Firearm Safety

Own it? Respect it. Secure it. Here, Dr. Preston will share some tips on how to safely and securely store firearms. Let's do our part to make gun safety a top priority in our homes by following the Project ChildSafe initiative.

Click the icon to visit Project ChildSafe


Firearm education and safety is paramount—

Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Always assume that a gun is loaded even if you think it is unloaded. Every time a gun is handled for any reason, check to see that it is unloaded. If you are unable to check a gun to see if it is unloaded, leave it alone and seek help from someone more knowledgeable about guns.

The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:

Blue Icon of a Firearm Pointed in a Safe Direction

ALWAYS Keep The Gun Pointed In A Safe Direction

This is the primary rule of gun safety. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

Blue Icon of Finger Off The Trigger

ALWAYS Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot

When holding a gun, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

Blue Icon of an Unloaded Shotgun

ALWAYS Keep The Gun Unloaded Until Ready To Use

If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.

When using or storing a gun, always follow these additional NRA rules:


  • Know your target and what is beyond.
  • Know how to use the gun safely.

Be sure the gun is safe to operate:

  • Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
  • Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
  • Never use alcohol, over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs before or while shooting.
  • Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
  • Additional Safety Precautions
  • Cleaning