Think First, Shoot Second
Defensive Tactic Institute’s
Basic Guide to Gun Safety
Inspired by Tips From the NRA
Our mission at Defensive Tactics Institute is educating others about self-defense, and a key part of defending oneself is being properly armed with physical tools and a cognitive understanding of how best to use them.
Safety is at the heart of all of this.
If you choose to own a gun for the protection of yourself and your family, you must be proactive in educating yourself and those around you about gun safety. We found a helpful listing of gun safety rules from the National Rifle Association, which inspired our tips below:
1) Always Keep Your Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction
A 'safe direction' is a place that would not cause damage or injury if the gun were to go off. This is completely within your realm of control - simply be mindful of where the muzzle of the barrel is pointed at all times (whether it's resting in a secure place or in the hands of a user)
PRO TIP - Trust your common sense to tell you where the safest direction is – it will, of course, vary depending on different circumstances.
Always Keep Your Finger Off of the Trigger Until Ready to Shoot
The trigger guard, or along the side of the gun, is the perfect place for your finger to rest until you’re ready to fire.
Always Keep Your Gun Unloaded Until Ready to Use
The first thing you need to do when picking up a gun is engage the safety device if possible, then, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and making sure the chambers are clear of ammunition.
Always Know Your Target Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
You need to be equally sure of your target and what is beyond before shooting.
PRO TIP - Observe your shooting area before firing and never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. As the NRA says, “Think first. Shoot second.”
Always Be Sure Your Gun is Safe to Operate
Guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage is key to keeping your gun safe and ready for use.
PRO TIP - Regular cleaning and general care for your gun will prolong its life and maintain its value. Clean your gun every time you use it, and make sure it is unloaded prior to cleaning.
Always Make Sure You Are in a Good State for Operating a Gun
Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting. You need to be fully present when operating a firearm, and if your awareness is impaired, you will risk injuring yourself and others.
You can never be too cautious when it comes to gun safety.