Proper care and operation of any firearm is incredibly crucial. Those who have used firearms their entire lives and those who are just getting started with them should still keep safety in mind. Correct handling of a gun will ensure the safety of those around you, as well as yourself. We will list four firearm safety rules that should always be remembered and followed when approaching, handling, and firing a gun. We will reference AR 15’s, but these rules apply to ALL firearms.
Rule #1: All guns are always loaded, even when they’re not.
The overall purpose of this rule is to develop safe habits. It can be easily forgotten that there could very well be a bullet in the AR 15 you are handling and operating. This is especially true for those who pick up a firearm that they did not personally load, or that does not belong to them. To maintain safety, always assume the AR is loaded and inspect the AR 15 yourself to see if the gun is unloaded before handling or transporting the firearm.
Rule #2: Never point the AR 15 at anything you are not willing to destroy.
This rule builds off rule #1. Do not point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to shoot, even if you believe the gun to be unloaded. If the AR 15 can fire, assume it will fire, and make sure it goes off in a safe direction. Erring on the side of caution is the easiest way to keep everyone around you safe. Pay close attention to where the front of your firearm “sweeps” as well to ensure that an accidental misfire does not go in an unwanted direction.
Rule #3: Keep your finger off the trigger until the target is in your sights and you are ready to fire.
The third rule on this list is an easy one to remember and follow. If your finger is outside of the finger guard area, you can significantly reduce accidental firings. Events such as being startled, stumbling, or even muscle spasms won’t cause a misfire due to your index finger being placed away from the trigger. Only put your finger on the trigger once you’ve selected a target, and it is safe to fire.
Rule #4: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
The last basic rule of firearm safety is just as important as the rest. The first step is to make sure you pick out your target. Afterward, you’ll need to realize that though you’re aiming and firing at the correct target, the bullet may pass through it and hit something behind it. This rule needs to be considered when choosing a firearm and ammo combination due to the shots possibly traveling through walls or ceilings.