So you’re ready to get a gun to protect you, your family, and your home. Before you do make sure you avoid these 10 common mistakes new gun owners tend to make.
Some of these may seem like very common sense and silly, but we both know common sense isn’t very common. And avoiding some of these mistakes could be the difference between life and death.
Go through the list and share it with anyone you know who is thinking about getting themselves a gun soon.
1. Not learning about the laws in your area
Each state is different. There are different laws regarding concealed carry permits. Whether you need a specific permit to have a firearm hidden on you. Additionally, certain states have restrictions on things like magazine capacity. You might need to purchase specific smaller magazines that don’t hold as many rounds of ammo.
If you live in California, there are laws around gun safes and how carrying it in your vehicle requires that you keep your gun separate from your ammo.
Whichever area you live in, it’s important to research the laws to make sure you’re doing things legally.
2. Choosing the wrong gun
Each person decides to buy a gun for a different reason. It could be for sport, home defense, or self-defense. Whichever reason it is, make sure to do a lot of research in advance to ensure you’re getting the right type of gun for the job.
In addition to researching to figure out the right guy type, make sure to head to the range before you buy. Try out a few different guns.
Testing out guns can be the best way to figure out what you’re most comfortable with. Even if you read something online telling you to buy one gun, you may change your mind after trying it out.
3. Not storing the gun safely away.
From the minute you get your gun you should have a safe place to keep it that is out of sight and out of the reach of children. On top of a cabinet or under the bed doesn’t necessarily mean that kids or a curious family member won’t be able to find it. Even if you can’t afford an expensive gun safe, keeping it locked in a cabinet can prevent accidents that you wouldn’t want to occur.
4. Not practicing
Once you buy your gun, don’t let it collect dust in its box. It’s important to learn the basics of shooting. It’s a great idea to take it to the range and maybe sign up for a beginners class. They can teach important safety skills as well as basic shooting stances and knowledge.
Most reasons to buy a weapon involve needing to be an accurate shooter, so even after taking a class, it’s important to keep developing your marksman skills. Becoming more accurate and precise when shooting will give you a better chance of properly defending yourself if the need arises. Not only will you be able to shoot at the target you wish to hit, but you’ll also avoid hitting something you may not have intended to hit.
5. Not educating your family
If you’re purchasing a weapon and you live with other family members, be aware that it might be smart to educate them on how to use the weapon. Depending on if you consider them to be responsible individuals, you may want to train them to use the firearm as well.
Many couples decide to purchase a firearm for home defense scenarios. Teaching the wife how to use the gun is just as important as training yourself. The more people who are aware of the safety rules and how a gun works, the better.
If you have children in the home, talk with your spouse about how you both will want to handle teaching your kids about weapons. Education is key.
6. Checking the safety
Whenever handling a gun, it’s very important to check and make sure the safety is on. You always want to do what you can to prevent serious accidents. This is one of the easiest and most important steps to gun safety.
If you’re planning on handling different firearms, you’ll learn that each has its own way of denoting that the safety is on. It’s important to recognize that not every gun’s safety may look the same. If you don’t know if the safety is on, ask the owner to be sure.
7. Not paying attention to where you point it
Many new owners will sling the gun around without thinking much of it. You assume that since you aren’t pulling the trigger, you can point it in any direction and it doesn’t matter. This is another key safety rule when holding a weapon. It’s vital to be aware of where you’re pointing the gun. Even if it’s not loaded, or you’re not pulling a trigger, being aware of the direction of the barrel an excellent habit to develop.
8. Keeping the finger off the trigger
I was guilty of this when I first started shooting. Growing up with fake guns can teach kids that it’s ok to keep your finger on the trigger. It comes naturally when you’re trying to prepare to shoot. The reality is that many injuries are caused by people accidentally putting too much pressure on the trigger and causing the gun to fire. This can be completely avoided by holding the trigger guard with your finger when handling the weapon. Only when you’re ready to shoot should you put your finger on the trigger.
9. Know your ammunition
Far too many accidents happen because people put the wrong ammunition in their gun. Even if the caliber is the same, the casings may differ. Learn what ammo works with your gun and stick to it. It’s helpful to try a few different brands. Some brands can be finicky with the gun and may not shoot as well or consistently as others. Explore these things when practicing, that way, when you get yourself into a scenario when you need your gun the most, it will be ready.
10. Not keeping up with firearm maintenance
Just like anything else, guns need a solid cleaning after use. The gunpowder and residue that is left over from a practice session can damage your gun after time. Over time, your gun won’t function as well when it isn’t clean. Get yourself a cleaning kit and some oil to make sure your gun is in the best condition at all times.
Hope you found this helpful. Pass it along to anyone you know who may benefit from this as well.