How to Safely Unload and Store Your Firearm

The best way to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe is to unload your firearm and store it in a secure container. Here's how.

How to Safely Unload and Store Your Firearm
25 Steps
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1
When you pick up a firearm, you should always assume that it is loaded. Keep your finger OFF the trigger, and while disarming, never point it at yourself or others.

When you pick up a firearm, you should always assume that it is loaded. Keep your finger OFF the trigger, and while disarming, never point it at yourself or others.

2
With the safety on, remove the magazine from your pistol. Keep the pistol pointed away from you and away from any other people.

With the safety on, remove the magazine from your pistol. Keep the pistol pointed away from you and away from any other people.

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3
With your finger off the trigger, pull the slide to the rear at least three times to clear chamber.

With your finger off the trigger, pull the slide to the rear at least three times to clear chamber.

4
Lock slide to the rear.

Lock slide to the rear.

5
Visually inspect the pistol chamber to make sure that it is empty and safe. Do this by looking through the chamber on the top of the firearm. Do not look into the barrel.

Visually inspect the pistol chamber to make sure that it is empty and safe. Do this by looking through the chamber on the top of the firearm. Do not look into the barrel.

6
Use your finger to physically check that the chamber is empty.

Use your finger to physically check that the chamber is empty.

7
Ensure the magazine is removed and empty as well.

Ensure the magazine is removed and empty as well.

8
Lock your firearm with either a trigger lock or a cable lock.

Lock your firearm with either a trigger lock or a cable lock.

9
Remember to store the key safely after securing the lock.

Remember to store the key safely after securing the lock.

10
If using a cable lock, carefully insert the cable through the ejection port and down the magazine tube. Then lock the cable.

If using a cable lock, carefully insert the cable through the ejection port and down the magazine tube. Then lock the cable.

11
Store your locked firearm in either a safe...

Store your locked firearm in either a safe...

12
...or a lock box.

...or a lock box.

13
Safely unloading and storing a shotgun is a similar process.

Safely unloading and storing a shotgun is a similar process.

14
First, make sure safety is on. And as with all firearms, always assume that it is loaded. Keep your finger OFF the trigger, and while disarming, never point it at yourself or others.

First, make sure safety is on. And as with all firearms, always assume that it is loaded. Keep your finger OFF the trigger, and while disarming, never point it at yourself or others.

15
Check that the safety is on by ensuring the red ring is NOT visible and the safety button is fully depressed.

Check that the safety is on by ensuring the red ring is NOT visible and the safety button is fully depressed.

16
When no red is visible, the safety is ON.

When no red is visible, the safety is ON.

17
Depress the action bar lock...

Depress the action bar lock...

18
...and pull fore end to the rear.

...and pull fore end to the rear.

19
Visually and physically make sure the weapon is clear.

Visually and physically make sure the weapon is clear.

20
Make sure the magazine tube is empty by locating the orange or black tab.

Make sure the magazine tube is empty by locating the orange or black tab.

21
Lock your shotgun with a trigger lock...

Lock your shotgun with a trigger lock...

22
...or with a cable lock.

...or with a cable lock.

23
Then carefully place your shotgun in a gun vault or lock box.

Then carefully place your shotgun in a gun vault or lock box.

24
Close the vault and lock the door shut.

Close the vault and lock the door shut.

25
For more information on firearms storage safety, visit ncpc.org.

For more information on firearms storage safety, visit ncpc.org.

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