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beyond the 5 safety rules; storage/handling

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Prophet, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Prophet

    Prophet Member

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    I recently moved into a new house and am trying to create some good habits and put some procedures in place for myself and my wife regarding gun cleaning, transporting and storage around our home. In the meantime I’m trying to strike the balance between safety, security and accessibility, with safety obviously being the #1 priority.

    For example, I have one room in my home that we clean and maintain our firearms in. Our procedure for cleaning after a range trip goes like this; all firearms and magazines are checked to ensure they are unloaded before they enter that room. No ammunition whatsoever is allowed in that room at any time, but regardless we check the room thoroughly for ammunition before bringing the unloaded firearms into the room. Before disassembly and before function checks we check individual firearms again. From here, the firearms we intend to keep empty go to our storage (soon-to-be gun safe) and the HD/SD firearms are loaded to their respective areas in which we keep them for quick accessibility.

    I’m using this as an example to ask the question; have you instilled similar habits, levels of accountability or procedures for being safe with firearms inside your home that go beyond the 5 firearms safety rules? Do you have devices such as a clearing station, etc. to load your firearms or dry-fire? Do you have a place that you put your SD firearms whenever you get home?
     
  2. AZAndy
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    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    My rule is this: If it's in the safe, it's unloaded. If it's loaded, and lying around somewhere, it's in a holster. If it's unloaded and lying around somewhere, like for future cleaning or maintenance, it's not in a holster (though I still always check it first before doing anything with it).
     
  3. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    As above, no loaded firearms in the safe. No loaded chambers unless I'm doing on-body carry. I have a bullet trap that I use any time I need to do a trigger pull (take down for cleaning or dry fire). I have fairly recently started doing an OWB carry 'around the house' and I'm still going chamber empty there.
     
  4. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Taking the contrary view here. I think it's a setup for failure to assume that the guns in a safe or in a specific room are unloaded.

    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

    Consequently, no matter where I'm handling a gun or what I'm doing to it (modifying or cleaning) I handle just like I would a loaded one. Why? Because

    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

    What people ask is, "Then how do you clean them?" Simple. Until such time as they are disassembled I obey the other 3 rules; don't point them at people, pets or valuables, keep finger off trigger, make sure of the backstop, because

    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
     
  5. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I hear the theme music from Mission Impossible playing in the background, as you search high and low for a stray round of ammunition.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Member

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    In MY house, any handgun in a holster, whether out of the safe or not IS loaded and ready to fire. Any handgun not in a holster, regardless of location is never loaded. Since I am the only one who handles my guns, it works for me. I have no kids at home any longer.
     
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  7. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    We have no kids at home. They all grew up with guns and gun safety, with safety being paramount. All guns are considered loaded at all times. My carry gun is loaded properly with a round in the chamber, on my hip during all waking hours. My fallback pistol is too, staged in a satchel bag. My wife's is loaded, same condition. My AR is empty chamber, loaded mag, safety off, staged in the master bedroom.

    The handguns in the gun safe may or may not be loaded. They, as always, are considered loaded. We are all potty trained adults. If you handle them, muzzle in a safe direction, check for loaded condition, clear, empty or recharge as needed.

    Hunting rifles are customarily left unloaded; ammunition stored elsewhere. Again, when handling, muzzle direction, check for empty. Clear, inspect, clean, return to safe or carrying case.

    We as a family have gone through a lot of communication, and practice. Dummy guns take the anxiety out beginner handling. Inner circle friends understand the parameters of behavior that we all operate with. It is rare that a friend comes to our home who is not armed. Officer or civillian.
     
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  8. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    What are the 5 rules you speak of? I've only heard of 4, 3 of which are impossible to follow all of the time.
     
  9. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I can think of several that can be followed at all times. If they aren't, it's simple: people get hurt.

    Know your firearm, how it operates and understand the safety features by thoroughly reading the manual before handling it for the first time.
    Treat every firearm as if it is loaded at all times.
    Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times until ready to shoot.
    Keep your finger off of the trigger at all times until ready to shoot.
    Know your target, backstop and what's beyond before starting to shoot.
    Only use ammunition for the specific caliber/gauge of your firearm that is recommended by the manufacturer.
    Keep you firearms and ammunition stored safely away from unauthorized persons.


    Seriously, if people just followed these very simple firearm safety rules gun-related accidents would be negligible.

    Shoot safe!
     
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  10. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    No. No. No. No.

    All firearms are always loaded.

    No IFs, ANDs, or BUTs. No AS IF. No qualifiers or other conditional modifiers.
     
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  11. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I was asking specifically about the "5 rules" that the OP mentioned. Obviously we could all just keep coming up with a whole bunch of safety rules if we wanted to get extremely specific about every possible scenario.
     
  12. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Try thinking about that statement from an objective, logical position. It simply doesn't make sense. What positive outcome comes from insisting that people recite a "rule" that isn't actually true?
     
  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Well, you stated you could only think of four and added that three of the rules are impossible to follow all the time. You didn’t post any of the four rules, especially the three that you state are impossible to follow all the time, so in order to find some clarity in your post we all must then guess which ones you are talking about.

    All of the rules I listed are followable at all times, including the times it is physically impossible to have a loaded firearm when it’s completely disassembled and in pieces on my bench. I fully understand and agree with Alfsuaves statement, as guns are inherently very dangerous and must always be respected as such, so even when completely apart I still treat all pieces and parts of the frame, action, stock, barrel, magazine etc. with respect by following safe handling practices... as if it was a loaded gun. :thumbup:
     
  14. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I did not say I could only think of four. I can think of dozens, as I'm sure we all can. Obviously that's impractical, which is why people try to condense them down somewhat. I said I had only heard of "the" four rules", not five specifically. If you do an online search for "rules of safe gun handling" you will see many references to "the four rules, or "ten rules", or "the three rules" that the NRA teaches. Since I didn't see a reference to "the five rules" in the first couple pages of my search, I was simply curious about "the five rules" that the OP mentions and what they are.
    The "four rules" which is the most common number you will find when searching for gun safety rules, second only to the "three rules" of the NRA, are these.
    1. All Guns Are Always Loaded
    This one should be obvious. The gun is not "always" loaded and cannot be treated as such, at least not if it's going to be maintained. I clean my guns, I dry fire practice with my guns, and (horror of horrors:D) I train in force on force scenarios using guns. Each of those things require that the gun be treated as if it was unloaded for a time, and/or requires some temporary modification or addition to the weapon. I understand the principle behind the "rule", but when taken at face value, it is ridiculous and impossible to actually follow for real.
    I take it you don't inspect the muzzle of your firearms then? Or dry fire practice? When your gun is disassembled on a table, which part do you make sure to not point at yourself or anyone else in the room? The barrel? The frame with trigger in it?
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy
    This one should also be obvious. Once again, I understand the principle, but when taken at face value, this one is also impossible to actually follow. The muzzle is regularly covering something you're not willing to destroy, such as your hip, your thigh, people or things below you on another floor, people or things above the guns in a safe or cabinet, the inside of a vehicle, etc. etc.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target
    This one is more practical a lot of the time, but even this isn't something that should or can be followed at all times. You won't always have your sights on the target when you shoot. Anyone who has trained to use a pistol at extreme close quarters will know what I mean.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond
    This one can be followed at all times, within reason depending on what exactly "what is beyond" means.

    Let me stress once again. I understand the principle behind these rules. What I don't get is why some folks insist upon using and reciting these "rules" and refuse to admit that, taken at face value, they are simply not realistic and are outside of the laws of physics.
     
  15. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    I keep my dedicated home defense gun in my handgun safe that is bolted to my bed frame. It's always chambered and there is a couple spare loaded magazines in there also. Since it is holstered when deployed and presented by the safe, it's impossible to grab the gun by the trigger, even in complete darkness. Also has room for the CCW to go in there at night too. My wife could grab it if needed.

    058efbfd1f95569fbad1870475311136.jpg
     
  16. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    They are intended to be simple and easy to read and understand, not to cover any and every possible situation that one may, intentionally or not, find themself in. If that were the case there would be dozens and dozens of ACLU and plaintiffs bar approved pages of lawyer-speak for each rule for us all to drown in...and the message is lost.

    Seriously, if you want to play semantic, sarcastic (and truth be told, utterly silly) games with the rules of firearm safety go right ahead. It’s your decision, and it’s on your dime.

    I really don’t care if you play fast and loose with the rules of firearm safety, or if you spend your time looking for hypothetical impossibilities hidden within simplified safety axioms. All anyone can ask is please don’t physically violate these simple rules around others who aren't buying what you’re selling. If your shooting partners do, may luck, and God, be with them.

    Myself? I’m not buying, and I’m out.

    Please have a safe one.
     
  17. BLB68

    BLB68 Member

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    I've always heard this one as "until ready to fire," which addresses your concerns.
     
  18. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    One thing I've done every place I've lived is to mark a designated ''Safe Direction". A spot on a properly backstopped wall or furniture, with as much unoccupied space behind it as possible. I mark it with a target or poster or some sort of wall hanging.

    In one apartment, it was an old USMC flak jacket on the inside of a closet door, a lvl III vest on the outside of the door, and about 150 yards beyond the back wall of the closet and the next house. In another, the end of a six foot bookshelf, filled with hardcover books, and an exterior brick wall beyond it.

    These provide a known ''Safe Direction" for dry firing and such handling as require such.
     
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  19. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Possibly. Most people would consider "sights are on the target" to mean that you're actually seeing the sights. What I'm talking about is fighting or training to fight with a handgun at distances inside of 3 feet. At that range, you're not generally seeing or using your sights at all. Technically though, the sights are on the target since the sights point wherever the gun does, even if you're not looking at them. Depends how you define your terms.
     
  20. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    You must care a little bit or you wouldn't have bothered responding. ;)
    What I presented was not at all hypothetical, it was all completely realistic, common scenarios that anyone who is around firearms is likely to encounter.
    You are physically violating at least one of the "rules" as I write this. You currently have guns (assuming you actually have the guns you've talked about on this forum) whose muzzles are covering things that you're not willing to destroy. Assuming you maintain your weapons, you physically violate at least one more of the "rules" as well. I'm fully aware that that isn't the point of those rules, but why do you insist on reciting them when they don't literally apply at all times but instead require a bunch of explanation and qualifying of the exceptions and variations? Why not word them in a clear and concise manner that is actually valid at all times?
    :thumbup:
     
  21. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    This. If you follow this extra steps aren't needed. If doing more makes you feel good then by all means keep doing them. It is in no way dangerous to have ammunition in the same area as guns being serviced, the unsafe part would be from the wrong action of the individual. My regular handling habits may be more relaxed than some but are 100% safe and ive never accidentally loaded or chambered a round i didnt intend to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  22. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Cooper's Four Rules are necessary and sufficient. No addendums, no deletions.

    Having a room in which you mentally violate Rule 1 is just inviting further violations. . . and a possible accident.
     
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