The 4 rules of gun safety?

The 4 rules of gun safety?

This is a discussion on The 4 rules of gun safety? within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; I keep reading about the 4 golden rules of gun safety, however most don't define them. I guess you are just supposed to know. I've ...

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    New Member Array kshj's Avatar
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    The 4 rules of gun safety?

    I keep reading about the 4 golden rules of gun safety, however most don't define them. I guess you are just supposed to know. I've been shooting/hunting for 30 some odd years and never had a negligent discharge. Here is what I was taught by my father and grandfather, let's see what you guys think.

    - A firearm is loaded until you confirm otherwise.
    - Never point at something you don't intend to dispatch.
    - Always keep safety on/ finger off trigger until you are ready to fire.
    - Be aware of what is behind your target.

    Is there something I missed? Have I been doing it wrong all these years?

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    Member Array Cypher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kshj View Post
    I keep reading about the 4 golden rules of gun safety, however most don't define them. I guess you are just supposed to know. I've been shooting/hunting for 30 some odd years and never had a negligent discharge. Here is what I was taught by my father and grandfather, let's see what you guys think.

    - A firearm is loaded until you confirm otherwise.
    - Never point at something you don't intend to dispatch.
    - Always keep safety on/ finger off trigger until you are ready to fire.
    - Be aware of what is behind your target.

    Is there something I missed? Have I been doing it wrong all these years?
    I only disagree with you on one point, a firearm is loaded period.

    Something I read from Kathy Jackson (Corned Cat) about firearm safety was you treat all firearms as loaded no matter what. There are no two different ways to handle a gun based on whether or not it's loaded you treat them all like they're loaded. If I can find the article I'll post the link.

    Rule One:*“All guns are always loaded. (Treat them so!)”

    This rule means that we must always treat every firearm with the same respect we would give a loaded weapon.

    When we follow Rule One, even after we have just checked to see that the gun is unloaded, we still never do anything with it that we would not do with a loaded gun.

    This is the cardinal rule, and all other safety rules follow naturally from it. At its heart, Rule One means that the other safety rules will always apply. It means we carefully protect our good habits, and never excuse our bad ones.

    Some people apparently believe that merely checking to see the gun is unloaded means they can then treat it like a toy — that they can point it at their friends to pose for a picture, or at their training partners for disarming practice, or at a flimsy interior wall for dryfire, or at their own left hands to check trigger function. That’s a foolish, foolish idea that kills a certain number of people every single year.
    The Four Rules | Cornered Cat

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    Roped guns are great stress inocculators when used during force-on-force training.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    I've been shooting for over 50 years, including in the military, I completely get the four rules, I follow them, etc. But there are logical inconsistencies.
    1. "Always treat every gun as if it were loaded." OK, then you can't field strip it, clean it or dry fire it. If it is loaded, you should not be doing any of those things.
    2. "Never point a gun at anything to don't intend to destroy." Do you want to destroy your holster? The wall of your house? The inside of your safe? And again, no dry firing. The muzzle is always pointing somewhere.
    3. "Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire." Again, that means no dry firing and you can never field strip a Glock.
    4. "Be aware of what is behind your target." If you are target shooting, fine. If someone is firing at you, you might be able to make a partial assessment of that, but maybe not. No way you are going to be able to make a full assessment of everywhere a round could go in a stress situation.

    In other words, no one here who actually carries and shoots always follows the rules of gun safety!

    These rules are like the checklists we had in Naval Aviation. Each of them had a context where they were valid and other contexts where they were not. They don't work unless there is a thinking, reasoning brain directing them. They are memory joggers. I would like to see them called "Safety Checklists" instead of rules.

    I am reminded of the following cartoon. This guy was just following instructions, aka "The Rules!"

    The 4 rules of gun safety?-picture1.jpg
    Attack Squadron 65 "Tigers", USS Eisenhower '80 - '83, peackeeping w/Iran, Libya, Lebanon and E. Europe

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    Member Array Nifty's Avatar
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    I have added one. It might be a combination of the above. When ever I pick up a firearm, I will do one of two things first - Shoot it or make it safe. And by making it safe, I empty, clear, etc.

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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Roped guns are great stress inocculators when used during force-on-force training.
    Okay, I'll bite. What is a "roped gun"? Yippee kay yay?
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    I agree with your 4 points including treating a gun as loaded until you have confirmation that it is unloaded. I think considering gun to be unloaded all the time is a bit too scrupulous. That premise does not take into consideration that some guns are unloaded. An unloaded gun cannot fire a round that is not there. I think it is prescribe that one should consider every gun to be loaded until a physical examination of the gun azures that it is unloaded. So I think clarity should portray the fact that some guns are unloaded, but checking that is critical to safety. It is a bit of semantics, but a precisely stated rule is always best.
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    According to my dad, there was a 5th rule.
    If you do not follow the above 4 rules,
    Rule 5- I will slap you upside your head.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G26Raven View Post
    Okay, I'll bite. What is a "roped gun"? Yippee kay yay?
    It works for semi-autos of all types. Drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear and run a length of rope or weedwhacker string through the barrel and magazine well with the ends protruding from both. The gun is rendered physically and visually safe, and can be used for force-on-force training.

    Anyone who has ever gone through a handgun class at Tactical Defense Institute is very familiar with the technique.
    "Stop being dangerous, and you become edible." William Aprill

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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    It works for semi-autos of all types. Drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear and run a length of rope or weedwhacker string through the barrel and magazine well with the ends protruding from both. The gun is rendered physically and visually safe, and can be used for force-on-force training.

    Anyone who has ever gone through a handgun class at Tactical Defense Institute is very familiar with the technique.
    Okay, now I understand. Just never heard it referred to in that manner. When we first started training, our instructor had us use yellow plastic barrels from 5.11 that rendered the firearm inoperable. We also used blue (plastic) guns.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rabbit212's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    It works for semi-autos of all types. Drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear and run a length of rope or weedwhacker string through the barrel and magazine well with the ends protruding from both. The gun is rendered physically and visually safe, and can be used for force-on-force training.

    Anyone who has ever gone through a handgun class at Tactical Defense Institute is very familiar with the technique.
    And the rest of us are not. We have a number of members that like to throw out "terms" that to them may be simple and easy to understand/decipher but not so much for the rest of us. Please stop and remember that the Majority of us on here may not have your level of training/experience/expertise.
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    Member Array Dial1911's Avatar
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    And for us folks who need it, here’s your sign

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit212 View Post
    And the rest of us are not. We have a number of members that like to throw out "terms" that to them may be simple and easy to understand/decipher but not so much for the rest of us. Please stop and remember that the Majority of us on here may not have your level of training/experience/expertise.
    I'm always glad to provide additional explanation.
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    Member Array Orive 8's Avatar
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    The Four Universal Safety Rules (as used by my former PD and my training company)
    1. All guns are always considered loaded.
    2. Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target & you intend to shoot.
    4. Be sure of your target, backstop and background beyond.
    Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I'm always glad to provide additional explanation.
    Sometimes ad nauseum...

    Sorry Mike, sometimes I cannot resist urges. No explanation needed.

    Rules are made to be broken. Sometimes the results are self explanatory.
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