This very important YouTube video by Warrior Poet Society lists 4 safety rules for handguns. The host John Lovell is a former Army Ranger who teaches firearm safety throughout the United States. These rules are universal, and should be practiced by gun owners so much they become second nature.

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded, and know the condition of your weapon: Never point the gun at another person, even if you feel certain it’s empty. Point it downrange and inspect the chamber thoroughly and repeatedly before you put it down.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned and the decision to shoot has been made: This was mentioned at the end of the previous post, “Beginner’s Guide To Handguns Part 1,” but it bears repeating. None of these safety rules can be overstated. If your finger is on the trigger, it’s too easy to accidentally fire if you’re distracted.
  3. Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy: Lovell demonstrates the wrong way to shoot (with a prop gun), and the barrel line crosses his hands repeatedly. Utmost care must be followed not to point a gun at a living person.
  4. Know your target, what is beyond it, in front of it, to the left and to the right of it: If you miss your target, you can unintentionally kill anyone within range. A bullet can even go through solid objects like walls. You are responsible for a fired bullet until it stops moving. This is why warning shots are bad practice.