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Aside from knowing the right commands, shooters should also follow certain safety protocols when spending time at a gun range.

Rule #1: Read the range guidelines before doing anything.

Before doing anything, familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the range first. If they are not posted somewhere, ask for a copy and read it carefully.

Rule #2: Wear protective gear.

Shooting involves loud noises and toxic chemicals and items that can get in your eyes. Protect yourself by wearing the prescribed gear.

Rule #3: Ask for help if you’re unfamiliar with the gun.

If you’re unsure about something, such as how to handle or operate your gun, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Rule #4: Before handling a gun, make sure that the muzzle is pointing downrange.

Rule #5: Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

Do not point your gun in the direction of other shooters, or anything other than the target.

Rule #6: Keep finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re lined up and ready to shoot.

Rule #7: Always keep the gun unloaded unless you’re ready to use it.

Make sure that the magazine is empty, out of the gun, and that there’s nothing in the chamber.

Rule #8: Unload gun before changing targets, shooters, or loading magazines.

Rule #9: Never hand a loaded gun to anyone.

Handing a loaded gun involves the risk of the shooter accidentally shooting himself or the other person.

Rule #10: Never cross the firing line for any reason.

Rule #11: If there’s a need to go downrange, wait for a ceasefire and further instructions.

Rule #12: Align your muzzle with your target.

Make sure that the muzzle is directed at the center of your target to avoid shooting the ceiling, floor, or other targets.

Rule #13: Call for a ceasefire if there is anything unusual.

While range officers usually call this command, you can always call for it if you see something off or unsafe.