Col. Jeff Cooper – considered to be the Father of modern firearms safety and techniques.
1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED. EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT, TREAT THEM AS SUCH….
A firearm is a tool and lethal weapon capable of firing a projectile at over a thousand feet per second. Guns are not toys, props or gimmicks. If someone confuses gun handling with machismo or handles a gun in an unsafe manner – simply leave. Ingrain safe gun handling into your subconscious by always treating a gun as if it is loaded and following these rules.
2. NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO IMMEDIATELY DESTROY….
Once the gun is in your hand it becomes your responsibility. Keep it pointed towards something that can absorb the impact and energy of a fired bullet. If the gun is unloaded, refer to rule #1. Put things into perspective – the target backstop at the gun range, an earth berm, solid trees, the ground, an unoccupied vehicle, etc. are all better places to point a gun rather than towards another person.
Pointing a gun up may at times be the only option although remember what goes up must come down. When I’m inside a building handling even an unloaded gun, I go so far as to not point the gun towards the ceiling when floors above are occupied. At the Gun Store professional staff will safety check firearms before presenting to you. Even though the staff literally just checked the gun in front of you, it’s now your turn to ensure the gun is unloaded (ask if you don’t know how). This action does three things: 1. Verify for yourself the gun is unloaded. 2. Demonstrate your knowledge of firearms safety and respect for others. 3. Reinforce safe gun handling into your subconscious. Before handing to another person you’ll want to demonstrate the gun is unloaded.
3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET AND YOU’VE MADE THE CONSCIOUS DECISION TO FIRE….
“High Index” is a fancy way of saying keep your trigger finger off the trigger and placed above and outside the trigger guard. There are multiple reasons why.
All good instructors will teach these rules however many won’t explain or perhaps don’t understand why………learn from an instructor who can explain the specific reasons why, provide insight, real life examples and experiences.
4. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND….
Failing at this rule gets innocent people killed. Many firearms instructors say, “There is a lawyer attached to every bullet you fire.” Speaking from experience I say that is false. As someone who performs investigative support for litigation, private and court appointed criminal defense for crimes involving firearms, I can tell you there is not, “A Lawyer” attached to every bullet. There are potentially half a dozen or more lawyers attached to every bullet.
People believing they’re home is being invaded too often recklessly and negligently fire without identifying their target – you can likely imagine all the legal liability in the world is nothing compared to the grief of accidentally killing a love one. Take a handgun safety course.
” The goal is to ingrain safe gun handling into your subconscious “
For more resources including firearms safety for young children click here.
Is an American Private Investigator & Security Consultant based in Topton, Pennsylvania USA
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