Gun ownership is a fundamental civil liberty, but just like all rights, it requires responsibility.
Here are five mistakes that some gun owners make, and how you can avoid them:
1. Poor Storage Choices
Don’t store your weapons out in the open, where children have access to them, or where burglars in a potential break-in could easily find them. Keeping your guns locked in a safe or high in the closet are better locations. Of course, keeping them in easy-to-access areas for emergencies will require you to be a little more creative to keep them out of the reach of children. Also, it is crucial that you store your guns in the “safe” position, especially if you have children. Yes, they are in a safe, but it is always best to limit liabilities when possible. If you have trigger or bolt locks, then use them.
2. Not Being Proficient
What good is owning a gun if you aren’t proficient with it? Granted, some gun owners are gun collectors and just enjoy collecting firearms as a hobby, but for the gun owner who buys firearms for hunting, personal home protection, or for using during a crisis, becoming proficient with the weapon is more important than owning the gun just so you can say you own it.
You should be able to shoot your weapon accurately, reload it, clear a jam, and holster or sling it aside based on muscle memory. That means shooting at least a thousand rounds on the range and performing a thousand repetitions reloading and clearing a jam (which you can use fake ammo for). Practice, practice, practice.
3. Lack Of Education
When you buy a firearm, or if you own any existing ones, educate everyone in your household about them. Your children should know that guns are not toys and should learn to respect them. Teach your children proper trigger discipline, such as indexing, and teach them how to check the safety and if the weapon is chambered or loaded. Keep in mind that children who are uneducated about guns are more likely to try to find them based purely on curiosity. Everyone in your household should be familiar with the weapons in your home, have experience with them on the range, know proper gun safety, and learn to respect them.
4. Wrong Ammunition Size
For gun owners who aren’t as experienced with firearms, it can be easy to confuse some calibers with one another and thus buy the wrong ammunition. For example, the 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds chambered for ARs and Mini-14s are easily confused. 5.56x45mm can typically chamber .223, but .223 cannot chamber 5.56. Some ARs and Mini-14s are chambered for 5.56, and can thus also shoot .223. But other ARs and Mini-14s are chambered for .223, and thus cannot shoot 5.56. Nonetheless, some gun owners will still confuse the two and buy 5.56 ammo for their gun that clearly says it is chambered for .223. Another example that is often confused is .308 WIN and 7.62x51mm NATO. .308 can typically chamber 7.62, but not vice versa. Even more easy to confuse are the vastly different kinds of .45 (.45 ACP, .45 LC, .45 GAP, etc) or .38 (.38 LC, .38 Special, etc.) for example. Loading guns with the incorrect caliber can severely damage your gun and is a safety hazard.
5. Failure To Register Guns
Gun registration is something that many if not most gun owners do not support, and there are many valid arguments that gun registration violates the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. No one wants to have their name and personal information logged into a database, but if you fail to abide by the laws of your state or city and get caught by law enforcement, you could have all of your firearms confiscated, not to mention face severe fines or jail time.
What are other common mistakes made by gun owners? Share your opinion in the section below: