The Top 3 Gun Safety Rules and What These Mean for Beginners

By Jay Chambers •

Gun safety – this is a topic that is widely debated nowadays. And this comes off as no surprise, considering that there are so many accidents linked with guns. The truth is that you might be surprised to realize that many of these incidents occur because the shooter didn’t factor in the main safety rules that are applicable in most scenarios.

As a beginner, you might be tempted to think that such a thing as a set of rules targeted for beginners is a no brainer. But, bear in mind that, as logical and evident as these rules may seem, they should be taken into account. You should implement them, and, in time, they should become reflexes. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the top three gun safety rules and what they mean for beginners, and not only.

  1. The Muzzle Should Be Pointed in The Right Direction

This is an all-time rule that applies in all cases, no exception. This means that you should fixate your target and be 100 percent sure that there is nothing behind it. Did you know that some bullets can travel up to a mile? Yes, that’s unbelievable and true. This is why, if you cannot know for sure that there is no one behind your target, you should skip shooting altogether.

We cannot stress enough the importance of this essential rule. So, what does this mean, for beginners? So, whenever you want to shoot, you should be careful when you point the gun. You could never be too careful when handling or pointing a gun. Make sure you always keep this in mind. If you do that, over the course of time, as your shooting experience increases, it will be second nature to you to adjust your direction repeatedly before pulling the trigger.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you should no longer think about what you’re doing – quite the contrary, might we add. You should think each movement in advance and understand the importance of each rule when it comes to firearm safety.

With that in mind, having a clear line of sight is crucial whenever you want to shoot. Period. It’s fundamental to understand that shooting comes with this immense responsibility. And this responsibility won’t go away regardless of how experienced you might become with handling a gun.

  1. Treat Each Gun as It Is Loaded

Now, this is another all-time rule that shouldn’t miss your attention – beginner or advanced shooter. This rule is straightforward, pointing out that many accidents do occur particularly because of a lack of awareness on behalf of the shooters. Statistics actually mirror this sad reality.

The thing is that these essential gun safety rules are connected. For example, always treating your gun as if it were loaded is connected with the first rule – namely ensuring you have a clear line of sight whenever you shoot, as well as the third rule, which implies not touching the trigger until you have spotted the target.

All these rules point out the behavior that each shooter should embrace. You are most likely passionate about shooting since it is such an exciting and exhilarating pastime. But safety is primordial, which further outlines that you should never leave your guard down and act on your impulses whenever you’re handling a gun.

Some people – not necessarily beginners – don’t take this rule seriously, which is the cause of many accidental deaths.

Keep in mind that these rules weren’t made up in order to prevent shooters from having fun and enjoying themselves. They were made with one goal in mind: safety – your safety and the safety of others.

  1. Keep the Finger Off the Trigger Until You’ve Located Your Target

What is the target? The target is the deliberate place where you want to shoot. If you aren’t 100% sure that what lies in front of you is a target, then you should keep the finger off the trigger. Under no circumstances are you to point towards a random place in your proximity during the disassembly process, and, most notably, never towards your own body.

Many gun enthusiasts overlook that only by promoting the right practices can they promote gun safety. For example, if you never point the gun towards your own body, there will never be the risk of harming or injuring yourself – even in the cases in which the gun is actually loaded. If you never touch the trigger until you’ve positioned the target, you will never unintentionally shoot someone due to your lack of responsibility and awareness.

Without the right habits, in a moment of lack of attention and awareness, the worst tragedies can happen. Some people might assume that these rules are a tad too much, as the one thing you should check is whether the gun is loaded or not and the rest is history, so to speak. But this is not true. For enthusiast shooters, all these rules should become common practices.

Why do you need rules? It is simple. You have to acknowledge that you are prone to make mistakes. All human beings make mistakes – no exception whatsoever. At the same time, mechanical devices can fail without prior notice. This is why all these rules were created, in order to eliminate the likelihood of any accidents. It is harsh to realize how easy it is to harm others or yourself, due to a second of negligence or lack of awareness.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, what do these three key rules mean for a beginner? They aren’t meant to take all the fun out of shooting or to make you feel stressed and overwhelmed whenever you take up your gun. They are meant to increase your safety, as well as the safety of those around you, which is why you shouldn’t take them lightly.

Years of practice in this field shouldn’t make you overlook these ground rules. In fact, they should help you acknowledge that it is complacency that leads to accidental discharges.