If you’re one of the three in 10 Americans who own a gun, it’s important to recognize that gun ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. Whether you have a handgun for home security purposes or a hunting rifle for recreational shooting, learn to properly handle your firearm and secure it when it’s not in use. Here are a few safety tips for beginners.

Only use ammunition that matches your firearm. You’ll want to pay special attention to the bullets’ caliber and the barrel’s gauge. Using ill-fitting ammo can result in personal injury, so get to know common measurements and lingo.

Know the inner workings of your firearm. Spend time reading the instruction manual before you use your new gun. This can help prevent misuse and give you a better understanding of how to perform basic maintenance, such as cleaning it. Failing to clean a gun can lead to malfunctions. However, you should never try to modify the gun on your own. Always consult a professional if you need the gun serviced. Match up your accessories and use AR-15 uppers for all AR gun range.

Point the muzzle in a safe direction. This will prevent injury to yourself or others if the gun misfires. Even if you believe the firearm isn’t loaded, it’s still wise to get in the habit of keeping the gun aimed away from other people. You should also keep your fingers away from the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot at a target. The safety feature is useful, but don’t assume it gives you a pass to mishandled the gun.

Keep your gun in a safe place. Storing a gun under your bed or in a dresser can lead to trouble, especially if you have children in your home. Instead, look for services that offer gun safes in Denver. A safe will provide a high level of security for your gun, your ammo, or any other valuables you want to stow away from children and strangers. A safe not only protects your valuables from people, but from disasters, such as fires, as well.

Take a safety course. Many new gun owners can rely on knowledgeable friends or family members to show them the basics of safely handling a firearm. However, not everyone is so fortunate to have a reliable resource in their own home. Consider enrolling in a firearm safety and self-defense class. This will ensure you know how to handle a gun during a crisis and understand the ever-changing laws surrounding gun usage.