Firearm seasons are opening across the country and every year we unfortunately hear about hunting accidents where someone gets shot at through a bush or someone accidentally sets off their gun while loading. Firearm accidents are great fodder for anti-hunters, so not only is minimizing these accidents important for our own survival, but also for the survival of our sport. I think it’s fair to say that gun safety is the most important part of hunting. You could buy firearms & tactical equipment of the highest quality for the sport, but if you do not know how to use them safely on and off-field, then you could be a threat to anyone near you, including yourself. It doesn’t matter what kind of deer you are seeing if you blow your leg off first! So although I’m sure most of you know gun safety like the back of your hand, it is still important to reiterate the keys to safely handling a firearm.
As a young child, my Grandpa constantly beat into me the rules of gun safety. Every time he pulled out a gun at our cabin, we would go over PTTS. Which was his acronym for the four main rules of gun safety. Thanks to my Grandpa’s relentless emphasis on safety, our family has never had an accident with guns, so it’s safe to say that his teachings are well founded. According to Grandpa Kenyon and most other gun afficionados the 4 rules for gun safety go something like this…
P (oint): Always be aware of where your gun is pointed. Never point at something unless you intend on shooting at it.
T(rigger): Never touch the trigger of your firearm until you are ready to fire.
T(arget): Always be aware of what your target is and what lies behind it.
S(afety): Assume that every firearm is loaded and treat it as such. This means always keeping a gun on safety until just before firing.
For more elaborate explanation, check out this video describing the 4 rules of gun safety.
When you hit the woods with your firearm this fall, please be careful and practice proper gun safety at all times. Lets minimize hunting accidents and maximize our enjoyment in the woods. Good luck and safe hunting.
Any other tips for safe handling of a firearm? We’d love for you to share them with us.