About the Study Guide

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Whenever firearms are being handled, an incident can occur if the firearm is not handled responsibly. Preventing hunting incidents depends on knowing and understanding firearms, and handling them skillfully and safely. Responsible hunters practice safe habits until they become second nature.

General Firearm Safety

When it is not in use, always keep your firearm unloaded.

Remember "T.A.B. + 1."

When handing a firearm to another person:

  • First make sure he or she is familiar with the gun. If necessary, demonstrate how the action operates and show where the safety is located.
  • Show him or her that the firearm is unloaded.
  • Make sure he or she has a firm grip on the firearm before you release it.

"T.A.B. + 1"—The Four Primary Rules of Firearm Safety

  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
  • Always keep the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • +1 Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

And practice the rest of the Ten Commandments...

  • Check your barrel and ammunition.
  • Unload firearm when not in use.
  • Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot.
  • Don't run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm.
  • Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely.
  • Don't drink alcoholic beverages before or during shooting.
Hunters carrying firearms safely