Are you looking forward to finally purchasing your first firearm? It’s undoubtedly an exciting time, but it can also be a bit intimidating. After all, you need to know a lot before buying a gun to ensure you make the right choice. For example, you must know which type of gun you want, all applicable laws, and more critical details.
Luckily, you’re in the right place; our list below compiles essential tips for new gun owners. Keep reading to learn crucial things to consider before purchasing your first gun so that you can remain responsible and knowledgeable every step of the way.
Know Which Type of Firearm You Want/Need
The first step is to decide which type of gun you need. Ask yourself what you plan on using the weapon for the most. Is your interest in home defense, hunting, or shooting for sport?
It’s important to know this beforehand, as different types of guns have specific uses. Here’s a simple breakdown of the three main types:
• Handguns: These are smaller guns with shorter barrels. They take a bit of getting used to, but they have a bit of a reputation for excellent accuracy. Plus, handguns are easier to conceal, making them ideal for concealed carry. You can use a pistol for range shooting and self-defense.
• Shotguns: Many homeowners choose shotguns to protect their homes due to the spread. A shotgun causes the ammunition to spin and spread out in a wide area. These firearms are great for home defense, skeet shooting, and more.
• Rifles: If you plan on hunting, then a rifle is the way to go. A rifle is best for long ranges, so its design features a longer barrel. Besides hunting, a rifle is also ideal for sport shooting.
Learn Your Gun Laws
Each state will have its own unique set of gun laws. What may be legal in your home state won’t necessarily be legal in another. If you’re out to protect your family, the last thing you want to do is end up breaking the law.
Because they vary widely between states, there is a lot you need to know about concealed carry laws. For example, not all states have the same requirements regarding concealed carry permit ownership. These types of stipulations are all over the place, so pay close attention to the laws in your state.
Go Through a Background Check
Something universal for all states is a background check. Simply put, you can’t purchase a firearm without a background check, no matter where you are in the country. Further, you will need to fill out an ATF Form 4473. Once you receive approval, you have 30 days to finalize the sale of your firearm.
You should now be more familiar with some of the most critical things to consider before purchasing your first gun. As long as you know which gun you need, remember all applicable laws, and do a background check, you’ll be fine. That said, carrying that knowledge and responsibility with you every day after the purchase is equally critical.
Wes White represents the collective — yet individual — voice of the Western Whitetail editorial staff.