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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basic Firearm Safety For Hunters

Every year, hundreds of hunting accidents occur across America; just ask Vice President Cheney. Most of these accidents can be avoided by observing a few basic gun safety techniques.

Know your weapon. Read your owner’s manual from cover to cover. Take your weapon apart and reassemble it a few times, inspecting it thoroughly. When you know what your weapon should like normally, you will quickly recognize anything unusual going on with the weapon in the field. Did you drop your weapon or fall while carrying it, be sure to take the time to take it apart and inspect it for damage. Be sure that the slide moves smoothly. If you are ever unsure about the integrity of your rifle, DON’T fire it! Your life isn’t worth a mistake here!

Be well educated about the ammunition that you choose to use. Did you know that a .22 caliber bullet fired from a rifle can travel over two and a half miles? You need to know this type of information to line up a safe shot.

Transporting the weapon. Make sure you keep your weapon unloaded until you are ready to fire. If you are moving to a new hunting spot, always unload your weapon before starting out. The rifle and ammunition should be stored separately and, if possible, keep the storage container locked. Never carry a loaded weapon in your vehicle or on an ATV.

Sighting your prey. Once you have sighted your intended shot, consider many things before pulling the trigger. Never shoot at a partially obscured target. You should always identify your prey fully before you even raise your weapon to take that shot. If there is any doubt about what is moving, don’t get too excited, wait until the target can be fully seen and identified. Never hunt after dusk or before daybreak.

Know what is around, in front of and behind your target before you shoot. Since you cannot identify anything that may be behind your target, don’t fire at animals on hilltops and near the tops of ridges. If your game is near water, rocks, or buildings, remember that bullets might ricochet off hard surfaces. Don’t use only the gun’s scope to sight your game. Use your binoculars first. If you have a clear shot, switch to the scope.

Treat your weapon as if it is loaded at all times. Never, ever look down the barrel of your weapon for any reason! Always point your muzzle away from yourself and other people. Learn and use various safe carrying positions for transporting your rifle in the field.

Always keep a clear head. You should never go hunting or handle a weapon if you have taken any alcohol or medication that can impair your judgment. Even a sleeping pill the night before can affect your reflexes during the day.

Get plenty of rest the night before your trip and go back home or to camp early if you find yourself becoming drowsy. Sighting a big buck or a fat bird is exciting. But it’s extremely important to keep a level head all the time. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment. Never allow yourself to act without thinking through the action until you can first determine if it’s safe.

Wear your safety gear. Make sure you bring along and use your hearing and eye protection. Include safety orange in your selection of head gear and upper body clothing. This can save your life by helping other hunters in the area distinguish you from the prey.

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the ten commandments of gun safety should always be followed thanks for the reminder Charlotte

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* Parents' Guide To Gun Safety
* Training Programs
* Education & Training Programs

NRA Gun Safety Rules
Available as a brochure

The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:

1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.

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 gun 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 gun 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.

* Cleaning
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. this is a link to get more infonormally outside links are not allowed but this is too important an issue NRA Gun Safety Rules

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My memories...

As a child, my dad taught me to use his pistol, but I couldn't tell you now what type it was. I just remember at about 6 years old standing between his legs as he stooped down to brace me, and him instructing me on proper gun safety before he'd let me shoot it. He taught my brothers to hunt and about the importance of safety with their weapons. One of the three lives in Montana and still hunts today as does his three sons, and the safety instruction is still strongly taught and enforced.

This is such an important a subject when a life is at stake, that it simply can't be stated too often. Know your weapon and the proper/safe way to use and store it and you can enjoy an excellent outdoor sport while feeding your family at the same time, not to mention the memories you make while you do it. A win-win situation all the way around. :smile:

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i learned at 6 too:wink: got my own winchester pellet gun
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