Firearms Safety Rules

Colonel Jeff Cooper (1920-2006) is widely recognized as the father of the “Modern technique of handgun shooting” and in that capacity, he advocated four basic rules of firearm safety. These rules are considered THE safety rules and should be kept inviolate by all responsible firearms users.


All firearms are always loaded and should be treated with utmost respect and care.

Always assume that a firearm is loaded even if you know it isn’t. Remember this always. When you are about to hand a firearm to another individual, visually verify that the weapon has been made safe and when you receive a firearm from another individual, even if he has verified it as “safe” right in front of you, go ahead and verify it yourself again as soon as he has passed it to you. He’s not going to be insulted. Trust me. He will respect you for it.


Never point the firearm at anything or anyone you are not willing to kill or destroy.

Thats quite straight forward, never point a gun, loaded or not (remember to assume that it is as per rule #1) at anyone you are not willing to kill or anything you are not willing to destroy. Don’t point it at your best friend, neighbor, pet cat, your car, your television set, your wife’s expensive china. Guns kill, maim and destroy. Don’t forget that.


Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

Again this is common sense. If you haven’t got a proper sight picture on what you are sure you want to shoot at, don’t touch the trigger. Don’t let it linger there or don’t gently stroke the trigger in a loving fashion. It takes one bump, a nervous twitch and you could possibly discharge your weapon at something you have no intention of shooting. Acquire a proper sight picture of a verified target and then place your finger on the trigger.


Always be sure of your target and what’s behind it (in the event that you miss).

You must have positive visual ID of your target. Don’t fire into a rustling bush thinking it’s a wild boar or deer; it could just be your hunting buddy or another hunter. Don’t fire blindly into a dark kitchen thinking it’s an intruder; it could just be your son returning quietly from a night on the town. These aren’t far fetched examples, they have actually happened in Sarawak and are more common then they should be. You are responsible for every bullet you send downrange!


Tycoma Arms advocates the legal and responsible use of firearms. Follow these basic rules always when you are enjoying your shooting passion, whether at the range, on a hunt or while going about your daily lives.

Remember, it takes one mistake, once lapse in judgement, to kill someone “by mistake” to maim them “unintentionally”. A lifetime of regret and a million heartfelt apologies uttered cannot reverse it. Be safe. Stay frosty.