Firearms Safety Code - Know your stuff

Man using scope on gun

Whether you're new to hunting, or are a stalwart with a rifle, it's important to keep the New Zealand Firearms Safety Code at the front of your mind when preparing for an taking part in a hunt. 

Here's a little reminder of the seven basic rules for firearm safety:

The Firearms Safety Code:

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. Load a firearm only when ready to fire

- Load the magazine only when you reach your shooting area.
- Load 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 when 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.
- Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.

7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

- Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.  

Want to know more? Check out the New Zealand Mountain Safety website

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