IT’S ALWAYS LOADED!!!

I keep reading stories about people being injured from negligent discharges, and they always have one thing in common: failure to follow the four rules of gun safety. (Look to the left. There they are.) Most important is Rule 1: IT’S ALWAYS LOADED!!!!

People who forget Rule 1 tend to stop following the other rules because “it’s not loaded.” When that happens, people get shot. It’s not accidental, it’s negligent. Someone has neglected to follow the rules of gun safety. It’s no one’s fault but the person handling the gun.

If disassembling your gun is required to clean it, remember Rule 1, and remember the other rules as well. Many guns require that you pull the trigger as part of disassembling them. If this is the case, don’t rely on the fact that you checked it just a minute ago and it wasn’t loaded, or you didn’t reload it after using it. Check it immediately before pulling the trigger. Don’t just take a quick look. Take a long look. Think to yourself “magazine empty or removed – check; chamber empty – check.” Then, and only then, point the weapon in a safe direction and then pull the trigger.

If you’re teaching gun safety, and have to use a real gun to do so, don’t do it with a loaded gun, and always follow the rules.

If you follow these four rules all the time, you will never shoot anyone. Unless you mean to.

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