In owning a firearm, you must undertake full-time responsibility for your firearm’s safety and security. You must protect yourself and all others against injury from the firearm. In particular, you must secure firearms from children or those who act like children.
Many safety features are incorporated in firearms. For your safety and the safety of others, do not rely on mechanical features alone. Only your safe gun-handling habits will ensure the safe use of your firearm. This is your responsibility. Accidents do not just happen. Accidents are the result of violating the rules of safe gun handling and common sense. Insure the safe use of firearms. Follow these essential safety instructions and warnings.
- Never point a firearm at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Before handling any firearm, understand its operation.
- Always have your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
- Keep your firearm unloaded when not in use.
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Never pass your firearm to another person until the cylinder or action is open and you visually check that it is unloaded.
- Place your finger inside the trigger guard only when you are ready to fire.
- If you must carry a loaded firearm always carry it with the muzzle pointing in a safe direction. Never carry or store firearms with the hammer in the cocked position.
- Do not allow a firearm to be used by individuals who do not understand its safe operation and the rules of safe gun-handling.
- Be sure all accessories, such as holsters and grips, are compatible with the firearm and that the accessories do not interfere with safe operation.
- When transporting your firearm, be sure your firearm is unloaded and that the cylinder or action is open.
- Store your firearm unloaded. Safe and secure storage is one of your most important responsibilities.
Store your unloaded firearm and ammunition separately and in places inaccessible to children and unauthorized persons.
PREPARATION FOR FIRING
- Wear safety glasses and ear protection whether indoors or out.
- Select a place to shoot which has a safe backstop, is free from obstructions and water surfaces which cause ricochets.
- Always be aware of other people so that persons cannot accidentally walk into the line of fire.
- Position the shooter and all others so that they are not within an area where they may be struck by ejected cases.
- Keep fingers and other pares of your body away from the muzzle.
- When firing on a target range, be alert and follow the range officer’s commands.
- Before anyone is allowed forward of the firing position, be sure that all cylinders and actions of firearms are open, that chambers are clear of cartridges, magazines are removed, and that firearms are pointing in a safe direction.
- Never use alcoholic beverages or other drugs before or during shooting.
- Be alert at all times. Never shoot if you are tired, cold or impaired in any way.
- Never cross obstacles such as fences or streams with a loaded firearm.
- If you are carrying a loaded firearm in the field, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Think before shooting.
- A firearm and ammunition are a system. Their performance is closely related.
- Your firearm has been designed for ammunition of a specific type and caliber, do not alter the barrel, slide, or chamber of your gun.
- Use only ammunition specifically recommended by the manufacturer or your firearm. Never mix ammunition.
- Use only commercially manufactured ammunition.
- Never use a cartridge not specifically designed for use in your firearm. Excessive pressure can damage or even blow up any firearm.
- Ammunition with velocities and pressures higher than those for which the firearm was designed, will subject the firearm to additional stress and may cause excessive wear.
- If your firearm fails to fire when the hammer falls (misfires), keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, remove your finger from the trigger, wait 10 seconds, remove the cartridge from the chamber and dispose of it properly.
- If you hear an unusual sound or feel an unusual recoil when firing, stop firing, wait 10 seconds, unload the firearm, and examine the barrel bore for obstructions.
- Make sure your barrel is clear and free of obstruction. If you see an obstruction, have the firearm serviced by a qualified, licensed gunsmith. Never fire a firearm with an obstructed barrel.
TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
- Safe firearms transportation and storage are your responsibility.
- When transporting your firearm, whether in cars, trucks, boats, planes or other vehicles, be sure your firearm is unloaded and that the cylinder or action is open.
- Never store your firearm in a loaded condition.
- Store you unloaded firearms and ammunition in places inaccessible to children.
- Store you unloaded firearm and ammunition separately and securely.
- Protect your firearms from theft.
- Protect your firearms from misuse by untrained, unqualified or incompetent persons.
- Obey all laws relating to the transportation of firearms.
When storing, do not encase your firearm in anything which will attract moisture, for example leather or heavy cloth. Also, do not store guns with a plug inserted in the barrel for this is a contributing factor to moisture accumulation. If your firearm is to be stored for an extended period, the bore, chamber and internal working mechanism should be oiled with an acid-free lubricating oil or preservative, and the external working mechanisms, frame and barrel should be coated with an antirust oil. Before using your firearm again, be sure to clean it. Every time you clean your firearm, check it for signs of wear. If wear is noted, do not use the firearm. Take it to a qualified gunsmith and have it checked.
If your firearms will be used or stored in a cold climate, be sure to use an oil which will not congeal at low temperatures.