Firearms enthusiasts enjoy dealing with many different types of guns. Studying their history, design, and use is a fascinating topic for them. But no matter what particular make or model they are using, they all agree that the most important thing for a beginning gun user is to have a solid foundation in gun safety. From there, a lifetime of enjoyment in hunting and sport shooting can be safely built. Remember these basics as a starting point in your knowledge of firearms.

Every Gun Is Loaded

That is not actually true, but that is the mindset you should have. There is obviously no danger in an unloaded firearm, but casual habits developed in handling an empty gun can be hard to overcome when it does have ammunition on board. The safest policy is to treat every gun as if it is loaded.

Ask Yourself If You Can Shoot What You Are Pointing At

Along the same line, you must assume that your firearm could discharge at any time. Again, good equipment and habits will not allow this to happen, but those habits can only be built with a consistent practice of never pointing a weapon at anything that you would not shoot. That means keeping the weapon pointed at the ground or the sky until a target is in view.

Always Use the Safety

A safety is a lifesaving device. You should always have it engaged until you are absolutely ready to fire. This eliminates the need to chamber a round when a target is in view, saving valuable time in a hunting or personal defense situation. With a simple move of the thumb, the firearm is ready much faster to be used during that narrow window, and it is much safer before the window.

Store Firearms Safely

The greatest hazard in a home is an unsecured gun. Use an appropriate safe or rack to store all weapons, and be sure it is solid and reliable. Whether it is a small handgun or a 9mm Semi Automatic Rifle, proper storage and security are essential. Utilize trigger locks to prevent unauthorized or accidental use, and log your serial numbers in case of theft.

Guns are an important tool for safety and a vital part of an outdoor lifestyle. But the only way they can provide those benefits is when we handle, use, and store them appropriately. Make firearms education a part of your gun ownership process.

Author's Bio: 

Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2