Today guns have become part of our day-to-day lives, citizens own guns for various reasons such as; self-defense, for hunting and for shooting sports. There are laws that provide for private arms ownership, and therefore each and every citizen has the right to legally possess a gun. However, there are challenges that come with gun ownership, these are weapons and when they aren't handled with great care or possessed by inadequately trained people they could result to catastrophic incidences such as deaths and robberies.
Therefore, there is a need to train people on the safety principles with regards to gun ownership. Listed below are rules on safe handling, use, and storage of firearms. Gun safety is mandatory for a safe world and should be secured properly where they are easily accessible.
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The first assumption that should be made before handling any gun is that they are always loaded. Imagine what would happen in case someone picked a gun and fired towards a friend during a game or some sport, without the knowledge that the gun was loaded. The end result would be quite devastating.
Therefore, all gun users should always have a preset mindset that all guns are loaded to instill the habits of handling guns safely. The first activity that one should, therefore, do when handling a gun is to perform a safety check, and this should always be followed during storage and cleaning. Observation of the above rule would definitely reduce the number of gun related accidents that have been witnessed so far.
This is the golden rule number two that will ensure your gun safety at all time. Observing this rule would reduce accidents caused by a bullet discharge that was unintended. Common sense should always guide the gun holder where the right direction should be depending on the particular situation.
The rule picks from the first after performing a safety check and confirming whether the gun is loaded or not. Naturally, in situations where there is no target, the gun should always point towards the sky or the ground. Therefore, a gun should not point at anything if it does not intend to destroy it.
This rule builds from the second rule, and it cautions gun users on the importance of knowing their target before taking a shot. Bullets can always penetrate our targets and go beyond to destroy other unintended objects. This rule should be strictly observed especially in recreational activities such as shooting sports. It is therefore prudent to observe your prospective area of fire before shooting, and in no instance, should one fire in a direction where there are people. Always think first and shoot second.
It is advisable to always keep one's finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. When casually holding a gun, one's finger should rest along the gun's frame and outside the trigger guard. The trigger should only be touched when one is ready to shoot. Practicing this rule would limit incidences of negligent discharges from the gun since, with most of the modern firearms, you can't be able to fire unless your fingers pull the trigger.
Unless one is going into combat, it is advisable to always keep the gun unloaded until it's ready to use. If you are not conversant with the process of inspecting the gun's chambers and loading a gun, you can always seek advice from experts.
Everyone who possesses firearm should have enough knowledge of their guns. They should be able to assemble and disassemble their guns, in the event that one owns a gun but they are not able to do this, they can always refer to the manuals of the gun or enroll in programs that educate on gun use.
Guns usually produce loud noise that can cause damages to the ear, therefore hearing protections should be worn during events such as shooting sports and on training by the participants and spectators. When bullets are fired, debris and hot gasses are always emitted that could be harmful to the eye hence the necessity to wear shooting glasses.
Private firearm holders who keep their guns at home should educate all the individuals in the household on the gun safety rules. The handler should make sure that the entire family, the children, in particular, are aware of the safety rules and have a full understanding of the guidelines that concern the firearms. The handlers, in this case, should have their children sign the Project Child Safe Pledge for Young People, which is a reminder to all young people that they should notify an adult if they come across an unattended gun.
Precaution should be taken when storing guns, especially within our houses. Safe storage not only increases the guns shelf life but also it will keep it away from unauthorized use, theft or damage of any kind. Among the safe storage measures include; storing the gun in a safe with limited access, this would prevent unnecessary access to the firearm. It is also advisable to disassemble the firearm on storage to limit those with limited firearm knowledge from using the gun in your absence. The gun should be locked during storage, there are several locks such as trigger locks, chamber locks and cable locks that could be used for this purpose.
Have enough knowledge of handling mechanical malfunctions in firearms
Owning a gun requires one to know how to handle any mechanical failures that may occur when using the gun. Such malfunctions include jams, failure of the barrel to contain the propellant and accidental release of the firing pin. In case one is not well conversant with the troubleshooting techniques of the gun, then they should seek help from a people who are well conversant in the field.
It is quite evident that gun safety is mandatory to every user due to the numerous dangers that could result from misuse of firearms. Guns are dangerous weapons that ought to be used with caution at the same time handled properly because they can cause great harm within seconds.
Although most governments are pushing for increased gun control, the primary responsibility lies with the user and they should follow the recommended rules.