IHEA logo Firearm Safety

What You Should Know | Safety Rules | Accepting a Firearm | Unloading and Loading Firearms | Safety Mechanisms | Cleaning Firearms | Storage | Final Quiz


Unloading Firearms

unload bot unload bot 2          unload pump 1 unload pump 2 unload pump 3

Anytime you pick up or are handed a firearm you must PROVE it is unloaded and safe to handle. PROVE stands for the following steps:

Point
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1. Point the firearm in the safest available direction.
Normally this is at the ground in a direction away from other people including yourself. Maintain constant control of the muzzle direction.
Point
Remove
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2. Remove all ammunition.

  • If the firearm is a semi-automatic with a detachable magazine, remove the magazine from the firearm first. Open the action to remove any cartridges from the chamber. Removing the magazine first prevents a semi-automatic from chambering another round if the action closes.
  • For virtually all other actions, open the action to remove any cartridges from the chamber(s) first. Remove any detachable magazine and all other cartridges from the firearm. If your firearm does not have a removable magazine, it may be necessary to activate a latch button or other device, or work the action several times to remove the ammunition.
  • Once all ammunition has been removed, leave the action open and if possible, locked.
Point
Remove
Observe
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3. Observe the chamber.
Check your firearm's chamber to ensure no ammunition or empty casings are present and if so remove by hand or by working the firearm's action.
Point
Remove
Observe

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erify

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4. Verify the feeding path.
A firearm's feeding path is the route by which ammunition stored in its magazine is moved to the chamber where it will be fired. Only repeating firearms will have a mechanical feeding path. To verify it is free of ammunition, you must work the firearm's action and visually check the feeding mechanism and magazine.
Point
Remove
Observe

Verify

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xamine
5. Examine the bore for rust, excessive oil, or any obstructions.
If present, the firearm must not be fired until it is properly cleaned.

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