Unintentional Discharge – Together in Safety

Unintentional Discharge

An unintentional discharge is a discharge of a firearm involving carelessness on the user’s part. When it comes to firearms safety, there are no accidents – only human error and carelessness.

Control muzzle direction at all times
– Unload firearm when not in immediate use
– Open action when handling
– Keep finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard except when firing
– Safety ON
– No horseplay
– A malfunctioning firearm may result in unintentional discharge
– Ensure your firearm is well maintained and regularly serviced (Source – RCMP Student Manual)

The Vital Four ACTS of Firearm Safety

Any time you hear of an incident occurring, you can be sure at least one of these rules has been broken. These rules are known as the Vital Four ACTS. The first letter of each rule becomes a letter in the acronym ACTS. You may want to think of these rules as acts you must carry out.

The Vital Four ACTS

Assume every firearm is loaded
— Regard any firearm as a potential danger.

Control the muzzle direction at all times.
— Identify the safest available muzzle direction.
— Keep the firearm pointed in the safest available direction.
— The muzzle of a firearm should not be pointed towards yourself or any other person.

Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard.
— Identify the safest available muzzle direction.
— Keep the firearm pointed in the safest available direction.
— The muzzle of a firearm should not be pointed towards yourself or any other person.

See that the firearm is unloaded – PROVE it safe.
— Do not handle the firearm unless you can properly PROVE it safe.
— Check to see that both chamber and magazine are empty. Do this every time you handle a firearm, for any reason.
— Pass or accept only open and unloaded firearms. It is an essential rule to adopt.

PROVE It Safe

P oint the firearm in the safest available direction.

R emove all ammunition.

Observe the chamber(s).

V erify the feeding path.

E xamine the bore for obstructions (visually or with a rod).

 

 

 

The firearm is now unloaded and safe until it leaves the direct control of the person who unloaded and PROVEd it safe. (Source – CFSC/CRFSC Student Handbook, 2014)

Following Safe Handling and Safe Storage practices will also reduce the risk of an unintentional discharge: Safe handling

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