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Safe carry of a firearm

There are several ways to carry a gun safely and still have it ready for quick action. Three rules apply to all carrying methods:

  • Muzzle pointed in a safe direction and under control
  • Safety “on” until immediately before you’re ready to shoot
  • Finger outside the trigger guard

Safe Firearm Carries

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Video Transcript

How you carry your firearm is very important, and it’s really important as you hunt in a group. Take this example.

The camera shows three individuals using three different carrying techniques.


Can you see it? We’re all holding our guns differently. Look, each carry is safe if you’re alone. How we safely carry them depends on where we are in relation to each other and the dog.


If we keep walking three abreast and we stay in line, we’re OK.


But when we’re hunting, someone is eventually going to get ahead or fall behind. It happens all the time. For example, if I rush ahead after the dog, then my gun is pointed back to the other two. And if Junior lags behind when I go after the dog, then his gun is pointed in my direction. So what’s the solution?



So here’s a solution. The person on the left can do two-handed carry like this. The person in the middle can do a trail carry. And the person on the right can do a two-handed carry or a shoulder carry. All of these are good, safe options. One of the safest ways to carry your gun is in the two-handed carry, also known as the ready position, where you carry it in two hands with the muzzle pointed upward, away from everyone. Carrying it in this way also helps you be ready for a shot.

The dog has picked up the scent.


Ah. Perfect timing. The dog’s on point. OK. Let’s move in with the guns in ready position.

Junior fires, and the dog takes off after the bird. The hunters head back to their truck.


At the end of a long day, it’s tempting to want to just get back to the truck and get going. But the reasons we didn’t load our guns near the vehicle are the same reasons we shouldn’t unload our guns there.


You see, unloading deserves just as much attention as loading. It just takes careful handling. Plus, we need to be extra careful at the end of the day when we’re all just a little bit tired.


So stop before you get to your vehicle, open the action, and unload while pointing the muzzle of your gun in a safe direction.

Back at the truck, Haley hands Rob her unloaded firearm.


Thank you.

He puts their guns into a padded carrying case.


All right. So now that our guns are made safe, we can get together here at the truck, talk about the hunt, and start planning the next one. How was the hunt?