All Guns are Always Loaded

If you’ve been shooting for any length of time at all, you’ve doubtless had the Four Safety Rules drummed into your head over and over. And rule number one is simple: All guns are always loaded.

By which we mean, of course, that we should always treat all guns as though they’re loaded until we personally have verified that they aren’t, and that we should check them again if they’re out of our direct control and observation for even a second.

I’ve noticed a trend that some people seem to think their level of experience with guns exempts them from these safety rules. I’ve come across two examples in the past day of why this is not so, and I’d like to look at them from the standpoint of how we can be safer with our guns and prevent needless, stupid tragedies.

[Read more…]

Gun Safety: You Don’t Get to Have a Bad Day

Imagine this scene, if you will:

A man enters the gun shop. He unlocks a pistol case and removes a handgun. Dropping the magazine and cycling the slide, he sets it down on the counter. “I’d like to sell this gun,” he says. “Don’t worry – it isn’t loaded.” The store clerk picks the gun up and pulls the slide back to lock it. CLINK! A loaded shell tumbles from the ejector port and lands on top of the glass display case.

I’ve heard two versions of this story recently. In one case, the pistol in question turned out to have a broken extractor which failed to engage with the chambered round when the slide was pulled. I didn’t hear an explanation for why the round in the second case failed to eject the first time, but it doesn’t really matter. Whatever the reason, had the triggers been pulled, both guns would have discharged – possibly with tragic results.

[Read more…]