The 12 Golden Rules Of Gun Safety

Wrought iron gate with Number 12 on it

At Sporting Systems, our goal is to serve the Vancouver community. We stock the region’s best variety of common and specialty firearms, and our friendly, knowledgeable staff are ready to assist you. Whether you are a longtime sporting enthusiast or have never picked up a gun before, we can help you find the right firearm for you and your family.

Part of our mission at Sporting Systems is to ensure that everybody who purchases a firearm from our Vancouver gun store understands the golden rules of gun safety. We believe that one can never have too much training and education when it comes to guns. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Golden Rules Of Gun Safety that everyone should know.

Basics Of Gun Safety Rules

Gun safety is vital. Not only does it protect life and limb, but it ensures that those of us who value our Second Amendment rights are doing our part to educate the broader community about our responsibilities as gun owners. We believe that communication is key to helping our friends and neighbors understand why we work so hard to protect our rights as gun owners.

As Magtech Ammunition says, “A responsible and experienced shooter will pay meticulous attention to the safety and rules regarding firearm ownership and usage. They will also pay close attention to the proper maintenance of their weapons. The importance of good gun care is critical to safe and smooth operation of the firearm. Cleaning, lubricating, and rust prevention will ensure years of top performance.”

By the way, take a look at Magtech’s website for additional rules on firearm safety, handling firearms, shooting range safety, hunting safety, and more!

So, without further ado, here’s a list of basic gun safety rules that everybody should know. If you’re interested in examining these rules a little closer, please visit our partners at the National Rifle Association (NRA), from whom much of this content was sourced.

  1. Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. The NRA calls this “the primary rule of gun safety.” Specific circumstances will dictate what a “safe direction” to point the gun is at any given moment.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re actually ready to shoot. Rest your trigger finger alongside the frame (outside the trigger guard). It can’t be said often enough: Until you are ready to fire, don’t touch the trigger!
  3. Keep your gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it. Furthermore, as Magtech puts it, when you pick up a gun, “immediately engage the safety device, if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition.” If you’re unfamiliar with the process of loading and unloading your weapon, the staff at Sporting Systems is happy to assist you. We can also help you find the best gun storage, gun racks, gun locks, gun cabinets, and more. Just ask! Sporting Systems if your Vancouver gun store, and we’re here to help.
  4. Know your target and what is behind it. As gun owners, we must be absolutely certain that we have identified our target beyond a shadow of a doubt. And it’s just as important to know what’s behind and beyond our target. As the NRA advises: Think first, shoot second. It’s vital that we take in and are aware of the full area of fire before we shoot. And one last tip from the NRA: “Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap.”
  5. Know how to use your gun. There are lots of weapons out there, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and shooting capacities. It’s important to learn exactly how a gun operates. It’s also important to know a gun inside and out. What are its basic parts? How do we safely open or close the action and remove the ammo? One additional word of caution: No safety device is foolproof. Take it from the NRA: Nothing can replace safe gun handling. Did you know that Sporting Systems hosts informational events including concealed carry classes?
  6. Make sure your gun is safe to operate. That Magtech quote above mentioned this Golden Rule: Just like the rest of the tools in your toolshed, guns require regular maintenance and upkeep. Be sure your gun is regularly inspected and, if necessary, cleaned and lubricated. We suggest asking a knowledgeable gunsmith if you have any doubts whatsoever about your weapon’s ability to work as it should.
  7. Use the correct ammunition. This seems like it goes without saying — but when it comes to gun safety, nothing goes without saying! Only that ammunition which has been designed for a particular gun should be fired in that gun. Sporting Systems will help you identify the correct ammo for your handgun or rifle. In fact, you’ll notice that most guns stamp the ammo type on the barrel.
  8. Protect your eyes and ears. If you’ve never fired a gun before, you may be surprised at just how loud it can be. When appropriate, you should always wear adequate eye and ear protection. Without them, you can easily cause hearing damage or sustain an eye injury from the emission of debris or gas that often accompanies the firing of weaponry. Note: Even spectators should wear eye and ear protection!
  9. No alcohol or drugs while shooting. As we approach the end of our list of 12 Golden Rules Of Gun Safety, we turn now to something that also seems obvious. Do not shoot a gun if you’ve been drinking or have taken over-the-counter or prescription medication.
  10. Store your guns properly. This means storing your guns in such a way that no unauthorized person can access them. Contact Sporting Systems for information on proper gun storage. We carry safes from Tracker and Vaultek, and we’re sure we have what you need. One of the aspects of I-1639 that was implemented in July of 2019 is that you may face criminal prosecution if you store or leave an unsupervised firearm where a person who is prohibited from possessing firearms can and does obtain possession. Get your free I-1639 training here.
  11. Be aware of additional safety precautions. This broad Golden Rule means that gun owners should be aware of safety rules and regulations regarding the particular gun they’re shooting and the particular location at which they are shooting. Private ranges and gun clubs have more guidelines than public lanes and pits.
  12. Clean your gun. We’ve hinted at this one earlier in our list, but it deserves a place of its own. Regular cleaning will keep your gun in tip-top shape and extend its lifespan. Moisture, dirt, grease, and oil — even prolonged storage — can hinder the proper functioning of your gun. Keep it clean — and make sure it’s unloaded before cleaning!

Sporting Systems: Your Vancouver Gun Shop

Sporting Systems serves the Vancouver, Washington, region. We also provide specialty items to other parts of the great Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re in Spokane, Seattle, Pendleton, Boise, or elsewhere, we’re committed to providing you with top-notch service.

Interested in a specific model? Hoping to just browse the shop? No problem!

Contact Sporting Systems today with any questions. We look forward to serving you!


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