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Guns are a hot-button issue in the United States. Many people don’t feel safe without a gun in their home while others are in favor of abolishing guns altogether. No matter your stance on guns, everyone agrees that gun safety is essential if you are going to own one.
If you’re thinking about buying a gun for self-protection or hunting, then it’s important that you take steps to make sure that you use and store it safely. Not sure what to do? Read on to learn how to be a responsible gun owner!
Start with Training
Long before you ever purchase a weapon, you need to take the steps necessary to safely own and operate it. Gun safety courses are essential.
Gun safety courses teach you everything you need to know about safely holding, loading, and carrying a gun. If you want to get a concealed carry license, then you may need to take additional courses and register for your license before you start carrying your gun with you in public.
Watch Your Aim
Rule number one in gun safety is that you should never, ever point your gun at someone or something unless you’re going to pull the trigger.
Even if you’re fairly certain that the gun is not loaded, you need to take care not to point your gun at anyone. Accidents happen, and they happen to even the most experienced of shooters. Many tragic gun accidents have occurred in the past because a gun that was presumed to be unloaded went off.
Acting as if every gun you hold is loaded ensures that you build a lifelong habit of respect necessary for gun ownership.
Cool Your Trigger Finger
Just like you shouldn’t point a gun at anything that isn’t a target, you shouldn’t put your finger on the trigger if you aren’t getting ready to shoot.
Many people have a habit of walking around with their fingers on the trigger of their gun, especially when they suspect that someone might be in their home or threatening them. One bump or surprise can send a bullet into whoever is on the business end of your gun.
Not only would this be a devastating situation if the victim isn’t an actual threat, but it put you in serious legal and financial jeopardy. Instead of resting your finger on the trigger, you should rest it on the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
One of the greatest parts of being a gun owner is taking your gun to a shooting range and blowing off some steam. If you’re going to opt for an outdoor range or a home-based setup, then you need to be extra careful. Make sure that the range isn’t in the direction of another person’s home or an area where people or pets might be wandering around.
If you don’t take reasonable measures to ensure that your outdoor range is secure, then any shots you take have the potential to hurt or kill passersby.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Speaking of the shooting range, you should absolutely frequent your local indoor or outdoor range.
You might think you have perfect aim, but if you aren’t practicing your shooting skills on a regular basis, then your skills will decline over time. Practicing can help you better understand how your gun works and what you need to do to shoot it accurately. It can also make you more adept at handling it in tense situations and when you’re shooting at a target that is far away.
Many shooting ranges offer advanced courses that’ll help you develop your gun handling and gun safety skills. Continued courses are especially necessary for people who experience discomfort when handling a gun, but who feel that owning a gun is necessary.
Buy a Gun Vault
Being a responsible gun owner involves more than just learning how to carry and shoot a gun safely. It also involves ensuring that your gun doesn’t get into the wrong hands. The most effective way to secure your gun is in a gun vault in your home.
Failure to securely store guns has resulted in the deaths of many family members of gun owners and the deaths of gun owners themselves. Thieves frequently target homes that are known to have guns because they have no other way to gain access to guns. Children might mistake your gun for a toy and end up hurting themselves or others.
The only way to truly secure your gun is in a vault. Gun vaults can be very small and store little more than your gun, or they can be quite large in order to safely store entire gun collections. They’re also bulky and heavy, making it difficult for thieves to cart away.
Brush Up On Your Legal Knowledge
If you’re planning on going anywhere with your gun, then you need to make sure you understand local gun laws.
For example, states like Oklahoma require gun owners to declare to police that they are carrying if they are pulled over for a traffic stop. Many states have stringent gun laws that need to be followed by people who visit from out of state.
You should also read over your lease or homeowner’s association bylaws to learn where you can and cannot have a gun.
Are You a Responsible Gun Owner?
If you want to protect yourself and your property, then owning a gun is a great way to ensure your personal safety. Once you make the decision to purchase a gun, then you need to take the steps necessary to become a responsible gun owner. Remember that continuing education is a key, and you can never be too careful when it comes to gun safety.
Do you want to learn more ways to improve your personal safety? What about protecting your finances? Check out the rest of our blog for everything you need to feel secure in every aspect of your life!