The Firearms Safety Code: Seven Basic Rules of Firearms Safety
Fish & Game urges all game bird hunters to practice safe gun handling and even if you have had a firearms licence for decades, take the time to read and understand the seven basic rules of firearm safety below.
The Mountain Safety Council is also reminding hunters that when supervising young or beginning hunters who don’t have firearms licences, the supervisor should not be using a firearm themselves. They must concentrate on ensuring the person they are supervising is using safe gun-handling practices and that they are within arm’s reach at all times while they have a gun.
1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED
- Check every firearm yourself
- Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm
2. ALWAYS POINT FIREARMS IN A SAFE DIRECTION
- Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction
3. CHAMBER A CARTRIDGE ONLY WHEN READY TO FIRE
- Load the magazine only after you reach your shooting area
- Load a cartridge into the chamber only when ready to shoot
- Completely unload before leaving the shooting area
4. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT
- Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you
- Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise
5. CHECK YOUR FIRING ZONE
- THINK! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
- Do not fire if you know others are in your firing zone
6. STORE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SAFELY
- When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately.
- Check the latest firearms storage requirements here.
7. AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS WHEN HANDLING FIREARMS
- Good judgement is the key to the safe use of firearms
How to get a firearms licence - you must be 16 or over - click here for information from NZ Firearms Authority
Learn more about safety from Mountain Safety Council videos
Get info on the national hunter training scheme (HUNTS) - click here