When manipulating a firearm, there are four universal safety rules that must ALWAYS be obeyed. When these four rules are followed, accidents can be minimized. Negligent discharges of a firearm can result in death or serious injury when these rules are not followed. Every shooter should know and be able to recite the 4 Rules of Gun Safety.
1. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything that you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
AND — Secure your firearms so that unauthorized persons may not access them.