6 Guidelines to Follow when You Use Your Handgun for Self-Defense

Firearms, particularly handguns, can be very effective for self-defense purposes. In fact, this is the main argument in favor of legal ownership, but it’s up to armed citizens to know how to use weapons for protective purposes. When it comes to defending your own life with a handgun, a number of thoughtful and practical processes must be followed, including those listed below.

1. Consider the Legality of the Situation

If you’re not legally allowed to own and operate a handgun, a number of things could go wrong even if you’re successful in defending your own life. Let’s say you succeed in stopping an attacker with a handgun you obtained through illegal means. Many state courts may rule in your favor because of the doctrine of self-defense, but you may still face other charges that could result in felony convictions and even incarceration.

2. Follow Gun Safety Practices

Handguns can be very dangerous in the hands of individuals who don’t operate them safely. When faced with a self-defense situation, you should operate your weapon applying all the gun safety principles you learned in order to become a responsible firearm owner. The last thing you want is to end up hurting yourself or other individuals instead of the aggressor.

3. Only Point Handguns at Aggressors

It’s your responsibility to ensure you don’t point weapons at anyone other than those you intend to stop. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to shoot in an unintended direction, but this can be prevented by keeping muzzle awareness in mind. This is particularly the case with handguns equipped with longer barrels. You are responsible for every round that is fired from your gun.

4. Keep Your Handgun Close to Your Body

If the attacker is very close to you, it is important to be mindful of how close the gun is to them. It may be best to keep the handgun closer to your body. If possible and safe to do so, create distance between yourself and the attacker. The attacker should not be able to grab you or your firearm.

5. Avoid Point-Blank Firing Situations

With a semi-automatic pistol, the gun will more than likely jam if fired when pressed against an object. This is because when pressed against something, the slide cannot cycle fully. If you must press your gun against the attacker, it is important to keep this in mind and know you will only be able to fire once. Because a revolver does not have a slide, it is not affected like this and will continue to function. When possible, it is always best to create distance between yourself and the attacker or attackers. 

6. Practice and Train Often

Self-defense situations will rarely allow you to shoot as well as you do when standing at a shooting range. Practice as much as possible so you’re prepared in a self-defense situation. You’ll only be as good as your worst day at the range during an actual event.

Whether you own and carry a gun for self-defense, hunting, competition, or another purpose, make sure you have the proper training to do it safely. You can count on the firearm education experts at Gun Safety Training Pros when you’re looking for the finest handgun safety class online. If you want to learn more about the crucial aspects of safe firearms ownership and gun handling, contact us today at [email protected].

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