A sign outlining the safety rules at the gun industry's range day during the 2022 SHOT Show
A sign outlining the safety rules at the gun industry's range day during the 2022 SHOT Show / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: First-Hand Insights on the Golden Rules of Gun Safety

Protection is arguably one of the main reasons why so many American citizens are buying guns now more than ever, increasing the need for personal and home defense. The spike in first-time gun buyers raises the need to maintain and help ensure safety for these individuals and those around them.

Responsible gun ownership comes with the commitment of learning and practicing certain rules and behaviors to avoid any accidents. Whether it’s safely storing your gun and gear or properly disposing of cartridges and any residue, following the golden rules on gun safety can save lives and ultimately grow the minority protecting the Second Amendment.

Firearm Safety Rules

The main concern with the increasing number of first-time gun owners is the lack of proper training and handling prior to the gun purchase. The polarization regarding gun ownership and restrictions is only driven by the carelessness of a minority who takes gun ownership lightly. It is heavily recommended to seek proper training and follow basic safety rules when buying your first firearm, just like it’s mandatory to have a license before purchasing a car.

Whether you’re on a range or out on an open field, these are basic safety rules to follow when handling a firearm—tattoo them in your head while shooting:

  • Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  • Treat all firearms as if they were loaded.

  • Keep your trigger finger outside the guard and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

  • When a firearm is not in use, you must keep it unloaded, locked, and secure.

To ensure protection to yourself and the ones around you, follow firearm safety rules at all times and reduce any unwanted mistakes.

What Exactly Makes Your Range Safe

As many new and experienced shooters use ranges to practice and perfect their technique, ensuring safety within the range is paramount. For this, let’s start with the basics.

  • A safe range has a backstop that will catch the bullet. This extra protection will stop projectiles that miss the bullet trap.
  • If you’re shooting at a steel target, make sure you’re shooting at a safe distance; 10 yards with a handgun or 100 yards with a rifle.
  • Make sure that your target alignment is set properly. A low target could cause the bullet to ricochet off the ground or go over a burn, or a target that’s too high would cause the bullet to go over the backstop.
  • Don’t handle firearms while people are down range and communicate clearly with other shooters if the line is hot or cold. It’s every shooter’s responsibility to follow range safety/etiquette.
  • Be prepared. Ensure a basic first-aid kit is equipped with bandaids and stay hydrated with water when in the range.

It always pays to be prepared—even for minor injuries. Sometimes shooters can scratch or scrape their hands when handling staples when they’re placing targets. In the same way, it’s important to have a plan in case something serious happens by ensuring a basic landline or cell service to quickly aid the wounded.

Personal Protective Equipment

At a bare minimum, you need to protect your hearing and your eyes while shooting. Not only will this gear protect you as an individual from any dangerous powder residue or hearing damage, but it can reduce any accidents while firing since neither your hearing nor sight will be compromised.

Shooting glasses must be worn at all times to protect the eyes, especially when handling powder. No target shooter or hunter should fire without them. Gloves can also protect your hands from burnt powder residue or when resetting a target that might be covered in lead.

Many of the golden gun safety rules are intended to protect those around you, but wearing personal protective equipment is for your protection alone. There is a wide variety of shooting safety gear in the market to help you make a smart investment.

These simple rules all point towards building greater responsibility around gun ownership and allowing avid shooters to practice in a safe environment. To ensure protection and a solid personal and home defense, a responsible gun owner must always seek safety for themselves and those around them. Following these safety rules will help dictate the future of the controversial debate of owning a gun in the United States and reduce the increasing polarization that floods today’s headlines.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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