What you should know about gun safety

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In light of the shooting death of a Region 8 teen earlier this week, it's important to remind everyone of tips you should remember to stay safe when handling fire arms.

Regional Education Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Chuck Long said it is vital that people know something about fire arm safety, even if they just know the basics.

"The number one safety rule is muzzle control.  The muzzle is where the shot or projectile comes out of the barrel," said Long.

You should treat every gun as if it is loaded, always keeping the muzzle pointed away from people.  He encourages everyone, young people and adults, to know how to use a fire arm the right way.

"Guns are prevalent in our society, in our homes, everywhere.  It's just part of Arkansas.  You see just about any some a kid goes to there's going to be a fire arm of some type," said Long.

Even if you don't have guns in the home, your child could be around them.  If you do have guns in the home you should have them securely stored.  Even for an experienced person who has handled guns in the past, there are safety measures you should always be aware of.

"A safety on this fire arm is right here behind the trigger.  There's an audible click when you take the safety off.  Most fire arms will show a red mark of some type with the safety off showing it's ready to fire," said Long.

He said you should never count on your safety 100 percent.

"One misconception with a fire arm is that they're dangerous.  Fire arms are only dangerous because we mishandle them," said Long.

As for who can handle guns and when, Long said that depends on your age.

"If you're under the age of 16 you can hunt with an adult as long as you're in an arms reach.  Once you're over sixteen to hunt in Arkansas you do have to have your hunters identification card," said Long.

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