The four rules of gun safety were implemented to ensure the upmost safety is taken whenever handling a firearm. Following these rules with guarantee a high level of safety and help to avoid any accidents, including fatalities.

Let’s take a look at the four rules of gun safety:

Rule One – The gun is always loaded

The main thought behind this rule is to treat every single firearm you handle as if it were loaded – even if you are certain it isn’t. This means that you must always perform a safety check any time you pick up a gun, whether it’s not been used that day or for just a few minutes.

Additionally, after having checked a gun to ensure it isn’t loaded, still handle it as if it were. It’s easy to develop bad habits when handling firearms if you never take the first rule of gun safety seriously.

Rule Two – Never point the gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy

After performing all the standard safety checks and you know for a fact that the gun isn’t loaded, you must still never point at anything you are not willing to destroy.

This carries on from the first rule, where you will treat the gun like it is always loaded, serving as a reminder of the consequence of not following said rule. As a result, you shouldn’t ever be pointing the muzzle of a gun at a person or any other target (such as you hand) that you won’t be willing to destroy.

Rule Three – Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target

This rule reinforces how safe you need to be with a firearm – without your finger being on the trigger, there is no way the gun can accidently discharge. So, not following this rule means you are asking for an accident to occur.

Furthermore, your finger shouldn’t even be inside of the trigger guard let alone on the trigger, which is why the index finger must remain on the frame whenever there is no target.

A target can be defined as anything that we consciously aim at and are willing to fire, so anytime you aren’t deliberately aiming at a target, keep the finger away from both the trigger and inside the guard.

Rule Four – Be certain of your target and what is beyond it

This rule is paramount for avoiding accidental shootings, which are more than possible when not following rule four. Bullets can stray through or beyond a target in any environment, be it out hunting game or simply practice firing at the shooting range, so always be certain of the target and the environment beyond it.

Therefore, always be mindful how what is behind any target you fire at no matter the location and be sure of precisely where the bullet will strike. Nobody should ever be injured due to uncertainties of what could be close to a target.

Safety is key when handling firearms, by following these four rules of gun safety you will decrease you chances of having a terrible accident. Keep calm and hit your intended target.