This post contains affiliate links.
As a gun owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and those around you remain safe and these 4 gun safety rules must be the first four your learn.
These 4 gun safety rules apply to all guns, from handguns to hunting rifles. Whether you’re a seasoned marksman or a beginner hunter, these rules should always be followed.
Knowing and following the four cardinal firearm safety rules is essential for firearm owners of all experience levels.
By understanding and adhering to these rules, you can help prevent accidental injuries or deaths due to misuse or negligence when handling a firearm.
- 4 Gun Safety Rules
- 1. Treat Every Gun Like It Is Loaded
- 2. Point the Gun in a Safe Direction
- 3. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Ready to Fire
- 4. Make Sure of Your Target and Beyond
- Gun Range and General Rules For Safe Shooting
- Know How to Properly Operate Your Gun
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Follow Gun Range Rules
- Keep Your Gun Unloaded
- Use the Correct Ammunition
- Alcohol and Guns
- Gun Safety Rules: Conclusion
4 Gun Safety Rules
Firearms are powerful tools and carrying them demands the utmost responsibility and safety practice. That’s why it is essential for every shooter to follow 4 gun safety rules.
These rules are easy to remember but can significantly reduce the risk of mishandling a weapon.
No matter what shooting experience you have, always respect these four golden rules whenever you handle a firearm.
There are a variety of gun safety courses offered by the NRA. You should take these courses before operating any firearm.
1. Treat Every Gun Like It Is Loaded
One of the most important and fundamental of our 4 gun safety rules is to always assume the gun is loaded.
Whenever handling any firearm, always keep it pointed in a safe direction and maintain good trigger discipline by keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
If you’re not sure if the gun is loaded, check it for yourself – even if someone else told you otherwise or has already tried to check it.
2. Point the Gun in a Safe Direction
Secondly in the 4 gun safety rules, whenever you’re handling a gun, no matter if it is loaded, or if the hammer is cocked, always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
This means making sure that it’s never pointed toward yourself or anyone else near you.
The best and safest practice when carrying or handling firearms is to keep them pointed in a downward direction, away from people or animals.
3. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Ready to Fire
The next rule in our cardinal 4 gun safety rules; number three of our 4 gun safety rules surely stands out. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
This helps prevents an unintentional discharge and tests the shooter’s discipline in executing their shot on target.
For those that practice hunting or competitive shooting, keeping the trigger finger outside of the generally accepted area adjacent to the trigger guard is an oft-adhered-to practice as well.
4. Make Sure of Your Target and Beyond
The last in the 4 gun safety rules is be sure of your target and everything behind it. Whenever you’re using a firearm, always identify your target and what is in front of , behind, and around it.
This will help you avoid accidentally shooting something or someone that wasn’t intended as your target.
Be sure to also keep an eye out for potential ricochets from shots that can go off at a variety of angles once the bullet leaves the gun.
Those are the top 4 gun safety rules, now let’s talk about other rules in general that should be kept in mind when handling firearms.
Gun Range and General Rules For Safe Shooting
In addition to the 4 gun safety rules, or the cardinal firearm safety rules, let’s discuss gun ranged and general rules for safe shooting.
Visiting a gun range can be an enjoyable experience for shooters of all levels. However, it is important to prioritize safety at all times when handling firearms.
Most shooting ranges have specific rules in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises, and understanding and upholding these regulations is essential for any shooter looking to stay safe and have an enjoyable time.
In this article, we provide an overview of general rules for safe shooting at a gun range, as well as offer some good tips for making your visit more successful.
Know How to Properly Operate Your Gun
Let’s talk about knowing how to operate your gun and knowing your weapon.
Knowing how to operate your gun is essential for the responsible and safe ownership of a firearm.
Before you ever take it out shooting, make sure to familiarize yourself with each unique safety mechanism, as well as any additional features that come with owning the specific type of weapon.
Make sure to read through and understand the manual that comes with your gun so that you can ensure every situation involving it is handled correctly.
Follow all gun manufacturer suggestions in regards to your firearm.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It is key to be mindful and knowledgeable of your environment whenever you are shooting.
This must be practiced at the gun range and in the field – always take note of other shooters, potential threats, and barriers. Knowing your surroundings will provide greater safety during target practice.
Follow Gun Range Rules
To ensure your safety when going to a gun range, always be aware and follow the range’s specific rules.
Do your research before entering the range and make sure to comply with all the regulations during your visit.
Strict adherence to gun range rules is one of the most important factors for a enjoyable and safe shooting experience.
Keep Your Gun Unloaded
Keeping your gun unloaded is essential when not in use. Store your firearm safely and securely in an inaccessible location to ensure it will remain out of reach until you are ready to use it.
When deciding to shoot, only then should you load the gun. Never store or leave a loaded gun unattended as this poses a safety risk.
Always practice proper gun safety by keeping your firearm unloaded until right before you are ready to use it.
Use the Correct Ammunition
Choosing the right ammunition is an important part of safely and efficiently using a firearm.
Make sure to pick out ammunition specifically made for your make and model of gun; never use generic bullets, as they can lead to dangerous malfunctions.
If you’re not sure which type to purchase, ask a reliable source for guidance. This way, you’ll be confident that you’re using the correct ammo for your weapon.
Alcohol and Guns
While not one of the 4 gun safety rules, perhaps because it’s common sense, this one should be at the top of the list as well. Alcohol and guns don’t mix and should never be used together.
Handling a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance is highly dangerous and could lead to serious injury or even death.
It is almost always illegal for anyone to handle a gun if they are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in anyway.
To stay safe, always wait until you’re completely sober before attempting to handle a gun.
You might also like:
- Firearm Basics: Gun Types, Firearm Actions, Bullet Sizes and More
- Parts of a Gun
- What are the Basic Parts of Ammunition
- When Were Guns Invented
- 10 Essential Hunting Rules and Regulations
- Learn About Guns and Gun Safety
Gun Safety Rules: Conclusion
In summary, the top 4 gun safety rules are key for anyone who owns, handles, or uses firearms. Taking proper precautions and adhering to the basics of responsible gun ownership can save lives and prevent injuries.
The cardinal gun safety rules, otherwise known as the 4 gun safety rules include treating all guns as if they are loaded; pointing the gun in a safe direction; keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; being sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
Additionally, we’ve outlined some other basic rules to abide by when handling firearms. It’s essential that everyone is kept safe around guns, while enjoying hunting, target shooting, or simply enjoying your freedom.
By abiding by these simple yet effective rules, we can work hand in hand towards gun safety for everyone!
As always, continue learning and always take safety into your own hands. For more information, visit the ATF website.
Share these 4 gun safety rules with your friends and family on social media before joining email list for a free gun range checklist!