5 Tips for New Gun Buyers

Posted by LaToya Workman on

You've been thinking about a gun but don't know where to start. I had the same challenge. Going to the gun store alone can be daunting, intimidating, and a little overwhelming. How do you know which one to choose? There are mostly all men in there.

I did it backwards. I wish I would have known then what I know now. A little bit about my experience and a couple of tips below for new gun owners so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

So what I learned on my experience first I bought a gun first before I got training and because someone told me it was a good first gun.  I only order one gun purchase permit because that’s all I thought I was going to need or want. (How much was I wrong! 😊) As soon as I bought my blue Taurus G2C firearm I went out on the range. I told the range safety officer (RSO) I was new into shooting, and this was a brand-new gun. He put a little oil on it for me and told me the basics and then watched me shoot. He recommended I sign up for a class with an instructor to get more comfortable. I knew I wanted to get my concealed carry permit and I needed more practice. When I went to signup for a private lesson, the only options available was from an older, white man. I expressed my desire to get my concealed carry permit. Overall, it was a very informative session, but I did leave feeling unsatisfied and unheard. He focused on my gender, my wardrobe, and my nails. I want to take a class or get instruction from a female. Below are five tips for new gun owners.

5 tips for new gun owners:

  1. Observe the laws for the state you’re in. In North Carolina, you need either a gun purchase permit or a concealed carry permit to purchase a handgun. Each state has different requirements, confirm what’s necessary for the state you are in.
  2. Determine what fits your hand. – I have small hands and short stubby fingers. You may have larger hands or longer fingers. Just like our fingerprints, we are all unique. You must determine what fits you.
  3. Choose something you can carry daily. – You don’t have your concealed carry permit or not even sure you want to carry at all yet not alone - every day. You may buy more than one firearm but if you just buy one, I prefer you to have one that you can use at home and carry on you.
  4. Test before purchasing - if you read my other blog Guns are Like Shoes then you know I'm a big believer of try it before you buy it. You can go to the range and rent different guns. You can go with friends that have a few guns or you can join us for ladies’ range night if you're in the Charlotte area. Don't just purchase a gun because someone recommended it to you.
  5. Get appropriate training – I can’t stress this enough. And no, it’s not just because I am a firearms instructor! I see men and women at the range – both new and those that claim they are experienced shooters making gun safety mistakes. My #1 mission is to make sure we, primarily ME, get home with the same holes I left with. It’s in ALL our best interest if those that are handling firearms have had at least a basic safety firearms training course. Take an online or in-person class. I personally think in-person classes are better and having an instructor with you at the range is extremely valuable to help (1) with confidence and (2) safety. If you take an online class schedule a one-on-one session with a local firearms instructor.
Purchasing your first firearm is a big decision and a great responsibility. I hope this was helpful. Send me an email, or direct message me on social media @womanwithaweapon for other topics and subjects you want to know about.


  • It made sense to me when you said that you must choose a gun that fits your hand to make sure that it is something that you can carry. One of my plans next month is to purchase a gun that I can bring for self-defense purposes. For sure, I will do yours since I have small hands, and I am not a fan of heavy guns.

    Max P on

  • Thanks for pointing out that just like shoes, you have to test a gun before making a purchase. My brother mentioned the other day that he is interested in attending a concealed carry course before purchasing a gun for self-defense reasons next week. I will ask him to follow your tips to make sure that he will choose the right type of gun.

    Ava M on

  • It’s good that you discussed how important it is to observe the laws of the state you’re in since each one varies, such as having a gun purchase permit or a concealed carry permit if you want to buy a handgun. I recently got a permit to carry, so I’m thinking of buying a pistol for self-defense soon. I’ll have to consider getting a pistol booster as well when I visit a sporting goods store this weekend.

    Anna Collins on

  • I liked that you suggested choosing a gun that can fit you, especially when you have either longer fingers or larger hands. My husband will surely find this tip helpful because he mentioned the other night over dinner his plan to shop for a gun for self-defense purposes. He wants to find a gun that he can use at any given time that he may need to protect himself from danger.

    Shammy Peterson on

  • I like your suggestion to determine which guns will fit your unique hand. One of my cousins wants to buy a handgun this month for safety purposes. I’ll make sure that he finds one that fits him well so he can comfortably and safely hold it.

    Charlotte Fleet on

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