When you are buying a gun for the first time, it can be pretty confusing and difficult to figure out just what you need to do to keep everyone, including yourself, safe. Still, you have to do the research and read over the rules so that you can know what you need to do.
When thinking about purchasing a new gun, whether it is your first time or not, you have to consider the safety concerns. Also realize that the type of gun does have an impact – whether it be a pistol, shotgun or rifle. Even paintball guns and BB guns require knowledge of these rules for gun safety.
In America, owning a gun is an inherent right, but we still have to know that there is a great responsibility when it comes to owning one. It isn’t enough to be able to purchase one, in order to continue the safety of the right, you have to know how to keep it safe – when using it, when transporting it, and when storing it. Use the following steps to ensure that you are being the most responsible gun owner you can be.
Take a Gun Safety Class
When you are even considering getting a gun, you should look into gun safety classes right away. While handling a gun and shooting it might seem simple, it definitely isn’t the easiest thing to do. Much like driving a car, you will need time to practice and learn before you can be left alone. That’s why many places will offer gun safety courses. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has local safety classes all over that are some of the best you can get.
There are different levels of gun safety classes in some locations, so if you have experience with one type of gun but don’t have experience with another type, you may want to still take a class on that specific gun.
Get Comfortable With Your Gun
Many people will buy a gun with the intention of using it for protection. However, the problem is that they don’t use the gun to get comfortable enough with it to actually use in a time of danger. Then, if something does actually happen where the gun is needed, they aren’t prepared to use it and can severely hurt themselves or someone else.
Get comfortable with your gun. You purchased it, so you might as well use it. There are gun shooting ranges almost everywhere so that you can go and shoot a few times. You should do this every few months just to ensure your gun is still in working conditions.
You should also get comfortable with loading, unloading, and cleaning your gun – something you’ll learn at those aforementioned gun safety classes.
A Gun is Always Loaded
You must understand that guns are extremely powerful and there are too many accidental discharges each year because people don’t realize that. Even if you know that a gun isn’t loaded, you have to handle it like it is. Depending on the gun, there is a chance that you forgot about a bullet or there is still something in the chamber. If you share a gun, it could have been loaded without your knowledge.
Never, ever underestimate the amount of damage a gun can do. It isn’t worth the risk to joke around and assume that a gun isn’t loaded.
Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger
When you are holding a gun, cleaning it, showing it to someone, or just moving it to transport, your finger should never be on the trigger. In fact, it should not be near the trigger until you are ready to fire the gun. If you keep your finger there any other time, you run the risk of an accidental discharge or a mistake that can be extremely detrimental.
Once again, it isn’t worth the risk.
Never Point a Gun at Anyone, Including Yourself
Never point the muzzle of a gun toward yourself or toward anyone else. This goes for whether it is loaded or unloaded, because once again, you never want to assume a gun is unloaded.
For the safety of everyone, keep the gun pointed away from people when handling it or even when you let it sit down. It is best to never handle a gun around a large group of people unless you absolutely have to.
Have a Gun Storage System
Having a gun safe is important for all gun owners, of course, but it becomes a necessity if you have children in your home. Young children are naturally drawn to guns because we always tell them not to touch them. They will seek out guns if they aren’t properly locked in a safe. Also, anyone who is having psychological challenges or taking mood altering medications should never have access to a gun.
Even if you keep your guns unloaded (which you absolutely should), you must put your gun in a safe. There are different kinds of safes on the market, including ones that require keys, ones that need a combination, and more high tech safes that require your fingerprint. You’ll have to work within your means to find the system that works the best for you, but there is something out there for everyone.
Educate Everyone in Your Family About Gun Safety – Including (Especially) Children
Gun responsibility and safety is your responsibility for everyone in your home. If you have someone living with you, you have to make sure that everyone understands these rules as well. Make everyone in your household aware of the basic gun safety practices.
Even more importantly, you have to teach children that they are never to touch a gun and they are to walk away and tell an adult if they see a gun anywhere they are. You can’t be with your child at all times, so you can’t always be there to take it away. Gun safety in many cases will extend outside of your home.