Everyone handling a firearm should always follow these four fundamental tenets of firearms safety:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. Never point a gun at anybody (including yourself) or at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger, until you are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
At Pinhoe, we have some additional rules to ensure everyone remains safe:
- Guns are not allowed in the club room, boxed or unboxed unless you are just walking straight through the room to get to another part of the club – do not stop for a chat on the way!
- If unboxed, anywhere in the club, guns must be carried with the muzzle pointing at the ceiling and must have a breech flag inserted in the chamber or the bolt or action removed with any magazine empty and not in the gun.
- Unboxed guns on the floor or on a bench must have a breech flag inserted in the chamber or have the bolt or action removed and magazines empty to one side so that everyone can see that they are safe.
- Magazines must never be loaded with bullets or pellets until the command to do so is given by the Range Officer on the firing point.
- Before anyone goes down the range to hang targets all shooters must stand to the rear of the firing point so that the range officer has a clear view of all the guns and ammunition and can see that they are all safe with breech flags inserted or the bolt or action removed and that magazines are NOT loaded.
- Touching guns or any equipment on the firing point is absolutely forbidden whilst there are persons between the firing point and the targets.
- If you have a jam or other malfunction and cannot resolve it SAFELY on your own please raise your hand to indicate that you need assistance. Put the gun down pointing safely down range until help arrives.
- Guns only have the potential to be dangerous when loaded and/or in the hands of humans!
- The place to examine and discuss any particular gun is in the workshop or the preparation area whilst it has a breech flag in the chamber or the bolt or action removed and any magazines are both empty and not in the gun.
- Unused ammunition must be returned to the Duty Officer by those who do not hold a firearm certificate and who are not allowed to leave the club with it by law.
- There are some air rifles that cannot have a breech flag inserted or the bolt or action removed so if you shoot one of these you must raise your hand so that the Range Officer can satisfy themselves that the gun is not loaded and is safe.