and/or during shooting. Beware of over the counter medications-- some slow down your reaction time.
Firearms accidents in the home entail on 0.6 % of all deaths, and this is almost always the result of mishandling of firearms. Guns do not kill people; people kill people. Gun responsibility belongs to each and every member of the family. It is safer to be overly careful and cautious. Combine knowledge and instruction for the safety of home firearms. The message of gun safety has not changed over the years, just the packaging.