There is a difference between being a gun owner and a responsible gun owner. Gun ownership should always be accompanied with more than the purchase. Prior to your purchase it is imperative that you understand and educate yourself on the laws and regulations that pertain to where you live. In addition, you should have a full understanding of why you are purchasing a gun and the application it will have in your life. Whether it will be used for competition, self-defense, hunting, or all the above – this is something you should determine before a gun purchase as it has a direct impact on what you choose. Once that is determined and you have purchased a firearm there are three things you need to add to your “to do” list.
1. Gun Safety
The first thing that ranks above anything else is learning gun safety. I cannot stress this point enough. Once a firearm is in your possession, especially as its owner, you are always soley responsible for it at all times. Each gun owner should fully comprehend the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm. Understanding your firearm and how to safely manipulate it is an absolute must. Each firearm is different, so having a great grasp on the one you own and how it functions is imperative. Beyond that there are many other facets of gun safety that firearm owners need to understand. From how to safely store your firearm to carrying and transporting it in vehicle, there is a vast amount of knowledge that needs to be understood. Taking a valid gun safety class should be one of the first things to pursue. This protects you, those around you and your firearm.
2. Incorporate Training and Instruction
We hear repeatedly how important it is to seek training. As gun owners we should all be lifelong students who are ready and willing to learn as much as we can. Shooting is a perishable skill, so it is important to keep a consistent live-fire and dry-fire training regimen. When you buy a gun, no matter what the reason, you need to seek training that is applicable to why you purchased your gun. A gun is only as effective as the person who controls it. Training not only builds a strong skill set, but it also builds confidence. Seeking out a valid instructor and training class is a must. You can then take the skills you have learned and incorporate them into your own personal live-fire and dry-fire training schedule. There are many reputable training classes available that you can find online or even at your local gun range.
3. Obtain Firearms Insurance
Many people can see the need of owning a firearm, most however do not think beyond that rationale. Every application of shooting can benefit from firearm insurance. Competition, self-defense, and even hunting has a need for obtaining a credible insurance policy. The type of coverage can vary, so firearm owners need to take the time to research what type of coverage is available and decide what options are best for them. As responsible gun owners we need to think in terms of “in the long run”. What happens if I need to use my firearm for self-defense? Can I recover the financial loss of my guns and gear if there is a fire, natural disaster or government confiscation? Additionally, if you ever had to go to court for any reason, most policies cover attorney fees. This to me is a no brainer as many of us struggle keeping up with the ever-changing laws as it is. Knowing you have an attorney available should you ever need one is very reassuring. There are multiple scenarios to consider and thankfully there are firearms insurance companies that can give you solid answers and much needed coverage.
The responsibility that comes with gun ownership can seem overwhelming. Going step by step and taking your time to understand things as they come will make things go much each easier. Maintaining the proper mindset and attitude of being a responsible gun owner will allow you to set and conquer the goals you set.
By Karen Hunter
Karen is a firearms instructor, industry consultant and contributor to GetZone, Athlon Outdoors and BRCC. Follow Karen on Instagram and Facebook or visit her website at thekarenhunter.com