Fall is in the air, and hunting season is upon us. What a great time to go over firearm safety with each other and the youth hunters that will be in the woods. Hunting is an Arkansas tradition that has been passed down through generations. With the passing down of this cherished tradition comes the responsibility of teaching safe firearm practices.
The following are basic safe practices for handling your firearm:
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Never use over the counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
- Never consume alcoholic beverages before or while shooting.
- Be sure your gun is safe to operate and in good clean condition.
- Unload your gun when: climbing in and out of a tree stand, passing firearm over a fence to another person, or moving the firearm in and out of your vehicle.
- Keep guns and ammunition stored separately and in a safe place, out of the reach of children.
- Wear hearing and eye protection when appropriate.
Gun safety training seeks to instill a certain mindset and appropriate habits by following specific rules. The mindset is that firearms are inherently dangerous and must always be handled with care. It is worth the few extra minutes it might take to do things in a safe manner. One careless move with a firearm can cause serious injury or death. Be safe and have a great time hunting this year.