Firearm safety isn’t just for those who are shooting for the first time at the local range or who are purchasing their first firearm from their local gun store. Safety is for everyone involved in the shooting sports – from the novice gun store employee to the customer adding one more to the collection. Whether you’re a seasoned shooting professional, a regular customer at the range, a law enforcement officer, an active or retired member of the military, or simply have firearms in your house that you’ve never used, the four foundational rules of firearm safety should act as a “common language” that everyone knows and speaks. But as is the case with most new languages, the language of firearm safety must be studied, learned, and be put into constant practice in order for it become second nature.
Safety with firearms is both an attitude and a choice. Choosing to be safe with firearms results from a prior recognition of the potential harm that firearms have, and safe behaviors are those responses taken in order to reduce or eliminate risk. The attitude of safety does not apply to firearms alone; there are safe driving behaviors needed when operating a motor vehicle, safe procedures for handling sharp knives in the kitchen, and safe practices that need to be observed on the job site. Safety begins with you.