The 10 Rules of Firearm Safety
Keep the Muzzle Pointed in a Safe Direction
It is your responsibility to always control the muzzle of your firearm and ensure it is pointed in a safe direction. This rule should be followed at ALL times, even if the firearm is unloaded or in a protective case. If you remember and obey this rule, you will not have to worry about hurting any person or damaging property.
Treat Every Firearm as if it Were Loaded
Every time you pick up a firearm, point it in a safe direction, open the action and check to see whether ammunition is present. When another hunter hands you a firearm, do not accept it unless the firearm is unloaded and the action is open.
Check the Barrel and Action for Obstructions
When debris gets into a barrel of any firearm, it is a condition referred to as an obstruction. It blocks the path of the bullet and can cause injury to you or to your firearm. If you suspect that your barrel has an obstruction, unload the firearm and clean the barrel with a cleaning jag.
Be Sure of Your Target, In Front and Beyond, and Keep Your Finger off the Trigger
Making good decisions is part of being a safe hunter. Always identify the target and ensure it is legal and ethical to shoot before your finger goes into the trigger guard and onto the trigger. Take care not to mistake another hunter for a game animal. Always remember that once the trigger is pulled, you cannot call back that bullet. If you hear something approaching you, take a deep breath and remain calm. Always have a good backstop when shooting your firearm. Be careful of rocks and water. These might cause the bullet to ricochet, sending it in an unexpected direction. Also, never shoot toward the top of a hill.