Contributing Editor Ashley Johnson: The 10 Commandments of Gun Safety

Firearms are savage, and need all the care in the world. Being a slouch is no option while holding one in your hands, because the trigger can’t be trusted. As fascinating a firearm might look, it isn’t meant to tote around like a toy and must be stacked really safely. Even if you’ve a knack for guns, you shouldn’t feel too comfortable while handling them, because a moment of negligence or slacking off can cost you dearly.

Before a gun does a loss or an irreparable damage to you, it’s time for you to learn the 10 commandments to firearm safety and dodge the bullet. If you’ve a gun and want to improve the way you handle it, drop everything you’re doing and read this post NOW.

ten commandments

1. Be Wary of Gun’s Muzzle

Nothing’s certain with a gun unless it happens. As a rule of thumb, don’t ever point the muzzle at anything, which isn’t your target, even when it’s unloaded. Better yet, make it a habit of pointing the muzzle in safe directions while loading/unloading the gun. Get this rule etched in your mind, because most of the gun accidents involve an owner being lax to which direction the muzzle is pointing it, and the gun discipline in general.

2. See What’s Your Target and Beyond It

Once a bullet shoots off, it can go here, there, anywhere. It’s on the prowl to seek its target, and any semblance of control is rightly eliminated when it strikes off something which isn’t the target at first place. Plus, it isn’t just about right targeting, but also about being mindful of what surface you’re aiming your fire at. Since bullets can ricochet off certain surfaces, like trees, rocks and metal, and pose an elaborate risk to the people nearby, you should be double sure before firing.

3. Unload when not in Use

There is nothing worse than an accidental fatality. Though it is understandable that one should always be on guard with respect to safety and security, it is recommended that firearms should always be unloaded when not in use.  Whether you are camping, practicing targets or any other activity, the firearm should be unloaded completely, including the removal of any ammunition in the chamber or in the magazine. Additionally, ensure that your gun is kept well out of your loved ones’ reach even when it’s securely unloaded. Remember that safe storage is as important as safe upkeep of the firearm.

4. Always Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger

It is kind of a given fact that since the trigger holds the ultimate power of the gun, it is essential that you don’t regulate this responsibility carelessly. Unless absolutely necessary, ensure that your finger stays away from the trigger and the muzzle is always facing upwards. This guideline comes in without a rule book and should be more of an instinct than a guideline. While the movies have spoilt us for good with our thirst for enacting that perfect shootout scene, it is essential to remember that reel life is very different from the real life where there is no coming back from the fatal consequences.

5. Don’t Solely Rely on the Firearm ‘Safety’ Mechanism

Though the safety mechanism has been given to ensure that you don’t pull the trigger in a reckless manner, yet your gun cannot be solely responsible for preventing any mishap. As a firearm bearer and user, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the safety mechanism is complied with. Treat your gun like a machine that it is and not a human that understands the viability of safety and security. It’s prone to failures like any other. For instance, while travelling, carrying your gun rashly or fiddling with it can disengage it, and requires you to keep a constant check on how your firearm is behaving. Be wary of not pulling the trigger and keep your fingers away while loading/unloading the gun(gun safe).

6. Handle your Gun with Care When It Fails to Fire

There are many instances when your gun might fail you and not shoot as required. At this point, keep your ammunition at a safe distance and direct it right. Keep the muzzle away from your face, put it down carefully, engage the safety position and while keeping your fingers far away from the trigger, gently release the cartridge safely. Always remember that this is a sensitive situation and though your ammunition failed to fire on time, it holds equal chances in discharging at any point later. Thereby, it’s essential to be vigilant and stay safe.

7. Use Proper Ammunition

Every gun is different. Failure to understand this essentiality of firearms can lead to fatal consequences. Every ammunition is designed keeping in mind the specific calibre, distance and gauge. Slight lethargy with respect to handling and the nature of the gun can lead to hazardous and dangerous conclusions. Therefore, it’s advised to buy the best suited ammunition from a reputed manufacturer. Or else, you’ll be put under the liability of breach of safety and security.

8. Always Wear the Proper Protection Gear

While handling ammunition, it goes without saying that self protection is one of the key commandments that you HAVE to adhere to before delving into showing your blazing skills. With the right protective gear, especially for the eyes and ears, you protect yourself from the reactive elements, gun reactions, bullet shells and elements of the unfavorable surroundings. Moreover, with these gears, you are in the position to take snap decisions without endangering the lives of people around you.

9. Learn the Mechanical and Handling Characteristics of Ammunition You’re using

Before one starts using the firearm at hand, it’s necessary to understand the dimensions and design of the potentially lethal object. No one should be given the responsibility to handling a firearm without having an end to end idea of its working, structure, mechanical provisions and characteristics that make it unique to the user as well as the situation. With the correct and complete knowledge, the user gets the opportunity to leverage the situation to his/her advantage without jeopardizing the sensitivity of the environment, or the lives of people around him.

10. Don’t Alter or Modify Your Gun and Have it Serviced Regularly

Your gun has been designed in a specific manner. With special designs and layout, it’s mandatory for you to blend your usage with the design of the ammunition at hand. Like any other mechanical substance, your gun is subject to wear and tear, and it’s your duty to focus on its upkeep. Ensure that the barrel, trigger and the outer body stay clear of any obstruction, giving you an easy access during any emergency. In case of a long time storage or an exposure to unfavourable weather, ensure that your gun undergoes an end-to-end cleanup.

You may be well into basics, but still, situational errors are a thing and we request you to make quick amends to how you’re dealing with gun if you’ve been doing it all wrong so far. In this guide, we’ve covered almost the entire cache of safekeeping your guns. If you’ve anything to include, write it down to us in the comments below.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Contributing Editor Ashley Johnson: The 10 Commandments of Gun Safety

  1. Good points but the devils are in the details.

    If you are camping in areas where dangerous animals are present, I suspect the gun is always “in use”. I had two grad student buddies working with my advisor who were doing geological field work in western Canada. One hated guns, but acquiesced to a field assistant carrying a firearm suited for bear, so to speak. Another buddy was working alone, unarmed, and was mauled by a bear and barely survived. Not sure a gun would have done him any good as I don’t know the details of the attack but I do know he was not a gun guy.

    Being aware of what is downrange is critical, as is knowing the capability of your firearm. I almost had to sue the USAF in Honolulu. They somehow managed to talk a civilian rangemaster into letting them practice with their 50 cal Barrett rifles at Koko Head gun range. Our house was in the back of the same valley about a mile away. The result was a bullet hole in my roof and into an interior wall next to our dining table. The bullet was traced to a 50 cal AP round used that day. Probably a ricochet. After a police investigation and a forensic firearms expert putting a fiber optics probe into our wall to find the offending round, the rangemaster and then the AF guys ‘fessed up and we got a check to repair the damages. I suspect an AF officer or NCO missed his promotion that year. I told the AF contact that the bullet came to rest about a meter from where my wife used to sit to grade college English papers.

    On a misfire, knowing how to handle your particular weapon is important.

    Nice post! All of this stuff is important. As I have said, bullets don’t have a reverse gear or recall switch.

    etc

  2. Great post! I also would add to be wary of ammo sold at gun shows. Especially anything that’s “remanufactured”. You don’t know how seriously the maker took QC. I’ve had a few squib loads. Rule # 6 is important here.

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