NRA’s Third Rule of Gun Safety


The 69-year-old man, a member of the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, 44W471 Keslinger Road in unincorporated Blackberry Township near Elburn, was putting his 12-gauge shotgun away and loaded what he thought was a snap cap into the gun around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Instead, he had loaded a live round, which was fired after he pulled the trigger toward the floor, the Kane County Chronicle reports.

A pair of 12 Gauge snap caps.

NRA‘s third rule of gun safety says “Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.”

“Unloaded” means absolutely NOTHING in the chamber.

I really dislike the practice of keeping a snap cap, or dummy cartridge, in the gun and then pressing the trigger to dry fire so that the gun is decocked.

Most modern guns can be dry-fired safely and keeping the gun unloaded at all times is much safer than having that element of doubt as to whether there are snap caps or live ammo in the gun.

This practice has been documented as unsafe.

Keeep your gun handling and storage procedures simple and repeatable.

There is no room for “maybe” when it comes to gun storage procedures.

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Posted in Gun Safety
3 comments on “NRA’s Third Rule of Gun Safety
  1. dave w says:

    Considering the weight and color differences between a snapcap and almost any shell i am kinda surprised, but then everything is possible. I like snapcaps in my o/u, although there is a way to decock it without firing, but i forget exactly how now.


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