Denver

Colorado Springs

Fort Collins

Bill Peterson

Bill Peterson

Since 2006, I've instructed classes for shooters of all levels on proper gun handling, safety, storage, and marksmanship techniques.

What Are The Four Primary Rules Of Firearm Safety?

More people than ever before are firearm owners. In fact, according to the NSSF, the number of first-time handgun owners grew to nearly 5 million in 2020. As a firearm owner, you have a responsibility to understand how to safely and properly handle your firearm. A lot goes into being a firearm owner, including understanding your rights, completing handgun training, and practicing gun safety whenever you pick up a firearm. 

As the leading firearm safety center on Colorado’s Front Range, Colorado Handgun Safety will help you become the safest handgun owner you can be. To help you become a safe gun owner, we will walk you through four primary rules of firearm safety. By practicing these safety rules whenever you’re holding a firearm, you’ll help protect yourself and others and avoid dangerous situations. 

The image shows the back of a woman practicing firearm safety while holding a handgun and aiming at a target. The woman is also wearing ear protection.

Firearm Safety Rules

Even if you’re a seasoned handgun owner and feel you know how to operate a firearm safely, it’s never a bad idea to review the basic firearm safety rules. After all, it only takes a second for a situation to become ugly, and as a veteran handgun user, you may forget to implement these rules every time you’re handling a firearm. Now, if you’re a new handgun owner, you must review firearm safety rules and commit them to memory. The four primary rules of firearm safety are listed below.

  1. Treat Every Firearm As If It’s Loaded
    • Even if you’re confident a firearm doesn’t have any ammo, treat it as if it’s loaded. It’s better to be safe and practice caution than be wrong and hurt someone. Eventually, this practice will become instinctual, and you’ll automatically treat any firearm you come in contact with as if it’s loaded. So, even if you empty your handgun’s cylinder, it’s still crucial to treat it as if there are bullets inside. 
  2. Have Your Muzzle Pointed In A Safe Direction
    • This rule aligns with the first safety rule in that you always want your handgun pointed in a safe direction, even if you know there are no bullets inside. If you don’t have your gun pointed in a safe direction and it accidentally goes off, you could cause serious injury or harm. So, whether you’re walking while holding your handgun or practicing target shooting, it’s crucial to make sure your muzzle is aimed in a safe direction. You may have heard this rule described as “Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.” This rule reminds the firearm user that they don’t want to point their muzzle in the direction of anything valuable, whether it’s a building or a person. 
  3. Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until You Intend To Shoot
    • When people accidentally fire their guns, it’s most often because their finger was on the trigger, and something made them accidentally squeeze it before they were ready to shoot. Once you’ve determined your target and are ready to fire, then you can touch the trigger. If you’re a seasoned handgun owner and don’t practice keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot, be prepared that it may be difficult to train yourself to break this habit. However, it’s completely worth it because it could prevent a horrible situation.
  4. Confidently Identify Your Target
    • After identifying your target, take a moment to look around and note what lies beyond your target. In the case that you miss your target, you’re going to hit your target’s surroundings. So, when identifying a target, you must also identify its nearby surroundings. Remember, even if you hit a bullseye, the bullet can pass through and continue traveling. It’s especially important to be aware of your surroundings in high-stress situations, such as home burglaries, where the risk of unintentionally hitting something is higher than normal. 

Become A Safe Firearm Owner With Colorado Handgun Safety

Every time you pick up a firearm, you have a responsibility to practice firearm safety. Others around you trust that you know how to handle your gun safely and will keep them out of harm’s way. When you enroll in firearm training at Colorado Handgun Safety, we’ll walk you through the handgun safety rules and make sure you set up a solid foundation to be a responsible handgun owner. Take the first step toward firearm safety and enroll in one of our classes today!

Reserve Your Class Today