Gun safety is the process of handling firearms in a safe manner. When loading and unloading handguns these techniques are primary skills that must be trained so that gun handler will follow the proper procedures and be safe. Most accidents happen during administrative handling of handguns. Loading, Unloading, Cleaning, and Transporting of firearms all fall into this category.
1. Checking a gun to see if it is loaded or unloaded properly. (#1 Rule ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED)
a. Point the gun in a Safe direction (#2 Rule KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION)
b. Remove the Magazine first
Finger off the trigger and trigger guard (#3 Rule KEEP FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER AND TRIGGER GUARD UNTIL ITS TIME TO SHOOT)
c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction). If a round was in the chamber let it fall to the ground without picking it up. Bending over to pick something up with a gun in your hand is a gun safety violation
d. Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (Pointing In A Safe Direction) All these procedures are done while POINTING IN A SAFE DIRECTION. What is a safe direction? (#4 Rule KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT’S BEYOND) A safe direction is any direction you are willing to launch a bullet. For me and my students, I teach it’s pointing in a safe direction you have chosen straight ahead and parallel to the floor or ground, usually at a target or target area. Not Left or Right or Up and Down. These are not safe directions for gun safety and in most cases become bad gun handling habits.
e. Place the gun down on the shooting bench ejection port facing up in slide lock and muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
f. Unload your magazine from your support hand to your primary cupped hand
To load a handgun properly reverse the order
-Load your magazine
-Pick gun up in shooting hand finger off the trigger and muzzle pointed in a safe direction (see micro training video)
-Insert the magazine
-Put the gun into battery by either pulling the slide or releasing the slide lock keeping your finger off the trigger and pointing in a safe direction
2. Passing a gun properly from one person to another.
a. Point the gun in a safe direction
b. Remove the magazine. All while keeping your finger off the trigger and trigger guard
c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction)
Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (while pointing in a safe direction)
d. Grab the gun in slide lock position with your support hand over the open slide and pass it keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Gun Safety is a learned skill pass it to your friends and family.
Jeff Cooper’s Four Rules of Firearm Safety:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
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