Gun laying on a table

10 Tips for Buying a Gun

Owning a gun is a huge responsibility, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are a few things you should know before you purchase one, whether it’s your first gun or an addition to a collection. Before you buy a gun, read these 10 tips to ensure the best (and safest) outcome possible.

  1. Identify the purpose of the gun.
    Before you purchase a gun, you should identify its purpose. Is the gun for defending your home, hunting, fun at a gun range, or a combination? Big guns will have more recoil and better accuracy. If you’re looking for a gun for hunting, you may want a shotgun or a rifle. Your gun should be task specific. 
  2. Learn gun safety.
    Before you purchase any firearm, you should know gun safety. There are three rules of the National Rifle Association for proper gun safety: 1) “ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.” 2) “ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.” 3) “ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.” Gun safety is there to protect you and everyone around you.
  3. Know the gun laws in your area.
    Each state will have different laws that apply to firearms. For example, it may or may not be legal for you to openly carry your weapon. Another is that you may not be able to have a certain caliber of gun. There may also be age restrictions. Do thorough research on gun laws in your area to be sure you’re following them.
  4. Learn how a gun works.
    When it comes to a gun, you should fully understand the parts of the weapon. Not only should you be able to identify the parts, you should also know how these parts work. If you need one, there are plenty of classes you can take to help you learn about the firearm. Knowledge of the gun’s workings will decrease the chance of accidents, and it will also help you take care of the gun, making it last longer
  5. Shoot a gun of the same caliber.
    Before you choose a gun, you should practice shooting it or one of the same caliber at a firing range. Using the same caliber will allow you to experience what it's like firing the weapon. While a .38 sounds like a good plan, you may find that there's too much recoil for you. You’ll only know how it feels once you’ve fired the gun. 
  6. Check the gun’s history.
    You should know the history of your gun before purchasing. Much of a gun’s history can be discovered when you run the serial number on the gun. Was it used in a crime? Is it yours to own? Is it stolen? All of these questions can be answered by checking the serial number. 
  7. Don’t buy cheap.
    We all want to save money, but when it comes to guns, you really get what you pay for. It’s all right to have a budget, but you should know that buying a budget gun means you may walk away with something that isn’t right for you. Cheap guns may not last very long and are usually made with cheaper parts. At times, these guns may even be more dangerous compared to something pricier.
  8. Properly register your gun.
    In many states, gun owners must register their firearms. Registration means you have to record your ownership of the gun with a designated law enforcement agency. Registering will enable law enforcement to identify, disarm, and prosecute violent offenders should the gun be used in a crime. Registration also creates accountability for firearm owners and discourages illegal sales. 
  9. Learn how to disassemble and clean the gun.
    Knowing how to disassemble your firearm and cleaning it regularly will increase the lifespan of your gun. Cleaning your gun is just as important as buying the right one for you. Failing to clean it regularly can lead to issues such as jamming or even misfires. To avoid these potentially harmful problems, learn how to disassemble and clean your gun. Most gun shops have people who will be glad to show you how.
  10. Keep it in a safe place.
    There are many cases of children finding weapons, or weapons accidentally going off, and hurting or killing someone. Before you purchase a gun, buy a safe place to keep it. You can easily purchase a gun safe to properly store your firearm under lock and key. You should also know how to properly store it while not in use. 
Last Updated: February 10, 2016