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The 6 Basic Handgun Safety Rules

1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

Always assume that a gun is loaded even if you think it is unloaded. Every time a gun is handled for any reason, check to see that it is unloaded. If you are unable to check a gun to see if it is unloaded, leave it alone and seek help from someone more knowledgeable about guns.

2. Keep the gun pointed in the safest possible direction.

Always be aware of where a gun is pointing. A "safe direction" is one where an accidental discharge of the gun will not cause injury or damage. Only point a gun at an object you intend to shoot. Never point a gun toward yourself or another person.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Always keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Even though it may be comfortable to rest your finger on the trigger, it also is unsafe. If you are moving around with your finger on the trigger and stumble or fall, you could inadvertently pull the trigger. Sudden loud noises or movements can result in an accidental discharge because there is a natural tendency to tighten the muscles when startled. The trigger is for firing and the handle is for handling.

4. Know your target, its surroundings and beyond.

Check that the areas in front of and behind your target are safe before shooting. Be aware that if the bullet misses or completely passes through the target, it could strike a person or object. Identify the target and make sure it is what you intend to shoot. If you are in doubt, DON'T SHOOT! Never fire at a target that is only a movement, color, sound or unidentifiable shape. Be aware of all the people around you before you shoot.

5. Know how to properly operate your gun.

It is important to become thoroughly familiar with your gun. You should know its mechanical characteristics including how to properly load, unload and clear a malfunction from your gun. Obviously, not all guns are mechanically the same. Never assume that what applies to one make or model is exactly applicable to another. You should direct questions regarding the operation of your gun to your firearms dealer, or contact the manufacturer directly.

6. Store your gun safely and securely to prevent unauthorized use. Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.

When the gun is not in your hands, you must still think of safety. Use a California-approved firearms safety device on the gun, such as a trigger lock or cable lock, so it cannot be fired. Store it unloaded in a locked container, such as a California-approved lock box or a gun safe. Store your gun in a different location than the ammunition. For maximum safety you should use both a locking device and a storage container.



Safe and secure storage of your firearm
is one of your most important responsibilities. It is a full-time responsibility. You must always secure your firearm and ammunition separately so that they are not accessible to children or other unauthorized persons.


Whenever your firearm is not in use, keep it unloaded and locked. Your safety and the safety of others requires that you always secure and store your firearm in a manner that will prevent unauthorized access. Never leave a firearm unattended unless it is unloaded, locked and secured.


FIREARM SAFETY, OPERATION & MAINTENANCE

SAFETY IS YOUR NUMBER ONE RESPONSIBILITY

At home, in the field, at the range, or anywhere, the first concern of every firearm owner should be safety. Before handling any firearm, understand its operation and familiarize yourself with its mechanical features. Never allow a firearm to be used by individuals who do not understand its safe operation or who have not read these firearm safety rules.

Remember, there is no excuse for careless handling of a firearm. Handle your firearms with appropriate respect for their potential danger.

Firearms are dangerous and can cause serious injury or death if they are misused or used inappropriately. Appropriate use of your firearm means using your firearm for legal purposes. For example: target shooting, hunting, and lawful resistance of deadly criminal force. Safety must be the prime consideration of anyone who owns, handles or uses firearms. Accidents are the result of violating the rules of safe firearm handling and common sense.

Apply the following safety rules in every situation, with every kind of firearm:

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FIREARM POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION.

Never point a firearm at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot whether or not it is loaded. This is particularly important when loading, unloading, or field stripping the firearm. ALWAYS control the direction of the firearm.

ALWAYS TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS IF IT IS LOADED AND WILL FIRE.

Do not take anyone's word that the firearm is unloaded - always check for yourself. Never pass your firearm to another person until the cylinder or action is open and you visually check that it is unloaded. Keep your firearm unloaded and safely stored when not in use.

NEVER PLACE YOUR FINGER INSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD OR ON THE TRIGGER UNLESS YOU INTEND TO FIRE.

You should also take care to ensure that other objects do not touch the trigger.

ALWAYS BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT.

Always be sure of where the bullet will strike and shoot only where there is a safe back stop free of obstructions, water or other surfaces which can cause ricochets. Be sure your bullet will stop behind your target. Bullets can glance off many surfaces like rocks or the surface of water and travel in unpredictable directions with considerable velocity. Do not fire randomly into the sky.

ALWAYS WEAR EYE AND EAR PROTECTORS SPECIFIED FOR USE WITH FIREARMS.

Wear eye protection that is specified for use with firearms every time you handle your firearm for cleaning and maintenance. Wear eye and ear protection specified for use with firearms every time you discharge your firearm. Make sure others in the vicinity of where you will be shooting do so as well.

NEVER RELY ON MECHANICAL FEATURES OF THE FIREARM ALONE.

Only your safe firearm-handling habits will ensure the safe use of your firearm. This is your responsibility.

NEVER CROSS OBSTACLES SUCH AS FENCES OR STREAMS WITH A LOADED FIREARM.

Always make certain your firearm is unloaded before crossing a fence, climbing a tree, jumping a ditch or negotiating other obstacles.

NEVER USE ALCOHOL OR DRUGS BEFORE OR WHILE SHOOTING.

Further, do not use your firearm if you are on any medication which impairs, even slightly, your mental or physical ability.

ALWAYS HAVE ADEQUATE VENTILATION.

Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms, or handling ammunition may result in exposure to lead and other substances known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm, and other serious physical injury. Review the warnings and labels for all ammunition and cleaning products carefully. Wash hands thoroughly after exposure.

ALWAYS USE THE CORRECT AMMUNITION FOR YOUR PARTICULAR FIREARM.

Never use non-standard, reloaded, or "handloaded" ammunition which has not been subjected to internal ballistic pressure testing.

BEWARE OF BARREL OBSTRUCTIONS.

Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting. Mud, water, snow or other objects may inadvertently lodge in the barrel bore. A small obstruction can cause a dangerous increase in pressure and may damage your firearm and cause injury to yourself and others.

BE SURE ALL ACCESSORIES, SUCH AS HOLSTERS. GRIPS, SLINGS, SCOPES AND OTHER ACCESSORIES ARE COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR PARTICULAR FIREARM AND THAT THE ACCESSORIES DO NOT INTERFERE WITH ITS SAFE OPERATION.

It is your responsibility to understand and follow all of the instructions in the safety manual that accompanied your firearm, as well as those which may be supplied with your ammunition and any accessory.

NEVER DISASSEMBLE YOUR FIREARM BEYOND THE FIELD STRIPPING PROCEDURE OUTLINED IN THE MANUAL THAT ACCOMPANIED YOUR FIREARM.

Improper dis-assembly or reassembly of your firearm may be dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.

NEVER MANIPULATE, ADJUST OR CHANGE ANY OF THE INTERNAL COMPONENTS OF YOUR FIREARM UNLESS SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED TO DO SO IN THE MANUAL THAT ACCOMPANIED YOUR FIREARM.

Improper manipulation of any other internal component may affect the safety and reliability of your firearm and may cause serious injury or death.

NEVER ALLOW ANY ALTERATION OR REPLACEMENT OF PARTS IN YOUR FIREARM UNLESS PERFORMED BY A QUALIFIED GUNSMITH USING AUTHORIZED PARTS.

If you do otherwise, improper functioning of your firearm may occur and serious injury or death and damage to property may result.


MAINTENANCE BEFORE USE

Before using your firearm for the first time, it should be cleaned. See the cleaning instructions that accompanied your particular firearm. Your firearm was treated at the factory with either a preservative or oil to protect it against corrosion during shipping and storage. Preservative and oil should be wiped from the bore, chamber and exposed areas using a clean swab or patch before using the firearm.

Purchase cleaning supplies from your firearms dealer that are specifically designated for your type and caliber of firearm. Many suppliers offer these in kit form for your convenience. Follow the instructions provided with your cleaning supplies. Whenever your firearm has been exposed to sand, dust, extreme humidity, water or other adverse conditions, it must be cleaned and lubricated.

MAINTENANCE BEFORE STORAGE

When storing your firearm, do not encase it in anything that will attract or hold moisture, for example, leather or heavy cloth. Also, do not store firearms with a plug inserted in the barrel because this can be a contributing factor to moisture accumulation. If your firearm is to be stored for an extended period, the bore, chamber and internal surfaces should be oiled with a high-quality lubricating oil or preservative intended for firearms. The external parts; receiver, bolt and barrel should be coated with an anti-rust oil. Before using your firearm again, be sure to clean it. Every time you clean your firearm, check it for signs of wear. If wear is noted, do not use the firearm. Return it to the manufacturer for service, or have it checked by a qualified gunsmith.


SAFE STORAGE & TRANSPORTATION

NEVER LOCK A LOADED FIREARM AND NEVER LOAD A LOCKED FIREARM.

NEVER LEAVE THE KEY TO THE LOCK FOR YOUR FIREARM WITH THE STORED FIREARM.

ALWAYS STORE YOUR FIREARM AND AMMUNITION SEPARATELY.

Firearms and ammunition should be stored separately so that they are not accessible to children or other unauthorized persons. Safe and secure storage of your firearms is a serious responsibility.

NEVER ASSUME THAT A "HIDING" PLACE IS A SECURE STORAGE METHOD.

Others may be aware of your storage location or come upon it by chance. It is your personal responsibility to use common sense when storing your firearm and ammunition and to always make sure they are not accessible to children or other unauthorized persons.

NEVER TRANSPORT A LOADED FIREARM.

When transporting your firearm, be sure it is unloaded and locked.


ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LAW.

Many jurisdictions have laws that make it a crime to keep a firearm unlocked and in an area accessible to children or others. You must be familiar and comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding the safe storage and transportation of your firearm. Failure to know and follow the law could lead to criminal charges against you. Obey all laws relating to the storage and transportation of firearms. Consult your local law enforcement agency or firearms dealer for information on storing and/or transporting a firearm safely and legally in your jurisdiction.



George-Washington
“A free people ought...to be armed”
George Washington
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