While researching for these posts on shooting I checked out a number of gun club blogs on safety and not a single one mentions the danger of lead poisoning and its effects on the shooter’s health. This is surprising, considering how much shooters are exposed to lead dust at firing ranges,particularly indoor ranges, although all firing ranges most certainly offer shooting both ear and eye protection. If you are a shooter, instructor or even a worker at a firing range, you should be very interested in hearing about lead poisoning, because it most certainly is a threat to your health and well being.
Every shooter has the responsibility, for your own safety and well as others, of practicing these safety rules:
- Treat all firearms as always loaded.
- Never point the muzzle of a gun at what you don’t want to destroy.
- Keep all firearms unloaded until ready to fire.
- Whenever the firearm is not in use make sure to disable it by either, keeping the action open and pointing the muzzle at the ground. Keeping the safety on or keeping the gun holstered.
- Always wear eye and ear protection when firing.
- When firing always keep the gun pointed down range.
- Always be certain of your target and back stop and what lies beyond it.
Although there is an element of danger in many sports, like rock climbing, auto racing and sky diving, in shooting sports you are able to control your own safety. We feel this should also apply to your health: following a few simple rules to stay healthy while enjoying shooting:
- Always wash hands and face before eating, drinking and smoking.
- Wash firing range clothes separately from the rest of the family’s clothes.
- Change your footwear before entering the home.
- Make sure the indoor range is correctly ventilated. Ask if the ventilation system is tempered or filtered.
- Always load bullets in a ventilated area.
- Do not allow children into the bullet loading area.
- Keep the bullet loading area clean with the help of a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
By including a few more steps in your safety routine you can ensure that you are being a safe as you can be.