How to Safely Hand Over a Firearm

How to Safely Hand Over a Firearm
How to Safely Hand Over a Firearm

When accepting or handing over a firearm from one person to another, the weapon should be?

• Unchambered
• Chambered/safety on
• Magazine removed
• Loaded and ready

Answer: Unchambered

When accepting or handing over a firearm from one person to another, the weapon should be unchambered. Here’s why…

When it comes to firearms, EVERYONE should be in the mindset of “safety first.” There are many people who handle firearms without receiving weapons handling training.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed people taking hold of a handgun and immediately placing their finger into the trigger. It endangers the person and everyone around them.

Here’s a quick step by step on how to safely hand over a weapon. (You will watch the person perform these actions to visually verify the weapon is safe before receiving it.)

When handing over a weapon, be sure you’re in a safe place, with the firearm pointed in a safe direction.

Slide and lock the upper receiver to unchamber the round. Visually and physically check and ensure there is no round in the chamber or magazine inserted. (I personally use my finger to physically make sure).

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Lift the firearm at eye level so the person receiving the firearm can see and verify there is no magazine or round in chamber.

Once the magazine has been removed, you have ensured there is no round in the chamber and the slide is locked back, it’s now safe to hand over the firearm.

Be sure the barrel is pointing down and your hand is covering the trigger so the person receiving can only take the firearm by the grip and can’t put their finger on the trigger.

While handing over the firearm, be sure (even if you have to guide them) they are pointing the weapon in a safe direction. Be sure the person has it by saying, “GOT IT” or giving some sort of acknowledgement they now have full control.

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After this, you can safely release and hand over the firearm.

Receiving the Firearm
It’s important you visually and physically check to see that you are receiving an unloaded firearm. (DO NOT accept a weapon that is either not in this condition or you have not verified yourself.)

With the firearm pointed in a safe direction and finger OFF the trigger, bring the firearm eye level and check for an empty chamber and no magazine is inserted.

After verification, safely holster the weapon or make it “ready” for use (insert magazine, chamber a round).

Basic Firearm Safety Rules
Always treat a weapon as if it were loaded and never point a weapon at anything or anyone. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. In the Marine Corps, we learned some basic firearms safety rules that even after 19 years, I still haven’t forgotten; TREAT, NEVER, KEEP, KEEP.

  • Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  • Never point a weapon at anything you do not intent to shoot.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  • Keep your weapon on safe until you intent to fire.
  • These are just a few simple rules and techniques to help you become a more proficient and educated firearms owner and handler. A responsible gun owner will always do his or her best to continue training and applying all safety rules.

    ~To Your Survival!

    How to Safely Hand Over a Firearm to Another Person