It’s no secret that guns have long been an important part of American culture. In fact, for many American families, firearms are as important as church, apple pie, and the Fourth of July.

If you’re new to the world of shooting guns, there are plenty of things you’ll need to understand. This includes learning gun safety. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for advice.

This article takes a look at some of the most important gun safety tips that every beginner needs to know. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on how to have the safest shooting experience possible.

1. Always Treat Your Gun as if it’s Fully Loaded and Ready to Fire

The first rule in gun safety is to treat your firearm as if it’s loaded. In other words, you should never assume it’s empty.

Accidents happen every day, and the best way to avoid them is to treat your gun with total respect. Even if you’re certain it’s empty, keep your finger off the trigger and keep the muzzle pointed to the ground until you’re ready to aim at the target. This way, even if it accidentally discharges, there’s less chance of anyone getting injured.

2. Always Keep Your Finger off the Trigger

The second rule is to keep your finger away from the trigger until it’s aimed at a target. Keep in mind that gun triggers tend to be extremely sensitive. This means they can fire when slightly bumped.

The trigger guard is there to minimize accidents, and you can minimize potential accidents even more by never putting your finger inside the trigger guard until you’ve already aimed the weapon and are prepared to fire.

3. Always Keep Your Gun Unloaded When Not In Use

Many people get in the bad habit of keeping their guns loaded. This is incredibly dangerous.

Keep in mind that there’s no reason to keep a shotgun or hunting rifle loaded when not in the field. After all, there’s nothing to shoot at. Always unload your firearm prior to getting in your vehicle, and store the ammunition away from the weapon at home.

If you own a firearm for self-defense and choose to keep it loaded, you’d be wise to invest in a trigger lock in order to reduce the chances of a potential accident. This is especially important when there are children living in the house.

Check out these concealed carry firearms.

4. Always Wear Eye and Ear Protection

Guns are loud. This might be obvious, and yet many people fail to wear proper protection for their eyes and ears. This is a big mistake that could result in a loss of hearing or eye injury.

Invest in quality earplugs or over-the-ear protection to prevent damage to the inner ear. Also be aware that when a gun is fired, there is potential for small fragments of metal or dirt to strike your eyes, leading to serious injury or even blindness.

Most experienced marksmen understand the importance of owning quality shooting glasses and ear protection, even when hunting.

5. Always Clean Your Gun After Every Use

It’s important to keep your gun clean at all times. So the first thing your need to learn is how to dismantle your gun and clean it properly.

Why is it so crucial to clean your gun? Great question.

Keep in mind that bullets create a certain amount of debris when fired. When the debris remains inside the gun, it could easily cause the gun to malfunction at a future time.

For example, the gun might not fire properly, or a cartridge could get jammed inside the chamber, leading to serious injury.

Even if you only fire your gun once between cleaning, it still needs to be cleaned to keep it in optimal operating condition. In fact, you don’t even have to wait until it’s been fired to clean and oil it. This ensures that it’s ready to go the next time you head to the shooting range.

It’s a good idea to keep your cleaning kit in the car so that you clean it before heading back to the house.

6. Always Keep the Muzzle Pointed at the Ground

Never point your gun at anyone. This is one of the primary safety rules for owning a firearm.

Even if the gun is empty and the chamber is open, there’s never any excuse to point your muzzle at anything you don’t intend to shoot at.

Always keep the muzzle pointed at the ground. It’s really just that simple. This is the best way to prevent an accident from happening and is just a really good habit to get into.

7. Always Store Your Firearm in a Locked Gun Safe

Do you have a gun safe at home? If not, you should serious consider investing in one. This is the best way to keep someone from finding the gun and causing an accident. Make sure the safe requires a combination to open it, and even think about purchasing a fireproof gun safe if you want something a little more secure.

And if you don’t have a safe, always keep firearms hidden and store out of reach where little hands can’t find them.

8. Never Shoot at a Target You Can’t See

Never shoot blindly. In other words, never fire at a target that you can’t see. In fact, you should always have a clear view of your target so that you can take a clean shot.

This is especially important when hunting in the woods, where visibility might be limited due to trees, fog, or rain. Never assume you know what you’re shooting at if you aren’t able to fully identify your target by sight.

9. Never Handle a Gun While Using Alcohol or Drugs

Here is an important gun safety tip to remember: Never mix guns with alcohol or drugs. After all, you need to have a clear mind and fully in control of your action when handling a firearm.

This means never drinking or taking any type of drug before or while shooting. Wait until you’re fully sober so that you can keep you and everyone around you as safe as possible.

A Guide to Basic Gun Safety Tips for Beginners

Learning to shoot a gun can be one of the great experiences of life. Fortunately, these gun safety tips will help keep you safe whether you’re a beginner or an old pro.

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