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Step 2 - The Rules of Gun Safety

Discussion in 'Beginner Articles' started by Texas1911, Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Preface: I've logged over 3000 hours on a public range as an RSO (Range Safety Officer). I am NRA certified as an RSO, and I've seen my fair share of safety hazards.

    There are 4 core rules to firearm safety that are the pinnacle to remaining a safe gun owner. Failure to follow these is the sure sign of an immature, irresponsible owner and eventually will cause significant or deadly harm to themselves or another individual. Guns are not toys, they are tools and should be treated with the utmost in personal diligence and attention.

    The Laws of Gun Safety

    1.) Treat all Firearms as if they are Loaded.

    This is something that people simply do not comprehend in the public. You may know that the gun isn't loaded, you may have even checked, but the one time you assume that the gun isn't loaded, it will be. As personal testament I have had loaded guns pointed at me that were preceded with "Oh, it's not loaded". Only to find out, much to the owners bewilderment, that it was indeed loaded.

    2.) Keep all Firearms Pointed in a Safe Direction at All Times.

    Too many people get in a hurry, don't pay attention, or simply do not care. The first step in committing negligent homicide is pointing a firearm at someone. A member of this forum was shot in the legs by a Browning 1919, and nearly killed, because the owner of the gun did not pay attention to where it was pointed. All it took was a brush of the trigger, and boom ... one person was bleeding out, and had to be sent via Lifeflight to the ER where they managed to save his life.

    3.) Know what your Target is, and what is Beyond your Target.

    I've seen numerous people that thought it wasn't a big deal to be shooting over the berm. The shooter, usually completely new to rifles or handguns, isn't using proper form and cannot see the sights. Out of frustration the shooter just pulls the trigger anyways, and continues to do this until they are done shooting. The problem with this is that the average .223 Rem round out of an AR15 will travel about 1000 - 2500 yards before it impacts the ground at the angle they are shooting the gun. You could easily kill someone, or injure someone, and in doing so ... getting the range closed down and / or sued out of existence.

    4.) Keep your Finger off the Trigger until you are Prepared to Fire.

    I've seen people nearly blow their fingers off, shoot the ceiling, and the bench directly in front of them. Keeping your finger off of the trigger is an integral part of avoiding being the person that did all of the above. The next time you are at the range, remember, you are 5 lbs. of pressure away from potentially ending someone's life in a horrific and painful manner, and in doing so ... ruining your own life and living with the consequences.

    At a Gun Range

    Conduct at a gun range is as follows:

    1.) Follow the 4 Laws Above.
    2.) Follow the Rules of the Range.
    3.) Observe the Range Safety Officer's Directives.
    4.) Report all Unsafe Activities to the Range Safety Officer or Range Employees
    5.) During a Called "Cease Fire", Clear and Make Safe your Firearm and Step Back.
    6.) If Others Show up During a Cease Fire, Inform them of the Cease Fire.
    7.) If you See an Immediate Safety Issue on the Range, Call a Cease Fire.

    Anyone can call a cease fire on a live range. It is the job of every shooter on the line to ensure a safe environment.

    By being a safe shooter you will take alot of stress off of the range safety officer, and allow him or her to focus on people that are potential safety hazards to you and other shooters. I watch a firing line of 10 stalls, where we can have 20 - 30 people at a time on the firing line (not all shooting). Every one of them is a potential source of unsafe behavior, so it's a busy job of keeping vigilant watch.

    At the range it is the role of every shooter to maintain the safety of themselves and others. Anyone can call a cease fire, and upon calling it, you should inform the Range Safety Office.

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