People are buying guns in record numbers. In January, there were a record number of background checks for guns.

In fact, the FBI completed more than 4.3 million background checks. This number was considerably more than the 2.7 million who applied in January of the prior year.

Many of these background checks are for first-time gun owners. New gun owners have a lot to learn. On top of that list are gun safety rules that help prevent tragic accidents.

Read on for gun safety tips that every owner needs to know. Explore 5 gun safety rules that will make you a responsible owner.

1. Lock It Away

Lock It Away

The first step to gun safety is storing it in a safe place. Guns should not be visible and easily accessible.

Of course, this step is critical if you have young children. With children, guns need to be stored in a safe or lockbox.

Your children should not have access to the key or safe code. Ideally, the gun room should be unknown to the children. There are some rare exceptions when children are responsible and trained in safe gun operations.

Proper storage is necessary even if you do not have children. The last thing you want is a visitor or intruder having access to your weapon.

2. Store It Unloaded

Guns should not be loaded during storage or transportation. This is a proven method for reducing the number of gun accidents.

Many mistakenly believe that a loaded gun is necessary to quickly respond to intruders. A trained gun operator can insert a magazine or load a shotgun within seconds. These few seconds are a small trade-off to help reduce accidents.

3. Point the Firearm in a Safe Direction

Guns should always be pointed in a safe direction. The general rule of thumb is to only point guns at targets you intend to shoot.

At the gun range, shooters load their weapon with it constantly pointed downrange. Gun owners must consider that bullets ricochet off walls, ceilings, and other objects. This means that simply pointing up or down is not sufficient for gun safety.

4. Finger Off the Trigger

Finger Off the Trigger

This is one of the easiest gun safety rules to follow. Simply do not put your finger on the trigger unless you plan to fire.

This simple tip drastically reduces the number of gun accidents. It is a great habit to form and prevents any unintended shots from firing.

5. Proper Operation and Maintenance of Your Gun

For starters, make sure you use the proper ammunition for your weapon. Also, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance procedures.

This includes cleaning the gun and servicing the internal components. Guns periodically require inspection and adjustment. Doing all of these steps ensures that the gun fires properly and unsafe conditions do not set in.

A Recap of Gun Safety Rules

A Recap of Gun Safety Rules

We have all read tragic stories in the news about gun accidents. The truth is gun mishaps are statistically rare.

Proper storage and operation of your firearm are key to preventing accidents. Steps like keeping your gun unloaded and keeping up with the maintenance go a long way.

If you enjoyed this article about gun safety rules, check out our blog for more great content.

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