SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!
January 18, 2012
Like I have mentioned before, safety and respect are Airsoft GI’s primary concern. Over the years, I have seen many airsofters (even real steel shooters) neglect the basic firearm safety rules. I have heard statements such as “oh, it’s unloaded,” and “calm down, it’s only an airsoft gun.” Since we are creatures of habit, if we neglect the basic safety rules on airsoft guns (or any replica firearms), those bad habits will transfer to real firearms.
With the airsoft sport growing, along with the replica gun tragedies happening across the nation, there are going to be stricter laws to regulate airsoft. It is up to us (the airsoft community) to inform all airsofters (and their parents) to promote and practice gun safety. It does not matter if it is an airsoft gun, real gun, or even a transparent water gun. Treat all gun shaped objects as if they are real firearms. There are 5 basic life safety rules that all airsofters and real steel shooters must follow.
1)TREAT ALL WEAPONS AS IF THEY ARE LOADED
Even though you know that particular gun is unloaded, treat it as it was loaded. When you hand over your gun to your friend or to whomever, make sure you remove the magazine, rack the slide back, visually and physically (with your finger) check the chamber to ensure the gun is unloaded. If your friend hands you a gun, make sure you still perform the safety check mentioned above, even when you friend already has done so.
2)NEVER POINT AT ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTORY
This is a common violation which airsofters break, including some industry professionals. Once in a while, I will see an airsofter pointing their airsoft gun at another person “for fun”. That is a big No-No. Sometimes I see airsofters unknowingly “flag” (muzzle sweep) other person/persons. BE VERY AWARE OF YOUR MUZZLE DIRECTION. Imagine there is a hot laser beam coming out of your muzzle which will cut down everything it passes through.
3)ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FIRE
This is another common violation which airsofters break, again, including some industry professionals. It seems to be a natural thing when a person picks up a gun, his/her index finger automatically goes inside the trigger guard and on to the trigger. To me, an experienced shooter, it really irritates me whenever a person puts his/her finger inside the trigger guard when they have no intention to fire. On top of that, they are unknowingly “flagging” everyone else around them. How would you feel when someone points a gun at you with their finger inside the trigger? So keep your finger straight and keep it outside of the trigger guard!
4)KEEP YOUR WEAPON ON SAFE UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET
Be sure you engage the safety whenever your gun is not pointing at the threat! I have seen numerous accidental discharges (both airsoft and real steel) because the operator neglects this safety rule. Even if your finger is straight and outside of the trigger guard, put that safety on, it is just more beneficial. A lot of guns (ATPs, Glock, Sigs) do not have an external safety, you have to be extra conscious of your index finger if you are running those types of weapon systems.
5)ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS IN FRONT OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEHIND IT.
This rule is especially important if you are running an M4/M16 (AR15) platform. Due to the height over bore (the height difference between your optic/sight and your barrel); make sure your barrel clears any type of barricade. I have seen a lot of airsofters shoot themselves because they are shooting around the barricade. Their sights cleared the barricade, but unfortunately their barrel did not.
Building a good firearm safety foundation can prevent unfortunate and tragic evens from happening in our community. In addition, there is a lot of common sense which airsofters should know.
Wear your eye protection! < Click for the Eye protection article
Never bring anything that resembles a firearm NEAR schools.
Never brandish your airsoft guns (or real guns) in public; you will be prosecuted (assuming you made full recovery after the police shot you)
Never point any gun shaped objects at police officers, especially at night!
Never transport anything that resembles a firearm without a case/bag.
Airsofters, it is up to you to practice these rules and take them seriously. Inform your fellow airsofters about these rules.
Parents, it is your responsibility to make sure your child/children know these rules, and please, take these rules seriously. Airsoft guns are not toys, they are training utilities. Please do your research before buying your child/children an airsoft gun or give us a call at 909 869 0671 if you have any questions regarding airsoft and safety information.
So remember, these rules are not just range rules, these are life safety rules which all of us must follow. Airsoft is a fun sport, but it can be dangerous. So lets keep this sport as fun and as safe as possible. You do not want to be the one that ruins airsoft for the entire nation, do you? So until next time, I am Andrew, get out and play airsoft, and practice your gun safety rules!