4 Gun Safety Rules

Safety, we all want to be safe. Actually, safety is probably the primary reason thousands upon thousands of Americans have made the decision to seek a concealed carry permit…we want to be safe in a very unsafe world. But that desire to be safe by using a tool such as a gun brings with it an awesome responsibility…the safe handling of your tool, and while the shirt on the left is “cute”, it doesn’t represent any of the 4 Gun Safety Rules.

In the gun community there is a basic set of rules that everyone is taught and the breaking of those rules often results in serious negative feedback from the members of the community. I have seen the 10 Basic Handgun Safety Rules, the 6 Handgun safety rules, etc., etc. Today, I’m going to deal with the most basic 4 Gun Safety Rules and we’ll leave it at that. These rules should be known and memorized until they are second nature…they may save the life of a family member or friend some day.

It would stand to reason that you wouldn’t carry a pitchfork with the points under your chin as you walked through the field nor would you hang a noose around your neck with the trail dangling as you crossed a busy street…it is obvious certain tools have inherent dangers associated with them…as do guns.

How many times have you regrettably heard a news report of a child, or sometimes even an adult, who picked up a weapon, and thinking it was unloaded, jokingly fired it in the direction of a friend or family member? Too often, sadly that is the loudest “bang” that person will ever hear!!! So these 4 Gun Safety Rules were developed to prevent what is known as an accidental discharge…an unintended firing of a weapon. And if not to prevent it, at least to minimize the negative impact should it happen nevertheless.

4 Gun Safety Rules

  1.  Never point the weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy (this is known as muzzle awareness. A gun in a holster points to the floor; it should never be outside the holster unless it is pointed at a specific target…either paper or threat. Hence, even when cleaning a gun, the owner should be certain the muzzle will not sweep past any living creature)
  2.  Treat every gun as a loaded gun…EVEN IF YOU JUST VERIFIED IT IS UNLOADED. (This creates a respect for the gun’s potential for harm and creates in your mind an aversion to ever handling the gun in a less than absolutely serious way. Understand I used to play Cowboys and Indians (sorry, Tonto) as a child. I learned these rules as an adolescent when I no longer had plastic “guns”…I do not fear of little children playing with toy guns, I did and I’ve never misused them nor have any of my children or grandchildren).
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are bringing your weapon into the position of firing. (As you train, so will you do when you are under massive physiological and psychological stress as is the case in a gun fight. It is said you will be half as good as your best day at the range…take no chances, some triggers can be activated more easily when a person is shaking or wearing a glove.)
  4. Be certain of your target and everything surrounding it. (Certainly you wouldn’t want to accidentally shoot an innocent bystander or a child or someone’s dog. It is your responsibility to be sure you know what is in front of, behind and to the sides of your target…and under stressful conditions, this is almost impossible given the nature of the physiological reaction to stress…but you are responsible nevertheless. One the bullet has left the muzzle you are responsible for everything it encounters).

These are the 4 Gun Safety Rules that are most basic within the gun community. If you are going to have a weapon in your home, your children MUST know these rules. While my own children are now grown, when my grandchildren and their friends visit, they know Papa Dave may quiz them at any time on the 4 rules. They are expected to know them because, with their parents permission, I have taught the rules to them…and they do know them. The 9 to 11 year olds are expecting to go shooting to the range with me and one of the rules laid down was that they must know these basic safety rules or they will be excluded from those events. You’d be surprised what efforts a young kid will go through in school and at home in order to be able to take a trip to the target range with their father or grandfather…a real bonding event for both the boys and girls.

Guns are tools…nothing to be afraid of unless the muzzle is pointing in your direction by the hand of someone untrained or the hand of someone intending on doing you harm. I am not afraid of a pitchfork, nor a noose…I have a righteous and appropriate fear of evil men intent on doing me harm. In the gun community we have a saying, “I am the weapon, the gun is merely one of my tools.” Observe a mother whose child is being harmed, if she doesn’t have a gun…doesn’t matter, she will do everything she can, with everything at her disposal to save her child…you see, the tool is just a tool, she becomes the weapon.

I thought of what images I could offer you to keep your interest and also what other training I could recommend. And try as I might to come up with something new, I just don’t think there is any better more comprehensive training available for under a couple hundred bucks then the training program I’ve already recommended, and reviewed, referenced below.

Product Details
The Armed American’s Complete Concealed Carry Guide To Effective Self-Defense

I have it and I recommend it, it is thorough, comprehensive and user-friendly. Do you think that’s a cop-out or do you know of a better training…remember it must be comprehensive and under a Two hundred?

Be safe, keep safe!

Papa Dave


4 thoughts on “4 Gun Safety Rules

  1. This is a very detailed post, Papa Dave, I enjoyed reading it. I’ve never held a gun as not many countries allow you to but I’ve always wanted to have one. Not for fun of course, but for safety as there as been so many break-ins in my area and just last week, my neighbor just in front of my house got robbed. I called the police but they only came half an hour later which is way too late and this seems to always be the case.

    Though this has nothing to do with gun safety, I’m determined to learn bit by bit just in case and your site helped a lot. I shared your site on my social media, keep up the good work Papa Dave 😀

    1. Thanks, Riaz for your kind comments. Regrettably the vast majority of people in the world believe the police are there to protect them against danger, robbery, assault, etc. but the fact is, the likelihood of having an officer be available to you at the time a criminal is engaging in their mischief is probably as rare as being struck by lightning. I have to be honest, it happened to me once when I was in my thirties that two plainclothes officers turned a corner and jumped between me and five troubled youths…it was wild, unbelievable and I was astounded but I don’t think it is likely. Police normally show up to scare off the trouble makers or to clean up the mess and do the paperwork. Those of us who are able consider it our responsibility to be prepared to protect ourselves, families and homes. In the study of the topic I have done, I have learned the gun is a tool, you are the weapon. If I have no gun, I have studied ways to defend myself. There are videos available. Perhaps I will prepare a post on one of the self-defense systems I have been exposed to. I will send you a private message relating to another matter. My best to you! Keep safe! Papa Dave

  2. Love this post. I feel like people don’t also go over some gun safety rules. They go right over it and assume people know everything rule wise. So glad I have found a great post about gun safety.

    1. Hey! Thanks for taking the time to comment. You and I share our concern for gun safety. While I am a very strong proponent of concealed carry, and while my own home state requires eight hours of training, including time on the range, I still have concerns that many qualify for their permits but fail to keep their skills and knowledge up to snuff. The more potential an activity has for injury to self and others, the greater the responsibility to keep oneself highly skilled not only at firing the gun and hitting the target but also handling the weapon. Police officers are admittedly considered to be the most professional handlers of firearms, yet it is a known fact, too many accidents occur within their own ranks. They obviously have been taught the skills and they certainly have the knowledge but the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt” may well be applicable…not that they have contempt for firearms but rather they develop a certain familiarity which leads to a form of carelessness. Having personally handled firearms for forty plus years, I occasionally get a bit concerned that I may rely too much on my “experience” and become less cautious; hence, the reason I decided to review the basics of handgun handling. I appreciate your comments, be safe! Papa Dave

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