Office of Communications

Hunter Education

Firearms Safety Tips

Woman firing a rifle

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Watch the muzzle! Prepare to control the direction of the muzzle even if you stumble.
  • Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and that you have only ammunition of the proper size for the gun you are carrying.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you pull the trigger; know identifying features of the game you hunt.
  • Unload guns when not in use. Take down or have actions open. Guns should be carried in cases to the shooting area.
  • Never point a gun at anything you dont want to shoot or kill. Do not play with a firearm.
  • Never climb a tree or jump a ditch with a loaded gun. Never pull the gun toward you by the muzzle.
  • Never shoot a bullet at flat, hard surfaces or water.
  • Store guns and ammunition separately, beyond the reach of children and careless adults. Consider using trigger locks.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and medications that cause drowsiness before or during use of a firearm.