What To Do After Buying A Gun: A New Shooter's Guide


Woman learning how to shoot at a gun range in Lakeland, FL.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has caused some concern among a number of people. The concern is not just for one’s health, but for one’s safety and well being. It’s perhaps for this reason why so many people have become first-time gun owners.

At Rapture Guns & Knives, we are firm believers and staunch defenders of the second amendment rights of Americans. We also believe that all gun owners have a responsibility to bare...a responsibility to learn how to safely own and operate their firearms.

That is why we have put together this guide for new shooters who have just become gun owners for the first time.

Undoubtedly, the best place to start is with the...


Universal Firearms Safety Rules

There are 4 rules that every new shooter should internalize. Following these rules need to become second nature because your own safety and the safety of others depend on them.

The rules are meant to help you avoid accidental discharge of your weapon or even to avoid the consequences of a malfunction with your firearm.

The 4 rules are:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded - This is an important mindset to keep! Many serious injuries and deaths have been caused by supposedly unloaded guns. It can be very easy for a person who is new to firearms to be mistaken about the status of their gun.

    For example, knowing whether or not the safety is on or knowing if a round is chambered or not. There is also understanding how the action of your firearm functions and how a round is actually chambered.;

  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned and you’re ready to shoot - It needs to become virtually an instinct that your trigger finger remains OUTSIDE of the trigger guard until your intention is to discharge the firearm.

    Just remember, a gun cannot fire itself. A great way to keep a gun from firing is to avoid having the trigger pulled.

  3. Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy - Your gun is a weapon that is designed to neutralize your target. It is vital to learn muzzle discipline. There are many unfortunate stories of firearms being accidentally discharged while pointed at unintended targets.

    Knowing that the business end of your gun is not inadvertently being pointed in a direction that it shouldn’t be is how a responsible gun owner avoids adding to tragic statistics.

  4. Know your target, what’s beyond, in front, left and right of it - The majority of new gun owners purchase their firearms for home or self-defense. Understanding that a round can very easily pass through the walls within a house, or even something as seemingly solid as a car door, is important.

    Just because there is a wall behind a home intruder, it doesn’t mean that your family member on the other side of that wall is safe from harm if one of your shots hits that wall.


Learn how to operate your gun

In addition to following the universal safety rules mentioned previously, new shooters need to learn how to operate their gun. Basically, this concerns how you hold the gun, how do you load it, and knowing how to clear your gun.

When it comes to how you should hold your newly purchased gun, it depends on a few factors. For example, what type of gun are you operating...Is it a shotgun? Is it a pistol? If it is a pistol, is it a revolver or a semi-automatic model?

There is also how to properly load your firearm. Some guns have a detachable magazine that holds the rounds. Shotguns and many rifles have a built-in magazine that you must manually load to capacity.

Learning how to clear your gun involves such things as knowing where and how to operate your gun’s magazine release, if it has one. Also, knowing how to safely check your firearm to make sure a round is not chambered, as well as knowing the correct method of unchambering a round.

Knowing how to properly operate your firearm is an absolutely key aspect of being a responsible gun owner.


Carrying & Storage

Any new shooter who intends on purchasing their first gun needs to consider how they will carry their weapon on their person and how it will be stored at home.

Once you have obtained a concealed carry weapons license from the Florida Department of Agriculture, you will have the legal ability to carry your firearm on your person in a hidden manner for self-defense.

There is any number of CCW gun holsters that are available. These include holsters that are placed under your clothing around your waist, or strapped to your ankle under your pants leg.

Regardless of what type of CCW holster you get or where it is located on you, it is absolutely important that you PRACTICE accessing your weapon quickly and safely.

You are not protected simply because you have a gun. It’s the time spent mastering both the safety practices and the proper operation of your firearm that protects you!

When it comes to storing your gun at home, there are a number of things to consider. For example, whether or not you have children can make a big difference with how you decide to store your gun.

Whatever method you decide to use, the most important considerations are the safety of those around you and the ability for you to access it as quickly as possible in an emergency situation.


Get Training & Practice

If you are a first-time gun owner, it can’t be stressed enough that you find someone who is very experienced and qualified that can provide you with the training you will need to safely and effectively use your firearm.

At Rapture Guns & Knives, every member of our staff are life-long gun owners. We are happy to take time to answer questions, demonstrate proper technique, or even recommend firearm instructors that you could take lessons from.

And, it isn’t enough to receive training. You also have to practice what you have learned. That’s why trips to your local gun range need to happen on a regular basis.

In the end, remember that the time taken to learn and practice how to use your firearm directly affects the safety of yourself and others.

If you have any questions about how to operate your gun or where to find a firearms instructor, do not hesitate to contact a member of our staff at (863) 858-1218. We are always happy to help new shooters become educated and responsible gun owners!

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