Every firearm owner and people interested in purchasing firearms should understand the importance of firearms safety knowledge and practice and the danger that comes with a firearm if it is not mistreated or not handled carefully, and aware of the responsibility of firearm ownership. Any person who wishes to obtain a firearm must have a firearm safety certificate (FSC) unless they are statutorily exempt from the FSC requirement. How long is a firearm safety course good for? A firearm safety certificate is valid for five years from the date of issuance. In addition to safety information, the firearms safety course also makes a new gun owner aware of the state laws that govern the sale and use of firearms. The course covers category A, B, and H weapons, which are the most common firearms used for sports/target, recreational, and occupational shooting activities.
Basic rules of firearms safety
The Firearms Safety Training Course Dc covers the basic rules about handling and storing firearms and the potential dangers of maltreatment of guns. Every firearm must be considered loaded, at all times, even it is not. The muzzle of the gun must be pointed at a safe direction. The safety of the firearm must be on, and the shooting finger must be away from the trigger to avoid unintentional discharge of the weapon. A responsible firearm owner must never point the gun at something they do not want to shoot and must acknowledge what lies behind the target. Firearms must be stored in a locked container and in an unloaded condition, away from the ammunition. A shooter must always be aware of the chance of a ricochet. And lastly, it is imperative that the firearm owner must never handle a gun when under the influence of alcohol or dangerous substances.
In order to participate in the course and acquire the FSC certificate, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, but children of at least 11 years of age can use certain firearms with approved adult supervision under the minor’s license. The applicant must not have any physical or other impairment which might compromise firearms safety. The applicant must not have any criminal convictions in the last five years. He/she must be of sound mental health, and must not have been a subject of a domestic violence order.
Acquiring the certificate
A person must have a valid firearms safety certificate (FSC) even prior to purchasing or obtaining a firearm. The FSC needs to be presented at the firearms dealer at the time of purchasing a gun. A person with having previous handgun safety certificate (HSC) or a person with a valid hunting license is exempt from the FSC requirement. To obtain an FSC, one must take the DOJ written test and receive a passing score of at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) covering firearms safety and basic firearms laws. The multiple-choice test is administered by instructors certified by the Department of Justice who are generally located at firearms dealerships. Applicants must provide valid evidence of identity before taking the test. The best way to prepare for the test is to read FSC study guide which contains all the information necessary to pass the test. If failed, one can take the test again for a nominal fee after 24 hours. In case of loss, theft, or destruction of the FSC, one can get a replacement from the DOJ certified instructor who issued the FSC in the first place. The firearms safety certificate is valid for five years from the date of issuing of the same. The safe handling demonstration is a statutory requirement that firearm recipients execute through a series of specific steps related to safely loading and unloading the firearm. The safe handling demonstration must be performed under the supervision of a DOJ certified instructor and the purchaser must sign an affidavit attesting to the completion of the safe handling demonstration.
Knowing the safety rule and applying the most of the time is not enough. Firearm accidents can happen even to a person who knows the safety rules but is careless in following them. Becoming a safe firearm owner is similar to becoming a safe driver; it is the combination of good working knowledge of the equipment, the basic skills of operation, and a mindset dedicated to safe and responsible usage and storage.
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