The right to own a firearm is a big part of the United States Constitution. But simply reciting the Second Amendment isn’t enough to ensure your safety or the safety of those around you. Everyone needs to understand gun and hunting safety.
Take an Online Course
Hunter safety courses are online in Oregon and Washington from licensed and knowledgeable instructors. If you plan to take your child (under 17) hunting this year or next, both states require they pass a hunter safety course. Register online with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Until you find a class to fit your needs and your schedule, we’ve put together some gun safety basics to get you started.
Always Point Your Gun in a Safe Direction
Keep the muzzle (end of the barrel) pointed down at all time except when firing at the intended target. The rule is: Never point at anything you don’t intend to shoot. That means you never point a firearm at anyone or toward a street or home. This also means you take into account possible ricochets, the bullet’s trajectory over a long distance (a .22 can travel upwards of 1 ¼ miles and a 30.06 can go just over 3 miles), and the fact that the bullet can go though solid barriers.
Act as if All Firearms as Always Loaded
First, only load a firearm when you are in the field or target range and ready to shoot. When not in use, firearms should be emptied of all ammunition and safely secured. By treating all guns as if they are always loaded you can help avoid accidents.
Carry a Firearm Carefully
Never climb a tree or cross a fence while carrying a loaded firearm. Instead, hand your gun to your hunting partner and traverse the obstacle without the firearm in your hands. Want to be extra careful? Unload your gun before handing it to anyone.
Don’t Rely on the Gun’s Safety
A Safety is a mechanical device that can malfunction. Yes, it’s a good idea to utilize the safety, but always treat your gun with respect and never point it at anyone. Even if the safety is on, a gun can still fire when jarred or if it falls to the ground.
Know Your Firearm and Use the Correct Ammunition
Let’s be honest, Americans don’t like to read instruction manuals. But when it comes to a gun, open that thing up and read it cover to cover. You’ll learn a lot, we promise. Plus, you’ll learn about the ammunition your firearm requires. Using incorrect ammunition can cause damage to you and your gun.
If you pull the trigger and nothing happens, stay calm. Sometimes a bullet is a dud or the cartridge fails to deliver the ammunition to the chamber. As you troubleshoot the issue, remember to treat the gun as if it’s loaded, even if you remove the clip or other ammunition. The misfired bullet could still be in the gun, ready to go.
Keep Your Guns Clean
When you read the instruction manual, you’ll quickly learn how to safely disassemble, clean and reassemble your gun.
Coastal Knows Firearms
You’ll find pistols, rifles, targets, gun cleaning kits, accessories, ammunition, and experts who understand every aspect of gun safety and hunting at your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch. Stop by today, ask a few questions, and see what we have in stock.