Treat firearms as if they are loaded
Many firearm accidents result from the handler mistakenly believing a firearm is emptied, safety set to the on position, or otherwise disabled when in fact it is ready to be discharged. Such misunderstandings can arise from a number of sources.
Wear, faulty assembly, damage or faulty design of the firearm can cause it not to function as intended. For instance, a safety may have been worn down to a point where it is no longer functioning. Broken or worn parts in the trigger, sear or hammer/striker may have given the firearm a “hair trigger” (a very sensitive trigger). A dented or bent body of the firearm may cause jams or premature discharge of ammunition. Sensitivity to impact may cause a firearm to discharge if dropped or struck against another object.