Virginia City Marshals

Rules of Gun Safety

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Jeff Cooper's Rules for Firearms Safety

1. All guns are always loaded.
Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
(For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.
Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

NRA's Gun Safety Rules

1. Always point the gun in a safe direction.
This primary rule of gun safety ensures a firearm will not harm you or others when discharged. Use common sense to dictate the safest direction. When outdoors, point the gun toward the ground or towards the target. If you are indoors, be mindful that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and doors.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Do not touch the trigger until you are ready to pull it.
3. Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Immediately engage the safety device, remove the magazine, open the action and check the chamber(s) when you pick up a gun. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and ask for assistance from someone who does.

Winchester 1873