Buying a gun, especially a handgun for concealed carry, can be intimidating for new guns owners but it doesn’t have to be.
All you have to do is ask yourself a few pointed questions to take the guess and stress out of selecting and carrying your new handgun!
Here are Five Critical Questions that will make buying and carrying the right handgun stress-free:
It’s this easy; you don’t fit the gun, the gun needs to fit you. If you can’t get into the range to shoot a gun before you buy it (which I highly recommend!!!), you at least need to get a hold of it and handle the grip to make sure it fits your hand and feels good in your shooting grip.
Without a good grip, your gun is no good to you. Between the Sig P365, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Glock 43, Walther PPQ, Ruger LCR, Springfield XD9, etc. there's no shortage of great options on the market and one of them will definitely fit your grip a'la Goldilocks: JUST RIGHT.
It’s essential, so make sure it fits you!
When mentoring new gun owners, my number one tip used to be ‘Always on your person, never in your purse’ but I know that some women (and men) prefer to or need to carry off the body. I’ve come to terms with the fact that if this is the only way someone will carry a gun for protection, then I want to make sure they are doing it safely.
In any case, you need to ask yourself how you’ll be carrying your new handgun to make sure it works with that method. Whether it’s in a Purse Defender, on a Pac Mat, secured with a belly band, or in a traditional holster, you need to make sure it fits – whether that means having a low profile for appendix carry or ensuring your carry method protects the trigger if you choose a gun without an external safety.
That being said, prepare to buy several options because oftentimes, that's exactly what you'll need.
It’s not just the gun, it’s the accessories that will make or break you. I may have gotten my first handgun, a Smith & Wesson 9MM Shield, at a great price but I definitely didn’t budget in all the accessories I needed to go with her!!
You’ll need ammo, both for practice and self-defense, a place to safely store your gun, eye and ear protection, practical tools to protect and educate your children about firearms if you’re a parent, at least one effective way to carry it (if not more), a membership to a local gun range and/or a MantisX system to practice at home, and even tools for your range bag to make loading magazines easier like the Maglula Loader.
Money well spent if you ask me, but you also need to make sure you don’t buy the gun and lose the right to carry it. Consider donating to a Pro-Second Amendment Organization and purchasing self-defense insurance to protect your rights! These go hand-in-hand with gun ownership.
No matter which state you live in, you need to make sure you’re following local and federal laws and are a capable shooter equipped to carry before you start. That means knowing the law, being comfortable drawing and shooting your firearm, and feeling confident in your ability to effectively defend yourself or protect those around you should anyone threaten your lives.
Taking a concealed carry course is smart, even if it isn't required by the state because trainers have real world experience in your area and are able to share practical advice of their own and from former students.
With national groups like A Girl and A Gun and the Pink Pistols emerging on the scene in addition to the hundreds of long-standing sportsman’s clubs across America and no shortage of training available from coast to coast, it’s easier than ever for all gun owners to continue training and practice with their firearms!
Get started, plug in, meet new friends, and continue advancing your skills – it's easy and fun!
So there it is: your answers to these questions will make buying a new or your next handgun and carrying it easy.
Carry on and carry often – an armed society is a polite society and our society could certainly benefit from a few more good guys and gals with a gun!
Jenn Jacques is an outspoken Second Amendment defender, concealed carry advocate, champion of gun safety, a Visiting Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum, and an outdoorswoman who enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and drinking outdoors, preferably in her beloved home state of Wisconsin.