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The 4 Laws of Gun Safety

(This is not my original work. There are numerous versions of the 4 Laws around. This is just one I like best and have taught to my kids over the years. MDS) The 4 Laws are the most important things for anyone who will ever handle a gun to remember. - Someday you will have an Accidental Discharge (AD) ! It's just a matter of when, where and under what circumstances. If you are obeying the 4 Laws of Gun Safety when it happens, it will be scary. IF YOU'RE NOT, IT COULD BE TRAGIC!

The 1st Law - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

So EVERY TIME you pick up or draw a gun, inspect it in a safe manner (control your muzzle) and always treat it as a loaded gun.

The 2nd Law - Never Point The Gun At Something You Are Not Prepared To Destroy!

The only safe way to operate is to assume the Worst Case Scenario: Pretend that your "empty" gun is loaded and that it's going to function perfectly. When you press the trigger it will FIRE! Since you are prepared for that, you only point the gun in a Safe Direction. This way, when Brainfade does result in an AD, it will be into a safe impact area and there won't be a tragedy.

The 3rd Law - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

Bullets can penetrate lots of things, many of which will surprise you. Identify your target before firing - even before dry-firing at home. If you are not sure, DON'T FIRE! Make sure there is a safe impact area behind it before firing. For home dry-fire practice, find and aim only at a BULLET PROOF BACKSTOP. Even though you have checked and double-checked your gun, you should still treat your gun as though it is loaded. Plasterboard walls and outer walls are not bulletproof. A handgun bullet will easily travel through several rooms before stopping. Who is in these rooms? You don't know, and you still aimed in that direction?! Shame on you!

The 4th Law - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Almost all of the ADs during a match are caused by a finger on the trigger when you were not ready to fire. Some examples: Finger on trigger during reloading, during movement, during the draw, and during jam clearing have led to ADs and disqualifications (DQs). Finger on the trigger during reloading or movement is a DQ - you don't have to AD - and two ROs are watching for just that. Of the five Match DQs at the 1988 US Nationals, four were ADs.
 

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Sounds a lot like Jeff Cooper's 4 Rules for Gun Safety:

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

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RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

There are no exceptions. Do not pretend that this is true. Some people and organizations take this rule and weaken it;e.g. "Treat all guns as if they were loaded." Unfortunately, the "as if" compromises the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but we will treat them as though they are loaded. No good! Safety rules must be worded forcefully so that they are never treated lightly or reduced to partial compliance.

All guns are always loaded - period!

This must be your mind-set. If someone hands you a firearm and says, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," you do not dare believe him. You need not be impolite, but check it yourself. Remember, there are no accidents, only negligent acts. Check it. Do not let yourself fall prey to a situation where you might feel compelled to squeal, "I didn't know it was loaded!"
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RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

Conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols, Rule II applies whether you are involved in range practice, daily carry, or examination. If the weapon is assembled and in someone's hands, it is capable of being discharged. A firearm holstered properly, lying on a table, or placed in a scabbard is of no danger to anyone. Only when handled is there a need for concern. This rule applies to fighting as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to take a human life, do not cover a person with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the muzzle to cover your extremities, e.g. using both hands to reholster the pistol. This practice is unsound, both procedurally and tactically. You may need a free hand for something important. Proper holster design should provide for one-handed holstering, so avoid holsters which collapse after withdrawing the pistol. (Note: It is dangerous to push the muzzle against the inside edge of the holster nearest the body to "open" it since this results in your pointing the pistol at your midsection.) Dry-practice in the home is a worthwhile habit and it will result in more deeply programmed reflexes. Most of the reflexes involved in the Modern Technique do not require that a shot be fired. Particular procedures for dry-firing in the home will be covered later. Let it suffice for now that you do not dry-fire using a "target" that you wish not to see destroyed. (Recall RULE I as well.)

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Rule III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.

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RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.

SUMMARY:

Make these rules a part of your character. Never compromise them. Improper gunhandling results from ignorance and improper role modeling, such as handling your gun like your favorite actor does. Education can cure this. You can make a difference by following these gunhandling rules and insisting that those around you do the same. Set the example. Who knows what tragedies you, or someone you influence, may prevent?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep...don't know where they originated...probably Cooper...one of my hero's

You'd be amazed how often the avg Joe will have his finger in the trigger guard when He's not about to shoot...a very common mistake and bad habit
 

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Yup.

It's been my experience that 99% of gun owners think they know gun safety.

If you ever hear anyone say "It's not loaded," as they sweep you with the muzzle of a gun, stay away from them.
 

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All of my children that are old enough (5 out of 6 of them) have been told these rules. But i think I'll start making them go over these laws every time we go shoot or even just take the guns down to look at. I find myself taking for granted that they will just remember these things. Thanks, Neck, for reminding me not to get lazy in the teaching of safety to my kids and even to myself... My family IS my life...
 

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kowen1971 said:
All of my children that are old enough (5 out of 6 of them) have been told these rules. But i think I'll start making them go over these laws every time we go shoot or even just take the guns down to look at. I find myself taking for granted that they will just remember these things. Thanks, Neck, for reminding me not to get lazy in the teaching of safety to my kids and even to myself... My family IS my life...
That is a very, very good idea .. I am going to start teaching my 5yr old grandson the same each time we go to the range!!
 

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All these are very important. I was fortunate to be taught them as a boy. Thanks to my Dad, I knew how to safely handle a gun at a very young age. I'm thankful he took the time to teach me. I ll do the same for my kids!!
 

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I have started with my grandson (6 last Oct) ... he has most of them down with the exception of keeping the finger OFF the trigger .. constant reminders!!!!!!!
 

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great post yall............. no matter how long you have been around guns or weapons of any type you need to remind yourself and others with and around you. reguardless if you know them or not....... for your safty and yours.

thanks again for the reminder.
 

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I was at a gun show and a guy picked up a AR with a Eotech on it and to "check out" the EoTech he started pointing it around. It was cleared and had a zip strip in the chamber blocking the bolt...but still... I was like WTF dude. I almost flashed back to the military and kicked him in the head.

Those rules should be abided by all.
 

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Great stuff guys & you are so right Msredneck it's a question of when! & when the AD happens the other rules had better be spot on! Years ago I was a kid with about 8 people in the room this clown decides to show off his 38 revolver with beer in the other hand. Sure knocked a chunk out of the floor & emptied the house even faster!
 

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New member here ;)

And I couldn't agree more with these posts...

I just took the Enhanced Class w/ Clyde Morgan (missed ya Cliff... we had Dan this past Saturday)... for expert training.... but, foremost to have training in safety.

I've shot guns all my life... and consider myself pretty safe... but, I'll always take these classes and can't wait to take it again w/ my son. When my son took the Hunter's Safety class... I took it with him. I didn't have to take it... but, I want to show my son how important it is and that anyone can take the class no matter how old you are.
 
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Thats very good law's/rules.Practically the same ones that were taught to by my father and grandfather. they also taught me not to look down the end of a muzzle loader after fireing it and no projectile came out,give it a few seconds then put on another cap if it still dosent go bang clean your nipple, yeah im old
 
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