This week I have the privilege of teaching a Gun Safety Camp for kids through the Surf City Community Center. This camp is designed for 9-14 year olds but the information is pertinent to people of all ages.
Sometimes we forget the most basic of safety rules so today let’s have a refresher course, shall we?
Rule No. 1 – Always treat a gun as if it were loaded and always point the barrel in a safe direction.
Rule No. 2 – A gun not in use should be locked up and out of reach of a minor at all times. No exceptions.
Rule No. 3 – Always wear eye and ear protection when firing any type of firearm.
Rule No. 4 – Always use the correct ammo and make sure you gun is clean and in good working condition.
Rule No. 5 – If you gun does not fire when the trigger is pulled, immediately move to a safe area where you can open and inspect the firearm or get someone who can help you. Do not pull the trigger again!
Rule No. 6 – Do not alter your firearm. Have your firearm serviced by a reputable gunsmith.
Rule No. 7 – Don’t be a show off. People on TV shows are not shooting real bullets and they usually do not act in accordance with general safety rules. No one is going to fire 50 rounds of ammo without ear protection and then be able to whisper to the person next to them. Fake is fake.
Rule No. 8 – Never trust anyone who hands you a gun and says, “don’t worry it’s not loaded.” Rule No. 1.
Rule No. 9 – Just because a magazine is out of a gun doesn’t mean it can’t be fired. Read your owner’s manual to know your gun. Ask your sales associate if you’re buying a new or used gun.
Rule No. 10 – Own it, respect it and secure it. Be responsible for your firearms at all times.
Take a few minutes out of your day and visit NSSF.org for more great safety ideas. There are videos you can watch with your kids for free.
A simple note for ladies: no low cut shirts when shooting. You may look nice but I assure you, a hot brass bullet casing down your top will ruin a perfectly good day and will put those around you at risk as you’re hopping about screaming.
Knowledge is power and knowing the rules of safety just might save a life.
Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.