When handling, using, or storing any type of firearm, safety must be your first concern. Gun safety rules must be understood and applied in all situations involving firearms.
The THREE CARDINAL RULES of firearm safety must ALWAYS be applied simultaneously when handling or using a firearm:
- Treat all firearms as if they are loaded. You must assume all firearms are loaded until you have personally conducted an inspection. If a firearm has been out of your control for any period of time, you must consider the firearm as loaded, until you have determined that it has been rendered safe.
- Always point your firearm in a safe direction. A safe direction is defined as; The pointing of a muzzle in a direction, that if a discharge occurs at that moment, the result would be minor property damage without personal injury.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and have decided to fire. The improper handling of firearms and the involuntary muscle contractions, are responsible for the majority of unintentional discharges.
The following gun safety rules should also be observed when using or storing a gun:
- Treat all guns as if they were loaded.
- Know your target and what is beyond it.
- Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
- Know how to use the gun safely.
- Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
- Always wear hearing and eye protection.
- Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.
- Store guns so they are not accessible to children or unauthorized persons.
- Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
- Be aware of some over the counter medications that could effect your ability to safely handle a firearm.
- There are local ranges (County and Private) that offer Gun Safety Courses that can offer additional education.
- It is a CRIME in the State of New Jersey to allow a minor to have access of a loaded firearm. (2C:58-15, 2C:58-16)
- It is a CRIME in the State of New Jersey to possess a firearm, real or imitation, for an unlawful purpose. (2C:39-4e).
These are just a few basic firearm safety rules. Basic common sense and caution should always be used when handling or using any firearms.