5 Essential Gun Safety Tips to Know

Gun safety education is imperative for anyone who plans to handle a gun, whether for sport or self defense. Even if you don’t own a gun, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to safely handle and operate one.

Here are five of the most important gun safety tips that everyone needs to know before picking up a gun.

1. Always Keep Guns Pointed in a Safe Direction

No matter the situation – whether you’re cleaning a gun that you presume to be unloaded (see tip #5) or you’re carrying a gun to the range – you should always keep it pointed in a safe direction. Your gun should never be pointed towards anything that you don’t plan to shoot, whether the safety is on or not.

2. Keep Your Finger off the Trigger Until You’re Ready to Shoot

You should never carry a gun with your finger on the trigger. The only time you should ever come into contact with the trigger is when you are ready to fire.

3. Know Your Target and What’s Beyond

Not only should you be aware of what it is that you’re aiming for, but you should also know what could potentially be beyond that target. Are there houses, people, or animals nearby that a stray bullet could possibly hit?

Always be ultra-aware of your surroundings before firing a gun.

4. Never Use Drugs or Alcohol Before or While Shooting

Guns are not toys, and firing one should never be taken lightly. Never use drugs or alcohol before or while you’re shooting. In fact, you should not have access to a gun if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You need to be able to think clearly and act logically any time a gun is involved.

5. Treat All Guns as If They Are Loaded

Don’t ever assume that a gun is “safe” because it is unloaded. Treat all guns as if they are loaded, even if you believe that you’ve just unloaded it.

Mistakes can happen in the blink of an eye, but if you take great care to remember these five gun safety tips, you can be in control of every unexpected situation that may present itself.