It comes as no surprise that gun ownership in America remains the highest across the globe. If you're considering purchasing your first gun, you're probably wondering where to start. Before heading out to make that initial investment, here are three of your most important questions answered that will save you a lot of time as well as point you in the right direction.
Have you taken a firearms training course?
Taking a class is the place to start. In fact, many states require you pass a test before purchasing a gun to prove that you know how to operate it safely. But a course will also give you a chance to hone your skills. The NRA offers classes on home firearm safety, pistol and rifle training, personal protection, and how to use a shotgun. If you don't take a class offered by the NRA, be sure the course has been approved by the government. If you're not sure, you can always check with your local gun store or with someone at the sheriff's office.
Another advantage to taking a class is that it will give you the opportunity to try out different types of guns and get a feel for what works best for you. For instance, you may be leaning towards a Glock 20 (G20). But once you hold one, you realize it's a bit large for your hands. In that case, a smaller G26 may be more comfortable. In fact, the G26 is the most popular choice for those who wish to conceal carry.
What will the gun be used for?
Will the gun be used for hunting? Home defense? Target practice as a hobby? The purpose of the gun will determine the caliber you choose. For now, here are some good options if you're looking exclusively for home defense.
If you want something that will bring peace of mind and is small enough to fit in a purse or front pocket, go for the pocket pistol. These are lightweight, but they do have a bit of recoil packed in their small frames. Pocket pistols include .38 Specials with a snub nose and .22 calibers.
If you go one step up from the pocket pistol, you're looking at a 9mm, a .38 Special, or a .380, all in medium to large frames. Some of these can also be concealed, and they're likely to incapacitate or cause terminal wounds, so keep that in mind. They also have a recoil that's pretty manageable, making them a popular choice for many.
Beyond those choices, you're dealing with large caliber weapons that can have significant and devastating impact upon the chosen target, so they're not ideal choices for the novice. They also have intense recoil that can be hard for the less experienced to control. These include 12 and 20 gauge shotguns, 10mm pistols, .45 ACP, and .44 and .357 magnum revolvers, among others.
Do you have a safe place to keep the gun?
The best place to store your gun is in a gun safe. If you want to keep the gun next to your bed at night, but you have small children around, you should think about investing in a quick-access safe. With these, all that's needed is a finger swipe or a short code, and the drawer will open, allowing you to quickly grab your weapon. Even if you don't have children in the house, a quick-access safe will also minimize the risk of theft.
If you don't have a gun safe and are in the process of looking at firearms for sale, think about implementing other safety features that will prevent unauthorized use of the weapon like trigger locks, cable locks, locked gun cases, steel cabinets, security cases, and strong boxes.