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New to guns?

I walk into my favorite gun store and I am seeing more people shopping for a firearm that have never considered being a gun owner before. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that September 2020 showed a 61% increase of background checks over September 2019. The estimated market share for new owners for gun sales in 2020 is 40%. (Source –

With all these new to gun owners, it is a good idea to go over some things that may be obvious to a lot of you but not to those who do not know what they don’t know.

A good place to start is to learn what is legal in your area. Your local gun store can help you with this. Once you have found out what types of firearms are available to you, it will be time to figure out what type of firearm will fit your needs.

If home defense is your application, a full-size pistol will likely fill this role. If you are looking for a concealed carry application, you may want to consider a smaller firearm.

Next up will be to find some quality instruction. Learning how to shoot the firearm will be important but so is safe handling. Firearm safety will need to include everything from storage considerations and solutions to range and gun store etiquette.

Before you buy, consider trying several different types of handguns. Local retail ranges may have rentals available for you try. If you look at getting private instruction, the instructor may have handguns for you to try as well.

When it is time to buy, find a local gun store that focuses on service. It is easy to get caught up in cost since a gun purchase is a significant amount of money. I have found that spending a few dollars more may pay great dividends if you ever need assistance after the purchase. This can be anything from getting assistance with optics and sights once you figure out what you like, to dealing with a warranty issue with the manufacturer. I have bought from the inexpensive gun store before, but I have found that I get what I pay for.

Now that you have purchased your handgun, get out and train. Try to find a range where you can work from a holster, including concealed carry. Contact that instructor you worked with and ask what skills you can start working on next. It is important to remember that not all your training needs to be live fire. A lot can be gained from working dry fire skills in a safe place in your home. I try to work two dry fire sessions to one live fire session.

If you have caught the gun bug and you think you are getting comfortable, go try a local USPSA or IDPA competition. You will find that you have a lot to work on, but you will meet some of the nicest people. A competition can seem daunting to try, but these competitions have a lot of people that are willing to loan you gear and make sure you have an enjoyable time.

Remember that it is ok to be new at something and that means it is ok for you to ask a lot of questions. People will respect you for being able to be humble when asking about things you do not know. If you keep safety a priority, your path to gun ownership can go exceptionally smooth. It is important to remember that you may come across different opinions and that it is possible to have multiple correct answers to a question.

Feel free to reach out on our contact page if you have questions. We are happy to help. Train hard and stay safe.

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