First, if you are a new gun owner, WELCOME!
There may be some lingering questions that you have about being a gun owner. Often, the biggest question that new gun owners have is “What’s next?”, or something along those lines.
SAFETY FIRST, LAST, ALWAYS
It is absolutely important that as an owner of a new firearm, you understand fundamental firearm rules for safe handling and usage. Every firearms organization has a set of rules, but among them are four fundamentals:
- Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
- Keep your finger off of the trigger until you’ve made the conscious decision to shoot.
- Never point the firearm at anything that you aren’t willing to destroy.
- Know your target and what’s around and beyond it.
You need to become ONE with these rules, and make sure they are seared in your mind each time you THINK about handling a firearm.
As I stated previously, there are plenty of other important rules and list of rules can be endless, but I think these are a good start. I’d also suggest reading this one-pager from the National African American Gun Association.
In addition to these rules, as a new gun owner, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that your firearm is secured from anyone who should not have access to it (children, prohibited persons, or anyone who may be at risk of harming themselves). The safest place for your firearm is on your person. If not on your person or in use, then your storage option needs to be a balancing act between how to keep it secure from unauthorized persons while making it accessible and ready for you at a moment’s notice. The NSSF has an excellent suite of information to aid in you in making decisions that will fit your needs.
Every firearm purchase in Michigan and other states includes a cable lock. It’s simple, but an effective deterrent, especially against children. There are multiple options for safe storage that you can choose from (link to photo); it’s up to you to determine what will fit your lifestyle. The main takeaway from this should be to follow the rules and be smart about gun safety.
Lastly, one of the simplest things you can do is READ THE MANUAL. I know I know… sometimes we think that we can get by and learn along the way. We can, but when it comes to a tool that you may need your life to depend on, making certain you are familiar with the functions and features of your new firearm requires more than winging it. Again… READ THE MANUAL to learn how to take care of your gun, so it will be available to take care of you if needed.
TRAIN, PRACTICE, TRAIN, REPEAT!
So you have a firearm, but are you equip with the knowledge to use it in defense of yourself and loved ones? This is why training is VITAL. Training provides you with the lessons and helps you develop the mentality and skill set to ensure that you are safe and can protect yourself should you be faced with a deadly threat. Make sure you seek a reputable, credentialed, and experienced instructor. The instructor you choose can make all the difference in the world for you and your path to becoming a citizen capable of defending your life. For the Michigan Concealed Pistol License class and Basic Pistol class, you can check out our schedule of upcoming classes. If you’d like to schedule a private, 1-on-1 session at the range, please contact me.
Even during quarantine, there are instructors and organizations that can assist you in training. Apex can provide consultations and virtual sessions. Black Bottom Gun Club, the Detroit chapter of the National African American Gun Association, will begin offering online community safety and legal seminars. There are a myriad of videos on YouTube, but I’d recommend Active Self Protection’s New Gun Owner Orientation series. Additionally, the USCCA has a TON of online videos and resources.
Making sure you are safe, that your firearm is secure, and that you have adequate training are the answer to “What’s Next?” for the new gun owner. After that, you have to choose the gear and accessories that will complement your new tool and enable you to be an Apex Defender.
I recognize that some may have decided to purchase a firearm as a result of the ongoing pandemic. I’m not as concerned about why you did, but more appreciative that you made the choice to be your own first responder. Regardless of your reasons, I’m glad you’re here. Welcome to the party!