NRA Gun Safety Rules

NRA Gun Safety Rules

Always:


Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction

This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off, it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle, or front end of the barrel, is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on circumstances.


Keeping the firearm pointed in a safe direction and maintaining proper muzzle control ensures a safe and fun day on the range. It's always a good idea to go with an experienced shooter your first time.

Always:


Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Ready to Shoot

When holding a gun, rest your finger on the triggerguard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

Always:

Keep the Gun Unloaded Until Ready to Use

Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if it has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s), which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone, and get help from someone who does.

When using or storing a gun, always follow these NRA rules:

*'‚Know your target and what is beyond it

Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.

Follow instructions and remember to keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

*'‚Know how to use the gun safely

Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action, and how to remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun's mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.

*'‚Be sure the gun is safe to operate

Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun's ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.

Chamber flags are an excellent way to indicate to other shooters that a firearm is safe and unloaded.

*'‚Use only the correct ammunition for your gun

Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be used safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.

*'‚Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate

Guns are loud, and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.

Champion shooting glasses and earmuffs are must-have items for the range.

*'‚Never use alcohol, over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting

Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical functioning, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.

*'‚Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons

Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices such as the safeties built into guns can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.

Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.

Recommended for You

Reviews

Review: Taurus TX22 Rimfire

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

Taurus' TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

Historical

D-DAY: 75 YEARS LATER

Jacob Avery

Normandy through the eyes of a 13-year-old.

Rifles

Review: Savage Arms MSR 15 Competition

James Tarr - May 21, 2019

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box race horse ready to help you win 3-Gun...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Rifle

Review: Hornady .300 PRC

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

Why America needs another .30 caliber magnum.

Rifles

The Top ARs in 3-Gun Competition Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on the what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

Rifles

Top Ruger American Rifle Upgrades Right Now

Philip Massaro - March 14, 2018

Guns & Ammo editor Philip Massaro takes a look at some of the best new upgrades that are...

See More Stories

More Shoot 101

Shoot 101

Spice Things Up with New Shooting Targets

Sean Utley - February 03, 2017

Shooting with friends can be tons of fun. In fact, there's rarely anything more entertaining...

Shoot 101

Shooting Gear You'll Want to Have

Joseph von Benedikt - February 03, 2017

There was a time when a shooter would pick up a gun and a handful of cartridges and head for...

Shoot 101

Traditional Rifles vs. ARs

Kali Parmley - March 09, 2017

AR vs. Bolt Rifle: What's the Difference? If you're new to the sports of shooting and hunting,

See More Shoot 101

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×