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

Safety Mechanisms

Most guns have a safety. They are usually located near the firearm's action as shown below. Common types include the slide, lever, wing, hammer (half cock position), trigger block and button safeties.

safety - half cock and trigger block

Depending on the firearm, a safety's on or off position may be etched next to the safety mechanism. Some firearms use a button safety that is red in color when the safety is off and they are ready to be fired. Consult the owner's manual if you are unsure about how your firearm's safety works or how to tell when the safety is in the on or off position! As a general rule, always keep your safety on until ready to fire your gun.

Most safeties block the trigger but not necessarily the gun's firing mechanism. A hard blow in the right place can still discharge a firearm. Safeties also wear out and break. Never depend on a safety to prevent a gun from firing!

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