Buying your first gun is an important decision. You are buying something that can potentially take someone’s life. Many first-time buyers do not know what characteristics to look for while purchasing a firearm for self-defense. Choices are endless, and that can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to guide you through the process.

Get yourself properly trained 

These courses should also cover the legal aspects. Laws may vary from one place to another. A background check is a federal requirement, and you need to go through this, no matter where you are located (unless you are buying it from a private seller). However, there may be some additional restrictions put forward by the state and local authorities. Know when you can legally use a firearm and how to carry them.   

Before you buy a gun, make sure you have the required training. Go for a well-designed training course that teaches you how to shoot a firearm and how to handle it responsibly. Most good training programs combine book learning, formal instruction, and range practice. These courses help you understand the difference between various types of guns and their safety requirements. You can make a more informed decision when you have the experience of handling different types of firearms. It also makes you comfortable and more confident. Spend as much time as possible at the range where you get to practice under the supervision of trained personnel.

Go for a gun you can handle

When you have exposure to different types of guns, it becomes easier to choose the right one that suits you. Many first-time buyers prefer pistols or handguns because of their compact design. They are easier to handle and store. However, you should also consider the recoil of a gun. How much felt recoil one can handle, depends on factors like age, physical structure, injury, and experience. A low-recoil option is always a good choice for a first-time user. Usually, heavier guns have less felt recoil. So, you can consider buying a larger handgun that has more mass. You should also make sure the gun fits into your grip. If you are not comfortable holding it, do not buy it. 

Choose the right store

It is important to know where to go for your first gun shopping. You have three options: local licensed gun stores, online dealers, or private sellers. All these options come with certain advantages. 

A licensed store is always your best bet when buying a gun for the first time. These gun shops are usually run by experienced and knowledgeable people who can help you choose a firearm. Even after going through the required training and doing all the research, you still might have many questions. Talking to them will help you clear your confusion. 

Your second option is to buy a firearm from an online store. First-time gun buyers often feel uncomfortable going to a gun shop and choose this option. Make sure you find a reliable online seller and not fall for a scam. You also need to follow a few steps to legally buy a gun online. Guns are not delivered to your doorstep, and you need to collect them via a Federal Firearm Licensee. Seek advice from an experienced gun owner and do your research before making your purchase. 

In some states, private sales are legal and don’t require a background check. It is often a much cheaper option with fewer hassles. However, it involves certain amounts of risk and is not recommended for first-time buyers. You can buy your first gun from a private seller only when you know the person and trust them. Ensure you know all the critical details about the gun and its history. However, you do not have much scope to cross-check the facts and must depend on the trust factor. If you can afford a gun from a licensed store, do not go for this option, even if the offer looks lucrative.

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