You may have noticed the massive spike in gun sales.
The firearms that are flying off of the shelves range from handguns to the well-known Armalite 15 or AR-15. There are many reasons for this spike in sales. Some of those reasons include fear, opportunism, or just the desire to own that cool long-range rifle you always wanted. But there are certain responsibilities that come with gun ownership.
The first step in becoming a gun owner is to buy a gun.
Now you want to own a gun. That’s great. But what kind of gun should you buy? When it comes to acquiring firearms that is really up to your personal preference. However, there are some things that every gun owner should know.
Avoid being a mall ninja. This term describes a person who buys firearms, often the most expensive they can afford and pretends to be a seasoned firearms professional. It’s great that you’re a fan of Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movies and now you want to carry a .44 magnum revolver. However, calibers that provide heavy recoil and kickback force probably isn’t the best choice for a first-time gun owner and sometimes isn’t a good choice for even the most experienced sharpshooters.
Consider the size of your property and what you plan on defending with the firearm. Be practical with your firearm purchase. Buy what you want but don’t go breaking the bank when there are plenty of affordable and effective options for firearms. Remember, it isn’t about how flashy a firearm is. What matters is how the firearm performs when you need it to.
Let’s briefly go over what you should get. Right now, most people are probably buying firearms for self-defense and home defense. If you’re looking for a handgun then you could go with something chambered in .22. However, the .22 doesn’t have what we call stopping power. You could fire several .22 rounds into an attacker and the person might be hurt but they could still survive. If you pull out your gun and fire then you should always eliminate the threat and that’s not a responsibility to take lightly. If you’re looking for a handgun then go with something that has some stopping power such as a 9mm or 40 calibers.
Wilderness Arena has a pretty good explainer on stopping power with myths versus facts. Here is a link: Click Here
Before purchasing a firearm consider what type of firearm you want. Do your research. Invest in safety products such as gun locks and gun safes. A gun lock could be the difference between your toddler picking up your newly purchased handgun and not being able to pull the trigger and a tragedy waiting to happen. Modern technology has brought us biometric gun cases that are affordable for the average family. If you have a family with children then have a talk with your kids about firearms and tell them to never touch a gun.
It can be tempting to buy that new AK-47. Would it be as tempting if you knew how hard it can be to clean one of those rifles? Consider the amount of maintenance a weapon requires. Cleaning guns will never be a clean job. Over time, carbon particles will naturally build up inside of a firearm. Regular cleaning and maintenance are apart of responsible gun ownership. If you don’t keep the weapon maintained it will likely malfunction at some point. You don’t want to be in a situation where you might have to use your gun and it not fire because you haven’t cleaned it since the last Olympics.
Consider getting some firearms training. Classes, training, and even legal protection are offered by organizations such as the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). The reason why it is a good idea to join a gun club or an organization such as the USCCA is that a new gun owner would have an opportunity to join a wider community. That community could provide additional resources, training, and general knowledge of firearms. If a new gun owner can interact with more experienced gun owners then this could prevent misinformation, misconceptions, and dangerous situations.
Here is a video from the USCCA about handgun fundamentals and firearm safety:
Here are a few scenarios that could earn a person a lifetime or lengthy ban from purchasing a firearm:
- Ever had a suicidal episode? Believe it or not, in a lot of cases, it doesn’t matter how long ago that suicidal thought may have come. All it takes is for a licensed mental health professional to write that somewhere in your medical records. That can be used to ban you from purchasing a firearm. In some places, this is a lifetime ban.
- Ever get into a heated argument with your spouse in front of your children? Did the cops get called? Technically speaking, in states such as South Carolina having a heated argument while children are present can be considered 2nd-degree domestic violence. Now that you have this domestic violence arrest on your record you can’t buy a firearm. In some states, if you ever got busted for domestic violence then you would have earned yourself a lifetime ban. That means that even if you are not the same person you were 20 years ago you still couldn’t buy a gun in some states. Imagine for a second that your 1st Amendment rights were suspended because of a crime you committed just like your 2nd Amendment rights.
- Do you consume cannabis, commonly known as marijuana? Well, that technically means you can be denied a gun sale if you are known to consume it or have an arrest/conviction related to cannabis.
Several gun shop owners around the U.S. have expressed frustration with those who have suddenly become 2nd Amendment enthusiasts. These frustrations appear to be centered around these new gun seekers’ inability to recognize the firearm purchasing process. Some people had felony convictions, domestic violence-related convictions, or cannabis-related arrest/conviction. How interesting would it be if some of the same people who advocated for stricter gun control were some of the same people who found out that gun control is quite uncomfortable?
Here is one California gun store owner who was fed up with some of the expectations of new gun buyers.
Believe it or not, you can manufacture your own ammunition with the right tools. An example of such tools is the one to the right. This is a Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit that can be found on Amazon for around $150.00.
This tool is commonly used to reload ammunition into small brass containers known as “brass” and other materials. While there are other types of ammunition casings and shells to hold different types of ammunition cartridges, brass is the most commonly used. Since brass casings are the most commonly used ammunition casing or shell it’s probably better to use brass over any other type of ammunition casing.
With a tool such as the Lee Precision Breech Lock Kit, anyone could make their ammunition ranging from the 25 ACP (very small round) to the 460 Weatherby Magnum which is used to hunt thick-skinned African game and is widely regarded as the most powerful sporting rifle cartridge you can get your hands on.
If you aren’t an expert on reloading ammunition then don’t fret because there are plenty of YouTube videos like the one below that provides how-to instructions.
Be responsible and never treat a firearm like a toy. Always treat a gun as if it were loaded. Clean and maintain the weapon. Lastly, remember that firearms are a tool for self-defense and hunting with a long and rich tradition in the United States. Respect the tradition of firearm ownership but also respect the weapon.