Rule one: Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
By always making sure that the gun is pointed in a safe direction you ensure that no harm will be done if the gun were to accidentally be fired. A safe direction means that if the gun was pointed in a certain direction and went off it would not cause injury or damage. Based on your common sense you can dictate what is considered a safe direction.
Rule two: Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
When holding your gun, rest your trigger finger outside the trigger guard alongside the gun. Keep your finger there until you are ready to fire. By doing so, you ensure that the gun will not accidentally fire due to a finger slip.
Rule three: Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
When picking up a gun, you want to make sure that the gun’s ammunition source is removed. Pick up the gun making sure that it is pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger, engage the mechanical safety if possible, remove the ammunition source, open the action, visually and physically inspect the chamber(s) and magazine area, and leave the action open with the mechanical safety engaged. If you don’t know how to o this process, leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does know.