What is the price range you have? As with most hobbies, there are cheap items, and there are some very expensive ones too. A cheap gun is not always a bad gun; it is a relative term. A $2,500 rifle may perform better than a $750 one will; but if the person using the firearm does not have the training and/or skill to be able to effectively use that extra precision, it may be an unnecessary expense.
Are there any safety / education courses you can take prior to purchasing the firearm? Knowledge is important when dealing with items which have the potential to easily take a life. We are not handed car keys and told “here, go drive” without learning about the steering wheel, gas pedal, brakes, mirrors, and – a key point – the “rules of the road”. It is not enough to know how to go, stop, and steer a car. You must be able to read the street signs and be aware of others.
Firearms are the same way. It is not enough to simply know how to pull the trigger. You need to know the critical safety aspects of handling a firearm:
- The gun is always loaded, even when it is not. Seriously – treat it with the thought that it is loaded. It takes only one mistake or misjudgement for a fatality
- Do not point the gun at something you would not fire at. This means pets, televisions – and especially people. This applies to when your finger is near the trigger. If you are carrying a rifle by it’s carry handle, stock, barrel or otherwise, it is less of an issue. However, the safety should still always be on!
- Know who or what you are firing at. Do not fire randomly in the dark, do not fire blindly around a corner. If you do not know who or what you are shooting at – don’t shoot!
- Know who or what is BEHIND what you are firing at. Penetration of a bullet through a target is likely. If there are any innocents around or the potential for collateral damage – don’t shoot! This also applies to firing at targets; if you are out on some private property somewhere and set up something to shoot at, make sure the bullets will not ricochet back at you.
Still ready to purchase a firearm? Excellent!