Owning a firearm is a great responsibility. The decision to bear one, whether for self-defense, sport, or collecting, entails an understanding of safe gun handling and storage. Knowledge of the basic principles of firearm safety is essential not just for the owners but for everyone around them. For instance, one common safety topic is storage. 

Typically, many owners opt for various methods of display and storage, from standard gun safes to more creative ways like to mount gun on wall. But regardless of the chosen method, safety should always be paramount.  

This article delves into the crucial aspects of gun handling every owner should be familiar with. Read on to learn more.   


The Four Cardinal Rules Of Firearm Safety 

An important aspect for firearm owners is understanding the cardinal rules of safety which can help prevent accidental shootings. The four key safety rules include:

  • Treat Every Firearm As If It’s Loaded: Even if a certain gun is unloaded, always handle it with the utmost care, as if it’s loaded. 
  • Never Point The Muzzle At Anything You’re Not Willing To Destroy: A gun should only be aimed at intended targets to avoid accidents.  
  • Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot: This can help prevent accidental discharges. Until there’s a clear target and a decision to fire, fingers should be outside the trigger guard. 
  • Be Certain Of Your Target And What’s Beyond: Before pulling the trigger, always identify the target and ensure that there’s a safe backdrop. 

By following these rules, you can help keep yourself and others safe from harm. 

Proper Storage  

Proper storage is a cornerstone of responsible firearm ownership. It’s vital to prevent unauthorized access, theft, and accidents. When considering how best to store your gun, various options come to mind:

  • Gun Safes: They’re a popular choice due to their security features and fire-resistant qualities. 
  • Gun Cabinets: Though not as secure as safes, they offer a visual showcase and quicker access.  
  • Locking Devices: Trigger locks and cable locks offer an additional layer of security when keeping your firearm when not in use.  
  • Ammunition Storage: Ammunition should be stored separately from firearms and in a cool, dry place. 
  • Wall Mounts: They’re used to secure firearms to a wall. They can be either permanent or removable.  

With these options, you’ll figure out which gun storage option is ideal for your situation.   

Routine Maintenance And Cleaning  

Another essential thing you need to know as a firearm owner is the importance of routine maintenance and cleaning. Regularly maintaining your gun can help ensure it functions correctly and safely. Some common tips to consider include: 

  • Disassembling: Before cleaning, it’s vital to refer to the owner’s manual for correct disassembly instructions. 
  • Cleaning Kits: Using the appropriate cleaning kits for specific firearm types can help maintain the gun’s longevity. 
  • Checking For Wear and Damage: Regular inspections for signs of wear or damage can prevent malfunctions. 

With proper maintenance and cleaning, you can keep your gun in good working condition for many years to come.  

Transportation Safety  

Transporting firearms can demand just as much caution as storing them. When doing so, it’s important to take all necessary precautions to ensure it doesn’t accidentally discharge or fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it’s essential to know some transportation safety tips, such as:  

  • Unload Before Transporting: The firearm should always be unloaded before it’s moved. 
  • Use A Gun Case: This can help protect the gun and keep it concealed. 
  • Know the Laws: Each state has its regulations regarding the transportation of firearms. Ensure familiarity with local and federal laws before traveling. 

By following these tips, you can help ensure your firearms are transported safely and securely. 

Practice Makes Perfect  

Consistent practice is essential for becoming proficient in using a firearm safely. To get the most out of your practice, consider the following tips:  

  • Regular Range Visits: Regularly visiting shooting ranges can help familiarize yourself with the firearm and improve accuracy. 
  • Safety Drills: This includes practicing how to safely load, unload, and clear malfunctions. 

With these things in mind, you can handle your gun properly.   

Understanding The Legal Responsibilities  

As a gun owner, it’s crucial to be well-versed in the laws concerning firearms in your jurisdiction to avoid any legal trouble. Some legal responsibilities to keep in mind include: 

  • Licensing And Registration: Depending on your state, there might be a need for licenses or registrations before you can legally own a gun.  
  • Self-Defense Laws: Before using a firearm in self-defense, you should understand the legal implications and the conditions under which it’s permissible. 

By understanding some legal responsibilities, you can handle a firearm responsibly.   

Handling Misfires And Malfunctions 

Even with the best maintenance, firearms can sometimes malfunction. In this case, you should know what to do to deal with the situation safely. Some tips for handling misfires and malfunctions include:  

  • Stay Calm: If your gun doesn’t fire when the trigger is pulled, remain calm and keep it pointed in a safe direction. 
  • Wait: There could be a delay between the trigger pull and the gun firing. Always wait a few seconds before inspecting the firearm to avoid getting hurt.  
  • Consult The Manual: The firearm’s manual will often have a section on dealing with misfires and malfunctions, so check it to know what steps to take when this unfortunate situation happens.  

With these tips in place, you can handle your gun safely.  


The journey to responsible firearm ownership extends beyond understanding the mechanics of a gun. It requires a mindset focused on safety, education, and ongoing diligence. Every time a firearm is handled, potential risks emerge. Adhering to these outlined safety measures can significantly reduce firearm-related accidents, ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved.