With the current lawlessness in the country, Americans are buying
guns in record numbers. In June alone the FBI recorded 3.9 million NICS checks.
The NICS checks are the background checks run when you purchase a firearm
through an FFL. For perspective, the 3.9 million NICS checks in June accounted
for the most in any month since the system was implemented. So far through the
first six months of 2020, we are at 19 million checks. The highest number of
checks in a year was 28 million in 2019.
Sure not all of these checks mean a gun was purchased, but it is
safe to say a large number of guns are being sold. Many of these gun buyers are
first-time gun owners. Because of that, we thought it would be important to
provide some basic things every first-time gun owners should do.
1- Learn how the gun works. Reading manuals isn’t for everyone,
but there is useful information in them. If you’re a visual learner, go to
YouTube and search for your gun model. You are bound to find videos on how to
clear, function check, disassemble, and reassemble your handgun. Most
manufacturers have their own YouTube channels and this would be the best place
to look first.
2- Determine how you will store the gun. How you store the gun
will be dictated by your circumstances. Do you live alone or have kids? Do you
have someone who has a mental illness or is a felon living in your home? How is
your house configured and where would be the best place to store the gun? Do
you want it for quick access, or are you content with it not being accessible
in an emergency? I’m sure you get the point.
Consider using a quick-access safe, either biometric or push
button. The safe can be staged somewhere that gives you the best access to the
firearm. If you haven’t bought your safe yet consider locking it in the
manufacturer’s case and using the included cable lock until you find a storage
It’s 2020 and there are some cool alternatives to the traditional
safe. These include concealment furniture and wall art that hide and secure
firearms but don’t appear to be concealing a firearm.
3- Take a defensive firearms class. Even if your state doesn’t
require concealed carry training, and even if you don’t plan on carrying concealed, an introductory course into concealed carry and the pertinent self-defense
laws are beneficial. Finding a reputable instructor can be difficult, but
trusting your training to the old dude who is always at the range isn’t the
4- Continue learning. Don’t buy a gun, take a class, then banish
your 9mm to the gun safe, never to be seen again. Chances are when you need to
handle the gun again, you won’t be as proficient or safe as when you were in
your class. There is a wealth of information, some good some bad, that can help
you become a safe, prudent and responsible gun owner. Look online for reputable
online courses, articles, and concealed carry podcasts.
Consider that firearm skills and safety are learned, and unused
they will degrade. So make sure to practice on your own. Your time, budget, and
goals will dictate how often you go to the range, but don’t neglect live fire.
There are also some amazing ways to practice outside of a range. You can
dry-fire, use laser training guns, or even shoot at indoor simulators that
force you to make split-second decisions.
Owning a gun for the first time can be a daunting thing, and we
hope this helps give you a starting point. Stay safe!