- Firearm safety is a critical first step before handling a firearm in any situation.
- These five safety basics can help prepare you or a first-time shooter for hunting, target practice, or a competitive event.
- You can learn more about safe shooting and find affordable safety gear at H&H Shooting Sports
Gun safety is a critical step in handling a firearm in any context. At H&H Shooting Sports, we’re not only your headquarters for guns and gear in Oklahoma City but also your leader in safe practices. Learn firearm safety for the first time or brush up on the basics before heading to our shooting range or a hunting trip.
Why Gun Safety Is Important
If you’re looking to purchase a firearm for the first time, safe handling can prevent an accidental injury or other serious incidents. It’s also a good idea to review gun safety best practices as you show someone else how to handle a firearm. There are many tips and tricks to safely, effectively handling a gun, but these five basics are a great place to start.
5 Gun Safety Basics
Firearm safety isn’t dependent on a particular type of firearm. From a BB gun to the latest 8-gauge shotgun, handle your firearm properly to reduce the risk of an accident. At its heart, gun safety is about knowing where you’re shooting and never being surprised by a discharge, whether accidental or not.
There’s a reason these rules are called the basics. While they’re essential rules to start with, they don’t cover every shooting situation or potentially unsafe situation. Consider taking additional training courses at our location in Oklahoma City to learn safe firearm handling tips and tricks in any situation. From reloading and cleaning your hunting rifle to handling a concealed carry handgun, gun safety covers a wide range of experiences.
1. Always Assume a Gun Is Loaded
Treating an unloaded gun as a loaded one helps communicate respect. Even the safest firearms could accidentally fire, especially if you’re not waving it around or acting casual around it. Preparing for any situation means never pulling the trigger for fun if you’re not prepared for your firearm to fire. It also means using caution about how you store, load, and aim your gun.
2. Never Point a Firearm at an Individual
Similar to the first rule, this rule is all about being prepared for any situation. Whether loaded or unloaded, you should never point the barrel of your firearm as a target that you wouldn’t want to shoot. This obviously includes individuals and also includes homes, vehicles, and animals. A common way that this rule can be broken is using a scope as a pair of binoculars. If you’re looking at a target in the distance, never point your rifle at it unless you’re prepared to take a shot.
3. Only Put Your Finger on the Trigger When You’re Ready To Shoot
Some triggers require a significant pull, while others are very sensitive. Your gun should never be directed at an unsafe target, but it’s still unpleasant to have it accidentally discharge. Don’t ruin your shot or send a bullet through the roof of a building due to poor firearm handling techniques. Keep your finger completely out of the trigger guard until you’re lining up your shot.
4. Practice Before the Big Day
Heading out to a competition or a countryside hunting expedition can be an exciting day, but it shouldn’t be the first time you shoot your firearm. Be sure you put in practice at our range in Oklahoma City or your local area. All firearms operate in slightly different ways, including loading, firing, and cleaning, so it pays to be familiar with your gun.
Don’t assume that all firearms operate the same way. Just because you’re extremely familiar with a handgun doesn’t mean you can take your hunting rifle out the first day and bag a big buck. Get to know your gun’s safety features to ensure you don’t accidentally turn the safety off as you transport it.
5. Know Your Target and Surroundings
Even the smallest handgun can have a remarkable firing distance. Taking careful aim can reduce the risk of a stray bullet but can’t completely prevent it. Always be aware of where you’re shooting and what is around the area.
In the case of a firing range, this means always using a safe backstop and ensuring no one is out on the range resetting targets. This is even more important on a hunting trip, as individuals could be stalking deer or other game in any direction. Be aware of other hunters, nearby homes, and anything else that may be injured or damaged from a bullet.
How To Model Gun Safety Practices
Now that you know the basics of gun safety for yourself, how can you pass these skills on? At H&H Shooting Sports, we are serious about firearm safety in Oklahoma and offer many firearm safety classes for individuals at all experience levels. Here are some ways you can encourage others, young and old alike, to continue to practice these gun safety tips.
Review Safety Together
Don’t assume fellow hunters or target shooters are familiar with these rules. It never hurts to go over basic firearm safety as you head out to a shooting event. You don’t want to wait until you have a shotgun pointed in your direction to remind a hunter about pointing firearms in a safe direction. Reviewing safety basics together is particularly important when participating in a shooting event with younger individuals.
New shooters may have many unrealistic expectations about firing a handgun, rifle, or other firearms. This could be due to hearing exaggerated hunting stories or watching TV. It’s important to manage expectations as you prepare to fire a gun or have another individual fire one. Have everyone in range wear the proper hearing protection and have the shooter brace for impact. Even handguns can have a sizable kick.
Hunting or firing at targets can be an exhilarating event. It’s always exciting to get involved in a new hobby and make a great shot, but it’s important to remain calm and level-headed while handling a firearm. Don’t let a group of enthusiastic individuals become too rowdy and create an unsafe shooting situation. This can be just as dangerous when you’re on your own, so stay calm until the event is over and your firearm is safely stored.
Shop for a New Firearm and Safety Accessories at H&H Shooting Sports
Now that you’ve reviewed the rules of firearm safety, it’s time to prepare for your next shooting event. Shop today to find great deals at Oklahoma’s Headquarters for Guns & Gear. Our H&H Shooting Sports team can help you find the right safety gear, get to know your firearm, and prepare for a safe and exciting event. The right gear and know-how are all available at our convenient location.