Firearm safety code

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Check every firearm yourself, do not take the word of another person that a firearm is unloaded. Pass or accept only open and unloaded firearms. Never accept or pass a firearm to another person unless the breech is open and all ammunition has been removed from the firearm.

Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction. A safe direction will depend on where you are and what you are doing.

Only load a firearm when you intend to use it,and only in an area where it can be safely and legally discharged. Remember to unload it when you have used it.

Make sure of your target before firing. It is not good enough just to think that what you see is your target. Your target must be positively identified before firing; if in doubt, DON'T SHOOT.

The firing zone is not only the area between you and your target, but also the area beyond the target, which is still within the extreme range of your firearm. Be aware of what is between you and your target, and in the area beyond your target.

When not in use, lock away firearms and ammunition separately. Not only is this good sense but, in Victoria, there is a legal obligation on firearms owners to store firearms and ammunition separately in locked repositories or similar containers.

Alcohol and many day-to-day drugs and medicines dull and slow your mental and physical reactions. When using firearms, this is an extremely dangerous condition as the ability to recognise and react to dangerous situations swiftly and accurately is essential.

Before entering a car, home or camp, completely unload your firearm. Ensure that the action is open and that there is no ammunition in either the breech or the magazine.

Consider the area in which you are shooting. Could a ricochet occur? A richchet will almost certainley result from shooting at water or smooth flat surfaces and rocks. Exercise extreme caution when dispatching downed birds on water.

Before attempting to negotiate a fence or obstacle unload your firearm. Do not rely on safety catches. Safety catches, at best, only supplement the safe handling of firearms.

Page last updated: 21 Jun 2023