Concealed Carry Basics 14

#1 Safety 101: The 4 Rules of Firearm Safety

The essentials of safe handling of firearms. While there are dozens of good safety practices these are the Four Cardinal Rules.


These rules are in a specific order, and are unchangeable.

  1. All firearms are always loaded.
  2. Never point a firearm at anything you’re not willing to kill or destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to fire.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond.


These rules are not in any specific order

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs while handling/firing a firearm.
  • Always wear hearing and eye protection when shooting.
  • Keep your firearm unloaded and secure until ready to use. Firearms are number one on a burglar’s list. Record your firearm’s description and serial numbers.
  • Keep your firearms secure from unauthorized people, especially children and untrained adults. Teach everyone in your household basic firearms safety. You can’t kid-proof a house, but you can gun-proof a kid.
  • Know and use only the proper ammunition for your firearm. Store ammunition separately from firearms. Separate ammunition from firearms while cleaning.
  • Never alter your firearm’s mechanism yourself or disable a safety. Return your firearm to the manufacturer for repair and keep its records and receipts.
  • Clean your weapon after each firing or when stored for a long period of time. Know how to properly disassemble your firearm for cleaning. Read and ensure you understand the owner’s manual for your specific firearm. If you don’t have one, get it free from the manufacturer.
  • Obey property laws and shoot only where authorized. Clean up after yourself and leave the area better than you found it.
  • When going to shoot arrange times and locations so that someone knows where you are and when you’ll return. Have communication such as a cell phone or radio with you and never shoot alone.