Americans bought more guns this holiday season than ever before. The FBI says they processed a record number of background checks on Black Friday (about 2 per second!), so it’s safe to say that some of you got a gun for Christmas. It’s also likely that some of you are brand new gun owners. Welcome to the club!
But before you run outside and start shooting your new gun like Ralphie on Christmas morning, there’s a few things you should know. First of all, I highly recommend you get some professional training. The NRA has nearly 100,000 instructors around the country. Use this form to choose a course and find a local instructor.
This is for your safety, the safety of others, and the reputation of gun owners in general. The last thing we need is another irresponsible gun owner accidentally shooting someone. News stories like that just give more ammo to the people who would like to ban guns altogether.
With all that in mind, here are 9 dangerous mistakes that new gun owners often make:
1. Failing to Safety Check
This one should be obvious: Whenever you pick up a gun, ALWAYS check the chamber or cylinder to confirm that it isn’t loaded. This needs to become an unbreakable habit. Be sure to safety check a gun if even when the individual who hands you the gun just checked it themselves.