12 Things Responsible, Legal Gun Owners Should Never Do 

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Owning a gun is a Constitutional right, and as such, it should be taken seriously and responsibly. There has been an increase of gun owners in the US in the recent decade, and according to a poll from 2020, 44 percent of Americans have guns. The number has likely increased in the past four years, so here is what a responsible, legal gun owner should never do. 

Leaving guns around the house


Guns should be secured all the time. Around 350 children hurt themselves or others in gun accidents by accidentally firing firearms. Guns are not toys, and it is the owners’ responsibility to keep them away from children and those who do not have permits. It should be locked so no one has access but you, the owner. 

Drinking or using drugs while handling a weapon  


Any mind-altering substances, including alcohol, should not be mixed with gun use. It is not allowed to drive a car while intoxicated, so it makes sense to stay away from the firearm when you’re not fully sober. You may harm someone, or you may be in a position where someone else could use your gun for a crime. Either way, you will end up jailed. 

Assuming you know gun laws

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Each state has a unique set of laws regarding the Second Amendment. Some states have more relaxed legislation, while others prohibit carrying firearms in public spaces. It is essential to know your state laws, but what if you travel to the next? Research gun laws before getting a permit and, therefore, a gun. 

Skipping a training 


Apart from learning how to handle your gun, gun training provides you with security information. It is like a driver’s test for firearms owners, and it will remind you of vital things, like not leaving a gun unattended or not forgetting to treat each gun as loaded. Additionally, it will teach you never to practice if you don’t know what’s behind the practice target. 

Forgetting a valid permit


Many states require a permit and background check. A permit is like a driver’s license. If your current state does not require a permit, you will likely need it in the future, so you must take care of it in due time. If not, you could get jailed. Getting a background check is a good starting point to promote responsible gun ownership. 

Don’t point at someone for fun


What starts as a joke often ends up deadly. Pointing a gun at someone for fun or because you both thought it was a nice prank could lead to a tragedy. The news is filled with stories about young people and even children getting killed over a prank that involves firearms. 

Thinking guns should solve arguments

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It may be impossible to avoid getting into an argument, but once things get heated, it is better to walk away than to let things escalate. As a gun owner, you might feel power, but if you let emotions get over you, you could end up with blood on your hands. Using a gun to prove a point goes against responsible, legal gun ownership. 

Using a gun if it is not necessary


Guns should be used for the protection of you and your loved ones. It is a self-defense weapon and should never be used to intimidate or scare someone into submission. The consequences can be dire, especially in highly stressful situations or when you’re not thinking clearly. 

Keeping a gun a secret from your family 


It is your responsibility to educate your family about your decision to become a gun owner. You may think that hiding a gun from your children is enough, but we live in a world where kids learn things way too fast, so instead of letting social media teach them, do your part as a parent. Despite their curiosity, you should never let a child near a firearm. 

Keeping ammunition with the gun 


Store your firearm unloaded and locked in a safe spot, with ammunition in a separate yet equally safe place. According to EveryTownResearch, this is vital in reducing gun violence, especially among young children and teens. Gun ownership comes with a multitude of responsibilities, but the main one is not getting anyone harmed. 

Not reporting stolen firearm

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Gun theft is a common issue, and hunters of thousands of weapons are stolen each year. These guns usually end up at illegal markets, and from there, they could end up in the hands of someone who legally should not be allowed to carry a weapon. The number of guns stolen from cars is on the rise, so keep your weapon securely locked.

Forgetting to service your gun


Guns and cars have plenty in common, and one of the things is regular servicing. A firearm is a mechanical device that needs maintenance, so check with the manufacturer regarding servicing. 

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.