• ALWAYS treat firearms as if they are LOADED.
  • ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.  Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy, including any part of your own body.  A safe direction means that the gun is pointed, so that even if it were to go off, it would not cause injury or damage. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on the situation.
  • ALWAYS keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are pointed at the target and you have made the decision to shoot.
    At all other times your finger(s) should be visibly outside of the trigger guard; whether you are picking the gun up or putting it down; whether loading or unloading; when cleaning the gun; when clearing a malfunction; etc.
    When done firing the gun, immediately take your finger off of the trigger and remove your finger from the trigger guard.
  • ALWAYS know your target, what is beyond your target, and what is between your sight picture and your target.
  • ALWAYS wear eye and ear protection.
  • ALWAYS keep your firearms safely stored and out of reach from those not authorized to handle firearms.
  • NEVER use alcohol, marijuana, over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.

There are many other safety rules and concerns when you own firearms. The responsibility is always on the individual gun owner to learn about:

  • Federal, State and Local Laws regarding the possession, transport, carry, use, sale, purchase, etc. of firearms.
  • The safe and proper operation of your firearm.
  • Your firearms’ mechanical and safety features.
  • Cleaning and maintaining your firearm. Always unload your gun before performing any type of maintenance or cleaning.
  • Ammunition and reloading.
  • Holster and peripheral equipment usage.
  • Other safety issues / procedures that are required by and/or specific to different shooting activities / events.


  • Learn, respect and demonstrate universal firearm safety rules.
  • Read the firearm instruction / owner manuals.
  • Register the warranty on your firearm.
  • Take a basic firearm safety class with your new gun.
  • Ensure that you completely understand all of the mechanical and safety features of your gun. Guns are mechanical objects and parts can wear out or break. Always check that your gun’s safeties work and remember that there is no replacement for safe gun handling.
  • Teach your children about firearm safety, just as you teach them about stranger danger, water safety, fire safety, stove and oven safety, drugs, etc.  We highly recommend this book by Julie Golob – Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules
  • Purchase a safe to store your firearm(s).
  • Learn range procedures and commands, noting that each range may have slightly different rules.
  • Begin your training regimen – hit the range at least once every few weeks.  Being safe, proficient, confident and accurate with your gun is your responsibility.
  • When you can’t make it to the range, dry-fire practice with your unloaded gun.  Find a safe area of your home, double check that your firearm is unloaded, and remove all ammunition from the area. Practice proper manipulation techniques, paying close attention to finger position & muzzle direction.  Pick the gun up and properly grip the gun, put the gun down, and repeat.  Rack the slide, aim at a safe target and do a perfect trigger press. Repeat. Insert an empty magazine, remove empty magazine, lock the slide open, release the slide forward, and repeat. If you get distracted and have to re-start your dry-fire session, double check the gun’s condition before performing any manipulations.
  • Take your state’s concealed carry weapons course – even if it’s not required. You will learn about the legalities of owning a firearm – and that is valuable, must-have information.
  • Continue your dry-fire and live-fire training.
  • Take a “Use of Force”, “CPR” and “Stop The Bleed” class.
  • Continue your dry-fire and live-fire training.
  •  Once you are safe and feeling confident with your gun, consider getting into one of the shooting sports or weekly leagues at your local range.
  • Continue your dry-fire and live-fire training.
  • Continue educating yourself in whatever topics interest you. There are unlimited options for us gun owners and the paths we can take to improve our skills.


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