Firearms serve a useful purpose for those who utilize them properly. Persons who use guns must understand that using firearms entails a huge responsibility, not only for their own safety, but for all those around them. If you are planning to own a gun, it is important that you learn and practice the basic rules for safely handling a firearm at all times.
The first rule of firearm safety is that the muzzle of the gun must always be pointed in a safe direction, with no living beings or objects of value in the line of fire, in case of an accidental discharge. This means that you must never point a firearm at any person or anything else that you are not willing to shoot.
The next rule of firearm safety is that, until you are actually ready to fire, you must keep your trigger finger straight and outside the trigger guard to prevent premature shots. Some gun owners do not even load their gun until immediately before it is to be fired. The main reason for doing this would be to diminish the chance of a child or other untrained person from coming into possession of a loaded weapon. This practice may or may not be practical depending on the circumstances at hand, especially in the case of imminent self-defense needs.
There are other rules you should follow to make sure that firearms are handled safely all the time. As the shooter, you should always treat the gun you are holding as if it were loaded. Personally check that the gun’s cylinder or action is open and that it is completely unloaded, including the chamber of a pistol, before handling it to another person or accepting a gun from another shooter. Leave the action open, or the cylinder out, when passing the weapon to another person so they can carry out their own inspection.
You should understand how your firearm operates very well before you handle it and, most of all, think before you pull the trigger. You can never call the bullet back once you fire the gun.
As with any kind of dangerous machinery, never use a gun while drinking alcohol or taking medications which may impair your ability to function at full capacity.