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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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This page created by M.D. Smith and last modified on August 1, 1997