Owning a weapon is a constitutional right in America.

It’s also one that 30% of Americans choose to exercise. That’s correct, roughly 100 million people in the United States personally own at least one firearm.

Just because it’s written into the constitution doesn’t mean you should ever operate a gun in ignorance. Let’s not forget that these are deadly weapons. The truth is, terrible things can happen when you put a gun in the hands of an inexperienced individual.

It’s of utmost importance that anyone interested in gun ownership understands basic gun safety tips. Even people who never plan to personally own one can benefit from such insight.

After all, you never know what life’s going to throw at you. Having some basic knowledge of holding and firing a weapon might one day come in handy.

Ready to learn?

Read on for six essential tips for the safe handling and operation of firearms.

1. Treat it With Respect

Rule number one: Always treat your gun with respect.

You might want to wave it around and pretend you’re in a gangster movie. But don’t! Complacency of any kind is what kills.

The disaster might not happen straight away. Yet any careless attitude towards gun ownership can set a precedent for the future. You never know what trouble that might cause somewhere down the line.

Treat the gun with due care from the outset and you’re far less likely to suffer a problem.

One way to approach this is to imagine/assume that it’s loaded at all times. Assuming you’re one trigger pull away from death is a sure-fire way to give you respect for the weapon.

2. Never Point It in Gest

This one’s an extension of our last tip.

However, the high frequency of this particular gun-ownership no-no means it’s worth mentioning in more depth.

For one reason or another, some people decide it’d be funny to point their weapon at other people or things. It goes without saying how dangerous that can be.

Make a concerted effort to only ever point your gun at something you intend to shoot. On all other occasions, ensure it’s pointed in a safe direction.

3. Never Store a Loaded Gun

Always remove the ammunition from your weapon when it isn’t in use.

We’ve all heard those horror stories of unknowing kids (or even adults) finding a gun in the house. They don’t know that it’s loaded and start playing around. Before they know it they’ve hurt or even killed themselves or others.

Storing guns with bullets in them is a recipe for disaster. Don’t do it.

If you’re worried about being unready for home intruders or other emergency situations, then simply keep the ammunition close by. That way you have it on hand in an emergency without endangering yourself or others in the interim.

4. Keep Your Finger off the Trigger

Accident prevention is the name of the game when it comes to gun ownership.

You never want to put yourself in a position where you can do unintentional harm to yourself or others. We’ve already been through a few tips on how to do that. Here’s another: Only have your finger over the trigger immediately prior to the shot.

In other words, don’t walk around with your finger on the trigger, and definitely don’t run with your finger on the trigger! It’s called trigger discipline, and it’s pivotal.

After all, it’s natural to tense up in a stressful situation. If you’re surprised by something (and your finger’s on the trigger), then your fist might clench. Your finger can pull back, thereby unintentionally firing off a round.

5. Be Aware of Your Environment and Target

Imagine that you’ve gone to a makeshift range to practice with your weapon.

You’ve lined up a target in your yard, or on any other open bit of land. You load your weapon, take your stance, and line up the shot.

Now stop for a second.

Have you done any sort of assessment of the environment? Remember that the target won’t necessarily stop the bullet. Do you know for sure that there isn’t something or someone downrange that could get hit with it?

The same goes for when you’re out hunting.

What’s the worst-case-scenario if you miss the shot? Who else is around? What other animals or objects are in the vicinity?

Be forever vigilant and situationally aware. Only take the shot when you’re 100% sure you’re in the clear to do so.

6. Wear Protection

Your own personal welfare is, of course, paramount when shooting a weapon.

However, some people don’t realize that it isn’t just the bullet that can cause damage. For example, guns aren’t exactly known for being quiet! This is a high-velocity firearm that makes one considerable bang as you pull the trigger.

Shoot off a gun too close to your ears and they’ll be ringing for some time into the future. It’s also possible to do more long-lasting damage- especially if you’re firing with considerable frequency.

Your eyes can suffer too. Without due care, tiny particles, solvents, and springs can all pop off and into your eyes.

As such, wearing personal protective equipment, such as hearing protection and shooting glasses is vital.

Remember These Gun Safety Tips

Millions of people exercise their second amendment right to own a firearm in America.

However, just because it’s a legal right doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency. With a lethal weapon in your hands, it’s critical to learn how to handle it safely.

Hopefully, the gun safety tips in this post will help you do exactly that.

Keep them in mind to ensure that you and the people in your environment remain safe and sound.

Want to read more articles like this? Search ‘gun’ on the website now.