10 Rules Of Gun Safety

A person loading two shells into a shotgun.

Sometimes, we all need a reminder. These are the ten cardinal rules of firearm safety:

  1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  2. Make sure that any gun is ALWAYS pointed in a safe direction.
  3. Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to destroy.
  4. Be aware of your target, and what lies beyond it.
  5. When shooting targets, be sure that there is a backstop behind the target high enough and solid enough to stop the projectiles. The backstop should be free of hard objects to avoid ricochets.
  6. Always ensure your gun is open and unloaded before handing it to anyone.
  7. While hunting, always open and unload your gun before climbing under or over a fence, log, or stream.
  8. While hunting, always be able to identify your game before you pull the trigger.
  9. Never shoot at or over open water with anything other than a shotgun loaded with birdshot. Bullets will glance off water and fly wildly.
  10. Alcohol and firearms do not mix.

Rules Of Gun Safety


One more: A mechanical safety on a firearm is not foolproof. It is simply a mechanical device that can fail. The shooter is the ultimate "safety."

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