Gun ownership is at an all-time high in the United States, and many gun purchases are by first-time gun buyers. Buying a firearm for the first time may seem daunting, but when properly armed with the right questions and knowledge, the journey can be one that’s both exciting and rewarding. First State Firearms is here to help guide you through the entire process.
Ask Yourself Why: The first aspect to think about when buying a gun is its purpose. Its purpose involves why you want to purchase a firearm in the first place. Will you be using it for self-protection when you’re out? Is it for home security? For hunting? Or is it just for sport? Another important consideration is where you will be storing your gun. Will you store it in a vehicle? Will it be on your person most of the time? Or will it be primarily stored at home?
Be Honest: Sharing your interests, needs, and concerns will help you narrow your search while also helping staff at the gun store to better assist and direct you. For example, if your goal is to use the gun for personal protection, you may want a higher caliber weapon. If you’re going to use it for shooting at the local range, you may want a gun with more affordable ammunition.
Do Your Research: It is your responsibility to know and follow your local laws. Learn about requirements and laws regarding carrying and transporting your weapon. Your local police department may be a useful resource for this. You should also know which types of ammunition it can support; firing the wrong ammunition can cause injury to yourself and others as well as damage to your gun.
Handling & Firing
Know the Gun You Purchase: One of the most critical aspects of selecting a gun is ensuring that it has a proper fit and can be fired effectively. There are many things to consider in regards to this. A first-time gun buyer should never purchase a firearm that they have not personally handled. Avoid the online marketplace for this reason. Instead, come into First State Firearms for a firsthand, individual experience. We can provide many different options for you to choose from to find the perfect gun. Handling many different types of guns is the most effective way to get a sense of what gun suits you best.
Holding: Another critical aspect to consider is how the gun feels. This is why going to a gun shop can be useful as it allows you to try out different types of guns. One thing to pay attention to is recoil, the reactive force that pushes back when a gun is fired. Additionally, the circumference of a gun can affect the ability to reach and pull the trigger easily. Ultimately, your weapon should be able to be comfortably fired. If you experience issues, a knowledgeable staff member can suggest other options.
Safety and Responsibility
Classes Are Essential: It is critical for all first-time gun owners to take a gun safety class and know the basic safety rules of handling and shooting a gun. First State Firearms offers a free gun safety class to first-time gun buyers. Our class is conducted by a National Rifle Association-certified instructor. Recently, the NRA has also started providing online courses to better enable education while social distancing due to COVID-19. Other recommended courses for the first-time gun buyer include a course in basic first aid and self-defense. First State Firearms also offers One on One gun classes and Concealed Carry courses for gun buyers.
Gun Maintainance and Storage: In addition to basic gun safety, it is important to learn how to clean and maintain your gun properly. Following its recommended service schedule is also critical in extending its life. Many gun shops offer this as a service. When budgeting for your firearm purchase, remember that you are not just purchasing a gun but also purchasing a gun safe to secure the gun. This expense should be included in your planning.
Educate Your Household: It is important to be open and honest about your gun ownership with other household members, especially children. Even though the gun will be secured in a safe, it is never too early to start age-appropriate gun safety discussions.
Things to Avoid
High-Pressure Sales Tactics: Buying a gun is a process that takes time and should be an enjoyable, stress-free process. Any gun shop, big or small, that engages in high-pressure sales tactics - or doesn’t have top-notch customer service - doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Steer clear of these places.
Private Sales: While private sales can be an effective way of purchasing guns, it is not advisable for a first-time gun owner. Used guns are frequently cheaper, but there are many unknowns attached to them, especially for someone who has no prior experience with gun ownership. For instance, the warranty on the gun may be expired, or the previous owner may have modified it in a way that permanently voids the warranty. Additionally, the former owner may not have maintained the gun very well, and there could be issues or damage to the gun because of it. Worse still, the gun’s previous owner may not have procured it legally, which means it may have been stolen.
We Can Help
Following these simple and smart tips will better prepare you for buying a gun for the first time. Stop by or call First State Firearms for any questions you may have. We’re here to help make your first gun buying experience a fulfilling and successful one.