The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety
- Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be loaded, even if you think it isn’t.
- Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop—don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
- Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions, and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
- Unload firearms when not in use. Leave actions open; carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
- Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
- Don't run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
- Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Store each in secured locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. Also avoid mind- or behavior-altering medicines or drugs.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe provides law enforcement agencies across the United States with firearm safety kits to distribute to local communities. Contact your local law enforcement agency for a free kit.
Hunter Orange and Blaze Pink
Wearing hunter orange and blaze pink saves lives. Louisiana has seen a significant drop in hunting-related incidents since it began requiring hunters to wear hunter orange or blaze pink.
Wearing hunter orange or blaze pink is mandatory in Louisiana when hunting white-tailed deer with any type of firearm in Louisiana. The amount of hunter orange or blaze pink you are required to wear depends on the type of hunting and whether or not you are hunting on private or public land.
- Generally, when you’re hunting deer during the open firearms deer hunting season, you’re required to wear a total of at least 400 square inches of hunter orange or blaze pink on your head, chest and/or back.
- If you’re hunting on privately-owned land, you may wear a hunter orange or blaze pink cap or hat in lieu of the 400 square inches.
- If you’re hunting deer from elevated stands on privately-owned land, you are not required to wear hunter orange or blaze pink. However, if you’re hunting on privately-owned land where hunting with firearms is allowed, you must wear the 400 square inches of hunter orange or blaze pink OR a hunter orange or blaze pink cap or hat while walking to and from elevated stands.
- If you’re an archery deer hunter hunting on lands where firearm hunting is not allowed, you are not required to wear hunter orange or blaze pink.
Always watch for people hunting other game or engaged in activities that do not require hunter orange or blaze pink attire.
Remember, if you don’t see orange, it does not always mean it is safe to shoot. Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
Be safe and be seen!