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Firearm safety begins with owning a firearm. Every free individual holds the primary responsibility for their own self-defense. Firearms are a modern tool which enables even the most petite female to defend herself against multiple agressors.
The first firearm which you should purchase is a handgun (http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/handguns.shtml). The handgun is a versatily weapon, in that it can be used both for home defense and for personal defense.
Either a revolver or a semi-automatic handgun will do the job. Effective handgun calibers include .38, 9mm, .40, and .45.
When you buy or rent your first home, you should purchase a shotgun (http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/shotguns.shtml).
Shotguns are the preferred tool for home defense, as they can be loaded with a wide assortment of shells which penetrate buildings less effectively than a handgun cartridge.
The shotgun should be 12ga, and should have a capacity of at least 6 shells.
The last firearm which you should purchase is a rifle (http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/rifles.shtml). The rifle is the tool of survival in emergency situations and is the final tool used by individuals to protect their freedom. The rifle should be at least .223 caliber, and should preferably be a semi-automatic.
In addition to your firearm, you should always have an adequate supply of ammunition (http://www.fortliberty.org/gun-accessories/ammunition.shtml) available. A gun without ammunition is a very expensive club.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The most effective key to gun safety (http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/firearm-gun-safety.shtml) is regular practice with your firearm.
In addition to practice, you should consider attending a tactical training course (http://www.fortliberty.org/training/tactical-training.shtml) to improve your skills.
The three most fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:
1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3. Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
Proper gun storage (http://www.fortliberty.org/gun-storage/gun-storage.shtml) depends largely on your environment. You must balance the conflicting goals of having access to your firearms when you most need them with the needs of protecting your firearms from theft or misuse.
For people who live in apartments, a gun case (http://www.fortliberty.org/gun-storage/gun-cases.shtml) is often the right solution. Home owners tend to own more firearms and are usually better served by a full-size gun safe (http://www.fortliberty.org/gun-storage/gun-safes.shtml).
For More Information
For more information on firearm safety, read gun safety (http://www.fortliberty.org/military-library/firearm-gun-safety.shtml).
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