Everything You Need to Know About Gun Safety

If you are on this site you most likely looking to buy a gun safe which means that you are concerned about gun safety. Securing your weapons is very important – you need to make sure that they can never fall into the wrong hands. However, how much do you know about gun safety?

This is something that many gun owners take for granted; they assume that so long as they know how to handle a firearm they are safe enough. That is not true, and just by looking at the statistics you can easily see that people aren’t nearly as careful as they should be with their weapons:

  • Between 2007 and 2011 61% of all firearms owners in the United States reported non-fatal shootings to the police.
  • Of these, 37% were male and 31% were female.
  • 8 children are shot in the US every day due to careless handling or storage of a firearm.

This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are many more statistics that make it very clear that owning a gun, or guns, without proper knowledge of safety rules, or investing in a proper gun safe is not a good idea. This article will cover a wide range of topics including gun safety courses, gun safety tips, gun safety tips for kids, gun safety in the home and basic gun safety rules.

Gun safety courses or classes

A gun safety course is a session where you learn how to be safe around firearms at all times. These courses are quite popular and they are offered in many places. Many people assume that courses like these are for people who are training to become police officers or another kind of law enforcement professional. This is not the case; anyone who owns a firearm should get some training on its proper use and storage so as to avoid accidents in the home.

There is another important reason why you should consider taking a gun safety training course: in the case of a shooting it can greatly reduce your liability. If you can be able to prove in a court of law that you acted as according to the guidelines provided in a certified gun training course you may not be found liable for whatever incident you are charged with.

Gun safety courses are not expensive and they do not take a long time. The cost of the course will vary depending on where you are taking it and the kind of firearms you want to learn how to use. For example, if you take the National Handgun Safety Course it will cost you only $19.50. The price will go up if you are taking your course in a private range, but not by much. If you want to learn how to use a specialized weapon you may also be asked to pay more. The point is, whichever way you look at it, gun safety classes are quite cheap especially when you take into account just how much you will learn and how useful it will be in the future.

As for how long a gun safety course takes, the National Handgun Safety Course will only take 12 hours. You will find that the duration varies from place to place, but it doesn’t take very long to get certification in how to safely use and store a firearm.

Who should take a gun safety course? Anyone who owns a firearm, anyone who is planning to own a firearm, anyone who lives in a home where there are firearms and anyone who is curious about the use of guns.

Gun Safety Rules

There are 10 basic rules of gun safety, and it is very important that you know all of them. This article will not go into excessive detail about each one, but it will highlight each rule and tell you why it is important:

1. You should always point the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction. You have heard of accidental shootings in the home, or people who shoot others by accident while they are out hunting. The reason it happens is because they keep the muzzle pointed at something that isn’t a target. The most basic rule of gun safety is that you should never point your guns at people or pets that you don’t intent to shoot.

2. Always unload a gun when it is not in use. This is one of the most common causes of gun accidents in the home – bullets that are left in the gun. Immediately you finish using your weapon you should remove the bullets including the one in the chamber. You should load your weapon only when you are prepared to use it. After you unload the gun check it to make sure that there are no remaining bullets in it.

There may be one exception to the rule: if you have a proper gun safe that is locked at all times you can keep a loaded firearm in it so that in case of attack you do not have to waste any time loading it.

3. Don’t assume the “gun safety” will keep you safe. Each gun comes with a safety mechanism, but these mechanisms cannot be relied on. You may think that the safety is on when it is off, or the safety may fail altogether. The safety on any gun should be treated as an additional mechanism to ensure that there are no accidental shootings. Whenever you are handling a firearm you should ensure that you are alert at all times. You shouldn’t have your finger on the trigger unless you have your target in sight.

4. Always think about what could be beyond your target. You have your target within your sights, but have you thought about what happens should you expel a bullet that then misses the target and keeps travelling? What or who could it hit? Just having your target within range is not good enough as bullets could hit innocent bystanders who are behind or beyond it.

5. Make sure that you use the right ammunition for your firearm and always read instructions. Have you heard of people who aimed for a target and fired only for them to end up shooting themselves? The problem is often the use of the wrong ammunition. Each gun has specific ammunition that is supposed to be used in it, and when you use different ammunition it can cause the gun to malfunction and you may seriously injure yourself.

6. If you pull the trigger and the gun doesn’t fire be very careful. This is a clear indication that the gun has malfunctioned and any further pulling of the trigger can cause serious problems. You should immediately aim the gun in a safe direction, open the action and remove the cartridge.

7. Wear proper shooting goggles and ear plugs at all times. This is one of the most basic gun safety rules and should be observed each time you are at the shooting range or you go out hunting. Splinters can cause serious injuries, and the loud retort of a gun can lead to hearing loss over time.

8. As you load your firearm make sure that the barrel doesn’t have any obstructions. You have probably heard it on TV lots of times – that you should keep your gun clean at all times. There is a reason for this; even a small piece of debris in the barrel can cause serious misfire and the barrel can explode and hurt the user seriously.

9. Gun alterations are a no-no. Each gun is specifically designed with just the right specs to make it work as it does. If you alter it in any way, such as shortening the muzzle, you cannot be sure of how it will work when you try to fire it. If you are looking for certain type of action it is best to buy the right kind of firearm for it.

10. Learn as much about your firearm as you can before you use it for the first time. If you are a new gun owner you may be so excited that soon after your gun safety course you go outdoors and try to use your gun. It is always a good idea to understand what kind of firearm you have and how it works before you use it.

Gun safety tips for kids

Gun safety tips for kids are very important; you may know a lot about how to safely handle firearms, but if there are kids in the home who do not have a clue it can lead to serious accidents…we see them in the news all the time. Here are some basic gun safety rules for kids that you should enforce from an early age:

  • Guns are real – they are not a game. They are not like the guns on TV or video games and can cause horrific injuries and even death.
  • Guns are not toys and should not be played with under any circumstances.
  • Each gun should be treated as if it is loaded and ready to fire. Your child must never assume that a gun is not loaded.
  • Never touch a gun unless you are supervised by an adult.
  • If you are by yourself and you find a gun stop what you are doing immediately, leave the area or the room and call an adult right away.
  • If you see one of your friends or another kid with a gun leave right away and find an adult. If there is no grown up near you call 911.
  • Buy a gun safe

    Gun safes are the most reliable way of ensuring that the weapons in your home are properly secured. Gun safe costs are not high – if you don’t have a lot of guns you can get a gun safe for as little as $200 or less. Gun safe sizes vary so you need to think about the number of weapons that you will store in the safe as well as where you will keep the safe. Only responsible adults in the home should have access to the safe. A biometric gun safe in a great idea because you will not have to bother with passwords and combinations when you need to open it.

    GunVault SV500

    GunVault SV500

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    Owning a gun is a right enshrined in the constitution of the United States, but you have a responsibility to make sure that your weapons do not injure others. You should learn and internalize gun safety rules not just for your own safety but for the safety of those around you. Make sure that you buy a proper gun safe and that your children understand and obey gun safety rules at all times.

About the Author John Barker

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