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Firearms Safety Rules

Lt. Colonel Jeff Cooper advocated four basic rules of gun safety:


  1. Treat all weapons as if they were loaded.
    - Even if you're confident they are not, treat them as if they are.

  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    - Your sights should be on target before your finger is on trigger.  This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.

  3. Never point your weapon at anything you are not willing to kill.
    - See Rule #1 - your muzzle should never cross any object you are not willing to destroy.

  4. Know your target and what is beyond it.
    - Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified and realize your bullet may travel past your intended target.