Top 10 Firearm Safety Tips!
By JPT Captain, Clay Ellis-Escobar
In the off season during the summer months, you may be getting out to the Sporting Clays Course or trap field to work on your wingshooting skills. This is a good time to also brush up on your shotgun safety knowledge.
In my last blog, I wrote about Sporting Clays Courses, so far this is my favorite form of practice.
Additionally in a previous blog, I wrote about what I learned at my hunter safety course. A part of that course was how it outlined some of the most important rules when handling and shooting a shotgun. When I was taking the course in my home state of Illinois, the instructors used a safety education book called “Today’s Hunter in Illinois, a guide to hunting responsibly and safely”.
Here Are the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety according to that book.
- Watch that muzzle! Always have your muzzle pointed in a safe direction. It should be out of the way of anyone you may be with or any other game you’re not hunting for.
- Treat every firearm as if it was loaded. Even if you think it's not, there is the chance that your gun could still be loaded.
- Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond. Know what distance you’re comfortable shooting - and be aware of what’s behind your target.
- Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until ready to shoot. Always be safe with the trigger guard, especially when you're hunting with someone else.
- Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure that the barrel is clear and that you have the correct type of ammunition for the firearm you have.
- Unload firearm when not in use. When carrying your firearm to and from the shooting area, make sure to unload it and leave the action open.
- Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Never horseplay with a loaded or unloaded gun.
- Don’t run, jump, or climb with a loaded gun. Unload your firearm before climbing a fence or tree or jumping a ditch. Never pull a firearm by the muzzle. Always pull it by the butt or stock.
- Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Make sure to store both your firearm and your ammunition away from children and unsafe adults.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. I know this does not apply to any of us on the Junior Pro Team, but it is very important and something to be aware of when shooting or hunting with other people.
Thank you for taking the time to revisit these safety tips with me. These all help ensure a safe shooting environment for everyone. Till next time, See you Outdoors!