Dec 23 2016

Black Friday kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year. Shoppers will head to a variety of stores, including gun stores. If you become a new gun owner this holiday season, remember that there’s more to owning a gun than walking straight from the store to the shooting range. While many things are do-it-yourself these days, it is best to seek out professionals when it comes to gun use and safety for new gun owners. There are professional gun instructors in almost every community whom you can consult for the proper training.

The following are the most common mistakes of a novice gun owner. Knowing these common mistakes can help you avoid committing them yourself:

  • Forgetting the safety check – A gun owner must have an unbreakable habit: Always check the gun’s cylinder or chamber to confirm it is not loaded. Even if somebody already checked a gun, check it yourself when it is handed to you.
  • Pointing the gun the wrong way – Even an unloaded gun must be treated as if it is loaded. Point the gun muzzle, loaded or not, in a safe direction.
  • Wrapping the finger around the trigger – Never wrap your finger around the trigger until the gun is pointed toward the range and you are about to fire. Otherwise, keep your firing finger above the trigger.
  • Storing the gun improperly – Leaving your gun in the open where family members or burglars can have access to it is a big no in gun ownership. Keep your gun in a safe and locked storage container.
  • Failing to train properly – You need training from a certified gun instructor before you start using your gun. It is not enough to know how a gun works; you also need to know how to responsibly care for it.
  • Failing to teach family members – Even if you have no intention of allowing family members to use your gun, you must educate them on how to handle and take care of the gun properly. Help all family members understand that they are not supposed to touch the gun if you are not present.
  • Using the wrong ammunition – Using the wrong type of ammunition can cause the gun to explode in your hand. Be familiar with the type of ammunition that your gun can use. Bullets could look the same but they do not always match a particular type of gun.
  • Using the wrong holster – You do not need the most expensive holster, but do not rely on a very cheap one. Use only the holster that fits your gun. An incorrect holster may cause accidental firing.
  • Ignoring firearm laws – Gun laws are different in each jurisdiction. It is your responsibility to know the applicable laws where you live.

Responsible gun ownership saves lives. If you purchase a gun this holiday season, be prepared to take on the responsibility and training that come with the purchase.

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