1. ALWAYS KEEP THE MUZZLE OF YOUR FIREARM POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE CERTAIN IT IS UNLOADED.
Never point any firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot. Be extremely alert and aware of all persons and property within the range of your ammunition.
2. NEVER RELY TOTALLY ON YOUR FIREARM’S MECHANICAL “SAFETY” DEVICE. LIKE ANY MECHANICAL DEVICE, A “SAFETY” CAN SOMETIMES FAIL; IT CAN BE JARRED OR INADVERTENTLY MANIPULATED INTO AN UNSAFE CONDITION.
The word “safety” describes a firearm’s trigger block mechanism, sear block mechanism, hammer block mechanism or firing pin block mechanism.
Mechanical “safeties” are designed to place your firearm in a safer status, and no guarantee can be made that the firearm will not fire even if the “safety” is in the on safe position. Mechanical “safeties” merely aid safe gun handling and are no excuse for pointing your firearm’s muzzle in an unsafe direction. See “Operation of the ‘Safety’” [in your firearm's owner's manual] for instructions on the operation of this firearm’s “safety.”
Remember, safe gun handling does not stop with your firearm’s mechanical “safety” devices, it starts there. Always treat this firearm with the respect due a loaded, ready-to-fire firearm.
Some firearms do not have a mechanical “safety.” Many target firearms, lever-action firearms and pistols do not have manual “safety” mechanisms. Therefore it is critical to read and understand the owner’s manual for every firearm which explains the safe operation of the firearm.
While it is a good idea to “test” your firearm’s mechanical “safety” periodically for proper function, never test the “safety” while your firearm is loaded or pointed in an unsafe direction.
3. WHENEVER YOU HANDLE ANY FIREARM, OR HAND IT TO SOMEONE, ALWAYS OPEN THE ACTION IMMEDIATELY AND VISUALLY CHECK THE FIREARM’S CHAMBER TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE FIREARM IS COMPLETELY UNLOADED.
Make certain the firearm does not inadvertently contain any ammunition. Remember, merely removing the magazine does not mean the chamber is unloaded. Always keep the chamber empty and the “safety” in the on safe position unless shooting is imminent
4. ALWAYS WEAR EAR AND EYE PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING.
Unprotected, repeated exposure to gunfire can cause hearing damage. Wear hearing protection (shooting earplugs or muffs) to guard against such damage.
Wear shooting glasses to protect your eyes from flying particles. Allow proper distance (eye relief) between a scope and your eye when firing a scoped pistol, rifle or shotgun. Do not use unorthodox shooting methods that could cause the rearward travel of the slide or bolt of a firearm to contact your eyes, face or hands.
Always keep a safe distance between the muzzle of your firearm and any persons nearby, as muzzle blast, debris and ejecting cartridges could inflict serious injury.
Always wear eye protection when disassembling and cleaning any firearm to prevent the possibility of springs, spring-tensioned parts, solvents or other agents from contacting your eyes.
5. KEEP ALL FIREARMS UNLOADED DURING TRANSPORT, EVEN WHEN STORED IN A HOLSTER, GUN CASE, SCABBARD OR OTHER CONTAINER.
6. DROPPING OR JARRING A LOADED FIREARM CAN CAUSE ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE.
This can occur even with the “safety” in the on safe position. Be extremely careful while hunting or during any shooting activity to avoid dropping any firearm.
7. HUNTING FROM ELEVATED SURFACES SUCH AS TREESTANDS IS DANGEROUS.
Doing so may increase the risk of mishandling a firearm. The following rules should always be observed by you and those you hunt with. Always make certain that the stand being used is safe and stable. Always make certain that your firearm is unloaded when it is being taken up and down from the stand. Always make certain that your firearm is not dropped from the stand, or dropped while it is being taken up or down from the stand. Remember, a loaded firearm may discharge when dropped, even with the “safety” in the on safe position.
8. STORE YOUR FIREARM AND AMMUNITION SEPARATELY, WELL BEYOND THE REACH OF CHILDREN.
Take prudent safeguards to ensure your firearm does not become available to untrained, inexperienced or unwelcome hands. Store all firearms in secure, locked cases or a gun safe. Keep your firearm unloaded when not in use.
9. BEWARE OF BARREL OBSTRUCTIONS.
Mud, snow and an infinite variety of other objects may inadvertently lodge in a barrel bore. It only takes a small obstruction to cause dangerously increased pressures that can damage your firearm and cause serious injury to yourself and others.
BEFORE CHECKING FOR A BARREL OBSTRUCTION, BE CERTAIN YOUR FIREARM IS COMPLETELY UNLOADED, THERE IS NOT A LIVE CARTRIDGE IN THE CHAMBER AND THE “SAFETY” IS IN THE ON SAFE POSITION.
After assuring yourself that the firearm is completely unloaded, open the breech or action and look through the barrel to be sure it is clear of obstructions. If an obstruction is seen, no matter how small it may be, clean the bore with a cleaning rod and patch as described [in your firearm's owner's manual].
10. BE ALERT TO THE SIGNS OF AMMUNITION MALFUNCTION. IF YOU DETECT AN OFF SOUND OR LIGHT RECOIL WHEN A CARTRIDGE IS FIRED, DO NOT LOAD ANOTHER CARTRIDGE INTO THE CHAMBER.
If your firearm fails to fire, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction for a minimum of 30 seconds. Rotate the ejection area of the firearm away from you, carefully open the action and remove the cartridge from the chamber. If the primer is indented, the defective cartridge should be disposed of in a way that cannot cause harm. If the primer is not indented, your firearm should be examined by a qualified gunsmith and the cause of the malfunction corrected before further use. Glance down the barrel to make sure that no obstructions remain in the barrel. Completely clear the barrel before loading and firing again. Failure to follow these instructions can cause extensive damage to your firearm and possible serious injury to yourself and others.
11. NEVER INSERT A CARTRIDGE OF THE INCORRECT CALIBER INTO ANY FIREARM.
The caliber of your firearm is marked on the barrel. Store all cartridges of different calibers in completely separate and well-marked containers. Never store cartridges of mixed calibers in a common container or in your pockets. See [your firearm's owner's manual] for more information on the correct ammunition for your firearm.