May 29, 2020 7:00:00 AM PDT
What To Tell A New Gun Owner
There are a whole lot of new gun owners. Panic-buying as a result of isolation put a whole lot of guns into new hands. That means a whole bunch of newbies are going to start turning up to shooting ranges in the future, and some are already.
Some of them might be friends, relatives or colleagues of yours. If the person in question doesn’t know the first thing about guns or shooting, you want to make sure they don’t set off on the wrong foot.
At some point, they might ask for advice. What are you supposed to tell new gun owners?
Get Some Formal Firearms Training
One of the first things that should be mentioned is getting some formal firearms training. Obviously, concealed carry training is going to be mandatory in many states for getting a concealed carry permit if that is the newbie gun owner’s eventual goal, but even if the person in question has just gotten themselves a handgun or simple pump shotgun for home defense, some formal training of some kind is still a very good idea, if not critically essential.
The good news is basic safety courses are common. Say what you want about the NRA, but there’s almost certainly an NRA instructor somewhere nearby, unless you happen to live in the middle of nowhere.
While many, if not all, of the same lessons one will learn in a basic gun handling and gun safety course can be learned in person, the formality of classroom instruction is probably for the best. A person needs to have at least a rudimentary understanding of how to safely handle and shoot, if nothing else.
Emphasize The Importance Of Gun Safety
Gun safety, meaning the safe and responsible ownership, handling and shooting of guns, is the most important thing a person should learn if they are going to own any guns, let alone amass a collection.
By now, most of us know that accidental shootings, accidental/negligent discharges (and the semantic arguments about the difference or nondifference between them) or whatever you want to call them are all preventable with a little bit of brains and a small amount of equipment. Most of us know that prevention is usually easy; a bit of mindfulness and adherence to a few known principles goes a long way.
The last thing any of us needs is another irresponsible gun owner. When one of us screws up, no matter how much of a newbie they were or whatever, it makes the rest of us look bad because that’s how we’re painted by the media.
Start with the basics, like the 4 Laws Of Gun Safety. Mention getting a safe, or at least SOME form of secure storage. A pistol in a simple lockbox isn’t as secure as a pistol in a safe, but is more secure than a pistol stored in a drawer.
Make Sure New Shooters Have Someone Experienced With Them At First
If a new gun owner has never fired a single shot before and decided they’d get a gun, make sure to tell them to have someone with them that has when they go to the range for the first time.
Maybe that can be you, maybe not, who knows, but the point is that they should have someone experienced show them the ropes of loading, handling and shooting in general as well as their gun, whatever it is that they’ve purchased.
Just like a beginning driver needs a parent or other adult to supervise and give guidance when learning to operate a car, a virgin shooter (for lack of a better term) needs the same guidance the first time they shoot, for all the same reasons. Accidents can always occur, but it’s best if someone is there that knows what they’re doing to make it less likely that one will.
And hopefully, you’ll be able to get them to enjoy it. After all, that’s what will keep them going back.
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