So you’ve filed the proper paperwork, undergone the background check, passed through the waiting period, and maybe even obtained a Concealed Carry Weapon license. But there’s one major concern to owning a handgun that never ends: safety.
Handling a potentially lethal weapon is no small responsibility. The critical tips — about handling, practice, aiming, servicing, and proper ammunition — are well covered by experts such as the Firearm Industry Trade Association and the NRA.
Among the essentials: know your gun. Each model is different. Get used to how it handles, loads and aims. Be familiar with the ‘safety’ mechanism. Know the correct ammo, and store bullets and guns safely. Make sure your gun is clean and the barrel clear. And an obvious tip that can’t be overstated: the gun should be unloaded unless in direct use. The informal rule among gun owners: don’t point it unless you plan to use it.
Many of these good habits noted above come with establishing and repeating a positive routine. That often comes with actual practice time on the range — which brings up another safety step. Always wear ear and eye protection. Glasses protect you from shrapnel and ejected casings, and protecting the ears — with professional-grade ear ‘muffs’ and ear plugs — help avoid permanent hearing damage.
These measures are a serious element of gun ownership. In fact, glasses and hearing guards are mandatory at commercial shooting ranges. But safe locking, storage and body gear are also important. Here are a few tips:
The proper body gear is important as well. A professional-grade gun holster — worn inside or outside the waistband, depending on preference — provides secure carry on the range or in the field. It restricts any movement of the gun, keeping it close and tight to the body. Sizes are specific to your gun for maximum comfort and ease of use. There can also be a but of fashion involved!
A device that fits inside the loop of the gun’s trigger, making it impossible to pull — that’s a trigger lock, a basic and inexpensive piece of safety hardware. Like other small locking devices, trigger locks can be opened by combination, or by key. Another variation is a cable lock that loops through the trigger to secure the gun to its rack. These DOJ-approved models make it impossible to remove the gun from the area in which it is secured.
These units keep firearms and ammo secure, behind steel and a heavy door lock, from unauthorized access, including burglars. This step, particularly when each gun is itself unloaded, is the best way to keep curious children far away from your guns, offering the best sense of security. The stouter models can also offer protection from fire, flood and other disasters.