Help where to start, Advice

OK self admitted scaredy cat here.
In principle I would like to get all trained up , but in practice I find numerous impediments.

Noise. I am extremely noise sensitive. Earplugs and such are not always enough.

Fire. When I did my first/only range class with a pistol, literally fire came out of it and I was worried I would get burned. My Dad was there and he seemed to think I wasn’t standing strong enough, and so it can get rattled? Another person told me the caliber or something (sorry I may say all words wrong) was not right.

Klutziness. In the best of times, I can drop , spill, slosh, etc things. When I was little, I realized how great it was I drink water since it cleans up better than OJ, lol. It seems like this is not an ideal combo for having weapons of any kind.

Strength. I am not strong, not just compared to men but to women. I flunked Jr Lifesaving because the instructor could drown me.

Laws. In NJ, NY afaik I basically have no gun rights. It seems that even if you live elsewhere and just pass through you can get hit. I think there are lawsuits working on this but I’m not sure where they are.

For all these reasons, though I am extremely committed to 2A, I feel pretty helpless on doing something myself.

Do you have ideas to help me see a better light? With horrible videos of young students beating up highschoolers and others, which seem more and more common, I want to relook at options.

In the meantime, I try to promote 1776 with the Mighty Pen.

On the plus side for me, at day camp long ago, I really enjoyed rifle practice.

Cross-ref , no replies here
New Jersey - Legal & Second Amendment - USCCA Community: New Jersey


The range can be intimidating and loud. Not to mention, firearms are deadly weapons and can be intimidating in and of themselves.

Go with someone who can teach you - I’d suggest a friend, not a parent or spouse. Friends tend to be a bit more objective and harder to frustrate.

Double up on the hearing protection. Ear plugs and muffs. Also go to the range when it’s not busy. I work at a range as well and it’s quieter on weekdays and weeknights than it is on the weekend.

You don’t have to be “strong” you have to have a good grip and stance. Those can be learned.

Try going to the range at an off time with a friend who really knows how to shoot and shoot a .22. OR work with an instructor 1 on 1 so they can teach you the best way for you. (To find a USCCA instructor in your area, click here.)

Keep asking questions - we’re here to help!!


Being sensitive to noise should subside with practice. Try to visit the range when there are less people, favor outdoor ranges, etc.

As far as hand strength, you may want to look into S&W Shield EZ pistol, built specifically with that in mind.


We all start some where!

Just glad your willing to get training!

I think @Dawn and @Alexander8 has you covered on this subject.


First thing, put the gun down! definitely should not handle firearms at this point. Second, begin a physical strengthening workout. Third, talk to friends who are gun owners for mental reassurance. After these three, you should head back to the range and start practicing with a .22 caliber and gradually work your way up to a caliber that best suits you…good luck



My wife was/and is exactly like you describe yourself. So first piece of advice would be. Please understand this comes from someone who went through this.

  1. Give yourself a break. Courage is not just being brave. Courage is being afraid, but still willing to do what is needed.

  2. Guns can be scary. I’m an old guy, shot all my life, and I bought a specific gun and the first time I fired it, it shook me.

  3. Seriously consider the courage it took to come here and talk about this. You are pretty amazing . Just for that alone.

  4. When you feel comfortable, try a .22, It’s a good starter to build from. If that’s still to much to start with, try a .177 air gun. No one size fits all. Try whatever you feel comfortable with. In the beginning while you build your confidence with firearms.

  5. There are a number of great organizations out there for women only. Look and see if they have any in your area. Go to a couple of them and see if they have any female instructors.

  6. Last piece of advice, sometimes it’s better to learn from someone you don’t know. Sometimes when you are letting someone teach you that you have a personal relationship. Negative feelings can come into play. Whether it’s feeling they are being condescending or that you are failing.

I am going to tag @Zee, she is an amazing woman and a fantastic instructor. As I said earlier, my wife is 5’4", very petite, , very pain sensitive, fairly weak strengthwise and was terrified of guns. On 12/19/18, we had a moment every parent dreads concerning our daughter. (Look it up on these forums for that date if you want to read it)

She wanted to learn to shoot and have her Concealed Carry Permit. I took her to the range, taught her the 4 Universal Safety Rules, grip, site picture, etc. When we went to the firing line I realized how stressed she was so I backed off. We found an amazing young woman, former US Marine, who was an instructor. She took her time, with my wife and over time my wife built her confidence.

When she finished training, I learned another lesson. I bought her a M & P in .380, she tried it went to my safe and took out my Ruger .45, that .380 still sits in my safe.

That’s her with that .45 at the range. One last thing try doubling up on hearing protection. Ear plugs and headphones.

Leaving you with this. Stop and think about how amazing a woman you are for even considering this journey. You are in my families thoughts. But seriously give the idea of an all woman’s group and a female instructor for training and instruction.

As regards to the laws of NY, I will tag @MikeBKY he is an attorney and can probably give you some advice on where to start.

Good luck and God speed on your journey. It is definitely worth it.


I’ll disagree a bit with @Ben_Blanc. If you’re with the right trainer or friend know is well versed in how to handle a firearm for different experience levels, you should be fine, @Anne1776. I would not advise going to the range alone or with someone inexperienced or doesn’t understand your nervousness.


lol. I understand I need safety training. I wish actually I had Dad’s wonderfully crafted videos about that topic, but they probably are long gone.
I don’t have any [very local] friends that I know of who are 2A.
// My goal is to be able to do regular training so I would need someone right near me I would expect.
But I can re-look for an instructor for sure.


@Anne1776 Welcome to the board and welcome to shooting in general. It would seem you have already overcome the biggest hurdle which is deciding that you want to shoot and learn how to do it correctly. You have made that decision.

As you have found yourself here you can find yourself to a place in NJ (if I read it correctly) or near by (I once biked from Lavallette, NJ to Lumberville, PA and back in a weekend). where you might find an instructor. While uncommon in NJ there are several gun clubs in south NJ that I am aware of. The internet is a wonderful thing for finding folks of a like mind. Finding someone just a bit down the road is often times more beneficial than right next door as it requires dedication and motivation, which you have just demonstrated, to go see and do.

Start slow and learn well.




Contact this organization.


OK. sigh, well I have some info on NJ area.

From one conversation.

In NJ nobody but police have any 2A except small exceptions being able to own inside the house and travel strictly point-to-point. No lawsuits to fix this have gone anywhere. Otoh, I don’t have any links to any such. (I think in prior internet traversals I did find something, which was DOA at that time, but courts take years and years…)

If I were a competent shot, I could take a class focused on AZ, FL to get non-resident out-of-state CCW permits in multiple states. That sounds very helpful.

I can’t rent a gun because I am solo. Thanks NJ.

Maybe I’d be better off looking at things in PA but when the commutes are so long it makes it impractical. Hmm.

Thank you everyone for the support.

Florida and Arizona CCW Class - Garden State Shooting Center:


A quick google search came up with the website below. I am not familiar with this association, but it might be a good reference to track down local opportunities to learn:

Their places to shoot page: Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs - Places to Shoot

Here’s their main site:

IMO, I would look at the places described and then cross reference them on Google Maps, and read the reviews about the facilities and/or staff. This might sway your decision as to wear or what to try out.


There’s a lot of good info here.

One of the first things is to find someone local to help and support. Whether a friend, or from one of the groups mentioned above or maybe from

Don’t worry about the reaction to noise or the power of the first handgun you fired. We all start somewhere, and some of us are more sensitive to noise than others.

If hand strength is an issue you can’t overcome, then maybe a rifle is what you may want for home defense. Mr Guns N Gear takes this person through a bunch of different firearms from revolvers to shotguns to rifles to see which one she likes best. You may not come to the same conclusion, but there may be some value in seeing her using all the different options


If you are not being instructed what my fiancé has done over the years is the orange ear plugs and noise canceling headphones it has helped her get use to it, now she is fine with just her range ear protection


The range I work at doesn’t rent to solos either. It’s for everyone’s safety. (Think of those who only want the gun for one round and don’t want their families to have to deal with the aftermath.)

Can you take someone with you to the range? They don’t even have to shoot the gun. An extra set of eyes watching you is so helpful.

Another training method that might help you work your way into a firearm is dry firing or working with a training (blue gun or SIRT pistol). They’re not real firearms, they don’t go bang or have recoil. But you could work on your grip and stance in the comfort of your own home to start.

Keep asking questions, watching videos and learning! Everything will fall into place for you!


Sorry for the late response. I have not been to NY or NYC in a long time, over 25 years, and have no inclination to go there anytime soon and I have not looked at New York Firearms laws other than what is provided by USCCA.


Anne, take heart. We live in an amazing country that not only allows us the right to bear arms, but also a free market flush with choices of firearms. There are dozens of guns out there that will fit your needs, your only challenge is to find them. Many ranges rent guns, and organizations like the USCCA, GOA, or NRA can point you in the right direction.

Regarding strength, coordination, and noise aversion: practice. With technique, training, and proper equipment, you can overcome all of those. You don’t have to be a burly “cowgirl” to defend yourself.

Most importantly, as you go on your journey, you’ll find great fellowship with the 2A community, they’re the finest folks around, and you’ll have a lot of fun practicing your trade. Best of luck, prayers for you.


This sounds interesting, " blue gun or SIRT pistol" for training.
Are those 2 different things?
What do they shoot exactly?
Do you mean you can practice them indoors and nothing gets hurt, like nerf only maybe just laser dots ?
SIRT Training Pistol | Next Level Training| Gun Goddess:


re Think of those who only want the gun for one round and don’t want their families to have to deal with the aftermath
oh dear how sad. I talked to a police officer once, it’s pretty much the opposite. In other words, such people are traumatizing people in the worst way.

Is that something that’s new ?
It probably wasn’t always a thing, right? For sure if there’s open carry somewhere it seems like they wouldn’t have this rule, right?

Historically, I wonder when it arose as an issue?

It seems like we have lost numerous civilizing forces. Hopefully we can reconstruct them.

ps I’m supposed to at-reply :slight_smile:

@Harvey That was an excellent video showing different styles ty! The lady in it is really good. I was able to see how the fire/recoil comes out a bit, especially once when they had a close up. That helps.

@Scotty , @Paul1 and everyone, ty for all your replies and encouragement.
Do you recommend a sport that would be fun on an ongoing basis ? My Dad did skeet shooting, and I read there are competitions but I’m not sure how they work. ( I don’t know much about skeet.)
I think if I could make a hobby out of it to some degree that might get me in a good place.

One motivator is definitely to meet 2A people in this blue area.

I found out that though I can’t go to the range alone, and I’m not even sure I can take group classes “alone” (???), I can take a private. I’ll give that a go, I’d rather be in a group environment, but to start it certainly can’t hurt.


@Anne1776. Sports and hobbies are a very personal thing. However, in your OP, you mentioned some characteristics that might benefit from some exercise classes and maybe later some type of martial arts classes. Health clubs can be found for cheap, and can help with strength, body movement confidence, and the clanging of plates might reduce your aversion to loud noises. Additionally the health benefits can have a positive affect on other areas of your life. Similarly, some martial arts clubs can increase hand-eye coordination, self confidence, and body/situational awareness.