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While the NRA reports that gun accidents are declining, there is still plenty of room for gun owners in the United States to become even more educated about how to safely use their weapons of choice. Guns continue to be a hot-button topic in mainstream media circles, primarily because many people do not take the time to learn about responsible firearm use. Many of the tragedies that you hear reports of could be avoided if people were simply more educated about the weapons they own.
Take the time to educate yourself on gun safety articles like the ones provided by We The People Holsters. A responsible gun owner is one who constantly looks for ways to educate himself or herself on how to be even more safe with their firearm. It doesn’t matter if you just bought your first gun or you have been a gun enthusiast for decades, there is never a time where you should stop learning about and practicing gun safety.
We The People Holsters Safety Rules
Rule #1: Treat Every Gun Like It’s Loaded
If you take a hunters’ education course when you’re young, the instructor probably spends a great deal of the time talking about treating every gun as though it is loaded. It does not matter if you know for a fact that the gun is empty, you should always behave as though it is loaded. That means you never point the barrel towards yourself, another person, or any object that you are not prepared to shoot. It also means that your finger should not touch the trigger until you are fully prepared to fire the weapon. If every gun gets treated like it’s loaded, there is no room for accidental shootings.
Rule #2: Know Your Target and What Is Beyond It
The NRA website actually lists this rule at the top of their list. You should know exactly where your target is as well as what is on the other side of the target. No matter how good of a marksman you are, there is a chance that you’re going to miss the target you’re shooting at. Because of that possibility of missing, you need to know whether or not there are people, animals or structures beyond your target that you don’t want to fire into. Responsible gun ownership is not just about hitting what you aim at; it also includes knowing what lies beyond your target.
Rule #3: Educate Yourself on Your Gun
Your gun is a machine. While you may look at a firearm and see a barrel and a trigger, there are several other components that make the weapon what it is. Before you ever take your gun on a hunt or to the range, you need to educate yourself on exactly how your particular gun works. The more you know about the weapon, the more responsible you can be with your gun. Before you ever fire your first round of ammunition, know what type of safety your gun uses, how the magazine operates, if you have a striker fired or hammer fired weapon, and how every other moving part works.
Rule #4: Never Mix Alcohol or Drugs and Guns
“Drinkin’ Beer and Wastin Bullets” may be a popular country song, but it is a horrible idea. As much fun as it may sound to have a beer with your friends and shoot some targets, you should never, under any circumstances, mix alcohol and firearms. The fact that you are handling a weapon that can take the life of any person or animal that finds itself on the wrong side of it should be enough reason for you to want to be at peak sobriety when using it. Guns can be plenty of fun without the presence of alcohol or any other mind-altering substance.
Rule #5: Gun Storage
The way that you store your weapons is every bit as important as the way that you use them. Proper gun storage ensures that the only person who can get their hands on your gun is you. Even if you live by yourself, having your gun locked away in a safe ensures that a criminal who breaks into your home doesn’t get their hands on your firearm. If you have a family, proper gun safety keeps your children away from a firearm that they are not properly trained with. Responsible gun ownership does not end when the gun is no longer in use. Instead, it is a 24/7 commitment.
Rule #6: Protect Yourself
If you have to use your firearm in an emergency situation, you won’t have time to put on proper eye and ear protection. However, if you are practicing with your weapon or target shooting for fun, you should wear approved ear plugs and eye protection at all times. The fact that emergency situations don’t lend themselves to safety gear doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use those items whenever possible. A day at the gun range is fun, but they’re even more fun when you practice personal safety.
The right to bear arms is one of the fundamental rights that our forefathers guaranteed us when they signed the Constitution of the United States. However, while we are guaranteed the right to own weapons, we all have a responsibility to use those guns in a responsible manner. For more information about how to safely use and store your firearms and ammo, keep an eye on We The People Holsters’ website.