Marquette County Sheriffs Department explains gun safety

MARQUETTE COUNTY — It’s important to understand safety guide line and regulations if you are looking to get into the world of guns for hunting, sport or even just homes safety. ABC 10 was able to get a chance to learn more about guns due to the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department trading in their old issued weapons for some new ones.

“So our current handguns are 15 years old,” said Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Lowell Larson. “We have purchased a new generation of handguns, so the purpose of today is coming out and trying the new weapons. This is to make sure everyone is comfortable with the weapons and to see if they are functioning properly. As well, because of the weather we are going to also have an opportunity to train with the firearms using clothes that we wear during the winter times. So it is very important for an officer to be able to train like they patrol.”

With that concept it is also important for individuals who purchase or posses fire arms to be knowledgeable about these weapons. This all can be accomplished with prior research, consulting and reading the guns manual.

“New owners should obviously read their owner’s manual,” added Lt. Larson. “So that they can become familiar with the weapon, they should also have a safe and secure spot to keep the weapon at home or in their vehicle. Now if they are still uncomfortable, make sure that they contact a professional that is a firearm instructor.”

Now even though some may think they know everything there is to fire arms and gun safety, but it is still important to stay vigilante and make wise decisions when using fire arms.

“Well often it is the people that have used the guns for awhile and may become over confident that they know the weapon and that they can violate certain safety rules,” explained Lt. Larson. “So when an accident occurs there is always a violation of a safety rule that people will skip.”

Some of these safeties while handling a fire arm include:

  • Always know if your weapons are loaded and unloaded.
  • Always act like a gun is loaded when handling.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Keep the safety applied if the fire arm is equipped with one until you are ready to shoot.
  • Always keep the Muzzle in a safe direction.

Some other rules to follow would be keeping your weapons safely locked away while at home as well as when being transported.

Now if you are new to purchasing weapons there are certain guidelines that must be met and steps to take.These steps include registering handguns, which is required by law if you live in Michigan.

The process may be lengthy and time consuming for some, but it allows law enforcement to keep people safe and weapons out of the hands of criminals. This process can be done at the Marquette County Police department where they can get you started on your purchase of a handgun.

“Once you come into the Sheriff’s office you would be given a permit to purchase and you have 30 days to fill that out,” said Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Gregory S. Zyburt. “It comes in triplicate forme, one goes to the Michigan State Police, one goes to the purchaser and you get to keep one if you are to sell it. So you have to fill that out within 10 days, then you have to sign it and have it notarized.”

The reason for registering handguns also helps identify the owner and can help law enforcement with crimes that were done with the weapon. This can also help owners find weapons that may have been stolen and obtained later by law enforcement.

“If your weapon is stolen, now first of all it is very important if you report it as soon as you find that it has been stolen, that is one of the reasons handguns are registered,” said Sheriff Zyburt. “If it is involved in a crime, it is a way for police to follow up and quite often it goes back to the person who owns it. Now this doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen in a fair amount of the cases does involve the owner. So it is important to if you want your weapon back if they do find it. It is a good way of getting it back, otherwise there is no way knowing whose gun it is.”

Now if you are transporting firearms it is a law that you secure your gun and ammo separately, so that no one has easy access to the fire arm while operating a vehicle. Now this is different if the owner has a CPL or also known as a Concealed Pistol License.

“If you have a CPL, and they are taught this in the class, that if they are pulled over; one of the first things to do besides identifying who they are is to tell the officer right away that they have a CPL and they are carrying a weapon,” explained Sheriff Zyburt. “That is for their safety and the officers safety.”

For more information about gun safety, purchasing or regulations click here.