It's not uncommon for Idaho homeowners to have a firearm in their home, and now the National Rifle Association is saying home protection leads the way as the number one reason why guns are purchased, surpassing hunting.

But, gun safety officials warn of some common mistakes some gun owners make without realizing it until it's too late.

Southeast region district conservation officer for the Department of Fish and Game Scott Wright has been teaching a gun safety class through the department for the past 20 years and said there are four basic rules everyone should remember if they are planning on owning a firearm.

"Number one is to treat all guns as if they were loaded," Wright said. "Number two is: finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, number three is to be sure of your target and what is beyond it, and number four is to never point your gun at anything you're not willing to destroy."

He also warned to keep all firearms unloaded and stored in a safe, separated from the ammunition.

He also said to keep guns out of the reach of kids since kids' natural curiosity often attracts them to these weapons.

"Firearms are something they are often times really attracted to so we just want to make sure that kids, if they are handling firearms, they are supervised by an adult who has been trained," he added.

For most Idaho gun owners, these rules come almost naturally.

But sometimes the smaller details tend to slip away from most people.

Wright said people often times forget that a gun can still fire even after taking the magazine out.

This is because some people forget to check the barrel of the gun for any bullets that could still be set inside.

He said when disarming an automatic or semi-automatic firearm, to disassemble the weapon sequentially to avoid this common accident.

"First remove the magazine from the magazine well, lock the slide to the rear, and check it visually and physically. If you do those steps out of sequence, the gun is most times still loaded and that is the root of a number of accidents," Wright added.

Dianne Brush from the Pocatello Police Department said the department has partnered with the non-profit organization called Project Child Safe. 

On Tuesday night, the police department will hand-out 200 free gun locks to the public at their National Night Out event held at the police station.

The event will last from six until eight o'clock that evening.

Both Brush and Wright said firearm safety classes are offered at your local sheriff's office, police department, or you can even take an enhanced concealed class which are usually offered through private companies in the region.