A key principle of operating a firearm is that you must treat it as though it can go off at any time. Too many well intentioned gun owners treat the gun’s safety as a foolproof safety solution. The safety, by contrast, is a mechanical device that prevents the gun from firing when it is working, but it is not foolproof. Like all mechanical things, it could become inoperable, so never think your weapon is safe simply because the safety is on.
Additionally, you might think the safety is on when it is actually off. A safety, then, is to be treated as an added help to proper gun safety protocols, but it is not meant to function as a substitute for firearm safety procedures and practices.
Avoid touching the trigger on your gun until you are going to actually shoot, as mentioned previously. Keep your fingers away from the trigger while unloading or reloading, and never pull the trigger of your weapon with the safety on the safe position or anywhere between the safety and firing positions. These three bedrock principles of gun safety are particularly important with regards to the safety of the weapon. The gun is capable of firing at any time if you make any of these safety mistakes, even if you don’t touch the trigger again.
Further, do not place the safety in between positions. Always keep the safety on until you are positive that you are ready to fire the weapon. Even with the safety on, a strong blow can actually activate the firing mechanism of a firearm, causing it to fire. This happens even if you don’t touch the trigger, with a classic example of this being when you drop a firearm. Due to this, take care that you have a firm handle on your weapon at all times, and do not rest it against anything where it has the possibility of falling over and discharging.
The only times you can be positive your weapon can’t fire is if the action is open and it is entirely empty. Otherwise, your weapon can fire, so don’t rely exclusively on your firearm’s safety mechanism. You and the safe gun principles and tips in this guide are your best weapons safety protocol.