NRA: FOUR RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY:
0. Handle all firearms as if they were loaded.
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
When using or storing a gun, always follow these NRA rules:
- Know your target and what is beyond.
- Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
- Know how to use the firearm safely.
- Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun's mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
- Be sure the firearm is safe to operate.
- Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun's ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
- Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
- Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
- Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
- Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
- Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
- Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
- Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
- Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
- Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
- Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
- A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
- Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun's action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
COMPREHENSIVE SAFETY RULES
As a firearm owner, you accept a set of demanding responsibilities. How seriously you take these responsibilities can be the difference between life and death. There is no excuse for careless or abusive handling of any firearm. At all times handle firearms with intense respect for their power and potential danger. Please read and understand all of the cautions, warnings, notices, proper handling procedures and instructions outlined in your owner’s manual before using your new firearm.
1. ALWAYS KEEP THE MUZZLE OF YOUR FIREARM POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE CERTAIN IT IS UNLOADED.
Never point any firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot. Be extremely alert and aware of all persons and property within the range of your ammunition.
2. NEVER RELY TOTALLY ON YOUR FIREARM’S MECHANICAL “SAFETY” DEVICES. LIKE ANY MECHANICAL DEVICE, A “SAFETY” CAN SOMETIMES FAIL; IT CAN BE JARRED OR INADVERTENTLY MANIPULATED INTO AN UNSAFE CONDITION.
The word “safety” describes a firearm’s trigger block mechanism, sear block mechanism, hammer block mechanism or firing pin block mechanism. Mechanical “safeties” are designed to place your firearm in a safer status, and no guarantee can be made that the firearm will not fire even if the “safety” is in the on safe position. Mechanical “safeties” merely aid safe gun handling and are no excuse for pointing your firearm’s muzzle in an unsafe direction. See your owner’s manual for instructions on the operation of your firearm’s “safety.” Remember, safe gun handling does not stop with your firearm’s mechanical “safety” devices, it starts there. Always treat your firearm with the respect due a loaded, ready-to-fire firearm. Some firearms do not have a mechanical safety. Many target firearms, lever-action firearms and rifles do not have manual “safety” mechanisms. Therefore it is critical to read and understand the owner’s manual for every firearm, which explains the safe operation of the firearm. While it is a good idea to “test” your firearm’s mechanical “safety” periodically for proper function, never test the “safety” while your firearm is loaded or pointed in an unsafe direction.
3. WHENEVER YOU HANDLE ANY FIREARM, OR HAND IT TO SOMEONE, ALWAYS OPEN THE ACTION IMMEDIATELY AND VISUALLY CHECK THE FIREARM’S CHAMBER AND MAGAZINE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE FIREARM IS COMPLETELY UNLOADED.
Make certain the firearm does not inadvertently contain any ammunition. Always keep the chamber empty and the “safety” in the on safe position unless shooting is imminent. If your firearm is equipped with a detachable magazine, be aware that removing the magazine does not mean your firearm is completely unloaded, as a cartridge could be in the chamber. Always remove the magazine, open the action and visually inspect the chamber to make certain the firearm is completely unloaded.
4. ALWAYS WEAR EYE AND HEARING PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING.
Unprotected, repeated exposure to gunfire can cause hearing damage. Wear ear protectors (shooting earplugs or muffs) to guard against such damage. Wear shooting glasses to protect your eyes from flying particles. Allow proper distance (eye relief) between a scope and your eye when firing a scoped rifle, rifle or shotgun. Do not use unorthodox shooting methods that could cause the rearward travel of the slide or bolt of a firearm to contact your eyes, face or hands. Always keep a safe distance between the muzzle of your firearm and any persons nearby, as muzzle blast, debris and ejecting shells could inflict serious injury. Always wear eye protection when disassembling and cleaning your rifle to prevent the possibility of springs, spring-tensioned parts, solvents or other agents from contacting your eyes.
5. KEEP ALL FIREARMS UNLOADED DURING TRANSPORT, EVEN WHEN STORED IN A HOLSTER, GUN CASE, SCABBARD OR OTHER CONTAINER.
For law enforcement and military personnel, refer to the procedures of your department on carrying a loaded firearm.
6. DROPPING OR JARRING A LOADED FIREARM CAN CAUSE AN ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE.
This can occur even with the “safety” in the on safe position or the hammer in the decocked position. Be extremely careful while hunting or during any shooting activity, to avoid dropping any firearm.
7. SHOOTING FROM ELEVATED SURFACES IS DANGEROUS.
Doing so may increase the risk of mishandling a firearm. The following rules should always be observed. Always make certain that the surface being used is safe and stable. Always make certain that your firearm is unloaded when it is being taken up and down from the surface. Always make certain that your firearm is not dropped from the surface, or dropped while it is being taken up or down from the surface. Remember, a loaded firearm may discharge when dropped, even with the “safety” in the on safe position.
8. STORE YOUR FIREARM AND AMMUNITION SEPARATELY, WELL BEYOND THE REACH OF CHILDREN.
Take prudent safeguards to ensure your firearm does not become available to untrained, inexperienced or unwelcome hands. Store all firearms in secure, locked cases or a gun safe. Keep your firearm unloaded when not in use. At all times, comply with federal, local and state laws. For law enforcement and military personnel, refer to the procedures of your department on storing your firearm.
9. BEWARE OF BARREL OBSTRUCTIONS.
Mud, snow and an infinite variety of other objects may inadvertently lodge in a barrel bore. It only takes a small obstruction to cause dangerously increased pressures that can damage your firearm and cause serious injury to yourself and others. BEFORE CHECKING FOR A BARREL OBSTRUCTION, BE CERTAIN YOUR FIREARM IS COMPLETELY UNLOADED, THERE IS NOT A LIVE CARTRIDGE IN THE CHAMBER AND THE “SAFETY” IS IN THE ON SAFE POSITION. Completely unload the firearm as described in your owner’s manual. After assuring yourself that the firearm is completely unloaded, open the breech or action and look through the barrel to be sure it is clear of obstructions. If an obstruction is seen, no matter how small it may be, clean the bore with a cleaning rod and patch as described in your owner’s manual.
10. BE ALERT TO THE SIGNS OF AMMUNITION MALFUNCTION. IF YOU DETECT AN OFF SOUND OR LIGHT RECOIL WHEN A CARTRIDGE IS FIRED, DO NOT LOAD ANOTHER CARTRIDGE INTO THE CHAMBER.
If your firearm fails to fire, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction for a minimum of 30 seconds. Carefully open the action and remove the cartridge from the chamber, and completely unload the firearm as described in your owner’s manual. If the primer is indented, the defective cartridge should be disposed of in a way that cannot cause harm. If the primer is not indented, your firearm should be examined by a qualified gunsmith and the cause of the malfunction corrected before further use. Glance down the barrel to make sure that there are no obstructions in the barrel. If there is an obstruction, completely clear the barrel before loading and firing again. Failure to follow these instructions can cause extensive damage to your firearm and possible serious injury to yourself and others.
11. NEVER INSERT A CARTRIDGE OF THE INCORRECT CALIBER INTO ANY FIREARM.
The caliber of your firearm is marked on the slide. Store all cartridges of different calibers in completely separate and well-marked containers. Never store cartridges of mixed calibers in a common container or in your pockets. See your owner’s manual for more information on the correct ammunition for your firearm.
12. EXAMINE EVERY CARTRIDGE YOU PUT IN YOUR FIREARM.
We assume no responsibility for the use of unsafe or improper firearm and ammunition combinations or damage or injury caused by damaged ammunition. It is your responsibility to read and heed all warnings in this owner’s manual and on ammunition boxes. See your owner’s manual for more information on the correct ammunition for your firearm.
13. USE ONLY SAAMI APPROVED AMMUNITION.
The barrel and action of this rifle have been made with substantial safety margins over the pressures developed by established American commercial loads. Nevertheless, we can assume no liability for incidents which occur through the use of cartridges of nonstandard dimensions or which develop pressures in excess of commercially available ammunition which has been loaded in accordance with standards established by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI).
14. MAKE SURE OF ADEQUATE VENTILATION IN THE AREA THAT YOU DISCHARGE A FIREARM. LEAD EXPOSURE CAN OCCUR FROM DISCHARGING FIREARMS IN POORLY VENTILATED AREAS, CLEANING FIREARMS OR HANDLING AMMUNITION.
Lead is a substance that has been known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm and other serious injury. Wash hands thoroughly after exposure to ammunition or after cleaning a firearm.
15. DO NOT SNAP THE FIRING PIN ON AN EMPTY CHAMBER: THE CHAMBER MAY NOT BE EMPTY!
Treat every firearm with the respect due to a loaded firearm, even though you are certain the firearm is unloaded.
16. KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM THE TRIGGER AT ALL TIMES UNTIL SHOOTING IS IMMINENT.
17. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND BACKSTOP, PARTICULARLY DURING LOW LIGHT PERIODS.
Know the range of your ammunition. Never shoot at water or hard objects.
18. ALWAYS UNLOAD YOUR FIREARM’S CHAMBER BEFORE CROSSING A FENCE, CLIMBING A TREE, JUMPING A DITCH OR NEGOTIATING OTHER OBSTACLES.
Never place your firearm on or against a fence, tree, car or other similar object. For law enforcement and military personnel, refer to the procedures of your department.
19. BE DEFENSIVE AND ON GUARD AGAINST UNSAFE GUN HANDLING AROUND YOU AND OTHERS.
Don’t be timid when it comes to gun safety. If you observe other shooters violating any of these safety precautions, politely suggest safer handling practices.
20. BE CERTAIN YOUR FIREARM IS UNLOADED BEFORE CLEANING.
Because so many gun accidents occur when a firearm is being cleaned, special and extreme care should be taken to be sure your firearm is unloaded before disassembly, cleaning and reassembly. Keep ammunition away from the cleaning location. Never test the mechanical function of any firearm with live ammunition.
21. TEACH AND SUPERVISE FIREARMS SAFETY TO ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY, ESPECIALLY TO CHILDREN AND NON-SHOOTERS.
Closely supervise newcomers to the shooting sports. Encourage enrollment in hunting and shooting safety courses.
22. NEVER DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR TAKE ANY TYPE OF DRUGS BEFORE OR DURING SHOOTING.
Your vision, motor skills and judgment could be dangerously impaired, making your gun handling unsafe to you and to others.
23. READ AND HEED ALL WARNINGS IN YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL, ON AMMUNITION BOXES AND WITH ALL ACCESSORIES THAT YOU INSTALL ON YOUR FIREARM.
It is your responsibility to secure the most up-to-date information on the safe handling procedures for your firearm. We assume no liability for incidents which occur when unsafe or improper rifle accessories or ammunition combinations are used.
24. PRACTICE PERIODIC MAINTENANCE, AVOID UNAUTHORIZED SERVICING.
Your firearm is a mechanical device which will not last forever, and as such, is subject to wear and requires periodic inspection, adjustment and service.
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ALTER THE TRIGGER, SAFETY OR OTHER PARTS OF THE FIRING MECHANISM OF ANY FIREARM. FAILURE TO OBEY THIS WARNING MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS.