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Always handle firearms with care

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By Ronnie McCane/Trimble County Emergency Management

Fall brings with it hunting season, and Trimble County residents are urged to follow these gun-safety tips to prevent accidents at home or out in the field.

Store ammunition and firearms in separate, locked cabinets or in closets that are inaccessible to children.

Never store a firearm that is loaded. It is best to store it with the action open, or taken down when possible.

Always handle a firearm as if it were loaded, but always check to see if it is loaded when handling it.

Never pick up a firearm by the muzzle or pull the muzzle toward youself.

Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot. Never allow horseplay with firearms.

When shooting, be sure your backstom is a hard, flat surface or water.

Be familiar with the safety and function of the firearm you intend to use. Check barrel for obstructions.

Unload a firearm before climbing fences or trees, jumping ditches or returning to your vehicle.

Make sure your firearm is in properly working condition and is safe for modern ammunition. If you are unsure, consult an authorized gunsmith. The use of improper ammunition or modern ammunition in an older firearm can be deadly.

Finally, never use alcohol or medication bearing activity restrictions before or during the handling of firearms.

Ronnie McCane is director of Trimble County's Emergency Management agency.