During the COVID-19 pandemic, 5 million more Americans became gun owners. People look for ways to protect their loved ones and their property throughout periods of instability, making firearms a necessary purchase.
Apart from the legal requirements for buying a firearm, the process of choosing a gun can be complex if it is your first time. All the options can leave you unsure of what firearm will suit your needs. Read on to learn how to purchase a new firearm.
1. Buying a Firearm: Know Why You Need It
The purpose of the firearm will narrow your choices. There are many reasons to purchase a gun, including:
- Home defense
- On-body carry
Some options, like handguns, are better suited for home defense and range shooting. For long-range hunting, a rifle can provide the accuracy and speed you need. Click here for more on the various options.
2. Legal Requirements
To purchase a gun, you will have to go through a background check by filling out an ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Form. In this form, you will attest you are legally eligible to own a firearm.
There are instances when you will not be eligible to complete the purchase. These include if you have been:
- Indicted or convicted of a serious crime or misdemeanor
- Dishonorably discharged from the military
- Involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution
- Subject to a restraining order because of threatening behavior
Once you pass the background check, you will have 30 days to purchase the gun. After that period, you will have to reapply.
3. Choose Size and Caliber
Once you know the gun’s purpose, decide on size and caliber. A full-size duty-style gun with a lower-powered caliber can be comfortable for continuous shooting, while a compact pistol chambered in a large caliber is easier to conceal and carry.
If you will not carry your firearm on you, choose a full-sized, high-capacity option. If you want to buy a gun to carry concealed, then choose a compact and lightweight gun. Learn if there are any restrictions in your area about the type of guns you can conceal-carry.
When deciding on caliber, choose .380 or higher. Guns chambered in a higher caliber will have more recoil than those chambered in a lighter caliber.
The higher caliber options have more stopping power but are slower to operate, while the lighter options have a higher capacity for multiple shots but might not stop altercations as quickly.
4. Gun Safety
Know how to keep the gun you want to purchase safe. There are usually no requirements in most jurisdictions about taking safety classes before purchasing a firearm, but you should do so.
Gun safety classes will teach you how to operate the weapon more effectively while also showing you how to store and carry it safely.
5. Pistol Fit and Ergonomics
People with smaller hands might struggle to hold a double stack, making a single stack the better choice. Even though a double-stack has a higher capacity, if you cannot operate it, it is worthless.
When holding your new gun, you have to be able to wrap your fingers around the grip so the middle finger and thumb overlap. If that is impossible, the grip is too large.
If your middle finger overlaps your palm, the grip is too small.
Get the Gun You Can Depend On
Buying a firearm should not be a process you rush into. Fit and size are essential considerations, as is knowing what you will use the gun for and the legal process of applying for one.
To learn more about gun ownership responsibilities, turn to our blog! You will also find articles on various branches of US law, judicial records, attorneys and lawyers, and much more.