For the security professional, it is imperative that all your training and certifications are valid and up to date, especially when it comes to weapons permits. You are entrusted with a very important responsibility, and it requires training, maintenance, and practice to properly use your weapons. In fact, you should practice safety and weapons handling to the point that it becomes 2nd nature. Schedule yourself for regular training, and practice in a safe, controlled environment.

If you just purchased your firearm, take the time to review the owner’s manual. If a manual was not included, find the correct one online and familiarize yourself as best you can. Handguns almost universally require some level of disassembly for cleaning. Make sure you correctly understand the layout of your firearm, and the tools and procedures for disassembly, reassembly and the points on the weapon where lubricant will need to be applied. This will help you to avoid damaging it, or losing parts. First and foremost, and this should go without saying, make sure your weapon is not loaded, and that it is pointed in a safe direction. According to Guns and Ammo Magazine, defensive handguns should have a regular cleaning schedule. After a range session, store it in a clean and secure locked box, and regularly check for dirt build up and proper levels of lubrication. A few minutes of attention to detail and proper cleaning will ensure the reliability of your weapon is never compromised.

Be careful not to unnecessarily, or excessively clean your weapon, as this may produce even more wear and tear on your weapon than actual use. Work in a well-ventilated area that’s been prepared for gun cleaning, and away from a common area of your home. Keep in mind that the chemicals and compounds produced by discharging your weapon, as well as the ones used to clean and lubricate, are toxic and should be handled with care. A quick and easy way to prepare a workbench or table is to cover it with a large plastic trash bag, or a towel that you don't mind getting excessively dirty. Cover the bag or towel with a couple of layers of newspaper pages, then a layer of paper towels. You can discard the paper towels as you are doen. When you’re done with the cleaning session, just turn the trash bag inside out to capture the debris, tie it shut, and throw it away. It’s a good idea to wear safety glasses and protective gloves to reduce exposure to toxic materials.