The decision to buy a gun and exercise your Second Amendment right is not one that should be treated lightly. Even people raised around guns will tell you that the process of buying your first gun is a big deal for a lot of reasons. For some, it might be their first big adult purchase. For some, it may come at a time of need in which they feel the need to protect themselves more than they ever have before. No matter the reason you’re buying your first gun, no matter your age or gender or race or social class, these are five things you should know going into it.

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The associated costs

Guns aren’t cheap. Despite the left’s pronouncements that you can buy a gun easier than a pack of gum, you’ll have to shell out a pretty penny for a gun. For example, a 9MM handgun will cost you at least $250. A rifle can cost up to $1000. An AR-15 will cost even more than that. Most people will agree that a gun is a good investment, but it is an investment. Keep that in mind. There may also be costs associated with registration, training classes, holsters, a safe, etc.

Your preferred gun

Being comfortable with what you’re shooting is a nonnegotiable. Even the most seasoned shooter isn’t comfortable with every type of gun. Before you shell out the money for a gun, test drive that one or similar. Many local ranges or gun stores will allow you to test fire the gun in a safe environment. You can also get in touch with local concealed carry trainers and get their insight into the best gun for you and your situation.

The registration process

Legal gun ownership requires registration of any firearms. Of course, every state has different laws, but there are a few common themes. For the most part, the required paperwork will be filed with the local police department and can be picked up from them or likely from an associated seller. In DC, for example, the paperwork involves a lot of details about the gun in question, contact information for the owner and seller, etc. There is usually a small fee associated with registration.

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When and where you can conceal carry

The hot topic of the day is concealed carry and the rights and restrictions associated with it. Of course, not every gun can be concealed, like an AR-15, a shotgun, etc. So, if you are looking to have a gun that you can conceal carry, be sure that your chosen gun fits the bill. Similarly, brush up on the processes to be able to conceal carry. It differs in every state. For the most part, you’ll need to be 21, be able to pass a background check, and go through a course to ensure you’re prepared. In my home state, the course lasts eight hours and costs $75. Most training courses will also allow you to rent a gun if you haven’t purchased yours yet. Conceal carry laws differ in most states but for the most part, you will not be allowed to carry in government buildings, banks, schools, et cetera.

Bonus items you may want or need

Simply buying a gun isn’t the end of the road. You’ll also need a case to carry it in. In fact, there are a lot of other items that gun owners consider a must. If you’ll be shooting at the range, you’ll want to invest in ear and eye protection. A holster is also a perfect purchase for the conceal carry permit holder. If you have a longer barrel gun, you might want a sight or a safe.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member