Making the decision to purchase a firearm takes some serious thought and planning in order to ensure total safety for you, your loved ones, and those around you. According to a Pew Research study, approximately 34% of Americans own a shotgun, rifle or pistol, and the number of guns owned by the average individual is increasing year over year.
Beyond the Second amendment and other protective measures, gun owners must take the right to bear arms seriously – and that means investing time and money in proper training, safety equipment, and storage. The following three steps should be taken before signing on the dotted line for that new handgun, rifle, or shotgun.
Know the Local Gun Laws
Whether you live in a rural town, a bustling metropolis or the sprawling suburbs, you must know and abide by local gun laws. Municipal codes, state laws, and federal law often conflict, and there tends to be some gray area when statutes and laws intermingle, but you’ll want to determine whether you need to register your new firearm or even obtain a permit to purchase a firearm in your state.
Some states allow residents to purchase a gun and carry it right out of the store, while others demand upfront payment and then institute a 10-day waiting period until the gun can be picked up. You’ll want to determine whether you can open carry a firearm in your area, or if you need to obtain a concealed carry permit to tote your sidearm in public. Searching local government websites can help uncover local laws that might be important to understand.
Prepare Your Home
One of the most important steps to take before owning a gun is to adequately prepare your home. You’ll want to determine where you will store your firearm – making a determination as to which location provides the utmost in security, while still allowing authorized access to your gun for self-defense purposes. At a minimum, you’ll want to invest in a top-quality gun safe. When choosing the best gun safe for your home spend the money on a substantial, fire-rated safe that will not only keep prying eyes away from your weapons, but will also protect your valuable firearms in the event of a fire.
Talk to your spouse and children about your new firearm – as it shouldn't be a secret. Be very cautious about who you allow to access your weapons. Even a spouse should complete the necessary firearm training and safety education prior to receiving the access to your secured firearms.
Firearm Safety and Training Classes
Understanding the laws of gun ownership and safely storing your weapons are two points that seem fairly obvious and straightforward, but obtaining proper firearms training is equally as important as the previous two steps. Take firearm safety classes from a reputable training facility that offers a range of classes taught by certified instructors.
You’ll learn proper handling, shooting techniques, gun safety, and more – all in a safe and secure environment. Learn care and maintenance of your weapon, how to load, unload, and safely handle a gun, and allow instructors to teach your children to shoot to ensure a lifetime of safe gun handling practices.
Making the decision to become a gun owner is one that should not be taken lightly. While responsible gun owners have been enjoying the shooting sports for decades, it is crucial that today’s gun owner has a firm understanding of the significant responsibilities involved with owning a firearm. Make sure that you partner with a gun training facility that can help you become a responsible and safe gun owner for life.