So here is the story... A friend of mine decided that he wants to buy a handgun for home defense, and possibly to carry. He has already made up his mind that he is in fact getting a pistol, and soon. The problem is that he has absolutely no experience at all, I mean literally, has never loaded, nor pulled the trigger of a firearm. His wife is all for it, as there have been a few sexual assaults in the area lately. However until a week ago she was a gun hater, but now wants to learn, which is good, BUT... The problem is that they will own a pistol before either of them have ever even handled, much less fired one. I'm concerned that they may be a greater danger to themselves than any threat in the near future. I've offered to go to the range with him to let him shoot whatever he wants, but is one or two shooting sessions really a solid enough foundation to own one? I've also recommended to him buying a shotgun instead, which I think would be less prone to an accident for the meantime. Or how could I politely tell him this isn't a good idea at all? Or do I even have a right to say anything at all? Any suggestions?
How good a friend are you? If you guys are close, I would politely tell him fiends don't let friends buy guns and not teach them safe gun handling.
I think it will take more than a few rips to the range. NRA safety course offered in your area? Does the gun store have instructors available?
I would politely insist that both he and his wife attend and let them know that you care enough to not want to go to one of their funerals because you didn't make the effort.
If they refuse, only then would I advise them that they shouldn't own a gun.
Not only do you have the right, you have the moral obligation.
I have to agree with Scorp on this one, dont tell them not to buy but ask them if they would go to an NRA Class or at the very least ask them not to keep ammo in or around the weapon until you have had enough time to properly teach them gun safty. Like Scorp said you have a bit of a moral obligation to be up front about there lack of experiance.
Tell your friend to eat some humble pie and take lessons.
I wouldn't tell him it's not a good idea, because that's false. It's a good idea for him to have a gun and to learn to use it. And it just so happens that you are available on weekends at his convenience to teach him and his wife the basics of gun handling . All he needs is to cover his own range and target fees and ammunition. It's a win-win; he's probably either ignorant of or trying to avoid the "Intro to Firearms" courses and self-teach, which can be done; The first handgun I ever fired was the first one I owned. I admit I did have some experience with rifles, and considerable trigger time behind a paintball marker and other airguns, and therefore knew the basics of projectile weapon safety in general and just needed to learn how to handle the higher power and lesser stability of a handgun. If your friend has never pulled a trigger before, it is in yours and his best interest for you to convince him that a little over-the-shoulder instruction, with or without charge, is good to have.
Originally Posted by CardRED
Depending on your gun collection, you can even set up your own intro to handguns course. Take a .22, a 9mm, a .45 and a .38/.357 with enough ammo to let him get a feel for each (maybe 2 mags/cylinders apiece), give him a 5-minute lecture on the four rules, then let him unload a couple of loads of each type. It'll help him determine which caliber he's most comfortable with and will also allow you to show him proper shooting stance, grip and procedure as well as safe handling. Once you're done and packing up to leave you can give him a rundown of basic firearms storage (keep the firearms you are not using out of reach of children, locked and/or in a safe) and cleaning.
Really all it takes is just the knowledge and a few hours practice, and anyone can learn to be safe and proficient with a handgun. Becoming a master marksman takes practice, but that can be achieved on his own time with his own gun and ammo once he knows how to practice safely.
Everybody has pretty much covered the bases. If the guy has more than two brain cells it won't take much to get the point across to him that pistols are fun but they are deadly weapons. I'm betting he will jump at the chance to try your guns. He's made the choice to own one and I'll bet his next question will be which one. A couple of trips to the range with BOTH of them will be enough to get the basics in. She, being a woman, will key in on the safety aspect without the male hormone ego and will be the most teachable. She may even begin to second guess her choice. They should be fine if you gently lead them through the steps of how to handle a pistol before you let them shoot. You have an opertunity here to get them started right. Don't preach to them or ram it down their throats but get the point across that to you and everybody else who is a responable gun owner that this stuff is important.
Hell get them on this forum and we'll set em streight right quick!
I'd bet that most of us here owned guns before we took any sort of classes. We learned from our friends or family and the rest comes from just plain old common sense. As long as they understand what they are holding in their hand the rest is easy because they will want to learn.
NRa Basic Pistol class at a minimum, and a double-action .38 revolver.
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Same here...I think a big part of safety is knowing how the firearms functions. Knowing the different parts, and what does what. I've taught numerous people how to drive cars with manual transmissions, and the first thing I did is give them a crash course in how power goes from the crankshaft to the wheels. That way they could understand why and when they should use the accelerator, clutch pedal, and brakes. I did a LOT of research on handgun functions before I bought one...the hardest part was reading about how the AS and QA differ, and once I learned the difference, I opted for the AS. Show him one of your handguns and teach him the basic operation. That way he knows that racking the slide chambers a round, releasing the slide catch with a loaded magazine will chamber a bullet, a cocked hammer/striker will fire easier than an uncocked hammer/striker, etc.
Originally Posted by Liko81
If your friend is intent on a getting a handgun with no HG experience then what make, model, or caliber, really doesn't matter nearly as much as proper training with said firearm. As others have noted I would strongly suggest some sort of safety training course that can also teach the specifics of his particular firearm. I have sent several of my newbie friends to a local gun shop that does one on one training courses, which in my opinion, are better that a class full of students and only one or two instructors. If he does buy before taking a course, stress to him to keep the damn thing in the box until he can take a safety course.
There is no doubt that training is needed . I have helped a number of people learn about guns over the years. I Advise everyone to get certified by a recoganized trainer. There is one within 2 miles of my home.
If you can show them how to hold a pistol with the trigger finger straight alongside, to develop that as a habit, they will be way ahead of the game.
If you can teach them not to point their guns at themselves or each other inadvertently, and not to point their guns at anything other than the designated "safe pointing" area, they will be way ahead of the game.
Finally, tell them that it is extremely poor etiquette ever to say the words, "It's not loaded." Whether it is loaded or unloaded, it is loaded. Because it is loaded, you keep your finger straight alongside the frame, and you don't point it at yourself, another person, or anything other than the designated "safe pointing" area.
If they get autopistols (bad idea), tell them to keep their thumbs together, and not to put their thumbs behind the slides. If they get revolvers (good idea), tell them to keep their hands, faces, eyes away from the cylinder gap.
All that can be accomplished in one or two sessions -- without even going to the range.
Marksmanship? They can figure that out later.
CardRED: Sir; I haven't read another thought in this thread; so if this is a repeat;
Pile your FRIEND and WIFE into the car NOW, and take them shooting.
Do not wait. STOP at WALLY WORLD and ask each to get a minimum of 100rds each for your firearms.
Have the EYE protection and EAR; or have them to get some.
Take them somewhere that they can SHOOT; don't try and teach; just ?basic? safety.
You will do a better service by encouraging them to learn and investigate; this will give your FRIENDS opportunity's, otherwise not afforded.
YOU got another SHOOTING buddy or two.
My preference for "house" work; Shot gun;
And they MUST PRACTICE
By all means take a firearms safety course. Many ranges that offer these courses have pistols that they can use while taking the course.
If they have kids, I would also suggest they invest in a proper handgun safe. Biometric so it can open quickly without a key.
Handgun locks are dangerous. The last thing you want to do when defending your home at night is go looking for a hidden gun key and then fidget with unlocking your gun.
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