Hunter aiming firearm

5 Rules of Firearm Safety

Throughout the United States, deer hunters are getting prepared for firearm season. It’s an exciting time and there’s nothing better than enjoying the Great Outdoors with your family and friends. But every year we hear stories about houses, barns and other property getting damaged…even other hunters getting shot at. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean…I get it. When that big buck is in your crosshairs, your adrenaline is pumping and your heart is beating a million times a minute. But you can’t get that bullet back after you pull the trigger. So when you dust off the old .30-06 this year, be sure to keep these firearm safety tips in mind and don’t be afraid to let someone know if they’re doing something unsafe. Because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Treat your firearm with respect

Hunter looking through scope of rifle

Always act as if your firearm or any firearm you encounter is loaded. When you’re handing a firearm, always check to see if it’s unloaded. Even if you cleaned the gun yesterday and know with 100% certainty that it’s unloaded. Still check. Know how your firearm works and always keep it unloaded until you’re ready to shoot.

Muzzle Direction

Two hunters in blaze orange walking through woods holding their rifles

“Hey, watch where you’re pointing that thing!” You’ve probably heard it a million times, but always be aware of where you’re pointing your firearm. Never aim or point at anything you don’t intend to shoot.

Know the area you’re hunting

Father and son hunting from tree stand

Always know where members of your party are hunting. If you’re hunting private land that attaches to other private property, it’s a good idea to know where your neighbors are hunting too. There’s nothing scarier than hearing bullet whiz by your tree stand. And that’s the last thing any hunter wants or needs. It’s also a good idea to be aware of houses, barns, and other outbuildings. Remember that your bullet can ricochet if you miss your intended target.

Don’t put your finger on that trigger…unless you’re ready to shoot

Hunter in blaze orange holding a rifle

If you’re not intending to fire your rifle, don’t have your finger on the trigger or even near it. Always ensure your safety is on until ready to shoot. We’ve all tripped walking through the woods to our tree stand before. It happens. Don’t let a simple fall turn into a major accident.

Never handle firearms under the influence

Man holding firearm with beer

It seems like a no brainer but it happens. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other mind-alterting substances can and will impair your mental state, judgement, and even physical body functions. Do not hunt or handle any firearm while under the influence of any substance that will impair your ability to think clearly and use correct judgement. Save the beers until after the hunt.

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6 Responses to “5 Rules of Firearm Safety”

  1. Bob Paradise

    Great tips but here’s one more make sure everyone else in the home knows those rules and follows them teach your children young and reinforce by example every time you take your firearms out of the safe

  2. Jonathan Udy

    Always a great thing to review firearm safety sometimes even the most experienced firearm owners need a reminder

  3. Harry D Rowland

    When crossing a fence, always place your weapon down on the ground on the other side, even if you have to take off your coat to lay it on before proceeding. Please don’t tear down the farmer’s wire by placing your feet on a strand to step up and over like some of us have always done. As sportsmen we should always be thoughtful and courteous to others. If possible crawl under the first or second wire by placing a stick under it to hold the barbs up. Many people have lost their lives by crossing a fence while carrying their weapon. Live another day to enjoy your children and grandchildren.

  4. Craig m reber

    Great comment from Harry on crossing a fence , not only the safety aspect, but the respect owed to the landowner, most of us are hunting with permission, it’s a privilege , not a right to hunt,!!! Always check that ur ammo is correct for the firearm ur using !!!

  5. Karl Shank

    I spent many years as a firearms instructor at a Boy Scout camp. The very 1st thing I taught the boys is “guns kill”. That is what they were designed to do and they are very good at it whether intentional or not ! 2nd is, learn your guns “safety”. Whether it’s a lever, a button or a slide. If you don’t know which position is safe, ask someone. If all else fails, unload the gun and “dry fire” it. While dry firing is not reccommended, it beats an “unintentional discharge”.

  6. John Welch

    Comment Sense!! Current generation sorely lacks