For laws - check www.packing.org. Of course, there is no substitute for getting it from the horse's mouth. I would research on that site, talk to some employees at your local gun stores (go to a few, incase you get mixed messages), and take a local NRA class, or some other type of gun education class.
As for guns - Man, I promise you that you will get different answers and suggestions from everyone. U will get advice here stating that you should start w/ a revolver, and also some that says to start with a .22, to get a certain brand, etc, etc, etc.
The truth is, you should find a place that will rent various guns (I have a local range that rents them for $5 each, but of course you must buy the ammo from the range if U use a range gun). Find out what you like the most. Grip the various guns - see what is most comfortable. Then, try shooting them. A gun might be comfortable to hold, but not necessarily to shoot.
I don't necessarily buy into the "you have to start w/ a .22 argument" that some here will tell U. Personally, I think I would have found that boring. I have recently taken my 67 year old mother out to the range for her 1st time shooting a gun ever. And, the same for my wife. Both shot a 9mm just fine.
Any of the brand names are good - Springfield, Beretta, Glock, Walther, Ruger, CZ, and HK, just to name a few. But, by renting and trying the guns, you will see the style you want - a gun with a safty/without one. A gun with an external hammer/a gun without one. A metal gun/a polymer gun. A double action/single action gun, or a gun that is consistent on every shot.
I have my favorite, but if you really are that new and have no one to show U, then you should seek instruction locally, and also find what works for you. Me telling U what to buy won't do U much good.
By having someone teach you, U will also learn how to hold a gun. The trick of SQUEEZING the trigger right to the breaking point before you actually fire the gun (not jerking it), how to stand, etc.