Firearm Safety: Dos and Don’ts

Firearms are one of the most dangerous weapons if not handled and used properly. Every year, thousands of Americans are affected by firearm injuries, and many of them are preventable. Being a responsible gun owner means understanding and following essential firearm safety rules. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gun enthusiast, it is advisable to review the firearm safety dos and don’ts to ensure you protect yourself and those around you. In this post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive list of firearm safety dos and don’ts to ensure you handle firearms safely.

Do Treat Every Gun as If It’s Loaded

Even if you are 100% sure your gun is unloaded, always treat it as if it’s loaded. Performing this habit will ensure you don’t accidently shoot your gun when it’s unsafe to do so.

Don’t Point Your Gun at Anything You Don’t Intend to Shoot

Keep your gun oriented in a safe direction away from people or animals when handling it. Even when you are sure a gun is unloaded, don’t point it at anyone or anything you don’t intend to shoot.

Do Keep Your Gun Unloaded When Not in Use

Guns should always be kept unloaded when not in use. Unload your gun and keep it in a locked storage area where it isn’t accessible to others who are unauthorized to use it.

Don’t Rely on “Trigger Safeties”

Most guns have safety mechanisms to prevent an accidental discharge, but these aren’t foolproof safety measures. Don’t rely on a trigger safety or any other mechanism only when handling a firearm. Instead, for added safety, keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Do Use Ear and Eye Protection

The explosive noise of a gunshot can cause permanent hearing damage. Therefore wearing earplugs or noise-cancellation headphones should become a necessary shooting habit. Also, wearing protective eyewear will prevent any debris from hitting your eyes.

Don’t Drink Alcohol Before or During Shooting

Drinking alcohol before or while handling firearms is a recipe for danger, resulting in fatal or life-threatening accidents. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid drinking alcohol to maintain sound judgment when handling firearms.

Do Familiarize Yourself with Your Gun

Before handling a firearm, familiarize yourself with the operation, parts, and how to clear a malfunction. Furthermore, read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and the gun’s user manual.


Misused firearms are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gun enthusiast, practicing firearm safety must be a way of life. This way, we can ensure our safety and that of those around us. By applying the dos and don’ts of firearm safety, you can minimize the risks and make shooting a fun and satisfying experience. Remember, familiarity breeds contempt, but when it comes to firearm safety, it breeds safety.

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