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The American Way: Steps to Take Before Owning a Gun

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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 American University1, approximately 40% of Americans own a firearm or live with somebody who owns a gun—and the number of guns owned by the average individual has increased, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond the Second Amendment and other protective measures, gun owners must take the right to bear arms seriously. That means investing time and money in proper training, safety equipment, and secure storage of your firearm. The following steps should be taken before signing on the dotted line for that new handgun, rifle, or shotgun.

Step 1: Know the Local Gun Laws To See if You Qualify

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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.

Understanding Nevada Gun Ownership Requirements

When you decide to purchase a gun in Nevada, there are several qualifications you must meet before you can move forward. Nevada law requires that you are NOT:

  • A convicted felons
  • Convicted of domestic violence
  • A fugitive
  • Charged with a crime carrying more than one year in prison
  • The subject of restraining orders for stalking, harassing or threatening an intimate partner of his/her child
  • Dishonorably discharged from the military
  • A drug addict or user, including marijuana
  • Involuntarily committed to a mental institution
  • Adjudicated as a mental defective
  • An illegal alien
  • A non-immigrant visa-holder
  • A person who gave up their U.S. citizenship

If you meet all the qualifications to become a gun owner, you can take the next steps to ensure you’re on the right track.

Step #2: Prepare Your Home

One of the most important steps to take before owning a gun is to adequately prepare your home and anybody who lives with you. 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.

Invest In a Gun Safe

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. It also prevents your gun from getting into the wrong hands.

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Educate Your Family

It’s also important that you talk to your spouse, children, and any other people living in your home about your new firearm. Share basic firearm safety rules and make sure they understand what it is for, who is allowed to use it, and the reasons why it is needed. It may also be a good idea to teach your kids how to shoot at a gun range, so they become familiar with gun safety and the correct way to handle a firearm.

Kris Chanski shows little girl how to shoot a gun

Step #3: 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.

Proper Firearm Handling Techniques

When you take a training course for shooting, 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. Whether you happen to be a first-time shooter or an experienced gun owner, sharpening your shooting skills is always a good idea.

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Feel Comfortable and Confident With Your Firearm

In addition to understanding how to handle your gun, it’s also essential to feel secure in your skills. When shooters are confident, it helps with accuracy, speed, and versatility. Consider taking a 1-on-1 firearm training class to get personal guidance on your shooting skills. This will help you identify your strengths and what areas you can build upon to become an expert marksman.

Becoming a Gun Owner

Making the decision to become a gun owner is one that should not be taken lightly. You will have questions such as, “Do you need a license to own a gun?” It’s important to do your research and be prepared before moving forward. 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 and the steps involved with becoming a gun owner.

a person talking on a cell phone

The Range 702 in Las Vegas offers gun safety classes, shooting experiences, and guidance from firearm experts in a safe and controlled setting. If you’re considering becoming a gun owner in Las Vegas, The Range 702 can help you develop the skills and knowledge to become a responsible and safe gun owner for life. Contact our team to learn more!


1 Dunn, Lisa. (18 September 2020). American University Radio. How Many People In the U.S. Own Guns? Retrieved 24 June 2021 from

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