It’s a dangerous world, and more and more women are turning to firearms to protect themselves from things that go bump in the night. But if you’re a female looking to purchase your first handgun, what should you know before you enter the store? Here are ten things to keep in mind.
- How It Feels
The very first thing to consider is the grip of the gun. Don’t worry yet about things like brand or price; the most important thing is that it feels right in your hand, that you can imagine yourself using it if you need to. Try several guns before making any decisions.
- Ease of Use
If this is your first time owning a gun, you’ll probably want something small, simple and easy to fire. Resist the urge to buy beyond your skill level just because it sounds nice or looks like a good deal.
- The Time Commitment
Like everything else in your home, a gun requires upkeep in the form of attention, maintenance, cleaning, et cetera. Before you drop money on a semi-automatic and then just stick it in your closet, make sure you’re appreciative to the commitment that owning a gun really is.
- Where You’ll Practice
There’s more to firing a gun than pulling the trigger. Even if your goal is simple self-defense, you’ll want to become proficient enough with your chosen firearm that it isn’t a liability in case of emergencies. So where will you practice? Where’s the nearest range or hunting ground? How often will you be able to visit?
- The Cost of Ammunition
Like guns themselves, bullets come in a variety of styles for a variety of uses, and some are more expensive than others. You may consider an expensive firearm a valuable investment, but will you be willing to spend the same amount on ammunition every time you run out? Before you buy a gun, figure out where its bullets will factor in your budget.
- Self-Defense Laws In Your State
Gone are the days when self-defense was cut and dried. These days you can be punished alongside the criminal if the courts decide you were too quick on the draw! Before you entertain visions of yourself killing a burglar like in a Lifetime movie, research your local laws and make sure that your fantasy won’t end with you in handcuffs.
- Carrying vs. Storing
Is your gun going in a holster or a bedside dresser? If it’s the latter, make sure you have locks and other deterrents in case your kids get curious. If it’s the former, make sure you aren’t buying a man’s holster, which can be uncomfortable and downright dangerous when paired with a woman’s natural curves.
- New Vs. Used
New guns are shiny and exciting, but sometimes the pre-owned weapon can afford the most peace of mind. You already know they’re in good working condition and have been operated successfully in the past.
- Reliability in a Crisis
Consider a scenario where you’d actually have to use your gun. Are you sweating? Panicked? Afraid? Keep these factors in mind when trying to decide, say, whether you want a 9mm or a .38, or whether you prefer a gun with an automatic safety.
One of the most important parts of buying a gun is one that most women don’t even consider until they enter the shop. Are you legally allowed to own it? No two states have the same gun laws. Some require a waiting period before you can take it home; others want a permit, or restrict the number of rounds allowed in a magazine. Before you even think about purchasing a firearm, make sure you take the proper steps to protect yourself from the law and intruders.