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The cardinal rule of firearm safety is that every gun must be treated as if it were loaded.

Statistics show that more than half of the fatal firearm incidents reported each year occur in the home. Since almost all incidents are caused by carelessness and lack of knowledge, it’s the hunter’s duty to help prevent firearm mishaps in the home.

  • Most importantly, lock guns away where children can’t reach them, and store ammunition in a separate location. Check to see that a firearm is unloaded before allowing it in any building or living area.
  • Practice these safety rules if handling a firearm in the home.
    • Immediately point the muzzle in a safe direction when you pick up a firearm.
    • Keep your finger off the trigger.
    • Always check to see that the chamber and the magazine are empty.
    • If someone shows you a firearm you are not familiar with, do not handle it until the action is opened and you are certain the gun is unloaded.
  • If a gun is taken from storage to show friends, be sure they understand safe gun handling rules.
  • When you are with others, pay attention to what everyone is doing, particularly children.
    • Know where everyone is at all times.
    • Anticipate when and where they will move.
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