The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) reduces the Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety to four basic safety rules. They can be remembered by using the acronym ACTT and the statement “ACTT responsibly around firearms.” ACTT stands for:
- Assume every firearm is loaded. Consider any firearm that you have not just unloaded to be still loaded, and treat it accordingly.
- Control the muzzle—point guns in a safe direction. Decide what the safest muzzle direction is, and keep your firearm pointed in that direction. Never point a firearm at yourself or others.
- Trigger finger—keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. The natural instinct when picking up a firearm is to put your finger in the trigger guard. Don’t! This could cause an accidental discharge if the firearm is loaded.
- Target—be sure of your target and beyond. Never point your firearm at something you do not intend to shoot. Make sure you positively identify what you are shooting at and what lies in front of it and beyond it. Do not use telescopic sights as a substitute for binoculars when identifying persons, animals, or objects.