It is important to know what you are getting into before deciding to buy a gun. The process of buying a gun is not as easy as it seems, and there are many things that you need to consider before committing yourself, such as safety.
If you’re asking yourself “what do I need to know before buying a gun,” consider this: A study shows that only 3 in 5 gun owners received gun training before purchasing and only 56% of gun owners received formal gun training or courses before purchasing their first gun.
It’s not only about safety though. There are quite a few things that you should know before going out and buying your first gun. You have an amazing opportunity here, so please take advantage of what we have learned from our own experience to make your purchase and yourself more informed.
With that being said, let’s get started and discuss everything you should know before buying a gun.
Firearm Safety, Knowledge, & Training
As we mentioned in the intro to this article, there are many people out there that have not received the proper training that everyone should have before owning a firearm.
Guns in themselves are not dangerous; however, people can be. Without proper care, safety, and training, mistakes and accidents can happen, leading to serious injuries or even death in some cases.
There are an estimated 430 unintentional firearm deaths that happen every year in the United States. The majority of these are between the ages of 10 and 29. They are often common mistakes, like playing with the gun, thinking it was unloaded, or hunting.
Most of these can be avoided simply by giving yourself and anyone in your household some simple safety training. What are should you know about safety? Let’s take a look.
Basic Firearm Safety Tips
Here are a few safety firearm tips that everyone should know and practice anytime they are operating a gun.
- Always point your firearm in a safe direction
- Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire
- Always treat a gun as if it were loaded
- Use your safety switch at all times unless you are ready to fire (if your firearm is equipped with one)
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Know your target, what is in front, and what is behind it
- Never point a gun at someone even when it is unloaded
- Don’t fire rounds into the air since they eventually will come back down
Although these tips are good to know and remember, you should go through proper professional firearm training. Many firearm ranges and facilities offer safety training and firearm classes year-round. If you are considering whether to buy a gun, contact your local range to get some training first.
Know Types of Firearms & Their Purposes
There are three different types of firearms that you should be familiar with as a beginner. These are rifles, shotguns, and handguns. These serve different types of purposes and uses for individual owners.
Rifles are typically used for hunting or long-range shooting sports. There are many different types of rifles, but some of the most common ones are bolt-action, lever-action, and semi-automatic.
Bolt-action rifles are the oldest type of rifle and they are popular among hunters because of their accuracy. Lever-action rifles were once very popular but have decreased in popularity in recent years.
Semi-automatic rifles have become very popular in recent years due to their increased accuracy and fast rate of fire. AR-15s are a type of semi-automatic rifle that has been in the news a lot lately.
Shotguns are typically used for hunting birds and other small game, as well as home defense. Shotguns come in many different shapes and sizes, they can fire tiny pellet bullets big pellets, or slugs.
Pellet rounds contain multiple pellets that spread out after firing. This makes them great for something closer in range. However, not so great when you are shooting something further away.
Slugs are a single round that doesn’t spread and they pack a powerful punch. This is typically what you see used when hunting bucks.
The most common type of shotgun is the pump-action shotgun. This type of shotgun is popular because it is very reliable and can be used for a variety of purposes. Other types of shotguns include the double-barrel shotgun and the semi-automatic shotgun.
Handguns are typically used for self-defense, concealed carry, or target shooting. There are many different types of handguns, but some of the most common ones are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.
Revolvers are a type of handgun that has a cylinder that holds the rounds. This type of handgun is popular because it is very reliable and easy to use.
Semi-automatic pistols are the most common type of handgun. They work by using the recoil energy from the last round fired to eject the empty cartridge and chamber a new round, which allows you to fire multiple rounds without having to reload. Many people choose this type of handgun because of its versatility and ease of use.
Ammunition for Your Firearm
There are many different types of ammunition. They all offer different options for hunting, self-defense, and much more. You should always ensure that you are using quality rounds for whatever it is you are shooting.
There are many different types of ammunition, but some of the most common ones are:
- 9mm (Used with common handguns)
- 5.56 (Ar-15s and hunting rifles)
- 22LR (Common rifles and pistols)
- .308 (An alternative to 5.56)
- .223 (Used for small game in rifles)
- 12 Gauge (Used with shotguns)
- .45 (Powerful round used in handguns)
These are just a few of the many different types of ammo used by gun owners, but they are the most well-known and used.
Needs & Budget
Now that we have some basic understanding of firearms and ammunition, we can talk about your needs and discuss a budget.
When looking to buy a gun, you need to consider what you will be using it for. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, you will need something different than if you are looking for a handgun for self-defense.
The majority of gun owners say that the reason they own one is for personal protection; however, there are many different reasons why you may want to own one. You just need to determine that for yourself so you know which type to purchase.
If you are getting your firearm for hunting, then you should know what type of animals you’ll be hunting. If you are going after a larger game such as deer, then you may want a rifle or shotgun. Likewise, if you are going for a smaller game such as rabbit, you’ll need something with a smaller punch, like a .22.
If you are looking for a self-defense weapon, then you are going to want to go for semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, AR-style rifles, ext.
Once you know what you are going to be using it for, you can start looking at the price points of that type of firearm. You should also take into account your budget when purchasing a firearm. Firearms can be expensive, so it is important that you find one that fits your needs and your budget.
Testing Out Firearms
It is important to test out a few firearms before making your purchase. This will help you determine which type of firearm you are most comfortable with and which rounds work best for you.
You can do this by going to a local gun range and renting different types of firearms. This is also a great way to meet other like-minded people and learn more about firearms.
Rifles, shotguns, and pistols all have different weights, kickback, and handling. Going to a shooting range and trying them out will give you an idea of what you are comfortable with. After all, you want to invest in the gun you feel most comfortable with!
If you end up going to a gun range, let them know that this is your first time and that you are just wanting to test out different guns. Most ranges will even offer packages just for these types of purposes. This gives you a great opportunity to try out as many guns as they carry.
Know Your Local Laws & Regulations
It is important to know the local laws and regulations pertaining to firearms before you make your purchase. There may be restrictions on what type of firearms you can own or where you can carry them.
You should also familiarize yourself with the penalties for violating these laws. In some cases, a first-time violation may just result in a fine. However, in more serious cases, you may face jail time.
It is always better to be safe than sorry and to know the law inside and out before purchasing your firearm.
Every state has different regulations and laws regarding gun ownership, so whatever state you are in are the laws you should know very well. These laws can change as well, so you should keep updated with them.
Lastly, if you move to another state or you are traveling through a state while carrying your weapon, you’ll need to know that’s states laws as well. If you violate that state’s laws, you’ll be held accountable.
Concealed Carry Laws & Permits
Speaking of local laws and regulations, if you want to carry a gun on your person, you’ll need to know the laws for it. In most states, carrying a gun does require a special permit, a Conceal Carry Weapons Permit (CCW).
There are different requirements for obtaining a CCW permit in each state. In some cases, you’ll need to take a safety class and pass a test. You may also need to provide proof of residency or employment.
You can often take courses online to obtain your CCW permit. However, you’ll need to see if you are in a state that is a Shall Issue state.
Again, it is important to know the laws in your state before applying for a CCW permit. You don’t want to waste your time and money on a permit that won’t be accepted in your area.
If you are traveling to another state that has different concealed carry laws, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with those as well. Just because you have a CCW permit from one state, it doesn’t mean that it will be honored in another state.
Some do accept them. When a state does accept your CCW permit, this means that the state has reciprocity. Always look ahead of time if a state does or does not have reciprocity for you!
How to Purchase Your First Gun
The best way to purchase your first firearm is to go in person to a local gun store. This will allow you to ask questions of the experts and get a feel for the different types of firearms available.
You can also buy firearms online, but it is important to do your research before making your purchase.
When purchasing a firearm online, be sure to read the reviews of the seller. Also, find out if the store has a physical location where you can take it back if there are any problems with it.
Many states have a waiting period when purchasing a firearm, so be sure to factor that into your purchase.
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Gun
When it comes to purchasing your first firearm, it is important to do your research and know the laws in your state. You should also be familiar with the different types of firearms available and what each one can be used for.
Buying a gun online can be a bit harder, so it is always best to go in-person to a local gun store. Lastly, make sure to go through gun safety and training courses beforehand, oftentimes going through a CCW class can help you even further in training and comfortability with guns.
If you have further questions about what do I need to know before buying a gun or if you are looking for training courses, such as a CCW course, contact us today!