Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Are You Smart Enough To Buy A Handgun In Michigan - Part II

This post will answer and explain each response to the questions in the Michigan Basic Pistol Safety Questionnaire that I posted yesterday.

1. You should treat every pistol as if it were loaded.

True. Every single time you touch a gun, you should keep it pointed in a safe direction and open the action to check its status (i.e loaded or unloaded). Furthermore, you should never hand a loaded gun to anyone under any circumstances; the action should be open when you hand it to someone. Moreover, if someone hands you a firearm, immediately point it in a safe direction and open the action to assess the firearm's status.

2. You should always keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction.

True. The barrel of a gun should always be pointed in a safe direction. This is a fundamental safety rule. If the gun is always pointed in a safe direction, nothing bad can happen if the gun was to be fired. Another way of stating this rule is to never point a gun at something you don't want to see destroyed.

3. You should never put your finger on the trigger until ready to fire at a proper target.

True. Your finger should always be off the trigger until you are ready to discharge the firearm. Optimally, the trigger finger should be kept along the slide. If this fundamental safety rule is followed, the possessor of the firearm will not never accidentally discharge the gun.

4. When passing or receiving a pistol to or from another person, the action should be open and the pistol visually checked to make sure it is not loaded.

True. Also, if the firearm is a semi-automatic, the magazine well should also be checked to ensure that ammunition is not inside of the firearm.

5. It is illegal to sell a pistol to a person under 18 years of age.

True. A person can't legally own a gun until he is at least 18 years of age. Thus, it is also illegal to sell a gun to a person under 18 years of age.

6. The law requires a person to report the theft of his or her pistol to police within one year.

False. Michigan law (Section 28.430) requires that gun owners report the theft of their firearm within five days after noticing that the gun is missing. Depending on the circumstances, a stolen gun, that was stored, may not be missed by its owner until well after a year.

7. A person is permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle.

True. See Section 227d.

8. When storing a pistol, for safety reasons the ammunition should never be stored separately from the pistol.

False. A stored pistol should never be in the same location as the ammunition for that firearm.

9. The law requires that when presenting a pistol to police for a safety inspection, the pistol is unloaded and encased or equipped with a trigger locking mechanism.

True. See Section 28.429.

10. When storing a pistol it should be unloaded and placed in a safe place out of the reach of children.

True. A gun lock on a stored pistol is also a good idea.

11. Possession of a pistol while under the influence of alcohol is unlawful.

True. See Section 750.237

12. A person can be held criminally and civilly liable for wrongfully pointing or discharging a pistol at another person.

True. See Section 750.233 and Section 750.234

13. The first step to cleaning a pistol is to make sure it is unloaded.

True. Many guns require having their triggers engaged before it can be field stripped for cleaning. Thus, the gun should be unloaded before pulling the trigger.

14. Dropping a loaded pistol will never cause an accidental discharge if the safety is on.

False. A safety is a mechanical device which can fail. Never rely on a safety to prevent an accidental discharge of a handgun.

15. Bullets fired at flat surfaces will never glance off in an unpredictable direction.

False. Bullets can ricochet off hard surfaces, including bodies of water, and can end up in unpredictable locations.

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