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firearm safety & safe gun handling Skills Are Absolutely essential for gun owners, concealed carry citizens and new shooters

In today's blog article we will discuss the 4 Firearm Safety Rules. If you aren't able to remember and recite the 4 Firearm Safety Rules, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Whenever you are around guns, shooting guns, or handling guns, these firearm safety rules are absolutely critical to ensuring the safety and survival of you, or anyone else, that could end up in the path of a negligent or accidental discharge.
At the range, the 4 Firearm Safety Rules are often glossed over, with more attention focused on making the gun go bang.  No matter the situation or environment, you should always be thinking about firearm safety.  From training with the top firearms instructors in the country, I noticed one universal aspect of their instruction and training methodology. All of them heavily emphasized firearms safety, safe and efficient gun handling, and treating guns with the respect they deserve.

firearm safety rules

Assume and treat firearms as if they are loaded  and dangerous until you have personally inspected or cleared it
Don't point the muzzle at anything you don't want to destroy, including your own body, hands and feet
Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you have identified a target that you intend on shooting
Rule #4
Be aware of your target's foreground, background and flanks before pressing the trigger and firing your gun

strive to always handle your firearm in a safe & efficient manner to develop Movement Patterns that allow you to safely operate and deploy your firearm on a subconscious level

It is critical for you to develop the instinctual ability to safely operate, carry and deploy your firearm on a subconscious level.  Keep in mind, the only place you'll encounter a static target, is at the shooting range.  Everywhere else on the planet, your target, or targets, will likely be in motion and doing the same things you are doing.  In a critical self-defense incident, you won't have time to remember the firearm safety rules, you will only have time to react and resist.  The 4 Firearm Safety Rules must be embedded into your subconscious and should influence the way you view, handle and operate your firearm.
RULE #1 - Assume and treat firearms as if they are loaded
This rule is fundamental to firearms safety and it doesn’t just apply to the weapon, or weapons, you personally own and use. Any and all weapons you encounter must be respected and treated with this mindfulness and precaution. Unless you have personally inspected the firearm, do not accept someone’s word that the weapon is unloaded or safe to be handled.
RULE #2 - don't point the muzzle at anything you don't want to destroy
Also known as Muzzle Discipline, this firearms safety rule ensures that if the weapon is accidentally or negligently discharged, the muzzle of the weapon will not be pointed in a direction that could hit, wound or kill someone, including yourself. A good habit to develop is regardless of the type of weapon you pick up, even if its a replica or airsoft, keep your finger out of the trigger and be ultra-aware of where it is pointed.
RULE #3 - keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you've identified a THREAT
Critical language points that must be emphasized with this firearm safety rule is identifying a threat and consciously deciding to fire your weapon. Without positive identification of a threat and the intention of shooting that threat, the finger must stay straight on the frame and outside the trigger guard.  I find this to be the most neglected safety rule.  However, when your eyes have identified a legitimate threat, fingers have permission to touch triggers.  
RULE #4 - before firing, know what's in front, behind and flanking your target
In home defense and everyday carry situations, it is critical that you take into account what is behind, in front and flanking your intended target. Every bullet that leaves your weapon is a liability. On the square range it can be easy to loose sight of this rule, typically because there are dedicated berms and static targets to shoot at. It's likely that your targets will be moving and doing exactly what you are doing in a real shooting situation. It worth repeating: You are accountable for every round that leaves your gun. Shoot wisely.


  • Avatar
    Robert Hickman
    #4 very important as I have recently graduated from Citizen's Academy Alamance County Sheriff Dept. We used the electronic shooting range using real life situations. It was telling on how people shot before assessing the entire scenario. Many would have been shot at or killed an innocent person.
    • Avatar
      Stewart Edmiston
      So true Robert. ID'ing a threat before squeezing that trigger is absolutely imperative! Often lost at the range is the extreme stress and dynamic movement that will accompany a real world self-defense shooting.
  • Avatar
    Latanya Blackman
    Looking forward to the class
  • Avatar
    Isaac Christian
    Looking forward to the class! Thanks for this!
  • Avatar
    Clifton Webb
    Great training advice

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