Pointing out basic gun safety rules may seem cliche. But even the most experienced shootists can find themselves being unsafe now and again, or may be witnessing unsafe firearm handling by others. For this reason, brushing up on your gun safety is always a good thing and could even save a life!
That being said, this article is primarily directed at newer shooters. Before you print out some of our awesome free printable shooting targets, it’s important to make sure you’re being safe at the range! Let’s go over some basic gun safety rules, so you can have fun and minimize risk while handling a gun. Because, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
Basic Gun Safety Rules:
1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded!
Whether you’re at the shooting range, or handling a prospective purchase at your local gun shop, it is important to get in the habit of checking and re-checking every gun you handle. Have you put a gun down and turned your back? Check it again. So many deadly accidents could have been easily avoided, if only this simple overarching rule had been followed! So… follow it!
2. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy!
No one is happy about having a gun pointed at them, whether intentionally or by accident. And there’s good reason for it. Even the smallest amount of negligence could turn things deadly. Your best bet? Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times. Should something go wrong, at least someone (probably) won’t get hit.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire!
You should always avoid placing your finger on the trigger until you’ve pointed your firearm at your intended target and acquired your sights. This will lead to less possibility of accidental discharge, but most importantly, this prevents you from firing at an unintended target.
4. Be sure of your target, and what is beyond it!
Could you accidentally be firing toward a neighbor’s property? Towards a dwelling? Trying to bag that deer standing at the top of a ridge? Remember that even a .22lr bullet can travel incredible distances, especially when firing at any upward angle. So it goes without saying what a high-powered rifle could do, even at great distances. The risks are real, so take very good care to know what is beyond your target!
There are many other more specific rules for safe firearms handling, such as keeping guns stored when not in use and so on. But I think this short article has done a solid job of covering (and explaining) the most basic gun safety rules, in order to keep you, your friends, and your family safe when using a gun. For a more in-depth list of precautions, check out our page on the “10 Commandments of Gun Safety“.
Following these rules, is primarily about developing good habits when handling a firearm. You may “know” when a gun is unloaded, but by checking all the guns you pick up, you could prevent serious injury or death on the off-chance that you do pick up a loaded firearm unknowingly. Accidentally swept your buddy with the muzzle of your gun? Well, you had your finger off the trigger, so you avoided an accident. Did you accidentally pull your trigger and send a round into the floor? No one was seriously injured or killed, because you were pointing your gun in a safe direction. By following all of these rules constantly and developing safe habits, proper handling may cancel out a mistake and save a life. So remember to have a ton of fun while shooting, but to always pay attention to what you’re doing, and to always stay safe! 🙂
A Word From the Team:
So, I guess you’re ready to have fun at the range, huh? Great! Go ahead and have fun trying out the many free printable shooting targets that our site has to offer! Do you appreciate what we do and want to help us keep things up and running? Consider donating! Even a couple bucks a month, contributed to our Patreon would sure help us out! Also, don’t forget to check out our “Resources Section“, for more content like this, as well as useful tools like our muzzle energy calculator, and so on. Thanks so much for visiting our site, and thank you for your continued support!