The Four Rules of Gun Safety

Les quatre règles de sécurité des armes à feu - PhilTeam

There are four universally accepted rules for gun safety. These rules apply to both civilians and police handling firearms. You can expect to find these rules followed (and often posted) at any range or firearms facility you may visit.

1. All weapons are loaded

Treat every firearm as if it were loaded until you prove it is empty. The majority of accidental firearm discharges are the result of people handling apparently empty weapons.

When picking up a weapon, you must clean the gun while pointing it in a safe direction. Cleaning a weapon (checking that it's empty) is a bit different depending on the type of weapon you're handling. It consists of several deliberate actions to remove any ammunition and prove that the weapon is completely unloaded.

2. Always point firearms in a safe direction

Never point the muzzle (front of the barrel) of a firearm at anything you would not shoot. Although usually unintentional, it can be fatal. Muzzle discipline is a learned skill that must be mastered. In many cases, a lack of muzzle discipline can occur when the shooter moves the firearm from one direction to another. It's easy to unintentionally get the muzzle in another person's way. This is often a momentary hazard, but will attract the immediate attention of any competent shooting instructor.

Think of the muzzle of your gun as having a powerful laser beam coming out of it at all times. Imagine that anything the beam hits will be destroyed. Using this mindset will quickly help you master the skills of muzzle awareness and discipline.

There is another aspect of mouth safety that applies in your home. You should be aware that pointing a gun at an empty wall or the floor may not be safe. Think about this: what is on the other side of this wall or level below where you are standing? With that in mind, it's wise to exercise an extra level of caution around your home.

3. Keep your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire

This rule is one of the most important, because a gun will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. There are two variations of this rule. One is more applicable to target shooting while the other applies to combat shooting. The target shooting version is: "Keep your finger on the trigger until your sight is on target." The abbreviated version is "On target on trigger, off target off trigger". This rule works very well for the civilian target shooter.

In law enforcement, the current trend is to teach officers that their finger must remain outside the trigger guard until they decide to shoot. Take the example of a police officer who has his gun drawn and pointed at a suspect in what is called a suspect cover position. In this situation, something may surprise the agent; it could be a backfiring car or someone grabbing the officer from behind. The risk of the officer unintentionally discharging his weapon in this scenario is greatly increased if his finger is on the trigger.

You will perform as you train. Many civilians train on the range to become proficient with their firearm for home or self-defense. In either of these high-stress situations, it's important to be as restrictive as possible with your trigger finger. Diligence with this rule will help prevent accidents while promoting self-defense.

4. Know your target and beyond

These are perhaps the two most difficult skills to master. If you do target shooting, it's fairly easy to determine that your backstop is a huge dirt wall (like many outdoor shooting ranges) or a blank wall of bullet-catching gear in a shooting range. inside shot. In these circumstances, your biggest concern is to check that no one is in range and not to shoot the target of the person next to you by mistake.

These skills are more difficult in stressful, rapidly changing situations involving home defense, self-defense, or the use of deadly force by law enforcement. With practice, however, you'll be prepared to deal with these scenarios should they arise.

Know your target...

In a self-defense situation, ask yourself: Does the threat present an imminent danger of death or serious injury? Consider being woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of a moving intruder. You fire a bullet at the shadowy figure, but miss - a big chance for your family member who couldn't sleep. Know your target!

...And beyond

Consider what is to the left and right of the target. In combat shooting, while under extreme stress, shooters tend to have tunnel vision. They focus all their attention on the threat but pay little attention to the environment. Unless a shooter is in close combat where the threat is directly in front of him, he must consider potential civilians who are in the line of fire. Sometimes you just have to take a few side steps before you have a clear path.

Learning the basic safety rules for handling firearms is essential for any firearm owner. Incorporate these rules into every practice session and practice following them until they become automatic. Once you do, you will immediately be able to recognize when someone is breaking a rule. Your adherence to these practices will keep you and those around you safe and will help you demonstrate your commitment to responsible firearms handling and possession.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published