Firearms Safety: A Guide to

Responsible Ownership and Usage

I recently heard that many gun owners lie to the polls about being gun owners for fear of social
It is no surprise, with the way the Rich Mend of Richmond  try to paint gun owners as crazy
anti-social weirdos. Who are only obsessed with their guns and their insatiable need for more.
While I love my guns, that all sank to the bottom of the lake in a boating accident , and
always have my eye out to buy another one, I would say firearms owners, in general, are great
people who like to hunt, shoot, and protect their families.
Free Back View of a Hunter Carrying His Gun Stock Photo
Yes, I have met and heard stories of some irresponsible owners, but they are few and far
between compared to the responsible gun owners I know and have heard countless stories
So what is a responsible gun owner? I’m glad you asked!

What is a Responsible Gun Owner?

Politicians throw the words “responsible gun owners” around as if they know anything about gun
ownership besides what they learned from John Wick. I’ve also noticed the bar to being
considered a responsible gun owner keeps changing.
It used to teach everyone who might come into contact with a gun how to handle a firearm
Then it changed to constantly having your guns locked up and out of reach from anyone other
than yourself. (I think it’s essential to protect our family and guns with a gun safe, but how are
we supposed to use those guns for protection if they’re locked away all the time?)
Now many politicians and anti-2A individuals want it changed to a responsible gun owner is
someone who registers their firearms with authorities and freely hands them over when “asked”
by the Government.
However, I have my definition of responsible gun owners; one passed down to me through
generations of gun owners before me.
A responsible gun owner values their families and themselves enough to protect them in all
situations; they love the freedom that guns afford them and their neighbors, even when they disagree.
A responsible gun owner understands and respects the power in their hands
whenever they hold a firearm.
Free Pistol Beside Loaded Cartridges Stock Photo

How to Become a Responsible Firearm Owner

Now that we have an honest definition of responsible gun ownership let’s discuss how to live
this definition out.
Below I’ve compiled several “Do’s and Don’ts” of responsible firearm owners.


● Learn and practice gun safety.
● Teach everyone who might come into contact with your gun how to handle it safely or
not to handle it at all.
Train with your firearms; this is more than just going to the range and shooting a few
ammo boxes.
Practice regularly to keep the skills you learned in training sharp
● Store your guns securely yet easily accessible to you when you need to protect your
family and yourself


● Don’t use your gun just to intimidate someone; that’s what criminals do
● Don’t store it in your car, purse, or anywhere it can easily be stolen
● Don’t act like it’s a toy
● Don’t take your beautiful liberty and right to gun ownership for granted

Basic Firearms Safety

Even after shooting for the vast majority of my life, I think it’s wise to be reminded of the basic gun safety rules-

● Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

● Always keep your finger off of the trigger until you’re ready to fire

● Always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it

Always Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe Direction

There is no single safe direction; you’ll need to use common sense to determine the safest
direction and point the gun in that direction at all times.
Free Hand of a Person Holding Black Semi Automatic Pistol Stock Photo
At the range, this is generally toward the targets unless someone is downrange adjusting
The ground (not my or anyone else’s feet) is usually my go-to option when holding a firearm.
With a shotgun, I’ll point it up while hunting, but I rarely think the safest direction to point a rifle
or pistol is up.
This is one my dad reiterated repeatedly when we hunted together. It kept everyone safe on our
hunting trips and range visits.

Always Keep Your Finger Off of the Trigger Until You’re Ready to Shoot

Keeping your finger off of the trigger prevents any misfires from happening, ensuring those
around you remain safe.
Free A Person Reloading a Rifle Stock Photo
This is especially important when hunting. I know how exciting it can be to have a flock of ducks
buzz overhead or a big deer step in front of you, and your finger instinctively touches the trigger
before you aim.
So be sure to make a conscious effort to keep your finger off the trigger. I usually point my
finger down the barrel at my target until I’m ready to fire.
Real life isn’t like the movies and TV Shows where people have incredible trigger discipline.

Always Keep the Gun Unloaded Until You’re Ready to Use It

All of my hunting and range guns are stored and transported unloaded. I’ll load my firearm once
I reach my destination and am ready to shoot.
Firearms Safety Rules Continued
The three rules listed above are the basics to gun safety. However, gun safety is much more
than those three rules.
Here are several others to follow to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
● Know your target and what is beyond.
● Know how to use the gun safely.
● Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
● Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
● Wear eye and ear protection.
● Never use alcohol, over-the-counter, or prescription drugs before or while shooting.
● Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
● Regularly clean your gun.
● Before cleaning your gun, verify multiple times it is unloaded.
Parting Shots
By now, you know what a responsible gun owner is and how to be one, and you’ve had a fresh
reminder of gun safety. But don’t let your learning stop here!
Acting on what you’ve just learned and been reminded of is critical, so it becomes a positive
Thanks for reading, and stay safe, my friends!
Special thanks to Sam Jacobs for writing this article for us! We added some pictures and links but Sam wrote this awesome article!

Sam Jacobs
Sam Jacobs
Writer | 2A advocate | Outdoorsman