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4 Rules of Firearm Safety

Here at Black Flag Armory we believe wholeheartedly in personal responsibility when it comes to firearm safety. This means that you need to know how to safely and responsibly relate to firearms. Whether you choose own any firearms or not, education is the answer to the gun debate. So, welcome to the first section of our firearms basics course.

First things first: safety. Here we are going to familiarize you with the 4 rules of firearm safety as introduced by Col. Jeff Cooper.

1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded

This first rule is meant to help you avoid bad habits and dangerous situations. Treat all firearms as loaded and you won’t be as careless about where the gun is pointing. Nor will you thoughtlessly pull the trigger. If you never point the gun at something you don’t intend to shoot, and you never pull the trigger, it is very difficult to do something you don’t mean to.

When you encounter or pick up a firearm, always check that it’s unloaded. Even if you know it is empty, this habit will help keep you and everyone around you safe.

gun with ammo

2. never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy

4 rules of firearm safety

The muzzle of a firearm is the front end of the barrel where the bullet exits. Bullets destroy things. If you are not willing to destroy whatever or whomever you are pointing at, then never let the muzzle of the gun point at it.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target

Since a firearm is fired by pulling the trigger, this rule keeps you safe from firing at something or someone by accident. If you keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you are ready to fire, then you remove the risk of firing negligently as a result of being startled, tripping, etc.

The easiest way to observe this rule is by doing what is called indexing. When you’re not firing, your index finger is off the trigger, out of the trigger guard, and rests along the side of the firearm.


4. Be sure of your target and whats beyond it

Once you’re ready to fire, know what you are shooting at and what is beyond it. If your shot penetrates the target or you miss, the bullet will continue to travel a great distance and will continue to damage to whatever it strikes.

This is especially important in defensive situations where there is a possibility of other people in the area and even behind your intended target.

firearm safety
be sure of target


The four rules of firearm safety are listed below. These rules, when observed, ensure that under any circumstance no one will be accidentally injured with a firearm. In order for such an accident to occur, multiple rules would have to be violated. The rules are as follows;

  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
  2. Never let your muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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