We all took our first step in our journey to protect ourselves and our loved ones at some point in our life. Some of us don’t remember buying our first gun, while others may have just purchased their first gun in the last two weeks. No matter where you are on your self-defense journey, we’re glad you’re here as part of that journey.
As a responsibly armed American, training never ends. But there’s a starting point and a lot of people are at that point right now. Let’s welcome them and help them out!
What training do you think new gun owners should do first?
The first thing any new gun owner should learn and memorize are the 4 rules of gun safety. In a perfect world you’d know them before buying a gun. However, with people panic buying I doubt that’s happening unfortunately.
Learn the laws of your state.
Take a firearm fundamentals course to learn to shoot accurately and consistently.
Take a first aid, CPR/AED, and bleeding control course.
Take a CCW and self defense course.
Take more advanced firearms training courses.
Beyond that you’re no longer a new gun owner, but training never ends so take a refresher of the basics at least once a year.
Since no one has mentioned it yet. Get some information on how to maintain the gun they just bought. This might be a friend, youtube, or even the gun counter person. Not only are they removing any “packing grease” that might cause reliability issues they are also getting familiar with how the gun works and what makes it go “bang”. Cleaning a gun starts with a safety check and ends with a function check… all very important to anything you trust your life to.
Safety rules need to be learned and internalized before they even own a gun. I would love to see the 4473 changed to make people write them out before they’re allowed to purchase.
We do it as a part of the CCW test, and keep a copy. That way there is no way they can ever come back and say they have never heard them.
The last thing I want to do is make it harder to legally obtain a firearm.
The second ‘last thing’ I want to do is arm people ignorant of safety considerations of a lethal weapon.
I’m torn. My belief is that with rights comes responsibility. In the case of the 2A, irresponsibility can lead to imminent death of not only the person excercising the right, but innocents as well.
How best should we balance the right with the responsibility?
I’m a simple guy who relies on simple rules. My go-to is the 4 rules of gun safety. While I’m neither experienced nor smart enough to train others, that would be my starting point. They’re bulletproof (no pun intended).
I’m only a few years removed from being that first-time gun owner. There’s a LOT to process for newbies. Keep it simple.
It’s a dilemma, isn’t it? I’m not convinced erecting more regulatory hurdles will significantly improve firearm safety. However, a spike in accidents will invite more regulation.
I’m in a minority when I say that the safety record of gun owners in the United States is admirable. There are arguably nearly 400 million firearms in the United States, billions of rounds of ammunition, yet there were 418 accidental/preventable gun deaths in 2018. That’s 418 too many, and that’s why it’s contingent on groups like the USCCA, NRA, and individuals to constantly train, train, train, and keep the Dragon of Regulation at bay!
For a first time gun owner I would suggest exactly the following.
Find an Instructor that you can work with to help you learn all about your gun. Learn how to field strip it and clean it and reassemble the firearm. If you do not have an instructor look for legitimate e learning the USCCA e-learning is done well and easy to get access to. At some point you are going to need to find a coach to help you with the skills of shooting and gun handling. It may only take a couple of hours to get started and on your way. then you can decide if you want to carry concealed or just for home protection. I think everyone should try to go to a class or strive for 4 hours of coached shooting a year. and then have fun and safe practice.
My own journey starting as a nine year old wannabe pistolero:
Dad had me memorize the ten commandments of firearm safety
How to open actions and see if a firearm is loaded
At the range, learning the range rules, one hand stance, target acquisition and trigger squeeze—the goal first being perforate tin cans at ten paces then to group all shots in the black at 50’ then 25 yards
How to clean & lubricate the firearm.
This before learning anything tactical, situational, or strategic.
It was simply for fun, not gun fighting.
I found it an excellent foundation when I later went through the Peace Office’s Academy. It made shooting silhouettes at 7 yards, Hogan’s Alley and various exercises pretty easy.compared to my class mates.
Since there has been a lot of excellent safety advice already given, I’m gonna aim mine at those who are new owners who plan to carry, which is what I’m hearing about mostly in my area.
After mastering the safety rules and properly familiarizing themselves with their chosen firearm, obviously it is time to find a reputable instructor and learn the fundamentals of shooting. New gun owners who plan to carry need to not only learn the safety rules and functions of their firearm, but also ammunition and why which ammo and when. They need to reach out and learn what equipment is needed and what best suits them and their firearm for their intended carry mode. I firmly believe the firearm world is a “get what you pay for” world, especially when it comes to holsters. I live in a constitutional carry state and I would have it no other way, but some of the setups I’ve seen have been down right frightening.
I also believe it is of the upmost importance a new carrier learns the proper draw and holster techniques. As much as I love watching youtube videos, there are so many bad habits and techniques by the people making these videos when it comes to drawing, and especially reholstering. I love watching these videos and I’m subscribed to several channels, but the way some of them slam guns back into his holster (Usually palming it) makes me cringe every time. I guess it looks cool, but it’s extremely dangerous. With that being said, there are so many good instructors who put free stuff on the internet! In these times of lockdowns and shelter in place, it’s an excellent substitute. I guess it’s a pet peeve of mine, but I can’t emphasize learning to draw and reholster enough. In my experience instructing, I’ve learned this aspect of firearms training for the average gun owner and CCW holder is highly neglected, but it is an integral part of carrying a firearm daily. There have been way too many accidents due to poor technique and sadly too many examples of people getting hurt because they could not “get on their gun.” For the sake of the length of this post I’ll skip one handed drawing and shooting, but I think this is something we all need to continue to train on, especially those new to carrying.