About the Study Guide

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To unload a firearm safely:

  • Ensure the muzzle is kept pointed in a safe direction.
  • Attempt to put your safety in the on position.
  • Keep your finger away from the trigger area.
  • Open the action.
  • Remove the ammunition. Eject cartridges or shells by cycling the action, if it is the only way to remove them—use extra care with lever-action firearms.
  • Count the shells or cartridges to help ensure the firearm is empty.
  • Ensure the safety is in the on position.
  • Visually check the chamber and receiver/magazine area to ensure they are clear of any ammunition.
  • If two or more people are involved, stand back-to-back to keep all the muzzles pointed in safe directions.