Owning and carrying a firearm for personal safety is a great privilege we enjoy here in Arizona and the United States – but with great power comes great responsibility. The potential for harm is as great as the potential for good. It is up to each firearm owner and user to know and practice the principles of firearm safety.
C2 Tactical offers numerous classes on handling firearms, for everyone from the newbie/beginner to the veteran users. In every class, our instructors stress the importance of handling and carrying your firearm safely. Below are some of the basic principles every handgun owner should know, practice, and teach to their family.
Treat Every Firearm as if it Were Loaded
The basics of firearm safety begin with realizing the power that comes with a firearm. When approaching or preparing to use any firearm, you do not know its condition or status. Therefore, always treat any weapon as if it were loaded and in battery, ready to fire. It may be perfectly safe – but maybe not – and it is never a risk that should be taken. Unload the firearm, eject the magazine, and open the action to visually verify the weapon is unloaded.
Unload Firearms When Not in Use
Firearms that are stored should be unloaded, and the ammunition stored safely in a separate place. “In use” includes:
- When you are at the range before the target and ready to begin firing
- Safely carrying your firearm (concealed or open)
- Keeping a ready weapon in quick-safe storage for immediate use if necessary
Keep the Muzzle Pointed in a Safe Direction
Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot. A firearm is not a laser pointer or a toy to be brandished. Always know where your weapon is pointed, and be sure it is safely up, down, or downrange.
Don’t Depend on a Firearm’s Safety Mechanism
A firearm’s safety mechanism is only a backup to the user’s good sense and practice of firearm safety. Never assume the safety is engaged and never rely on the safety to prevent pulling the trigger. Engage the safety and keep your finger and other objects away from the weapon’s trigger mechanism, unless you are ready to shoot.
Be Sure of Your Target and What is Beyond It
Knowing what you are shooting at is only half the job – you must be aware of what is beyond your target. Most firearm projectiles can penetrate objects and continue onward with deadly force. Be sure your range has a safe backstop behind targets. Whenever you draw your weapon to fire, look beyond your intended target to be sure other people, animals, or property are clear.
Always Wear Ear and Eye Protection When Firing
The sharp crack of a firearm can do significant damage to your hearing over time. Ejected casings can also damage your eyes. Always wear appropriate ear and eye protection when practicing at the range, indoor or outdoor.
Learn How to Handle the Firearm You are Using
Learning the details of the firearm you are about to use is vital. Learn how to unload, load, hold, aim, handle, clear obstructions and disassemble for cleaning. Be sure you also know how to engage the safety before handling the firearm.
Never Alter or Modify Any Firearms
No modifications or alterations should ever be made to a firearm unless by a licensed and trained gunsmith. If any problems arise in the normal use of your firearm, do not attempt repairs. Unload the weapon, lock the mechanism open and take it to a registered gunsmith for repairs.
Get Professional Firearm Safety Training
The best way to learn more about safely handling a firearm is through classes taught by professional instructors. C2 Tactical offers many different classes from gun safety to concealed carry permit to marksmanship and more. Check out all our classes and contact us today to register.