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Teach your family how to safely handle firearms

As a gun owner in Tennessee, you know that you may have the right to carry. You take great care when using your gun and know that gun ownership comes with an incredible responsibility. Tennessee was ranked 10th in the United States for highest rate of gun related deaths. The laws here are some of the least-restrictive in the United States.

You know that you are careful with your gun. With statistics like these, it is important to remember that good safety practices can make all the difference. 

If you plan to familiarize your family with guns, you will want to make sure they know these 12 steps for handling a gun safely.

  1. Always assume and treat a gun as if it were loaded.
  2. Be aware of where the gun is being aimed at all times. Keep it pointed in a safe direction.
  3. Only point the gun at a target. If you handle a gun as if it is always loaded, you should never point it an anything you wouldn’t intend to shoot.
  4. Be fully aware of your target and all that surrounds it. You should also know what is beyond your target. You should fully understand what could be hit if you were to miss your target.
  5. Watch your finger placement. Your finger should only be on the trigger of the gun if and when you are ready to shot.
  6. Keep the gun unloaded. Never store a loaded gun. The gun should only be loaded when you are ready to use it.
  7. Make sure the barrel of the gun is clear before loading or shooting the gun.
  8. Understand how your gun works. You should learn the mechanics of your gun. Know its characteristics and how to properly handle the gun. If you have more than one gun, know the difference in their mechanics.
  9. Do not rely on the gun’s safety mechanism. You should always handle the gun as if it could fire at any moment.
  10. Know what to do if the gun fails to fire. Do not look into the barrel of the gun. Hold your position and keep the gun pointed in a safe direction until you know the gun will not go off and that you can safely unload it.
  11. Use proper ammunition. You never want to use ammunition that is not intended for your gun and purposes.
  12. Do not make unnecessary modifications to your gun. Any alterations that are not made by a professional or intended by the manufacturer could be hazardous.

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