The Complete Guide for First-Time Gun Buyers: Everything to Know: The United States is known to be the most heavily armed society in the entire world. For every 100 residents of the country, there are 121 firearms. That being said, gun ownership has been decreasing for several decades and the rate of ownership varies significantly by state.
Law-abiding citizens purchase guns for a number of different reasons. According to a Pew Research study, most Americans report that they own a gun for protection, while the second most common reason is hunting. Others have guns for sport or target shooting, as a part of a collection hobby, and more.
If you’ve decided to buy your first gun, there’s a good chance that googling around about the different options has already been a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of different options that span a huge price range, and comparing gun prices could become a full-time job if you let it be.
Are you wondering about the basic considerations for first-time gun buyers? Let’s take a look at how to get started in your search.
Considerations For First-Time Gun Buyers
When you are buying a gun for the first time, it can be an exciting milestone in life. However, this is not a decision to make flippantly or to take lightly. It’s worth doing some research ahead of time to ensure that you choose a firearm and accessories that will last you for years to come.
Application and Use
When you are in the research phase of buying guns online or in person, you will want to consider your intended use of a firearm. When you determine what your purpose is in buying a gun, it can help you narrow down your search from what is otherwise an overwhelming number of options.
For example, people who are looking to buy a gun for hunting will likely be interested in a rifle or a shotgun. Individuals who are looking for a self-defense weapon to conceal carry are going to be more interested in a pistol.
Once you have narrowed down the types of guns you are looking at, then you can start further fine-tuning the buying process. You can then start figuring out the caliber of the gun, whether buying gun accessories would be advantageous, and additional gun safety training you might want to undergo.
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An inescapable factor for first-time gun buyers is their budget. You will want to determine ahead of time how much you are willing to spend. This will help you narrow down your options by eliminating items that are out of your price range.
You will definitely want to factor in buying gun accessories and gear when you are considering your budget. If you use your full budget on the firearm itself, you might be frustrated to realize that you aren’t left with money for other necessary purchases.
When setting your budget, be mindful of the fact that you might want to purchase things like cleaning supplies, holsters, and extra magazines. Additionally, you will want to leave room in your budget for ammunition.
It’s also a good idea to set some money aside for training. Working with a certified instructor can be a worthwhile investment as each firearm has its own nuances.
Performance and Reliability
Once you have a greater sense of the types of guns you are looking at, it’s time to do some more research. Two areas you will want to focus on are the performance and reliability of your options. You definitely want to get a gun that will operate as intended and will have few malfunctions.
You might want to talk to people at a local gun range in addition to reading reviews online. It’s worth understanding that everyone is going to have their personal preferences, so the right gun for your buddy might not be the right gun for you. It’s also common for people to have particular brands that they prefer.
Ease of maintenance is another factor to be considerate of. Grasping the time and money investment necessary for adequately maintaining the firearm is a good idea ahead of time.
Compliance and Local Laws
You will certainly want to have a good understanding of the local laws before your buy a gun. There are different gun laws in every state and municipalities can also have their own laws.
There are restrictions in certain states regarding the types of guns, ammunition, and magazines that citizens are allowed to own There are also regulations in each state about home defense, concealed carry, and even hunting. On top of that, each state has its own laws that dictate the proper transportation of firearms.
You don’t want to mess around with bending or breaking the gun laws in your area. It is important to comply with local and state laws. Otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble that could even result in jail time.
There are also some ethical considerations in this way. While it might be frustrating if you live in a state or city with strict gun laws, adhering to these laws is of the utmost importance. There are many people that are rightfully fearful of the right to bear arms being infringed upon, and people who do not abide by the existing gun laws only give fodder to those who wish to reduce gun rights.
Ergonomics and Aesthetics
You will also want to be considerate of the ergonomics of any gun you are thinking about buying, as well as the aesthetics. While many of the other steps in the process can be performed online, it’s worth actually seeing your options in person when you are considering these factors.
When you are buying guns online, it’s very difficult to understand whether a gun would be comfortable for you. Factors light the placement of controls, the grip texture, the sights, the trigger construction, and more, are in part a matter of personal preference.
One way you could try out the firearms on your short-list is by going to a shooting range that offers gun rentals. This way, you can test drive the gun you are thinking about buying before making the purchase. There is a much lower likelihood that you will experience buyer’s remorse if you try a gun out before you buy it.
When you are trying out guns you might buy, pay attention to the firing mechanics, ergonomics, and recoil. There’s also no shame in taking aesthetic considerations into account, but these should be secondary to functionality, comfort, and ease of use.
Securing Your Gun
When you’re a first-time gun buyer, you’re going to need to invest in a way to store your firearm. This is where the gun will be kept when you aren’t using it. Consider the different storage devices and safes that are out there and learn about the laws around gun storage in your state.
Additionally, you’ll want to learn about the proper and legal way to transport firearms in your state. In order to be a responsible gun owner, you will want to have a system in place for storing your gun at the same time you purchase your gun.
Practicing Gun Safety
When you become a gun owner, you are taking on the responsibility of practicing gun safety. This is a responsibility that is of the utmost importance, as you are putting yourself and everyone around you at risk if you do not take it seriously.
This means that you will need to learn how to use your new gun properly and practice using it. This way, you will be able to operate it safely when it comes time to use it. As mentioned above, you will also need to secure and store your firearm both to keep the gun in good condition but also to keep it safe from theft or unauthorized access.
Which Gun Is Going to Be Your First?
As you can see, there are a lot of different things to take into consideration when you are buying a gun for the first time. While it’s useful to read reviews online, you also might benefit from spending some time at your local gun range. You might just find that the regulars there are happy to talk to you about their experience buying guns and recommendations they have based upon your interests and purposes.
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