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What are the reasons people in the US decide to buy their first gun?

16th December 2020 Print

Some people are reluctant to own a firearm. They may be concerned about the possibility of someone in their household using the weapon unsafely. They may be concerned about it being stolen and misused. Or they may just have a limited understanding of how firearms work.

But an increasing number of people are buying firearms for the first time. And there are millions of people who buy firearms regularly and enjoy them--for many different reasons. 

What are the factors that drive people to buy their first gun?

Owning a Firearm

First, it’s important to understand that there are many different types of firearms, which are used for many different purposes. A person buying an AR-15 is likely different than a person buying a small handgun. There’s no one single way to be a gun owner, and there is no way to categorize all gun owners together.

Buying a firearm is a relatively simple matter, assuming you’re able to pass a background check. And if you’re not sure what type of firearm would work best for you and your goals, feel free to reach out to a firearm salesperson; they’ll be more than happy to help you out.

Why People Buy Guns

Why should you go through the process of researching and buying a weapon?

Being armed has a number of benefits, including:

- Self-defense and security. Many people purchase a firearm for self-defense or security purposes. There are many nonlethal ways to defend yourself or escape a dangerous situation; for example, you could get to safety, or use pepper spray, or practice a martial art. However, none of these methods are reliable and none of them have the sheer stopping power of a firearm. When used responsibly, a firearm could be the tool that saves your life. Depending on your state’s laws, you may keep a firearm at home (or at your business), or carry one with you at all times. Either way, owning a firearm can give you a sense of security.

- Hunting. Other people purchase firearms strictly for hunting purposes. Some people hunt because they want to get a fresh source of meat that doesn’t come from a factory farm. Other people love the challenge of sneaking up on prey. Still others just enjoy the great outdoors or understand the importance of keeping certain animal population numbers in check. Whatever the case, a firearm allows you to practice hunting in a variety of ways. As you grow more familiar with your weapon and the process, you’ll come to love the sport even more.

- A new hobby. No matter what, you’ll want to take your firearm to a shooting range to try it out in a safe environment and develop a baseline marksmanship skill. But some people take things a step further, turning marksmanship into their newest hobby. If you visit the firing range often, you can improve your accuracy tremendously; and if you get good enough, you might even be able to join official competitions.

- Confidence. Merely owning a firearm can make you feel more confident. Holding a weapon and knowing you have the skill to fire it accurately can make you feel powerful and in control. Carrying a weapon, or having quick access to one, can also make you feel calmer and more confident in an otherwise dangerous situation.

- Discipline. To own a firearm responsibly, you have to follow strict gun safety rules. You need to always treat firearms as if they are loaded, keep them pointed away from non-targets, exercise trigger discipline, and pay close attention to specific rules at the firing range. You also have to take care to maintain your weapon responsibly. This can make you more disciplined and focused in other areas of your life.

- New ways to meet people. Many types of people own guns, including hunters, firing experts, and aficionados. If you have a firearm and attend local gatherings, your weapon could be a great way to meet new people. If you’re looking to expand your network or find a new social circle, this could be the ideal channel.

- Your 2nd Amendment rights. In the United States, you’re guaranteed the right to bear arms, according to the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. Some people interpret this not just as a right, but a civic duty; exercising this right keeps it relevant, and may be necessary to prevent government oppression.

- Collections. You might also enjoy firearms because of their aesthetic value, or enjoy the process of finding and procuring firearms. In other words, you’re a firearm collector. Building a collection from scratch can be highly rewarding.

While you certainly don’t need to own a firearm to feel fulfilled in life or to feel confident and secure, it can go a long way to helping you. If you’ve never considered owning or shooting a firearm before, now is the perfect time to begin your journey.