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.
- Follow the "4 Rules" all of the time. No exceptions.
- Don't touch another person's firearm without permission.
- Don't ask if a person is armed.
- Don't ask if the owner has ever been in an armed
- Don't ask to "see" a firearm that is being
carried by someone.
- 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
- 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
- Pay attention to what is down range when you are shooting
and call and ensure a cease fire if anyone is going down range.
- If unfamiliar with the operation of a particular firearm,
ask the owner to demonstrate and to "show clear" before you handle it.
- Don't drop an autopistol's slide on an empty chamber, nor
"flip" a revolver's cylinder closed.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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
- Don't criticize another's firearm nor start telling them
what it needs to be "better" unless they ask for your opinion.
- After a shooting session, pick up your brass and targets, and
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
- Be polite and patient to non-shooters and encourage them to try
- 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
- 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.
I see way too many idiots running around dressed like they've been clean the
sewage system, with crappy holsters, and tatsteless or offensive t-shirts
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