Gun Safety Rules

  1. Always treat every gun as if it is loaded. If you follow this rule all the others follow naturally.
  2. Always keep the muzzle of a gun pointed in a safe direction. At a shooting range, your safe direction is always downrange. This rule still applies even when loading, unloading, or cleaning the gun. Be certain of your target and what is beyond it before you pull the trigger.
  3. Don’t touch the trigger until you are ready to fire. Also have the gun pointed at a safe target.
  4. Keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. Unload a gun immediately after you use it.
  5. Always use the safety, but never trust it. Just because you turn the safety on does not mean you can forget rule #1.

Additional Rules

These are good rules but mostly flow naturally from the above rules


  • Always obey a range officer’s commands immediately.
  • If a gun doesn’t shoot when you pull the trigger: keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and take your finger off the trigger; wait thirty seconds in case of a delayed firing; unload the gun carefully, hold up your free arm while facing down range to ask the range officer for help if you need it.
  • Never horseplay with a gun or use it as a toy.
  • Clean firearms every time they have been used.
  • Only use ammunition which exactly matches the markings on your gun.
  • Always read a gun’s manual and follow the manual’s instructions exactly.
  • Always wear adequate eye and ear protection when shooting.
  • Keep the barrel and action clear of obstructions.
  • Store ammunition and guns separately out of reach of children and careless adults.
  • Store guns with the action open.
  • Practice operating a gun empty before you attempt to load and shoot it.
  • When you transport a gun in a vehicle, make sure it is unloaded and safely contained in a gun case.
  • Never lean a firearm where it may slip and fall.
  • Do not use alcohol or mood-altering drugs, including medication, when you are handling guns.
  • If you need corrective lenses, always wearing them when handling a gun.
  • Know the effective range and the maximum range of a firearm and the ammunition you have.
  • When cleaning a gun, make sure it is unloaded and all ammunition is in a different room or in a closed container away from the cleaning area.