Lauren Horner is a USPSA Competition Shooter from Colorado and is our Project Childsafe February feature. She has been shooting competitively for over 7 years. Lauren loves to introduce new shooters to the basics of pistol shooting, and that starts with firearm safety. Lauren recommends the following tips for working with new shooters.
When arriving at the range, check that all new shooters have eye and ear protection: if they don’t, be sure to borrow some at the front desk.
Look for a sign with the range rules and read them thoroughly. If there is anything you don’t understand, just ask!
If it makes you feel more comfortable, introduce yourself to the range staff as a new shooter; they are there to help make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Lauren Horner shares her Project ChildSafe story.
Always bring your firearm case to the line before uncasing your pistol. Make sure that the muzzle is pointing downrange, in a safe direction at all times and that your finger is off the trigger.
Treat all firearms as if they were loaded. When someone hands you a firearm, be sure to check the chamber and the magazine is clear yourself, even if they tell you that it is clear.
Explain the parts of the firearm and how they operate.
Work on their grip, stance and talk about sights. Then begin dryfire exercises
Have the shooter load and make ready and take some shots.
Last thing I do is teach them how to unload and make clear, and safely return the firearm back to their case.
By following these simple firearm safety rules, new shooters are sure to have a great experience, and most importantly, will want to come back and shoot again! Firearms + Safety = Fun.
Courtney Nicolson is an outdoor writer, hunter, and angler based in Denver, Colo. She is an active member of numerous conservation groups and is passionate about empowering women in the outdoors. Courtney is the senior producer/editor for Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks.
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