MAKENZIE’S OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Gun safety and maintenance

Whether you're a hunter, or a gun owner, knowing how to properly handle and care for your firearm should always be a top priority. Safety always comes first.
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:19 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) -It’s gun season for hunters in Texoma.

Whether you’re a hunter, or a gun owner, knowing how to properly handle and care for your firearm should always be a top priority. Safety always comes first.

In Makenzie’s latest outdoor adventure, she learned the best practices for handling a weapon, *and* got to shoot some once in a lifetime guns as well.

Being a gun owner comes with a lot of responsibility.

But before shooting your weapon, whether for hunting or target practice, having the right protective gear and knowing how to safely handle your firearm, should always come first.

“Anytime we pick up any weapon or whatever, we always assume it’s a loaded weapon,” said firearms instructor, Brad Davis. “And in doing so, I’m always going to make sure my muzzle is pointed down range.”

Retired law enforcement officer Brad Davis teaches classes on firearms.

With any handgun, Davis says your grip plays a huge role in your accuracy.

“I’m right-handed, so I think I want to really grip that gun with that right hand. When in reality it’s just the opposite,” said Davis. “Only about 10 percent of the grip on this gun should come from my right hand. My left hand, my support hand will be the one that’s coming across and doing the gripping portion.”

The same safety rules apply when it comes to your hunting firearms.

“So I never carry my primary arm, my rifle or shotgun, whatever I’m hunting with, I don’t carry that in loaded,” said Davis. “Walking in the woods, there’s so many opportunities to trip and fall or anything could go wrong.”

When you’re in the woods, it’s extremely important to always know what you’re shooting at, and what’s behind it.

“So you know, if I have to take a shot in this direction, is it safe and everything like that,” said Davis. “We’re responsible, soon as we pull that trigger, we’re responsible for that bullet until it stops. So if we’re shooting blindly at a deer or whatever, and we don’t know what the backdrop is, and we accidentally shoot somebody, that’s going to come back on.”

Another important part of being a gun owner is knowing how to take care of your firearm.

Adam Kowal is a gunsmith who’s worked with guns for more than 15 years. He says taking care of your firearm, could mean the difference between life or death.

“A poorly maintained gun do in fact kill people on accident or seriously injure them,” said Kowal.

Most firearms require a similar process to clean them, but Kowal advises gun owners to always refer to the gun’s manufacturer’s recommendations.

Kowal says you should clean them every time you shoot them.

“Most of the firearms that I see that are malfunctioning, it’s typically from neglect and not cleaning them enough,” said Kowal. “Or from going too far in the tear down process and getting in over your head.”

Davis says practicing with your gun in a safe environment like a shooting range, is important to become confident with your weapon.

Even with the constitutional carry law in Oklahoma, he still advises gun owners to take a conceal carry class.

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