Keeping your firearms secure is critical if you have kids in the home. If you don’t, it is still essential you know basic firearm safety rules to ensure your safety and that of everyone around you.

We consulted a panel of experts on firearm safety to advise us on the basic firearm safety rules civilians need to practice. Our panel includes;

  • Chief Deputy (Ret) Jay Six, executive-in-residence at The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration at The Center for American and International Law,
  • Gene Petrino, the Co-Owner of Survival Response LLC.,
  • Ares Borg, a long-time counterintelligence officer and police associate.

Gene Petrino is the Co-Owner of Survival Response LLC. One of their services is firearms instruction from beginner to advanced. Gene has been featured in Forbes regarding mass shootings and would love to talk about gun safety;

While there are many safety rules for handling firearms, the most critical one is ‘Always assume a gun is loaded.’ All other rules merely build on this one.

Firearm safety rules are, in fact, designed to build upon each other. This redundancy helps prevent needless accidents and deaths. Take the second rule, ‘never point a gun at anything you do not intend to destroy.’ If you disregard the first rule, the second will ensure you do not point a loaded firearm at anyone.

Ares Borg is a long-time counterintelligence officer and police associate combating drug trafficking who also has war experiences. After retirement, Ares released five crime stories on Amazon. According to Ares…

The primary safety rules of firearms for non-law enforcement officers are; Procurement of weapons is essential. The short weapons, drum revolvers, are best, as they are less likely to self-injury than automatic and semi-automatic pistols. Pistols are thinner and easier to conceal in a suit, but they are more dangerous because it is easier to forget to insure the gun. There is no problem with a revolver. It is crucial to lock the weapon well and thus prevent access to the family, especially children. 

Children should never play with firearms. The owner must not lend his gun to anyone for any reason. Shooting and training should be strictly limited to secured shooting ranges. The pipe must not be turned towards another person, except in particular danger to life. But these are extraordinary cases. 

Weapons cleaning and maintenance are critical. If the firearm is aimed at you, particular caution is required, without any movement. The defense is an excellent danger; defense can only be attempted by specially trained specific experts in the military and police. The probability of success is minimal because the trigger time is short.

For self-defense, I recommend a small derringer with two barrels that carry only two caliber .38 SP bullets. It is a small but powerful weapon.  

Chief Deputy (Ret) Jay Six, executive-in-residence at The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration at The Center for American and International Law. Jay served 40 years as a Texas peace officer and recognizes as both a law enforcement official and father/grandfather full well the importance of ensuring firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands. According to Jay…

The first and primary rule is to store the weapon safely, unloaded, and fitted with a gun lock at home. At best, that means in a gun safe or locking gun cabinet. Ammunition should be stored away from where the weapon is kept and secured under lock and key. An ammo storage box with a padlock is effective. Several states have statutes that require firearms and ammunition to be securely stored to prevent access by children.

But what about keeping a gun ready for self-defense? Suppose a person wants to keep a loaded weapon available but not accessible to children or others. In that case, there are a wide variety of small gun safes that will accommodate a single handgun. Many of those safes use a punch code or biometric lock system. A few even have furniture or decorative look, so they provide a less industrial appearance.

Long guns, like shotguns and rifles, are harder to store, conceal, and keep secure. Here again, a gun safe or cabinet can lock away rifles and shotguns. The same rules apply to shotgun or rifle ammunition. Some companies make under-bed locking cases that provide reasonable access with enough security to prevent unauthorized opening.

If you carry a handgun, use a sturdy and secure holster to maintain control of your gun. You should be able to draw and re-holster without looking. It is imperative to develop the habit of locking your gun away after every carry. Never leave a gun unsecured, laying out in the open, or merely in a nightstand drawer. Responsible gun owners are serious about gun safety.