Three out of 10 Americans own a firearm, according to the Pew Research Center. And roughly half of the people who don't own a gun, say they're open to owning one sometime in the future. That's why these Gun Safety Tips are important to understand and remember. So what's the appeal of gun ownership? Most gun owners have multiple reasons for possessing a firearm. The most common reason isn't too hard to guess – a firearm is a useful tool for self defense.
Whether it's kept in a safe at home or concealed on your person, a gun provides peace of mind in potentially dangerous situations. Burglars and other people with ill intentions will think twice before targeting people who can defend themselves.
Other common reasons for owning a gun include hunting and sport shooting. In these cases, the firearm doesn't necessarily serve as a means of protection, but rather a way to participate in an exciting hobby. A smaller percentage of Americans own guns as part of a collection or for employment purposes – for example, police officers.
With so many people owning, or even thinking about owning a firearm, access to proper training and safety resources is vital.
Basic Gun Safety Tips For New Gun Owners
1. Handle any firearm as if it's loaded
This is one of the most fundamental rules of gun safety. If you assume the gun can accidentally fire at any time, you're more likely to treat it with the respect and caution it deserves.
2. Always be mindful of where your muzzle is pointed
This tip goes hand in hand with the aforementioned one. You must make sure the firearm is always pointed in a safe direction. And that involves considering the potential for a fired bullet to ricochet in an unexpected direction.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you're preparing to fire
Imagine the trigger guard as a space that you keep your finger clear of until it's time to shoot.
4. Store your gun carefully
A bedside drawer or a space beneath the bed might seem like practical places to store your gun. After all, it'll be out of sight, yet easily accessible when you need it. Unfortunately children and home intruders often check these spots for items that they're not supposed to get their hands on. It's wiser to leave the gun in a secured safe.
5. Don't leave your gun loaded with ammo
In fact, consider, storing your ammo separately, even if it's just in a different compartment of the safe. This is especially important if you have children around. Cartridges should also be put in air-tight containers that keep out moisture. This will help preserve the bullets.
6. When shooting, be aware of anything beyond your target
As you line up a shot, keep in mind all the space behind your target. Is it clear of other objects or people? If not, hold your fire. Even an expert marksman is prone to missing a target every now and then.
7. Understand the internal mechanisms of your gun
Read the manual and any official manufacturer's information you find online. It's not enough to respect a firearm's destruction potential, you'll want to understand its inner workings as well.
8. Clean your gun regularly and have it serviced by a professional
Guns are made of materials that can eventually rust, so keep yours in a dry environment and clean and oil it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Rust can lead to performance issues. When in doubt about maintenance – whether you're concerned about rust or some other problem – consult a professional. If you try to fix the problem but don't have a thorough understanding of the firearm, you could damage the gun or make it unsafe for use.
Final Coments On Gun Safety Tips
While these are basic safety protocols that you should have ingrained, they're not the only things you need to know about handling a gun. Perhaps one of the most important steps you can take is to enroll in a training course. This will not only increase your confidence in using a gun, but also help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. For example, during concealed carry class through Pew Pew Guru, you'll experience hands-on training. An NRA-certified instructor leads the courses, which cover gun laws and how to fire live rounds, so you're sure to receive expert advice.
While accidental shooting deaths declined between 1999 and 2015, many more lives can still be saved. Through increased knowledge of firearm safety and proper training with these gun safet tips, it's possible to become a responsible gun owner.