Are you thinking about buying your first gun?
There are millions of Americans who have made the same decision that you’re about to make in the past. Studies have shown that about 43 percent of U.S. households have at least one gun in them.
Before you purchase your first gun, though, you should make sure that you know the various rules of gun safety. There are, unfortunately, thousands of gun-related accidents that take place every year, resulting in lots of injuries and even deaths.
The last thing you want to do is become a part of this unfortunate statistic. So it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with guns and put the proper precautions in place before you welcome a gun into your home.
Let’s take a closer look at 8 basic rules of gun safety that beginners need to remember when buying their first gun.
1. Learn as Much as You Can About Guns Before Buying One
If you have your heart set on buying your first gun, the first thing you’re going to do is to learn as much as you possibly can about guns and gun safety. There are a variety of different ways that you can do this.
- Talk to gun owners you know about their experiences with guns
- Speak with gun shop owners about which guns might be best for a beginner like you
- Research guns and gun safety online and read a bunch of articles on them
- Take out books about guns and gun ownership at the library
- Spend time around guns at a gun range and feel what it’s like to fire one
You should also find out the gun laws in your specific state. Each state is a little bit different when it comes to which guns they allow, where people can carry guns and more.
By educating yourself about guns, you can learn everything there is to know about them. You can also pick out the right gun and buy it.
2. Invest in a Gun Safe For Your Home
Where are you going to keep your gun inside your home when you’re not using it?
You should ask yourself that question before you bring a gun home since it can be incredibly dangerous to leave a gun lying around, especially if you have children in your home. Studies have shown that almost 90 percent of unintentional shooting deaths occur as a result of kids finding and playing with guns left unlocked in their homes.
Ideally, you should have a gun safe that you can use to lock your gun up at home. The gun safe doesn’t have to be big and bulky. It just has to be large enough to hold your gun and any accessories that you might have to go along with it.
3. Unload Your Gun When You’re Not Using It
If you take the time to invest in a gun safe for your gun, you might not think that it’s necessary to unload the gun every time you’re finished with it.
There is a very small chance that your gun will fall into the wrong hands when it’s locked up. But it could happen! And if it does, you don’t want your gun to have ammunition in it.
Prior to putting your gun away in your gun safe, take the ammo out of it and store it safely. This will prevent accidents involving your gun from taking place.
4. Use the Right Ammunition and Accessories For Your Specific Gun
When you purchase your first gun at a gun shop, you should make sure that you ask about which ammunition you can use in it. You could damage your gun or sustain a serious injury if you attempt to load the wrong ammo into it.
You should also make sure that you use the right accessories for your gun if you decide to use them. Companies like Wing Tactical sell sights, optics, and other accessories that will allow you to make the most of your new gun.
But if those accessories aren’t made your specific gun, they’ll usually be more trouble than they’re worth. Avoid tinkering with your gun too much or altering it completely to make accessories fit.
5. Resist the Urge to Put Too Much Faith into Your Gun’s “Safety”
All guns come with a “safety” mechanism on them that’s designed to prevent people from accidentally firing a gun. The “safety” on your gun should be turned on any time you don’t plan on using your gun.
You don’t want to rely too much on your “safety” though, since it’s essentially just a mechanical device that could fail on you at any time. You also might think that your “safety” is turned on and pretend to fire your gun, only to discover that your “safety” is off and shoot the gun.
Generally speaking, you should never, ever put your finger on your gun’s trigger unless you’re preparing to pull it. Regardless of whether the “safety” is turned on or not, you could put your life and the lives of others in jeopardy by messing around with your gun while your finger is on the trigger.
The “safety” mechanism should never serve as a replacement for good old common sense.
6. Point Your Gun in a Safe Direction When Holding It
When you first get your hands on a gun, you might be tempted to point it all over the place and even wave it around. Some people get a rush when they have their first gun in their hands and act irrationally.
Even if the gun is unloaded, it’s good to get into the habit of pointing your gun in a safe direction when you’re holding it. When you have the gun in your hand, you should aim it at the ground just in case it happens to go off.
As a basic rule of thumb, the only time you should ever point your gun at anything is if you’re prepared to shoot. You could give those around you the wrong idea if you point your gun at someone or something and cause people to panic.
7. Wear Eye and Ear Protection When Firing Your Gun
Once you’ve purchased your first gun, you should make every effort to practice with it at a gun range. You can improve your aim and start to feel more comfortable by spending time shooting your gun over and over again.
While you’re shooting it, you should always wear both eye and ear protection. It’ll help you avoid unnecessary eye and ear injuries and allow you to focus on perfecting your shot.
A sturdy set of protective glasses can prevent tiny particles from flying into your eyes when you shoot your gun. They can also protect your eyes if your firearm happens to malfunction while you’re shooting it.
Earplugs or another type of ear protection, meanwhile, can stop a gun from doing irreparable damage to your eardrums. If you’ve never shot a gun before, you’re going to be amazed at just how loud they can be.
8. Clean and Service Your Gun Regularly
Did you know that you need to clean and service a gun regularly to keep it in tip-top shape? This is something that many beginners don’t always realize, and they end up putting themselves and others at risk as a result of it.
Before you load up a gun, you should inspect the inside of it to see if there’s any dirt, dust, mud, or other debris that could cause problems with your gun. You should also inspect your gun further if you ever notice that it doesn’t seem to be firing right.
Additionally, you should learn how to clean your gun every so often. From wiping down the outside of your gun to cleaning out the bore of it, keeping your gun as clean as it can be is essential.
You may also need to take your gun in for professional service from time to time. If something seems to be off with your gun and cleaning it doesn’t help, unload the gun immediately and take a trip to your local gun shop. They can get to the bottom of your problem.
Follow These Rules of Gun Safety at All Times
As you’ve hopefully realized by now, owning a gun is a huge responsibility. You need to think hard about whether or not you’re ready for the responsibility before you buy your first gun.
You’re going to need to follow all the rules of gun safety once you bring your first gun home with you. If you break even just one rule, it could be catastrophic and could change your life or the lives of others forever.
If you think you’re up for the challenge of becoming a gun owner, buy one today and start using the rules you read about here as guidelines. They’ll keep you protected and make sure you have a great experience with your first gun.
If you decide guns aren’t for you, there are other self-defense weapons that might be better. Read our blog to find tips for owning a self-defense weapon and using it properly.