Health & Safety

February 15, 2013

Firearm safety goes distance to prevent mishaps

Senior Airman Gabriel Cuevas, 56th SFS pass and registration clerk, measures targets within the scope during his shooting requalification training at the Ben Avery Shooting Range.

Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members went out to the Ben Avery Shooting Range Jan. 31 to maintain their qualifications as advanced designated marksmen.

“Shooters must engage a variety of targets up to 500 meters,” said Staff Sgt. Brady Craddock, 56th Security Forces Squadron combat arms training instructor. “They fire in several positions to include: prone supported, prone unsupported, kneeling and over a barricade.”

While SFS was out on the range, 56th Fighter Wing Safety was also there to make sure the rules and regulations were followed.

“We’re required to do annual inspections on ranges that are used by Air Force personnel,” said Tech. Sgt. Chris Seltmann, 56th Fighter Wing weapons safety NCO. “So since security forces uses that range, we have to certify it and do a safety inspection.”

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Buchan, 56th SFS flight sergeant, cleans a Beretta M-9 Jan. 29 during combat arms training at Luke Air Force Base. Proper cleaning is required before returning weapons to the armory.

56th FW safety guidelines for new gun users on Luke Air Force Base include:

Firearms cannot go over the bridge from the east to the west side of base.

Dorm residents or persons staying in the base hotel who have privately owned weapons must store their firearms in the security forces armory.

Weapons can be stored in base housing if forms DD 2760 and AF IMT 1314 have been filed. Form 2760 is the qualification to possess a firearm or ammunition. Form 1314 is the firearms registration form. These forms are also stored in the SFS armory as well as in the individual’s personal information file.

Firearm safety cannot be overlooked. The purpose of firearm safety is to minimize the risks of accidental death, injury or damage caused by improper handling and storage of firearms, according to Craddock.

“If you choose to have a firearm, you must become aware of the risks to which you, family and friends are exposed,” he said.

Tragedies occur from leaving unoccupied firearms accessible to others who are untrained.

“The first rule of firearm safety is to always keep it secure in the household and keep it away from minors,” Craddock said. “By hiding the firearms from minors, you can help prevent accidental shootings.”

Know your weapon. The more a person knows about the firearm, the less likely an incident will occur.

And remember, treat every weapon as loaded.

To learn more about firearm safety, call the 56th FW Safety office at (623) 856-6675.

Senior Airman Erik Williams, 56th SFS combat arms training instructor, watches Staff Sgt. Brady Craddock, 56th SFS combat arms training instructor, use Senior Airman Gabriel Cuevas, 56th SFS Bravo Flight, as shooting support during the requalification training at the Ben Avery Shooting Range north of Phoenix. The purpose of requalification is for shooters to maintain their skills as advanced designated marksman snipers.




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