About the Study Guide

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Attention! The information on this page may save your life or the lives of your friends and family.

The Four Primary Rules of Firearm Safety

  1. Hunters carrying firearms

    Always control the muzzle of your firearm.

    Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.

  2. Hunters unloading firearms

    Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

    This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.

  3. Never shoot at a skylined animal

    Treat every firearm as if it were loaded, and keep it unloaded until ready to fire.

  4. Hunter with finger outside trigger guard

    Know your target and what is in front of it and beyond it.

    Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop—don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.

Additional Rules About Firearm Safety

  1. Removing obstruction from firearm

    Check your barrel and ammunition.

    Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions, and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.

  2. Casing gun for safe transport

    Unload firearms when not in use.

    Leave actions open, and carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.

  3. Safe firearm carry

    Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot.

    Avoid all horseplay with a gun.

  4. Two hunters safely crossing fence

    Don’t run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm.

    Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.

  5. Firearm safe for storage

    Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely.

    Store each in secured locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.

  6. Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting.

    Also avoid mind- or behavior-altering medicines or drugs.

Never drink and shoot!