Fall marks the beginning of the season for hunters of all kinds. If you're planning on sitting in a deer blind this season, or just shooting skeet, there are rules of gun safety that apply to everyone.
Children and teens commit more than 1/2 of all unintentional shootings in the U.S. However, millions of emergency room visits could be avoided every year by following a few basic rules of gun safety.
Beginners, non-shooters and children should be closely supervised when handling firearms, but no matter how experienced you are with guns, you should constantly stress safety by following tips like these from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Never point the muzzle at something you don't intend to shoot.
Unload your gun when it is not in use. Secure firearms and ammunition in a safe place separate from each other.
Don't rely on the gun's "safety" setting. Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. Never touch the trigger on a firearm until you actually intend to shoot.
Be sure of your target and what's beyond it. Don't shoot unless you know exactly what your shot is going to strike.
Always wear ear and eye protection. Shooting noise can damage hearing. Vision protection is essential to guard against debris like falling shot or clay target chips.
Don't be shy when it comes to gun safety. If you're still unsure about how to handle a firearm, or if you observe anyone violating any safety precautions, enroll in hunter safety or shooting safety courses and insist that everyone follow safe handling practices.