What Are Important Gun Safety Rules to Follow?
Concealed carry is permitted in Wisconsin as long as residents have a Concealed Weapons License (CWL). While open carry is legal for any resident who is 18 or older and not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, it is important to carry safely whether you are carrying openly or concealing your gun. Gun safety is a common concern and priority among US states, as mishandling a gun can result in injuries and fatalities.
In fact, there were 39,740 gun-related deaths from preventable, intentional, and undetermined causes in 2018, while 2017 saw 39,773 gun-related deaths. As such, our criminal defense attorney hopes to help you avoid committing weapons violations or worse, posing a safety threat to yourself or others, by explaining 10 gun safety tips below.
Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot: Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Even if your gun is unloaded and/or the safety is on, you should keep the barrel pointed at the ground or otherwise away from anyone and anything.
Always keep the gun unloaded when not in use: Only load your weapon when you are ready to shoot. Store your ammunition close enough to your gun so you can load it quickly when needed, but never keep a loaded gun anywhere other than a safe. Places like a dresser or drawer are easily accessible, so ensure that if you do need to leave your gun there, it is unloaded at all times.
Your finger must be off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot: Rather than keep your finger on the trigger when you’re waiting to shoot, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Only put your finger on the trigger when you’re ready to shoot and keep your finger off the trigger when you’re not ready to shoot.
Know your target and its surroundings: You could accidentally shoot a person, animal, or object if you don’t scope out your range of fire properly. Know your area of fire, prospective area of fire, and the environments beyond those actual and potential areas of fire. A bullet can travel for many miles, so be knowledgeable about how far your bullets can travel in case you miss your target. The last thing you want is to accidentally hurt or kill someone or damage another person’s property.
Get your gun serviced regularly: Guns are powerful weapons that can wear and tear over time. Over time, certain functions can become impaired and you cannot take the risk of using a defective or worn-out gun. As such, get your gun inspected, adjusted, and serviced while adhering to the manufacturer’s safety tips.
Store your guns away from unauthorized persons: Children, pets, friends, family, and strangers can easily access your home and vehicle. However, these are common places in which people store their guns. As such, you must be sure to store your gun in a safe place, locked away, and with safety mode on, whether it be located in your home or vehicle, or another authorized place.
Treat your gun as if it were loaded: Accidents involving guns are all too common and often result in fatalities. These can be prevented by treating a gun as if it’s loaded at all times. Even if you are certain that your gun is unloaded and/or the safety is on, do not make any assumptions. It can be deadly.
Never use drugs or alcohol before or while shooting: Just as operating while intoxicatedis illegal for safety reasons, operating a gun while intoxicated is illegal for safety reasons in Wisconsin as well. As mentioned before, a gun is a powerful weapon that can do some serious damage, and operating a gun while impaired by drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol is only asking for trouble.
Wear eye and ear protection: Guns are loud and can damage your hearing, which is why you should use hearing protection while shooting a gun. Not to mention, they can eject debris and gun material while in use or while getting disassembled. With this in mind, you should wear protective eyeglasses while shooting, disassembling, and cleaning your gun.
Don’t rely solely on your gun’s safety: Your gun has a safety mechanism in the form of a switch, button, or lever that prevents a gun from firing when the safety mode is on.However, like with any part of the gun, the safety mode can malfunction and break. Thus, you should follow the tips above and keep your barrel pointed away from anyone and anything, keep your finger off the trigger, and treat your gun like it’s loaded at all times, even when the safety is on. You shouldn’t let the safety replace common sense.
Even if you follow all the above tips and “check all the boxes,” things can still go wrong. Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean you should suffer excessive jail time, expensive fines, and a criminal record as a result. If you are facing weapons charges in Milwaukee, contact us at (414) 882-8382 to discuss your situation and learn how our lawyer can help you!