Five Gun Safety Rules

by Gunguy

While a gun safety class is never wrong, really all you need to know are the five rules of gun safety.

The 1st rule – The Gun Is Always Loaded

Even when a gun isn’t loaded, every gun enthusiast worth his salt treats the gun as if it were loaded. You watch someone unload the gun, you take the gun from him, you check it yourself, you still follow the next three rules.

Obviously it’s not factually true that all guns are loaded, but when you’re around guns, you treat all guns as loaded even if you “know” they aren’t. If that’s your default position about guns, you won’t have an accident in which someone says, “I didn’t know it was loaded!”

The 2nd rule – Never Point The Gun At Something You Are Not Prepared To Destroy

A gun is not a toy. It should not be used to joke around. If you point a gun at something, it better be something you intend to destroy. FWIW, there’s no such thing as a “shoot to wound” defense. If you shoot someone threatening, your only defense is that you were in such danger that killing the person was the only recourse. If you have the ability to shoot to wound or fire a warning shot, you have the ability to make another choice besides shooting someone.

The 3rd rule – Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

Bullets don’t stop because they hit something. They penetrate the object and much of what is behind the object. Never fire at something without a bulletproof backstop. You shot your TV in your living room and killed your roommate in his bedroom? You weren’t following the third rule. If you’re target shooting on public lands, you better be in an open field where you can see everything behind your target for a long distance or everything up to your bulletproof backstop.

The 4th rule – Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Your finger stays OFF the trigger until your target is in your sights and you are ready to destroy. Even if the safety is on and the gun is unloaded. Because rule 1 – the gun is always loaded (and the safety is always off).

If you follow these, you will not have an accidental discharge.

The 5th rule –If your with people who aren’t following these rules, you needs to leave the situation.

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2 thoughts on “Five Gun Safety Rules

  1. Blue

    The big movement for the 5th rule is “Never try to catch a dropped gun”, That is huge and makes total sense. Your rule here should make the list as well and always be the last of the rules if it keeps getting longer. Because bottom line, if people around you are not showing the proper care and responsibility, the safest thing for you may be to pick up and leave. I’ll add that as my 6th rule.

    1. Woodsbum

      For a range, I could see that. In the field, I think it could be debated for some time and I can see both sides. Ground conditions are so much different between the two environments and there is always a higher chance of your firearm being in a “Condition 1” status on the range versus in the field. As a hunter’s education instructor I teach my students to only have a round chambered if you are in a stationary position and ready to fire such as when waterfowl hunting or when sitting in a treestand. In either of those cases your firearm will either have a nice, sponge like landing or be attached to a tether. Other than those stationary type situations, I do not have a round chambered and recommend the same for anyone else. It is just too easy to slip, fall and accidently discharge a firearm. On a range the ground has been sculpted to some degree such as gravel, grass, wood chips, sand, etc., so there is less chance of an accidental discharge from landing on a boulder or tree stump. No matter what, safety must prevail because lead poisoning hurts.

      Thank you for your reply!


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