Sifting through the endless firearm options can be confusing. In this four part series, Carrie Lightfoot and guest Ashley Suris answer your questions to help walk you through making the right decision. In this video we discuss the purchasing of your gun, where to go and what to ask.
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Part 1 – Where To Start
Carrie: Hi and welcome to video four on our series, choosing the right gun for yourself. I am so excited we have Ashley again, Ashley Suris is my co-host on this series and we have been having great time talking about all the things that are important to know and think about when you are out purchasing your own firearm, because it can be overwhelming because there are so many options. So today, in video four were going to talk about how to go about buying your gun and maybe answer some of your questions in regard to the purchasing of a firearm. So, let’s start with the first question, Ashley?
Ashley: Ok, Michelle is asking for recommendations on finding a small concealed carry gun that is not expensive.
Carrie: Cost is such an important factor, I mean it really determines which firearm you can buy. And I think it is one of those areas where you do not want to skimp you know? The purchasing our firearm which is our self-defense tool is not the place where we want to ya know, go cheap. Right?
Carrie: We don’t want to go too cheap. We have to be able to live within our means, and we can only spend what we can spend, but purchase at the top of your budget to get the best firearm that you can. So, reliability is really the most important thing I think when you’re looking for a firearm especially when you’re looking for one that’s a little less expensive the reliability really is the key. So, I think I would say that there are firearms out there that are priced you know, $300 and we are talking new firearms at this moment, well talk about used ones a little bit later, but you can get one for maybe $250 maybe $300, $350, in that range. And so, there are those types of firearms that are available out there. What would be some of the brands Ashley, that you think would kind of fit into a more economical conceal carry gun.
Ashley: Well I think you can find some Rugers within that price point, you can also find some Taurus and perhaps maybe some Smith and Wesson’s, I think the bodyguards are starting out about in the middle of that price range. So, there are definitely options out there for you.
Carrie: And those are all reputable brands you know so go with a company that has been around for a long time and has kind of proved themselves especially in terms of reliability and do your research as well. So, let’s see do we have another question?
Ashley: Yes, Tammy is saying, when you don’t have the resource to purchase a new firearm, where can you go to find good used firearms?
Carrie: Boy this is a great question. I think if you can afford to purchase new that probably would be our first recommendation but you can find a good used gun out there so let’s talk about that. So, I’m not sure I would want to buy my self-defense gun from somebody I didn’t know. Just from some guy you know who had it, maybe friend of a friend because you don’t how that gun has been taken care of. So, one of the options is go to your local gun store because they sell used guns and their reputation depends on how well they take care of the customers and the quality of the firearms. They are not going to stay in business very long if they’re selling really bad guns, so would you agree that a used gun store is a good option?
Ashley: Yes, I would. I would also add that many guns stores will offer some sort of temporary warranty or guarantee that their used firearms will function and they give a time period in which you have to go out and test that gun to make sure it’s going to work and that’s a question you can ask the shop when you’re searching for a used gun, if they offered that kind of warranty.
Carrie: Absolutely because that way, in this instance you can bring the gun back within that short period of time, and they don’t give you a lot of time, but you get out and test it and you can return it. That’s a real benefit to buying a used gun is that you can have an opportunity to do that. What are the other questions might we ask the gun store sale staff if we’re looking at their use guns?
Ashley: You can ask them if they have a checklist of what they’re going through before they buy firearms from somebody else to put it out as the used gun.
Carrie: So, what are they looking for, what’s their criteria
Carrie: In excepting that firearm for resale.
Carrie: Great question and anything else? What else would you ask them? What about maybe taking it down, I mean I think our ability to look at it and get our hands on it and really give it a good going over is important. So, let’s talk about some of the things that are really important to look for. One is even the exterior surface. If it’s really kind of banged up and there are a lot of dings maybe in the ejection port, it’s probably that they didn’t take care of the outside, they probably didn’t take very good care of the inside. It may not always be the case but if they can take it apart or even let you field strip it, take that fire arm apart and make sure that the barrel is nice and clean and the grooves should be real sharp. So, there shouldn’t be any bulging or marks or pits inside the barrel because that’s really important I think, part of the fire arm to look at
Carrie: What else would you do if you were trying a new gun in the gun store, or a used gun in a gun store.
Ashley: Well it may not be an option for everybody, but just like shopping for used car if you’ve got a mechanic friend, you’re going to call them to look at your car. If you got a very knowledgeable friend in firearms and you know what gun your wanting, ask him or her if they can come along to the gun shop with you if you don’t necessarily know what to look for maybe they would be willing to look at for you.
Carrie: That’s a great idea, great idea and then someone to kind of bounce off ideas and feedback on, so very good. Getting your hands on it, you know, checking, work the safety if it has a safety, work the slide lock, pull the trigger, ask for permission first before you dry fire, start trying to manipulate it and use all the different parts and check it. Also, the magazine don’t forget the magazines. It’s a very important component of your firearm so you can check to see that it is smooth, the edges aren’t you damaged and in the spring still has is a good solid tension in that, and they really should be the magazines that go with that firearm not some other replacement. It should be the same ones that go with that. So, a used gun really is a good option and we just need to know what to ask for and find out from the store what’s their criteria, I think that was a great suggestion. Ok do we have another question?
Ashley: We do, Christina is asking about the difficulty and legality of purchasing firearms online.
Carrie: So, purchasing a gun online has a lot of mystery about it right, and a lot of misunderstandings about it too. It is perfectly legal to purchase a firearm online, and you still have to go to the same background check that you would when you walk into the gun store to purchase one in person. So, what would be some advice for someone who’s looking online or maybe they don’t have a local gun store and so they have to look online. What kind of things would you tell them?
Ashley: With a gun online, I would definitely stick with new I would not recommend purchasing used firearms online just because you’re not going to be able to inspect it. There could be financial benefits to purchasing online, you can shop around and get the best price or maybe the location where you live charges extra taxes that you might be able to avoid with an online purchase.
Carrie: Right, so once you make your selection, you’ve done your research first and you know which gun that you want and you purchase online what happens next?
Ashley: I want to circle back for just a minute because I don’t think we mentioned that I wouldn’t make your initial decision online. You’re going to want to go to your local shops or ask your friends to try and get your hands on the firearm before you buy it.
Carrie: It’s always best to get your hands on it and try it, absolutely.
Ashley: Yes, you don’t just want to pick one because it looks the best in the picture and buy it that way. But once you purchase your gun it will then be shipped to a FFL of your choosing, which is your federal firearms license that’s the gun dealer, and then you will go to the gun shop, fill out the same paperwork, go through the same background check and pick up your firearm from the gun shop.
Carrie: So, it’s really a simple process, it’s not quite as scary as it sounds, it’s not complicated and it is legal. So, I think I agree with you, I think buying online is go for a new gun.
Carrie: There are just too many unknowns with a used gun. Locally if you’re at a local gun store and you can get your hands on it and trust that gun store, that’s a whole different story. What about pawnshops that kind of comes up sometimes and I don’t know about you but I probably would be less comfortable buying a firearm at a pawnshop.
Ashley: I would agree with you on that one.
Carrie: I think there is probably more, a stronger, better criterion that a gun shop would utilize in making these decisions than a pawnshop.
Ashley: Yea, I mean a pawnshop is going to have so many other different categories of merchandise that they’re offering where as your gun shop focuses on guns and that’s where their employees are most knowledgeable.
Carrie: So, I think I would feel more comfortable with that, would you agree witht that?
Ashley: Yea, I would.
Carrie: And let’s see what else do we have, oh there are gun shows. So, a gun show is a great place because you can see so many guns, you can see an awful lot of them and you can get your hands on them. You can kind of deal a little bit because you have different dealers there. So, a gun show is a good option, of course totally legal.
Ashley: You still go through the same background checks at the gun shows.
Carrie: Right. It’s important to know that because a lot of people don’t understand that. And lastly would be a kind of a private sale, which is legal, you can purchase a firearm from someone you know, and the laws vary from state to state so you need to understand and check your laws in your area before you conduct a private sale. If it’s someone I know, or someone I know how well they take care of their guns, I’d be comfortable with that. But with a stranger, someone that I didn’t know I probably would not.
Carrie: Well thank you so much for being a part of this four-part series we’ve really enjoy doing it. Ashley has been just a doll, you’ve been so helpful thank you so much. Hope it was helpful to you guys out there. Now if any of you go out and buy a gun and this video has been helpful to you I’d love to hear about it. I know we would, so send us an email or send us a picture of you and your new gun because that would be very fun, we’d love that. And one other thing I’d like to tell you about is at The Well Armed Woman, we have a fabulous resource and that is gun reviews that are written by women like you. So, regular women will write in and submit a review on the gun that they carry. They talk about what they like about it what they don’t like about it and I think it’s a great resource. So, I encourage you to go to TheWellArmedWoman.com, go to the gun reviews and they are broken down by revolver, semi-automatic and just about every make and model. So, a really helpful tool. Again, thank you so much and we will hopefully see you soon!
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