1. All guns are always loaded, always.
2. Never point a gun at anything you don't want to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Know your target and what is beyond.


1. If you treat every gun you come into contact with as if it is loaded, you should never have a problem. If everyone would simply follow this one rule, you would stop seeing some of the stupid things you see.

2. If you don't want to see a bullet hole in it, don't point a gun at it. In most states, it's a felony to point a gun at someone if you are not fully justified in taking their life. Pointing a gun at someone for no good reason is a good way to get a gun pointed back at you.

3. The trigger serves one purpose; to fire the gun. If do not intend to fire the gun, keep your finger off the trigger. The trigger serves no other purpose, period. Anyone who picks up a gun with a finger on the trigger is simply showing you a lack of training and knowledge. Having a finger on the trigger when it doesn't need to be is the reason for all the "accidental" shootings you see. A quality, well designed gun will not fire unless you put pressure on the trigger, and even badly designed guns won't just "go off" like you hear. There is always some negligent action on the part of the person handling the gun. No gun in the history of the world ever just jumped up and shot someone.

4. You MUST know what you are shooting at. Do not shoot at noises, shadows, or anything else that you cannot POSITIVELY identify and articulate specific, acceptable reasons as to why you considered it to be a threat. You must also know what is around or behind your target. If you shoot the wrong thing or person for any reason, you cannot "unshoot" it.


1. Always point your gun in a safe direction.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
4. Know your target and what is beyond.
5. Know how to use the gun safely.
6. Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
7. Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
8. Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
9. Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
10. Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
11. Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
12. Keep your gun properly cleaned and lubricated so it will always function properly.


1. This is a good rule, but it is a little vague. It does not define "safe direction." The assumption is that everyone knows what it means. Unfortunately, most people do not have a clue, and the more they think they know, the less the actually know. You should NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, point a gun at something you don't want to shoot. This includes, but is not limited to, yourself, another person, a pet, the television, an interior wall of a house (most interior walls are plaster or sheet-rock and bullets will pass right through them and hit whatever is on the other side,) or anything else that is not bullet proof. "Safe direction" is any direction where the gun is not pointed at something you don't want to shoot and any direction where, if the firearm discharges for any reason, the bullet will impact in a safe location. Generally, "up" is not considered safe because you cannot guarantee where the bullet will land when it comes down.

2. Same as above, the trigger serves ONLY to fire the gun, and has absolutely no other purpose; none, whatsoever, period.
3. This is an odd rule, but I understand the intention. It refers to a gun that is not in use. My duty gun is always "ready to use" therefore, it is always loaded. I never "store" my duty gun, even at night. I keep it "ready" in case I need it. I do keep it where it is not accessible to unauthorized people.

4. Same as above. You MUST be able to positively identify your target.

5. If you are in possession of a gun you don't know how to use, do not do anything with it. Learn how to use it first. Don't "guess."

6. If you are not sure a gun is safe to operate, leave it alone.

7. This almost goes without saying, but you might be surprised. In particular, people get confused with .38 and .357 magnum calibers. .38 ammo can be fired from a .357 magnum gun, but not the reverse, but in general, be careful. You can load 9 mm rounds into a .40 caliber magazine, .40 caliber into a .45 caliber magazine, etc.

8. Self-evident, but you would be amazed. Most people wear hearing protection, but some do not think eye protection is necessary. Eye protection is necessary, not just because of the empty casings that are ejected, but because of the gas and other particles that are expended when the round fires. Also, if there is a malfunction, it is possible for the cartridge to explode rather than fire, and some parts of the gun can be propelled outwardly with great force.

9. Drugs and/or alcohol DO NOT mix with firearms.

10. "Not accessable" means it cannot be found or accessed. It doesn't mean "hidden under the bed" or "hidden in the closet." Guns that are stored must be stored in a safe, secure place, like a safe or lockbox. "Unauthorized" means anyone who does not have proper training (which is most people) or the mental facilities to have access to a gun, (such as an Alzheimer's patient or a child). It *DOES NOT* mean just children.

Regardless of whether you follow the NRA safety rules or the Gunsite rules, you should know the rules, make them part of your essence and follow them religiously, and you will never have a problem with a gun.

If you do not have the time, patience, concentration, or sense to follow the rules, you do not have the time, patience, concentration, or sense to own and/or handle a gun. Not following these rules are the reason for the vast majority of all gun "accidents." Truthfully, "accident" is the wrong term. There are very few gun accidents, but lots of negligent shootings.