A Handy Checklist for First-Time Gun Owners

Beginning your venture as a responsible gun owner may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be.

This beginner’s checklist is a guide that every new gun owner or anyone considering a firearm for self-defense should review.

Gun Safety Checklist

To be a responsible gun owner, you need to incorporate the following gun safety practices into your routine:

Handle Every Gun as If It’s Loaded

Before you even touch a gun, you can reduce the risk of accidents and emergencies if you treat it like it’s loaded.

This is a necessary gun safety measure as many accidents occur because people often incorrectly assume they’re handling an unloaded gun and pull the trigger.

To avoid any unfortunate incidents, always assume a gun loaded before you handle it.

Understand How Your Gun Works Before Use

Understanding how your gun functions reduces a new gun owner’s chance of accidents.

There are plenty of reference videos on YouTube about the functionality of different firearm makes and models.

For example: To unload a semi-auto pistol, you must remove its magazine first and then unload the chamber. Without knowing this information before using your pistol, you or someone else could handle a loaded weapon without knowing it. That’s a potentially deadly situation.

Use The Correct Ammunition

Along with understanding how your gun works, you need to know the exact type of ammunition it requires.

For example: If you have a 9mm pistol, only 9mm ammo will work.

Additionally, not all ammunition is made the same. New gun owners should understand that full-metal jackets perform differently than defensive rounds. Fiocchi USA has a great tool to learn what bullets are used for what purposes.

Always Point Your Gun in a Safe Direction

To avoid accidental discharges and other emergencies, always point your gun in a safe direction.

Failure to observe this rule, especially if you pull the trigger while pointing your gun at objects you don’t mean to target, could be disastrous — or even fatal.

Don’t Touch The Trigger Until You’re Ready to Shoot

Another safety measure to avoid emergencies and accidents is to keep your finger away from the trigger until you have a target and can ensure that you are ready to fire your weapon safely.

Conversely, if your finger is on the trigger and you’re not meeting that criteria, something terrible could very well happen.

Know Your Target and What’s Beyond

This safety measure is crucial, especially if you are in a self defense situation.

If you attempt to incapacitate an offender with your weapon in a crowded setting, there is a possibility you could potentially hit an innocent bystander instead of your intended target.
Since you are responsible for hurting anybody with that round, the outcome could result in an emergency, fatality, or liability.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for every round that comes out of your gun.

Additional Steps for Responsible Firearm Ownership

In addition to the basic gun safety rules, there are some other factors you need to consider as a first-time gun owner.

Here are a few things we recommend:

Learn Your State’s Self-Defense Laws

New gun owners are responsible for learning about their state’s specific self-defense laws.

Those who do not study these laws could find themselves in trouble very quickly.

Don’t assume you know when shooting someone you perceive as a threat is okay. Resources that can help educate you include the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), U.S. Law Shield, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Educate Your Family

Having a gun ready for armed self-defense is vital. However, it is equally important that you keep it safely away from unauthorized users.

After you become knowledgeable in gun safety, you need to teach your kids and everyone in your home about firearms safety. A healthy education program paired with a safeguarded storage plan is the safest strategy.

Accessories Checklist for First-Time Firearm Ownership

Once you’re familiar with the gun safety measures and additional steps listed above, it’s time to invest in some necessary accessories you’ll need for responsible firearms ownership.

Hearing and Eye Protection

Safeguarding your eyes and ears from potential damage due to discharging your weapon is essential whether you’re visiting an indoor or outdoor firing range.

Shooting glasses help protect your eyes from debris, shell casings, and other particles that are ejected from firearms. Additionally, they safeguard eyes from powder residue and muzzle flashes that can cause eye irritation or injury.
Additionally, firing pistols of any type produces decibel levels that are high enough to cause permanent hearing damage.Wearing ear protection such as earplugs or earmuffs reduces the intensity of the noise to help prevent hearing damage and conditions like tinnitus.

Spare Magazines

Every new gun owner should purchase at least three additional magazines for their pistol. Be sure to keep them on your body — one in the pistol, one on the belt, and one resting. Some firearms include two or three magazines, others only one. Be sure to factor this into your budget before purchasing your firearm.

Quality Holster

A quality holster is essential. A cheap, relaxed fabric holster is not safe or dependable. A sturdy strong-side belt holster is well-suited to range work. If you plan to practice concealed carry, you’ll want a quality inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster.

Gun Clips, Trigger Guards and Charging Handles

While a quality holster is a must-have, many of them are bulky and uncomfortable.

Clipdraw’s comfortable, slim, and secure belt clips are designed to replace bulky and uncomfortable holsters, making them a great accessory for your concealed carry needs. Our patented, universal gun clip fits all pistols, regardless of make or manufacturer. Plus, our gun clip includes all the necessary parts to easily install on either side of your pistol in minutes.

Another great accessory is our pistol charging handle. Our line of charging handles are designed to help you overcome the difficulty of racking your slide and offer relief for weak, tired or painful hands and fingers. Its ambidextrous design means both right-handed and left-handed gun users can utilize the handle’s functionality for quick and confident one-finger charging.

With a protective shield that safeguards your gun’s trigger, our pistol trigger guards maximize safe usage and prevent accidental discharge. Our pistol guards include a trigger sheath that covers the pistol’s trigger and length of quality paracord to avoid unintentional discharge when carrying concealed. The trigger sheath paracord reaches full-length when the gun is drawn and removes itself. No added steps — draw your weapon naturally!

Time To Practice Responsible Firearm Ownership

If you’re a new gun owner, take the time to review this checklist. It will save you a lot of time, money, and embarrassment — and could even save your life.

Remember, if you have any questions about our products for responsible gun ownership, feel free to reach out to our team at any time!

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