What is gun safety?
Gun safety covers anything and everything that is done to keep the firearm safe and prevent any kind of unintended handling or shooting. Gun safety does not begin when a consumer buys a gun and brings it home. The responsibility of keeping a gun safe lies with both the manufacturer and the owner. It begins at the designing level of the firearm; so, a lot more thought and planning goes into gun safety than we know. So, what is gun safety all about and what can be done about gun safety, right from the manufacturing stage to transporting and long term storage of the guns.
- Design- Design is an important part of gun safety, because the design determines the function of a gun and ensures that no accidents are caused because of design or manufacturing defects. Gun manufacturers can be sued in such cases.
Some firearms come with built in manual safety mechanisms. The main job of the safety mechanism is to prevent the gun from working or shooting when it shouldn't be. It is a blocking mechanism that either prevents the movement of the firing mechanism or a mechanism that blocks the connection between the trigger and the firing mechanism.
Other design elements include the presence of an indicator that tells the user if the gun is loaded or not, grip safeties that temporarily disarm the weapon and magazine disconnecting mechanisms that ‘withdraw’ the ammunition and do not let the gun fire.
However it is important to remember that safety mechanisms are subject to wear and tear, and might not continue working well forever and so more needs to be done to keep the gun safe, than just relying on these features.
- Adding locks- It is optional but an added level of gun safety. Trigger locks and padlocks are external gun locking mechanisms. Like the built in safety devices, these locks prevent firearms from going off accidentally. They are not very expensive and are easily available. However, these too cannot save the firearm from being carted off, especially in case of small handguns.
- Gun storage containers- These are containers or spaces that have been designed especially for the safekeeping of guns. This segment offers a lot of choice in terms of the type of storage and the features provided. It includes all sorts of gun safes; some that are meant to be used when carrying weapons in a vehicle, and some for safe gun storage at home. Gun safes come packed with modern features, and can get quite expensive.
There are other budget friendly yet effective hidden gun storage options too, like gun concealment shelves, coffee tables, flag boxes, and gun concealment mirrors, while hard cased gun storage containers are used to transport weapons during air travel.
Gun safety laws vary from state to state and there is no one law that can be applied to all the states. But one thing is applicable to gun owners everywhere- it is super important to keep your gun safe, not just to keep the firearm functional, but also to keep everyone around safe, and to stay clear of any legal hassles.