Ten Tips for Firearm Safety in Your Home

Project ChildSafe
Project ChildSafe
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- As part of its “S.A.F.E. Summer” campaign to focus attention on the importance of safe and responsible firearm handling and storage, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) today announced its “Top Ten” list of safety tips firearm owners should remember to help ensure they are taking responsible precautions with firearms in their home.

“Nearly all firearm accidents in the home can be prevented when gun owners take simple precautions, and proper storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “Anyone who is going to own a firearm should respect it and secure it when not in use to help prevent firearm accidents and misuse.”

NSSF’s Top Ten Safety Tips include:

  1. Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
  2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.
  3. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded.
  4. Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
  5. Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
  6. Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
  7. Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
  8. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people–a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
  9. Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
  10. Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.

The “SAFE” in “S.A.F.E. Summer” serves as an acronym for Secure your firearms when not in use; Be Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns; Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner; and Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage. The S.A.F.E. Summer campaign focuses on equipping gun owners take responsible action to help keep their families and communities safer, particularly while children are home from school and more likely to be unattended.

These tips and others tools and information about safe and responsible firearm storage are available at

NSSF launched Project ChildSafe® in 1998 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While children are a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help young people and adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. The program has provided more than 36 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. That’s in addition to the more than 60 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998 and continue to do so today.

Project ChildSafe was originally supported by federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2008, when this funding was cut, the firearms manufacturing industry has solely funded the Project ChildSafe program through the members of NSSF.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation® is a leading organization promoting firearms safety and responsibility in the U.S. More information about Project ChildSafe is available at www.projectchildsafe.org.

NSSF is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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D. Murphy

The NRA has woundeful training programs for gun handling and safety…I wish more people knew this and took advantage of them.


if you donate to them,they probally will….. Naaa

Bill Baker

Another small point that NRAMama missed out on growing up evidentally, but my family did not is: Teach your kids about guns, take the mystery out and teach them how to act around guns. This will save more lives than making them fear the guns or wonder why they are always locked in dad’s safe.

Bill Baker

Ok, for those of you with kids, feel free to follow all these rules, hell, make up a few more. But this was more politically correct bullshit. My kids are college age and gone, I’m alone have been a long time, if I want my magazine in my gun below my desk, my business. Keeping your magazine in a different spot just means more places you have to go, and more things you have to do when shit hits the fan. Happy for you, feel free to lecture me more fake nra mama. Each persons situation varies, and mine obviously… Read more »


I have 5 Kids from ranging from 3 to 22. I leave mine handguns for home defense in a safe with a 6 digit key code and with a loaded mags but empty chambers. I do buy my kids toy guns so that I can correct them and teach them not to point it at themselves or others. Even though it is a toy I make them treat it as a real weapon. I also go over gun safety with them. When my kids are gone I do exercises to try to make myself quick at opening the safe and… Read more »

Barry Cole

Home defense is critical to protect children too, from having a dead parent, dead siblings, dead dad, or raped or beaten mom, sisters, or themselves. Parenting requires control of all hazards, gasoline, chemicals, machinery, electricity. We do not prosecute people for accidents with these other things, why wre we allowing the item (guns) to control the discussion. People should protect children. We allow for drano to be undervthe sunk and accept a plastic finger trigger latch to secure the door. Drano is good smelling and easy to eat or get in eyes for any age that can ambulate. It kills… Read more »


I wish people would stop buying kids toy guns. Toy guns teach kids terrible bad habits which are hard to break such as pointing guns at each other and putting their fingers on the trigger. The best thing you can do to prevent accidents is educate your kids about respect for firearms. There have been children who have protected their homes with firearms because they were educated about them.


Nramama you’re wrong. my main goto firearm is always locked,loaded and holstered on me. the rest of my guns have safety locks.


Bill a gun should be unloaded with a loaded mag in a place nearby. I prefer using Critical Duty rounds in my home protection mag and it is safely in a place no child would find. I understand the point you are making but if children are ever in a home both guns and loaded magazines need to be in a safe location.


Ask your local police department if they have free gun locks available. All of the police departments in my northern CA county have them and give them out without hesitation. I’ve been asked “you only need two?” Not that they were fishing for more info, they just wanted me to know I could have more if I needed them.


^ What Bill said!!!

Bill Baker

Thanks NSSF for your politically correct tips for firearms safety in the home. Unloading my guns when not in use would however prevent their use in an emergency if someone should break into my home. So be safe, unload your guns, so when the guy breaks into your house you die alongside your unloaded guns, knowing at least, that they were ‘safe’.