Tips for First Time Firearm Owners
OutdoorHub Reporters 05.20.20
The following article was written by Beth Walker, and was originally published on ‘Girls With Guns Clothing’ website; Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation, people are taking this opportunity to become first time firearm owners. Uncertainty about the future has caused people to realize the importance of being your own first responder and taking the safety of yourself and your family into your own care. Owning a firearm is an amazing step in exercising your Constitutional freedoms, but it does not come without responsibilities. Here are a few tips, reminders, and ideas for first time firearm owners!
Four Rules of Firearms Safety
Always treat your firearm as if it is loaded.
If you own a firearm, you need to respect the ability of the tool. If you are getting ready to dry fire, store your firearm, or clean; do a chamber check to ensure that your firearm is unloaded and there is not a round in the chamber prior to completing these tasks.
Never point your firearm at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
Firearms are tools and they should be treated as such. Pointing your firearm at something indicates that you are ready to pull the trigger (this is try for dry fire and live fire). This rule is especially important if you have children, friends, or family who are either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with firearms. You are setting an examples of the amount of responsibility that you posses and the respect that you have for the capabilities of your tool.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you are ready and willing to fire.
This ensure that you will not have an accidental discharge of your firearm. It also ensure that if an accident happens (such as slipping) you will not cause a dangerous situation.
Know your target and what lies beyond it.
Getting in the habit of knowing your target and its surroundings is a crucial step for a firearms owner. This can be a skill that is learned while you practice. Ensure that during practice you have a proper backstop, no one is downrange, and you will be able to safely discharge the firearm at a proper target with no risk. The reason that this skill is so important is because it translates to self defense situations. If you are in the unfortunate situation where you have to defend yourself or your family using your firearm, you want to eliminate the chance of accidental incidents that could be avoided with caution.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You are only as good as your practice. It is important to take classes, learn from those you trust, and become comfortable with your firearm before you assume that you can use it to your fullest ability. An important lesson is to set all pride and preconceived ideas about your performance aside and learn. Work on the fundamentals until they become second nature and do not worry about increasing speed until you can perform fundamentals almost flawlessly.
Practice at your highest level. If you are faced with a situation that is dangerous and induces adrenaline and stress, your response capabilities will likely decrease significantly. It is important to practice under stress to get your body and mind used to a low level response to these situations. It is always good to practice dry fire training to ensure that you are building your skills even when you are not able to be at the range practicing. Make sure you remove all ammunition from the room you will be dry firing in, double check that your chamber is empty, and that you are pointed in a safe direction.
When a firearm is purchased, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is stored safely when not in use or being cleaned. This is crucial if you have children or are having visitors to your house. If your house is ever broken into, it also ensures the security of your firearms.
Purchase a firearm that fits YOUR needs
Many people have opinions on the best firearm to use for home defense, concealed carry, etc. but none of this matters if you purchase a firearm that does not fit you and what you need. Do research on platform, calibers, ammunition, and ammunition prices. Seek the help of those that you trust in the process and do not rely solely on random youtube videos and articles that have been written about a platform you are considering.
Know state and local laws
It is important to know your state and local laws before purchasing a firearm. If you are unsure of regulations, you can check for your laws on the NRA-ILA https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/.
Learn About the Process
Every time a firearm is purchased, you must pass a background check. The only exception to this is certain states where a concealed carry permit is proof at the time of sale. Never buy a firearm for someone that is not legally able to do so on their own. This is a serious offense and is not taken lightly. If you buy a firearm, it is your responsibility and you are the legal owner unless the firearm is transferred between individuals who are legally allowed to own.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” – Ephesians 6:10-11
While it is always good to prepare for earthly battles, there is a battle going on in the Spirit that is even greater. Be strong in the Lord, seek Him through prayer, and study Scripture as dutifully as you would prepare for anything that would take place on earth.