Written By Robert Voss
Buying a gun for the first time one should not be an overwhelming experience. I just wanted to pass along some tips to make it easy experience as a new gun owner. Don’t buy any gun until one’s knowledgeable in a few areas on purchasing a gun. This is a must read article for first time gun buyers.
First, I recommend taking a Florida State concealed weapons permit class and or the Security Officer G-License class before buying any type of gun. This will help you get your conceal weapon permitted to help you buy a gun and walk out with it the same day. There is a big difference between the to two classes. The concealed weapons permit class is a basically watered down three-hour class taught about gun ownership and concealment that include gun range time. While the other class is a 28 hours three day class for security officers which includes the classroom and gun range time. Many local gun ranges and security academies offer these courses.
Once you have passed the Florida State concealed weapons permit class and or the Security Officer G-License class one needs to submit to the State of Florida documents to receive a CWP license. Go to www.freshfromflorida.com and make an appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken at the same time. Once this has been done it will be processed and take about 90 day or less depending on the backlog of applicants. It is not recommended to mail your CWP application in the mail to the state. There is a chance it could become lost and take longer to process the application.
Now is the fun part looking for a gun for you. I suggest going on-line to look at the various handguns for sell. There are other gun articles out on the web to help one narrow down one’s choice. Price points maybe another factor in purchasing a certain gun. The cheaper guns are not always the best guns that will last long. One gets what they pay for.
Once you receive the Florida State CWP in the mail is where the fun starts. Now you can shop around for the handgun, which is right for you. Many shops have that have handguns that come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and pricing. There are many places to browse for a new and or used gun. I first tried looking at an independent pawnshop in my area. I found a used Smith & Swesson SD 9VE two-tone 9mm for $200 in the display case. The store associate told me it was barely used. I am not an export on the internal mechanisms of a gun. It is recommended to bring a gunsmith and or good friends who grew up with firearms to look it over. Another thing with this gun was there was a hold on it for 30 days. Plus, there was another 10 days until I could pick up this gun. This was a negative on buying this gun.
Another option is attending a gun show. This will give one an option to see what is out in the market place before buying. I suggest picking up several guns to see what is most comfortable fit for you. Not all the guns fit one’s hand the same. Some grips can be adjusted just ask the salesperson.
When walking into a gun shop one might be nervous for the first time. I checked out The Armory in Kissimmee. I walked into the door and told them what type of gun I was looking for. I had my mind set on the Glock 19 9mm handgun. However, the salesperson showed me the Glock 19 and a Smith & Swessen M&P 9 handgun side by side. He wanted me to be informed on the differences in both. In my opinion, I thought the M&P 9 was a better-built gun and was on sale. Another reason I went with this gun was that it was used for the military and police for duty work and was relievable. This is something to consider.
Once you have made a final decision on your gun purchase. One has to fill out a State of Florida Firearms form for all firearms sales. This is a requirement and not an option. The salesperson will assist you if one needs help on this form. Next, they will need your driver’s license and CWP license. Then the gun shop will run a background check on you for any major criminal offenses, which could take twenty to thirty minutes. When it comes back clean, one is good to go. Finally, pay the gun shop. One will notice the background check fee of $8 plus the tax on the gun.
Watch for the salesperson to up sell you on some gun related accessories and clean supplies. If you’re unsure what you need to buy. I recommend buying high-end gun oil in a spray can along with the snake. No, it is not a live snake! The snake is used to clean the barrel of the gun.
Once you take the gun out of the store, please keep it encased and out of view from the general public until you get home. It is not recommended keeping a gun inside of a vehicle after purchase. Take it home directly. One never knows who’s watching you.
Now before one fires the gun for the first time. One must clean the inside of the barrel of the gun with the snake to get out all the metal shavings out of the barrel of the gun. Before leaving the gun shop, ask them to show you how to dismantle the gun. If you forget check out the YouTube videos online.
One can’t forget to buy some bullets for your gun. Make sure one gets the right size ammo. The box of ammo will vary from .22mm, .38mm, 9mm, 22mm, and 357mm. A friend directed me to buy ammo from a big box retailer and or online from an ammo manufacturer. They recommended me to buy a box of Federal Full Metal Jackets (FMJ) 9mm with 50 bullets for $10.00 per box. These are used and accepted at any gun range. Plus, I purchased a box of Federal Low Velocity Hollow Point 9mm 20 Bullets for $20.00 per box. These bullets can be used for home safe deference and for security work.
Finally, check for a local gun range in your area. Prices will vary on the gun range. Most gun ranges change about $15 for 1-3 hours of range time. Plus, all gun shooter will have to sign a waiver and liability form from the gun range. Don’t forget to bring your drivers license. They need your driver’s license on file for legal purposes. The peak times at a gun range are on Friday thru Sunday. It is recommended to go on the off peak times which are Monday – Thursday. When walking into any gun range, make sure your gun is unloaded and in encase. The gun range attended may go over some rules and regulations at the range before going to your shooting lane. If you have any questions just ask the gun range attended. Always point your weapon in a safe direction. Be a responsible gun owner and keep up on the current laws. Lock your gun up around any children! Safety first. Happy shooting!
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