Gun Safety In Gun Retail

Gun Safety In Gun Retail

A gun store can be a place of deteriorating gun safety habits to the unwary. If you rely at all on the concept of motor memory to galvanize safe gun handling, beware.

Let's keep it simple, for analysis sake...I have long taught the following method for the proper clearing of a magazine fed semi automatic handgun. I refer to it as "MMV." Side note, this essentially works for ALL magazine fed systems. Feel free to message me if you are unsure.

M - Magazine
M - Mechanical
V - Visual

1. Remove source of feed (magazine).

2. Close action, open action fully to the rear and release the action, allowing the recoil spring tension to close the action again (mechanical).

3. Lock or hold slide fully open to the rear, and visually check the chamber, breech, and bolt face for ammunition and debris.

Yes, ALL safety rules still apply. If a manual safety is present and unloading can occur with the safety engaged, use it.

Now, a gun store can see dozens and sometimes hundreds of customers in a day. As an employee of a gun store, if you are handling handguns from the retail case all day every day, it's crucial that you unload said firearms as if they were indeed "loaded at all times."

The next time you walk into a gun store, there’s a chance employees working there will handle the firearms leaving the retail case differently than a firearm perceived to be potentially loaded.

Instead of 'M-M-V," you may observe the employee lock the action to the rear, remove the magazine, and fail to perform a visual check all together. What effect does this have on motor memory as it relates to forming safe gun handling habits?

This is why at Shoot Center, it was our policy to unload handguns from the retail case the same as any other.

Step 1- remove the magazine (source of feed).
This ensures NO additional ammunition can be introduced into the firearm.

Step 2- cycle the slide from fully closed, to fully open, to closed again.
This allows the handgun action to fully cycle mechanically (minus firing), allowing for extraction and ejection.

Step 3- open the action again and maintain the action open. Visually clear the chamber, breach, and bolt face. Take your time, there is no rush here. I have witnessed at least (3) negligent discharges during clearing where, the student rushed the visual clearing portion of the chamber. Opening the slide a second time allows for another chance at extraction/ejection.

When trained repetitiously, this process takes mere seconds.

Note, the only time I advise dry-firing during a clearing procedure is as an instructor hosting students, and into a shooting berm. This is because at scale, bad things tend to rear their ugly heads. Because when dealing with firearms "bad things" can lean towards catastrophic, procedures must be redundant.

I encourage everyone, especially newer shooters to adopt this method of clearing a magazine fed semi automatic handgun. If you have any specific questions regarding gun safety, please message me! 
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