Although exact numbers are not yet available, by all indications there has been an influx of new gun owners- undoubtedly due to the Corona-virus crisis. There is perhaps no better time to get familiar with firearms and how to handle them safely than during a quarantine!
A great place to start is knowing the four fundamental safety rules for firearm handling. They are:
- Always point a firearm in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Keep it unloaded until you’re ready to use it.
- Know your target and what’s around it, including beyond it.
In addition, the NSSF advises 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety. After the first four listed above, they are:
- Use correct ammunition.
- If the gun fails to fire, keep it pointed in a safe direction. Unload it, then inspect it.
- Always wear eye and ear protection on the range.
- Before shooting, ensure the barrel is clear of obstructions. Never look down the muzzle end of a firearm.
- Don’t alter or modify your firearm and have it serviced frequently.
- Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of your firearm.
But that's not all folks, there are plenty more points to consider and implement!
Guns, when not carried or in use, must be locked and kept beyond the reach of others. The most basic, yet effective method, is to use the cable lock manufacturers include with every new gun. When properly used, this lock will run through the firearm’s action, rendering it inoperable. Other options include lockboxes, small key and digital combination entry safes, biometric safes and traditional upright safes for storing multiple firearms.
Familiarize yourself with your firearm-
Read the Manual! Make sure to read and thoroughly understand the user manual included with your firearm. If for whatever reason the manual is missing, most manufacturers have them available on the internet.
Ask for help! Make sure to find reputable and qualified instruction. This is where local firearm ranges come in handy. Nearly all of them offer some type of introduction to firearms. For the time being however, there are plenty of online resources that will get you by just fine. Check out YouTube videos, Blogs, Forums, and reputable websites.
New gun owners should know they are welcomed into our community of law-abiding gun owners. We are always eager to help and pass on learned information and practices. Guns can be intimidating (and should not be taken lightly), but the Gun Community is home to some of the most friendly and good humored people.