You’ve decided that owning a firearm is a practical next step in your life. But what now? The simple answer may seem like “buy one,” but there are a few things to consider before you commit to a purchase.
Assess Your Need
Do you want a firearm so you can go hunting? Is it a new hobby you’re after, and target shooting sounds most attractive? Or are you interested in home safety and property protection?
Why you want to purchase a firearm will dictate which kind is best for you. Rifles and shotguns make the most sense for hunters, but for target practice and inexperienced sportsmen, handguns may be a better fit due to their easier handling.
Know Your Product
Glock, Winchester, Colt and Smith & Wesson aren’t different types of guns, they’re different manufacturers, each with its own unique history, philosophy and product line. For instance, there are over 50 types of Glocks to choose from, and each is made with different specifications. Doing a “test drive” to figure out which make and model you feel most comfortable handling is invaluable.
Obey the Law
You can’t just walk into a store and take the first available handgun. You need to prove your identity with a state or government-issued ID and fill out an ATF Form 4473 which acts as a background check to ensure you’re legally allowed to have a firearm.
Before you take that step you should familiarize yourself with your local laws and regulations. This doesn’t just mean learning what firearms and calibers are legal in your area or applying for required permits, but being honest about your personal history.
You may have to rethink gun ownership if you were dishonorably discharged from the military, involuntarily hospitalized due to a mental health crisis or have charges against you relating to substance abuse or domestic abuse.
Guns aren’t toys, they’re tools. By being responsible you’re not just keeping yourself safe, but the people around you.