Most of us learn the four rules of gun safety before we ever pick up a heater. They’re usually imparted by someone older and more experienced who figures they’re as good a place as any to get a new shooter off on the right foot – not to mention insuring he or she retains the full use of his or her right foot the rest of their natural life. The best thing about the four rules: they’re simple, easily remembered and pretty much all-encompassing. You have to violate at least two of them before something that will ruin your day happens. But this is National Safety Month (who knew?). And just like Gaston did when designing his first firearm, our perfection-pursuing friends at Glock have taken the opportunity to re-think the tried and true . . .
They sent an email blast yesterday across the gun world detailing their ten rules, along with a quote from VP Gary Fletcher, “Gun safety is at the core of GLOCK’s mission as a company, and we encourage all gun owners to take safety very serious.” So without further ado, here they are:
Rule 1: Train with all your guns.
- Every gun is unique in the way it feels, handles and fires, so it’s important to achieve a maximum comfort level with every gun you own by practicing with each one separately at a local dealer or range. Done on a regular basis, this exercise will strengthen familiarity and muscle memory, so each gun feels as natural and comfortable as the next, even in stressful situations. While training on the range, remember to always use acceptable eye and ear protection.
Rule 2: Handle every firearm as if it’s loaded.
Rule 3: Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from yourself and others.
- A safe direction means that the muzzle of the gun is pointed so that if it were to accidently fire it would not cause injury or damage.
Rule 4: Keep your finger outside the firearm’s trigger guard and off the trigger until you have aligned the firearm’s sights on a safe target and you have made the decision to fire.
Rule 5: Always be certain that your target and the surrounding area are safe before firing.
Rule 6: Know your gun’s safety features.
- The safety features of firearms vary in accordance with the mechanical characteristics of each gun. Since guns can be so different, never handle any firearm without first having thoroughly familiarized yourself with the particular type of firearm you are using.
Rule 7: Store your gun properly.
- Guns placed in drawers, closets, desks, cabinets, or other unlocked, accessible places are simply not secure. For proper storage always use a personal safe or single gun lock box with a trigger lock placed on the firearm for an added layer of protection.
Rule 8: Educate loved ones on gun safety.
- Take time to teach your loved ones, including children of an appropriate age, the basic safety guidelines outlined here. Bring them with you to the range to become more comfortable around guns and to see their proper, safe use firsthand.
Rule 9: Ensure all users are properly trained.
- Whether it’s a family member or friend, it’s essential that anyone else who will be using your gun is properly trained. Gun education, training and classes are widely available for both adult beginners and children over a certain age, are offered for a reasonable fee and can be taken at firing ranges and dealers in your area.
Rule 10: Properly maintain your gun.
- Gun maintenance includes proper use, cleaning and service. It is important to use good ammunition of the proper caliber. Occasional cleaning and lubrication will keep your gun functioning at an optimal level. To maintain the integrity of the pistol, GLOCK recommends leaving it in factory-issued form with no aftermarket parts. Should an issue arise with a factory-issued pistol, contact the manufacturer’s customer service.
An admirable attempt, to be sure. Yes, we could quibble that Rule 6 is covered by Rule 1. And good luck committing these ten to memory as easily as Jeff Cooper’s original four, but anything that advances the cause of gun safety is A-OK with us.