These rules exist for a reason, make sure you learn them implicitly. Ingrain these rules into your psyche and muscle memory. Train everyone you teach to shoot these rules.
- ALWAYS treat every weapon as if it is loaded
- NEVER put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire
- NEVER point the weapon at anything that you don’t intend to DESTROY or KILL
- ALWAYS be sure of your target and what lies beyond it
All gun accidents, especially those that injure or kill, break one of these rules. I have never known of an “accidental” gun discharge that didn’t break one of these rules.
It is possible to have what’s known as a “cook off,” where the barrel is so hot that the heat ignites the powder, or for a malfunction that causes the gun to misfire. It does happen. However, following these rules means that no one will get hurt should that occur.
When I take a new shooter to the range, they don’t get to handle any firearm until they memorize these rules. And then, they are strictly enforced throughout the training session.