The Basics of FIREARMS SAFETY on the CPSC range
As a firearms owner and/or user, you must take responsibility for the
handling and storage of your guns. You are taking the first step
this guide. Firearms safety is up to you!
1. HANDLE ALL FIREARMS AS IF THEY WERE LOADED.
Never forget that a gun has the potential to produce serious
injury or death
in a single instant of carelessness. Make safe gun handling a habit
followed at all times. After you determine that a gun is unloaded,
handle it as if it were loaded.
2. ALWAYS KEEP THE FIREARM POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION.
In selecting a safe direction, you must also take into consideration
bullet can ricochet or glance off any object it strikes, and that bullets
penetrate walls, ceilings, floors and windows.
Remember: You should never point a gun (whether loaded
or unloaded) at
another person or yourself.
3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OUT OF THE GUN'S TRIGGER GUARD AND OFF
THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU HAVE ALIGNED THE GUN'S SIGHTS ON A
SAFE TARGET AND YOU HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO FIRE.
By keeping your finger completely outside the trigger guard until
aimed at the target, you guarantee that any shots you fire will go
the direction of your intended target.
4. ALWAYS BE CERTAIN THAT YOUR TARGET AND THE
SURROUNDING AREA ARE SAFE BEFORE FIRING.
Remember that a bullet can travel as much as several miles, so
be certain of what your bullet could strike before you pull the trigger.
fire at a movement, a noise, a flash of color or a rustling bush
positively identifying your intended target.
5. WHENEVER YOU HANDLE A FIREARM, THE FIRST THING YOU
SHOULD DO (WHILE KEEPING IT POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION WITH
YOUR FINGER OUTSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD) IS TO OPEN THE ACTION
TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THE FIREARM IS LOADED.
If you don't know the proper way to open the action of a particular
don't handle it. Instead, consult the owner's manual, your local gun
a more knowledgeable shooter. Do not experiment.
6. THOROUGHLY READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL SUPPLIED WITH
Never use any firearm unless you completely understand its operation
safety features. If you do not have an instruction manual, contact
retail store where you purchased your gun or the manufacturer directly
request that one be furnished to you.
7. BEFORE FIRING YOUR WEAPON, YOU SHOULD ROUTINELY MAKE
SURE THAT YOUR FIREARM IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER AND THAT
THE BARREL IS CLEAR OF DIRT AND OBSTRUCTIONS.
Any obstruction that prevents the bullet from moving easily down the
can cause pressure to build up in the weapon. A small bit of mud, gun
excess lubricating oil, or rust can cause pressure to build to the
the barrel bulges or bursts upon firing, resulting in a damaged gun
serious bodily injury to the shooter or those around him.
8. ONLY USE AMMUNITION RECOMMENDED BY THE FIREARM
MANUFACTURER, AND ALWAYS BE CERTAIN THAT THE AMMUNITION
MATCHES THE CALIBER OF YOUR GUN
Most modern firearms have their caliber stamped into the barrel (for
example, ".38 Special" or ".22 Long Rifle"). Your box of ammunition
bear the exact same designation. Just because a cartridge fits
gun doesn't mean it is safe to fire! Firearms are designed, manufactured,
and tested to standards based on factory loaded ammunition. Hand-loaded
reloaded ammunition deviating from factory specifications should
used. Use only the correct ammunition for your firearm. Attempting
even a single improper bullet can destroy your gun and cause serious
personal injury or death.
9. QUALITY EAR AND EYE PROTECTION SHOULD ALWAYS BE WORN
WHEN SHOOTING OR OBSERVING.
Exposure to the noise of gunfire can permanently damage your hearing
protection is not worn. Shooting glasses, preferably with side panels,
guard against eye injuries from ejected cases and the splash-back of
and fragments from the backstop. Wearing eye protection when
disassembling and cleaning your gun will also prevent eye injuries
loosened springs or other parts, as well as from aerosol solvents and
10. NEVER USE FIREARMS WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
Handling and using a firearm requires your full and continuous attention,
alertness, and unimpaired judgment. Avoid handling firearms while
prescription medicines which can make you drowsy, slow your reflexes,
impair your normal senses or judgment.
11. ALL FIREARMS SHOULD BE STORED UNLOADED AND SECURED IN
A SAFE STORAGE CASE, INACCESSIBLE TO CHILDREN AND
12. THE TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS IS REGULATED BY LOCAL
LAWS. ALWAYS TRANSPORT YOUR FIREARM IN A SAFE, UNLOADED
CONDITION AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS.
REMEMBER - no set of rules can cover all possible situations. The safe
rational use of a firearm depends on the common sense and proper training
of the user. Always follow safety rules and THINK before using any
FIREARMS SAFETY DEPENDS ON YOU.
Copyright © 2002 CPSC All