The Ten Commandments of Gun Safety Rules to Live by

Teach your children the 10 commandments of gun safety.

It is the responsibility of everyone who uses a firearm to know the ten commandments of gun safety. If you have a firearm in a home with children you should teach them firearm safety rules as early an age as possible. They should not only know not to touch a gun without permission but also how to safely handle guns. Kids should know gun safety rules by heart.

  1. Always keep the firearm's mussel pointed in a safe direction. No gun safety rule is more important than this one. Guns should only be pointed at something you want to kill or destroy. The gun safety rules require every firearm to be treated as if it were loaded, even if you just checked.
  2. Firearms should always be stored unloaded with a trigger lock installed. Guns should only be loaded when you are ready to use them. A loaded gun should always be kept in your possession or within your sight. This will keep little ones from touching them. Storing a loaded gun under the mattress is NOT acceptable.
  3. Never rely on a gun's safety. A gun's safety is just a mechanical device. If it is not fully engaged the gun might fire if the trigger is pulled. It is also possible that you may think that the gun's safety is on and by mistake it is not.
  4. You must be sure of your target and what is behind it. Never shoot at sky-lined animals or targets. A bullet can go a mile or more if you miss your target.
  5. Use the proper ammunition. The right size is marked on the gun, usually on the barrel. Damaged ammunition should not be used.
  6. If the gun misfires when the trigger is pulled keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your face away from the breach. Open the action. Unload the gun. Before putting another bullet in the chamber you must determine the cause of the misfire. It is better to take the gun to a gunsmith than it is to have it blow up in your face.
  7. Always wear gun safety approved ear and eye protection when you are near firearms that are being fired. Firearm safety includes not only the shooter but everyone near by. Permanent hearing damage will occur with repeated exposure to loud noises. Wear gun safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying shells that are discharged after a shot.
  8. Make sure that the barrel does not have anything in it before loading the gun. If the gun has been dropped, carefully check for snow, dirt or anything else that might have lodged in the muzzle. Even a small obstruction can cause the barrel to burst. 
  9. Do not alter the gun in any way. Do not shorten the barrel or try to turn a semi-automatic into a fully automatic. Never try to remove the gun's safety.
  10. Know your gun. It is important to know where the gun's safety is and how it works. Learn what the gun sounds like during normal operation. When you know your gun intimately you will know if something has gone wrong.

Some extra gun safety rules to follow include the following. Never assume a gun is unloaded. Always check the action before you start cleaning the weapon and when someone hands it to you. Bullets should not be stored in the same location as the firearm. Never put your finger in the trigger guard until you are ready to pull the trigger. Never use a firearm under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Gun safety is not a joke. Failure to follow the gun safety rules can be dangerous. Some of these may seem like common sense but with firearm safety it is best to never assume anything. 

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Heather Tooley
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Posted on Apr 10, 2010