Are you worried about mishandling your gun? Do you want to make sure that you avoid making firearm safety mistakes that could prove fatal? Keep reading to learn about 10 of the most common gun safety mistakes that a lot of people overlook.
The health crisis and civil unrest in the country are driving a lot of people to take a lot of safety precautions. For many US citizens, a mark of safety comes in the form of buying firearms. The FBI made 3.64 million more background checks for gun sales this July.
However, buying a gun also means that you need to be a responsible gun owner. All old and new gun owners have to make sure that their firearms do the job of keeping people safe. Below, we’ve got a list of gun safety mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Assuming a Gun Is Empty
This one seems like an obvious no-no. Yet, a lot of gun owners are complacent when they become comfortable with handling their guns. Sometimes, they get too complacent that they skip out checking on safeties.
This can lead to accidental firing. It can even become fatal. Thus, you must always check the gun’s chamber or cylinder. Before anything else, confirm that it’s not loaded first. Better yet, make this a habit.
Also, one major reason for gun injuries and deaths is when a user assumes that a gun is empty or not loaded. The right thing to do is to assume that a firearm is always loaded. This will give you a reason to confirm first, even if you took it from someone who checked it.
2. Keeping Your Finger On the Trigger
Always keep your index finger or trigger finger off the trigger. This is another essential habit that you need to develop. The moment you first pick up a gun and while training to shoot it, make this a habit right away.
Even if you’re sure that you won’t ever move your finger, it’s better to be safe. You can’t ever guarantee how your body will react to certain situations. Even situations that don’t pose threats or cause you to feel distressed can become gruesome with one wrong move.
Muscle memory is the key to developing this gun safety habit. Each time you pick up a gun and while it’s in your hand, keep your finger off the trigger. Remember what your instructor told you—position your finger only when you’re sure of your target.
3. Careless Pointing of a Gun
Never point a gun at a direction that can harm people. Even if you’ve taken the magazine off or checked the safety of the weapon, don’t ever do it. You may hear these sentences when you’re training for shooting.
Yet, many individuals still make the mistake of point their guns in unsafe directions. The reason is that this is basic gun safety that people overlook often. They think that it’s okay to start pointing guns because they checked the safety or took out the clip.
This is not paranoia. Rather, this is how you prevent accidental shootings from happening. You can never be sure if a round is still in the chamber, even when the magazine is out.
4. Not Training to Shoot and Handle Your Gun
Some people think that it’s enough to have the basic training requirements for buying a gun. If you didn’t plan on improving your skill with a gun, why get a gun at all? Think of shooting a gun like it’s training in a sport.
If you don’t practice with it, you won’t become good at it. Shooting with accuracy will be a challenge for you. Reloading, cleaning, and troubleshooting your firearm can also become an avoidable issue.
If you want to optimize your ownership of a gun, learn how to use the weapon well. Remember that a gun is more beneficial if you know how to use it. Visit the shooting range at least once or twice a month if your schedule is too busy.
5. Using the Wrong Gun, Ammunition, and Accessories
Gun safety includes using the right ammunition and accessories for your gun. A lot of negative things can happen if you use the wrong ammo on your firearm. Firing a gun with the wrong caliber ammo can harm you and bystanders because it can explode.
It can also destroy the handgun because it won’t load right. Using cheap ammo is another mistake people often do to save on costs. Cheap or surplus ammo could be defective ammo returned, or they failed quality checks.
Also, check that the accessories you use are of high quality. Going for quality is more cost-effective because they last longer and are reliable. For example, a high-grade AR 15 foregrip is less likely to wobble or become loose during or after use.
6. Failing to Take Care of Your Gun
You have a gun cleaning kit for a reason. Use it to maintain your firearm. Remember that firearms are like your teeth. They need regular cleaning to function and last a long time.
One important thing you need to make sure before you shoot is that your barrel is clear of any obstructions. If you fail to do this and the barrel has something in it, it can bulge or burst on firing. This can injure you and bystanders.
7. Being Careless If the Gun Fails to Fire
There will be times when you’ll hit a snag while you’re shooting your firearm in the range. Your handgun is working well one second and then not firing the next. One of the biggest gun safety mistakes you can make when this happens is to look into the muzzle.
If this happens, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. With great care, open the action and unload the firearm. Also, keep your protective shooting gear on while you do this.
When a cartridge is still in the chamber after you tried to shoot it, it could go off at any time. That is why you need to remove the cartridge and dispose of it right away. Also, make sure you throw it out in the safest possible way.
8. Not Educating Family Members
Are you the first person in the household to be a gun owner? Do you live with other people who can at least hold a gun? If this is the case, then educate your family members about the firearm.
Teach your spouse how to hold a gun while pointing it in a safe direction. Expect that your kids will be curious about the firearm and may even find it “cool.” Teach them to respect the gun. Educate them on how to handle a firearm if you and your spouse agree on it.
That’s fine because they’ll have higher chances of remembering what you taught them. However, make sure that they also know that your gun is off-limits when you’re not around. As a parent, it’s also up to you to decide whether you want to teach your child to handle a gun.
This knowledge can save them in sticky situations. However, about 1 in 5 young adults die from a gunshot wound. Some of these cases happened because a teenager played around with a firearm.
9. Skipping Out on Reading Local Gun Laws
You need to read on the gun laws in the city or state you plan to visit. One big mistake that people do when they visit another place is that they don’t look up the local gun laws. For example, the gun laws in Texas are very different from the gun laws in Illinois.
You have the right to get a gun. If you have a permit to carry, then it’s your right to bring your gun with you. However, these things aren’t enough to break local gun laws.
Even if you have your license to carry with you, take the time to research the local gun laws. It’ll save you a lot of inconvenience and trouble on a trip. Also, remember that those gun laws are there to protect the general population.
10. Leaving Your Firearms Accessible to Anyone
New Mexico, Arkansas, and Mississippi had the highest burglary rates in the US. If you live in these places, you want to store your gun in a place that is easy for you to access. Yet, your gun storage also needs to keep the firearm inaccessible to burglars.
Today, you can find a lot of options for safe firearm storage. Gun safes, steel gun cabinets, and trigger locks are some of the top choices. It also helps if you memorize a plan to access your gun in case invaders enter the home.
Remember that invaders aren’t the only people you need to keep guns from. Keep your gun out of reach of children and young adults. Better yet, teach your kids to respect the firearm.
Inside the home isn’t the only place where you need to keep your gun in a safe place. You also want to make sure that your gun isn’t easy to grab when you’re carrying it. For this reason, you want to pick high-quality holsters for guns.
Be a Responsible Gun Owner By Avoiding These Gun Safety Mistakes
That ends our list of the top gun safety mistakes you need to learn to avoid. We hope this educational list helps improve how you handle a gun.
But why stop here when there’s more to learn when it comes to properly handling your firearms? From getting the right ammo to picking the right type of gun, we’ve got more content for you. If you want to see other informative gun-related content, feel free to check out our other guides.