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NY Army National Guard Safety
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STATE SAFETY OFFICE

HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
330 OLD NISKAYUNA ROAD
LATHAM, NY 12110-2224

Safety Message 21-06

June is Small Arms and Explosives Safety Month

Small Arms Safety

Topping the list of small arms safety issues are improper handling and malfunctions due to improper headspace and timing or maintenance, which are often a result of complacency, indiscipline and inadequate training. The constant exposure to weapons in a deployed environment versus garrison increases the potential for Soldiers to become complacent and provides greater opportunities for unintentional discharges to occur.

Unintentional discharges most commonly occur when:

While not as prevalent, improper headspace and timing and accidental ricochet/shrapnel incidents are also a concern. As with unintentional discharges, these mishaps are often a result of inadequate training, overconfidence, complacency, and indiscipline.

Steps to reduce weapons handling risk:

  • Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
  • Handle every weapon with care.
  • Identify the target before you fire.
  • Never point the muzzle at anything you don't intend to shoot.
  • Keep the weapon on safe and your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire.

References and Links:


Ammunition and Explosives Storage and Handling

Some Leaders and Soldiers tend to think ammunition and explosives safety is for peacetime and is a low priority during theater operations. Actually, just the opposite is true. Ammunition assets and Soldiers' safety are even more critical to mission accomplishment during combat.

Ammunition and explosives accidents most commonly occur when:

Most ammunition and explosives accidents are preventable. Failure to follow proper handling procedures and Soldiers not wearing the proper PPE are common mistakes. Inadequate training, lack of Leader involvement, and overconfidence are often cited as contributing factors in mishaps.

Steps to reduce the risk:

References and Links:

NYARNG Safety Message Archive

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Page Last Modified: 18 May 21