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The 4 Rules of Firearm Handling

The 4 basic rules of firearm safety are one of the most important things any new shooter should learn. 

Learn the rules and make sure that others know the rules. 

If you practice them faithfully, you will save yourself any undue heartache and added legal trouble. 

The rules are great because they are easy to follow and you actually have to break two of the rules simultaneously in order to have a catastrophe. 

Here they are:

By Jeff Cooper

1. All firearms are ALWAYS loaded. All firearms need to be treated as if they are loaded at all times. A large portion of firearms accidents that take place include the individual to blame repeating some variation of the phrase, “I didn’t think it was loaded.”

2. Never let the muzzle point towards anything you are not willing to destroy. Simple enough, point the firearm in a safe direction at all times. Never point a firearm at a person who does not pose an imminent threat of extreme danger to innocent people.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. This one is often the most common mistakes by new shooters. They automatically reach for the trigger when they pick up a gun.

4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. You are responsible for every bullet that leaves the gun you shoot. Be sure that you have a good backstop of some sort when shooting casually or for fun. Also, always positively identify targets. Never fire at shadows or sounds.


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