First. Foremost. Always! As Harry Potterfield from MidwayUSA says, “Firearms safety is your responsibility.”
Directly from the NRA:
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
When using or storing a gun, always follow these NRA rules:
- Know your target and what is beyond.
- Know how to use the gun safely.
- Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
- Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
- Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
- Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
- Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
- Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded.
In addtion to the above, Remington’s 10 Commandment of Firearms Safety also reminds us:
- Don’t rely solely on your gun’s safety. (Your safety, if equipped is to be in conjunction with NOT as a replacement for safe handling.)
- If you gun fails to fire when you pull the trigger, handle with care. Continue to follow other safe handling procedures, especially to keep the muzzle in a safe direction.
- Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
- Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.