By Kyle Jillson | June 14 2013 09:11

The NRA's three Gun Safety Rules are the cornerstone of responsible gun ownership

NRA Training on NRAblog Fairfax, Virginia - The National Rifle Association espouses safe firearm handling in everything we do. Whether competitive shooting or hunter education or simple gun collecting, safety is a first step in everything we do. That is especially true for our NRA Training Courses.

"We have been honing and refining NRA's Gun Safety Rules for more than 140 years,” said Bill Poole, Managing Director of NRA’s Education and Training Division. "They are easy to understand, easy to remember, and ensure the highest possible level of firearm safety. Most importantly, they are the first and most crucial step in becoming a responsible gun owner."

Those rules fit perfectly into National Safety Month. Promoted by the National Safety Council every June, National Safety Month was developed as:

...an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.

The National Rifle Association's Gun Safety Rules do just that. So, in the spirit of National Safety Month, we decided to highlight them for you today.

Whether you own a firearm or not, these fundamental rules of safe gun handling should always be applied whenever a gun is present. Knowing and adhering to those rules creates a safe environment for everyone.

  1. Always point the gun in a safe direction.
    This primary rule of gun safety ensures a firearm will not harm you or others when discharged. Use common sense to dictate the safest direction. When outdoors, point the gun toward the ground or towards the target. If you are indoors, be mindful that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and doors.

  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
    When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Do not touch the trigger until you are ready to pull it.

  3. Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
    Immediately engage the safety device, remove the magazine, open the action and check the chamber(s) when you pick up a gun. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and ask for assistance from someone who does.

One important thing to remember ... these rules aren't just for National Safety Month. They apply year round. Learn them, know them, live them. But fear not should you ever forget.

You can find those rules and dozens of other safety tips on the NRA's Education and Training webpage. Take the time, take a look, and let's be safe out there.

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