One of the most important things you can do when owning or operating a firearm is to understand good gun safety principles. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 38,000 annual deaths related to firearms in the United States. To prevent accidents from occurring, it is a good idea for gun owners to receive regular training on gun safety and safeguard their firearms when not in use.
Keep Guns Unloaded
When the gun is not being used, it is a good idea to unload the ammunition before storing the weapon in a safe or locked case. Professionals also recommend locking the ammunition away in a separate place from the weapon, to prevent the firearm from being loaded without your knowledge. Pistol accessories should also be kept in a secure place. Keep all the actions on the firearm open when it is not in use, so you can easily see whether the weapon is loaded or not.
Point the Muzzle Away
While using or holding a firearm, always keep the muzzle pointed away from potential targets. Understand where potential targets may be and watch out for areas that could ricochet an accidental discharge. Teach children and those around you to be aware of where guns are pointed to avoid potentially costly or painful accidents.
Wear Protective Apparel
There is a wide variety of protective gear on the market for gun owners. At the basic level, people who own or operate firearms should invest in high-quality glasses and ear protection. Pieces of targets or the environment could blast apart on impact and hit the shooter, so durable eyewear is a necessity in the field or at a gun range. Neon or reflective clothing is especially important if using guns in the wilderness to prevent being shot by another gun user.