So, during the COVID19 mayhem and the following riots that happened after the unfortunate death of George Floyd, you have become a new gun owner. Regardless of your political views, etc, I would like to say WELCOME! You have entered a community of some of the nicest people in the country.

Once you get your new gun home, you are probably asking “What Now?” So allow me to talk you through the basics of gun ownership. When you get home, the urge to pull out the new investment has more than likely made you do just that, but keep in mind there are rules to owning a gun, not just for your safety but for everyone around you.

Rule 1. Treat your gun as if it is Loaded.

                This means don’t waive it around at people, pulling the trigger pretend shooting, DO NOT LOOK DOWN THE BARREL EVER. Easy thing to remember is think of a laser coming out of the business end of the gun, and anything that crosses it cuts in half. Cheesy but it works.

Rule 2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

                This goes hand in hand with what is listed above. Not ready to shoot? Don’t put your finger on the trigger. Or what some say “keep your booger hook off the bang switch”

Rule 3. Know your target and what is beyond it.

                Bullets go through things, often many things before they stop. If you do not have a good back drop, like a wall of dirt, tires filled with dirt, bullet traps, or something that is proven to stop bullets, do not shoot. Bullets don’t just stop moving after hitting paper, it keeps moving till is has no more energy or it is stopped by something.

Rule 4. You are responsible for EVERY round that leaves your gun when fired.

                If you have a Negligent Discharge (ND) and kill someone, you will be charged with manslaughter, have an ND and put a few holes in your walls, and break something, you are responsible. I have seen many ND and the aftermath of it.

Those are the 4 primary rules that I Teach my students when they attend a beginner’s course, or any course that I teach, even CWP classes. These rules will save your life, and those around you so follow them.

From here, what is next? You need to know what your state laws are concerning owning a firearm. Some states have rules others do not, some make you always store the gun in a safe when not going to the range, some do not require that. So, consult an attorney, pay that consult fee, that fee could save you thousands later for breaking the law. Ignorance of the Law is no excuse.

After you have done everything above, you need to learn from someone who is a certified instructor, someone who has spent time and money to learn how to teach people how to shoot safely. I cannot tell you how many times I saw the “gun guy” friend who was trying to teach someone to shoot, but was teaching the worst techniques, had no idea how to teach, or making the experience a nightmare. Ask a prospective instructor what makes them qualified to teach you. I didn’t become an instructor until I was 27, but I had been shooting since I was 5, so I have a little bit of experience. Often your local gun store will have an instructor on payroll and be able to set you up with a class.

The last thing to consider is getting a membership service to U.S. Law Shield, or similar network. If you use your gun in self-defense, you will be taken into police custody and taken downtown for questioning. You really need an attorney who will be there, and for me I use U.S. Law Shield, as $13 a month will cover me nationwide, and they give you an emergency number that goes straight to the cell phone of a Capitol Defense attorney, and they are often on scene before detectives. Don’t think you will need it? Well a retainer for most defense attorneys is between $5k and $8k. And they even cover you for false arrests when people lie.

This is just the beginning of the first time gun owners guide.

Image courtesy of On Target Sports Orange Park Fl.

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