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The last two years have seen record gun sales, and Americans bought almost 20 million guns in 2021. Quite a few of these were new gun buyers who had to go through the process of buying a gun for the first time.
If you’re a first time buyer, what do you need to know? How do you go through the process? Read our beginner’s buying guide to guns for everything you need to know!
A Beginner’s Guide to Guns
Before anything else, you need to know how guns work. Gun safety is critical for any responsible gun owner, and that means knowing exactly what they can do and how to be safe around them.
First of all, don’t think you know guns just because you’ve seen them in movies! Hollywood is notorious for misrepresenting guns, so the best way to learn is to actually study and use them.
There are essentially three main types of guns you can buy. These are rifles, shotguns, and handguns. All of these are available in some form to citizens who meet the legal requirements for owning a gun.
A rifle fires a single bullet at a time and can be used for hunting, target shooting, and sometimes self-defense. Some rifles are semi-automatic, which means you can fire one bullet each time you pull the trigger, while others will need to be reloaded after every shot. A few rifles are fully automatic, but most citizens aren’t able to purchase these.
A shotgun has a long barrel like a rifle, but it fires a burst of pellets across a shorter distance. These are useful for bird hunting, skeet shooting, and home defense. As with rifles, some shotguns are semi-automatic, but not all of them are.
Handguns (or pistols) are a very popular type of gun. These are the most popular choice for personal protection and come in a wide range of sizes, calibers, and styles.
Where Can You Buy a Gun?
There are a couple of places where you can buy a gun. You should only buy a gun when you know exactly what you want and when you’re ready to own one responsibly. It’s even better if you’ve had the chance to try a particular gun out before you buy it!
One common place to get a gun is, not surprisingly, through a gun shop. This is a great chance to examine guns and talk with experts to learn more about your purchase. However, shops often struggle to keep their inventory full, and you may have a hard time getting the gun you want.
You can also visit gun shows! They have plenty of great sales with dealers looking to get rid of merchandise, but you’ll also see a lot of crummy deals and subpar guns.
That’s why many people use online stores as their gun-buying resource. You have a much wider variety of guns available, and it’s easy to get them shipped to a pick-up location near you. And guns are often cheaper to buy online than at a store!
Know Your State’s Gun Laws
It’s very important to know all the laws surrounding guns in your state before you go to buy. Making a mistake could cost you time and money at the very least, and it could also lead to legal trouble!
At the very least, you will be required to go through a background check to get your gun. Sometimes this will get denied, and you won’t be able to purchase a gun. For example, if you are a felon or have domestic violence charges on your record, you cannot purchase a gun.
Different states will have other restrictions and rules, so make sure to check out their rules and regulations. You can also call a local gun dealer and talk with them about the paperwork and steps you’ll need to go through to purchase a gun.
Learn More About Big Purchases!
While this guide to guns and gun-buying should help you get started, there’s a lot to learn about these great tools! That’s why you should always be trying to learn and practice when you can.
If you’d like to learn more gun buying tips or other great topics, be sure to check out the rest of our blog! We have lots of great articles on a wide range of subjects to help keep you informed and up to date on anything you want to know.