Shooting Sports Safety Tips: Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond

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from National Shooting Sports Foundation

Hunting and target shooting are among the safest of all sports. This article is intended to make them even safer by emphasizing the basics of safe gun handling and storage and by reminding you that you are the key to firearms safety. One of the most important rules to follow when participating in shooting sports is to know your target and what’s beyond it.

No one can call a shot back. Once a gun fires, you have given up all control over where the shot will go or what it will strike. Don’t shoot unless you know exactly what your shot is going to strike. Be sure that your bullet will not injure anyone or anything beyond your target. Firing at a movement or a noise without being absolutely certain of what you are shooting at constitutes disregard for the safety of others. No target is so important that you cannot take the time before you pull the trigger to be absolutely certain of your target and where your shot will stop.

Be aware that even a 22 short bullet can travel over 1 1/4 miles and a high velocity cartridge, such as a 30-06, can send its bullet more than 3 miles. Shotgun pellets can travel 500 yards, and shotgun slugs have a range of over half a mile.

You should keep in mind how far a bullet will travel if it misses your intended target or ricochets in another direction.

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