According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the last five years, there have been 161,374 unintentional deaths in the US due to the mishandling of firearms. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a shooting range or caught in a self-defense situation of life and death, you need to follow these seven safe gun handling rules so that you ensure safety at all times.

Rule # 1: Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction

It’s the most fundamental safety rule. If everyone handled a gun with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, there won’t ever be any unintentional accidents. Never point your gun at a direction that you don’t intend to shoot in. It’s essential when you load your gun because accidental discharges can happen any time.

Rule # 2: Keep your gun unloaded when not in use

Only load your gun if you’re in a shooting range. After you’re done shooting, unload your gun immediately. Never keep a loaded gun anywhere. When not in use, store your unloaded gun safely, away from the reach of children.

Rule # 3: Know your target and beyond

shooting range targets

Ensure that you’re entirely aware of your target shooting area. It is doubly vital that you know what’s beyond your target. It’s safe if you’re in an indoor shooting range. If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure that no one’s behind the target or in the line of shooting, to prevent mishaps.

Rule # 4: Use Correct Ammunition

Only pellets, shells or cartridges are made for guns to shoot safely. If you’re unsure of the ammunition type, check the barrel. It’s usually stamped on it. If not, the box would identify it. Refrain from firing if you don’t know or don’t have the correct ammunition.

Rule # 5: If your gun fails to fire, handle it with care

Sometimes, when you pull the trigger, the gun may not fire. If that happens, follow rule # 1, open the action, and carefully throw the cartridge away. If the cartridge is in the chamber, the gun is loaded, and the trigger is pulled, it may go off anytime. Ensure that you’re careful.

Rule # 6: Always wear eye and ear protection

People wearing eye and ear protection at a shooting range


Shooting ranges are loud and damage your hearing. While shooting, the gun may also eject shells and gases that could injure your eye. Therefore, ensure that you wear shooting glasses and ear protection.

Rule # 7: Regular cleaning

Regularly cleaning your gun increases its life and maintains its value. Before you begin cleaning, ensure that your gun is unloaded, there is no ammunition in it, and the gun’s action is open.

After ensuring these rules, you’re ready for the shooting range. If you’re in South-eastern Wyoming or Northern Colorado, contact Gladiator Firearms for your pistol training. We offer firearm classes, and an extensive shooting range to prepare you for self-defense.