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The Monthly Watch

The Monthly Watch was created to provide timely information to our 'internet audience'. Each month, a new topic is presented - but fear not! Archived articles will still be available. 

Firearm Safety



Among my duties as a county detective, I have been designated Firearm's Instruction for the District attorney's Detective Bureau and the Anti-Drug Task Force. I am responsible not only to qualify the various law-enforcement officers of the District Attorney's Office in the use of their firearms but also to outline a safety program for the department.

This article is to address the safety concerns of the general public. The ownership of a firearm is based on one personal belief and choice. It is not my role to try to influence one's choice or belief. However, once one chooses to own a firearm, they should understand the rules of safety that come with ownership.

A recent survey by the Department of Justice indicates that roughly fifty (50%) percent of all U.S. households own a firearm. So the need to be concerned about safety is obvious. It is almost certain that you or your children have been in a household that has a firearm. As parents, we all know about natural curiosity of children and that they do not shy away from the unknown. Children should be taught the basics as taught in the Eddie Eagle Program


Remember, if you are a gun owner you could be responsible for all persons who enter your residence. Failure to properly secure your firearms can result in both civil and/or criminal liability. Lock you weapons, when not in use, for example a safe or a lock box. Remember to store your ammunition in a different lock box than the weapon. Also keep in mind that an inexpensive deterrent is a trigger lock. At a minimum it is our department's safety policy that our service weapons have trigger locks when taken home by our officers. Just as there are basic rules for child safety; there are rules for shooting safety that should be adhered to in the sporting or target use of firearms.

I. Always treat every gun as loaded.

II. Always inspect a weapon to make sure it is unloaded when you pick it up.

III. Muzzel awareness, never point a weapon at anything you do not want to shoot.

IV. Always keep the safety on.

V. Always open the action of the gun when handing it to someone, remember muzzel awareness.

VI. Be certain of your target and backdrop before firing a weapon.

VII. Drinking and Drugs do not go with firearms.

VIII. Wear eye and ear protection.

Finally, remember safety first and safety last. If you have any questions concerning firearm safety you can contact me at the Detective Bureau or you can E-mail me at: rheberle@beavercountypa.gov