The safe and secure storage and handling of your firearm are one of your most important responsibilities both as an individual that carries it and as an armed member of society. This is the kind of responsibility that is active 24/7.
As a firearm owner, you must keep in mind that whenever your firearm is not in use, keep it unloaded and locked at all times. It’s not just your safety that’s on the line here. It is also the safety of others around you and closest to you. Hence the strict requirement that you should always secure and store your firearm in a proper gun cabinet and in a manner that will prevent unauthorized access.
Here are Some Detailed Safety Tips When it Comes to Gun Handling and Storing.
1. Always store firearms so they are not immediately accessible
There are a lot of factors that must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns like in a gun cabinet for example. A person’s particular circumstance will be a major part of the consideration. Today all over the market are dozens and dozens of gun storage devices. These include locking devices as well that can attach directly to the gun. Keep in mind, however, that mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, do have chances of failure and should never be used as a substitute for actual safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
2. Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. At All Times.
One of the most important tips is to keep this part in mind. Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately click on the safety switch. And not least, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber which should be clear of ammunition.
If for example you are not familiar with a particular firearm and you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber, you should immediately leave the gun alone and not try to figure it out by yourself. Get help from someone who does know how to do it instead. A professional.
3. Make sure that you get to use the correct Ammunition
Making the mistake of using improper or incorrect ammunition types on the wrong gun can destroy it and cause serious unexpected personal injury. And it only takes just one cartridge of improper caliber or gauge to wreck your firearm. Try your best to avoid this and you will only take a second to check each one as you load it. Be certain that the ammunition rounds you are using match the specifications that are contained within your gun’s instruction manual. You can also check these details on the manufacturer’s markings on the firearm.
Essentially, all firearms are designed, manufactured, and proof tested to standards all based upon that specific factory-loaded ammunition.
Those that are hand-loaded or reloaded ammunition that is deviating from pressures generated by factory loads or from component recommendations specified in reputable handloading manuals are potentially dangerous. Unsurprisingly, these can and very well cause severe damage to guns and serious injury to the shooter.
Never use improper reloads or ammunition made of unknown components.
Bonus: Speaking of rounds. It’s not always like in the movies. Keep in mind that ammunition that has become very wet or has been submerged in water should be discarded immediately. And safely.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger (Until you’re ready to shoot)
Remember that young scientist character from World War Z? The reason why that character didn’t last long was not because of the Zombies, but because he had his finger on the trigger. And it essentially fired off on him, killing him.
Whenever you are holding a firearm, always be mindful of where your fingers are. Rest your finger on the trigger guard NOT on the trigger itself. This is usually found along the side of the firearm.
5. Wear your Eye and Ear Protective Gears when Shooting
All shooters in the range should always wear protective shooting glasses and some form of hearing protectors. That is because direct exposure to firing noise can damage hearing, and adequate vision protection is essential. Obviously, since a lot of debris will be flying all around. Shooting glasses will help you guard your eyes against twigs, sharp microscopic debris, clay target chips are blown off as well as the rare cases where a ruptured firearm malfunction happens.
The use of eye protection doesn’t stop there, however. Whenever you are disassembling or cleaning any kind of firearm, wearing eye protection will help protect you from the spring or even the spring tension parts flying on your eyes.
6. Never take alcohol or even over-the-counter, prescription drugs before or during shooting.
This part is somewhat of an obvious thing. But should still be included in such a list. Just like in driving, alcohol or medication that will cloud your senses even for just a little bit is very dangerous. Making it a bit more dangerous because you are handling firearms.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance like what was just mentioned, will likely impair normal mental or physical bodily functions or reflexes. So you must not consume any of it before or while handling or shooting guns.
7. Last but not the least, always keep the gun pointed towards a safe direction.
In the very end, we will leave you with the most important and primary rule of gun safety in general. “Safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to accidentally go off, it would not cause unwanted injury or damage to anything or anyone. In short, always control where you point the barrel or the muzzle of the firearm. Point it away from you or other people.