Rule #1: Treat all weapons as if they are loaded.

Treating a gun as if it is loaded pushes owners to be extra careful. Whether you’re planning to clean your gun, send it off for repair, or simply handing it to someone, always do a chamber check first.

Rule #2: Do not point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.

For safety reasons, do not point your gun anywhere except for the target. When not in use, simply point the gun toward the ground and keep your finger off the trigger.

Rule #3: Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are pointing it at your intended target.

Resting one’s finger on the trigger, and even the trigger guard, is unsafe. In some cases, it might even cause a negligent discharge (ND). If you’re simply holding the gun, it’s best to rest your finger against the frame of the gun.

Rule #4: Know what is between you and your intended target and beyond.

Before firing a gun, make sure to cover all your bases by assessing your area and potential scenarios. If for any reason you fail to hit your target, what are the odds that it will hit something or someone else?