Gun Manners

As with all things, politeness and good manners are the sign of a superior individual, and this includes gun handling.  While we must all follow the "4 Rules" there are some additional behaviors that mark a mature and responsible shottist.  Be a gun gentleman/lady, and not a gun slob.


  1. Follow the "4 Rules" all of the time.  No exceptions.
  2. Don't touch another person's firearm without permission.
  3. Don't ask if a person is armed.
  4. Don't ask if the owner has ever been in an armed confrontation.
  5. Don't ask to "see" a firearm that is being carried by someone.
  6. If allowed to examine another's firearm--especially a prized or valuable one-- try to keep your fingerprints off the metal and if you do accidentally leave fingerprints let the owner know so that they may be removed to prevent finish damage if so desired. 
  7. Clear a firearm and lock the action open before handing a firearm to another person, and ask the owner of a firearm to do so before they hand it to you, no matter what the owner claims.
  8. Pay attention to what is down range when you are shooting and call and ensure a cease fire if anyone is going down range.
  9. If unfamiliar with the operation of a particular firearm, ask the owner to demonstrate and to "show clear" before you handle it.
  10. Don't drop an autopistol's slide on an empty chamber, nor "flip" a revolver's cylinder closed.
  11. Don't drop the hammer to "test" the trigger without the owner's permission. (Remember to recheck that the chamber is empty and that you are pointed in a safe direction before doing so.)
  12. If allowed to fire someone else's firearm offer to pay for the ammunition., or return the favor and offer your firearm to be fired.
  13. If you are allowed to borrow a firearm for an extended period of time, return it on time, and return it cleaned and lubricated--even if it was dirty when you received it.
  14. Don't criticize another's firearm nor start telling them what it needs to be "better" unless they ask for your opinion.
  15. After a shooting session, pick up your brass and targets, and clean up your area.  Leave it cleaner than when you got there.  (This simple courtesy is so commonly ignored I wonder if the world is full of slobs.)
  16. Be polite and patient to non-shooters and encourage them to try shooting.
  17. If at all possible don't carry openly unless on the range, in a shooting class, or in the hunting field.  It does nothing but upset the sheeple and convinces them that gun owners are evil macho yahoos, and marks you as a "person of interest" for any goblins or anti-gun police that are about.  It may be a right to do so, but rights come with responsibilities.
  18. If you borrow a book or manual return it promptly.

A final comment.  There is no reason to look, act, and dress like a slob when you use firearms.  Looking and acting like a slob reinforces the anti-gunners claim that gun owners are just crazy redneck slobs.


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Updated 2015-07-29