What Do You Need?
Well, that depends. It depends on what your primary purpose of owning a firearm is.
EVERY gun owner needs the following:
INSTRUCTION – quality instruction is necessary under all circumstances. Ideally this is not a loved one. Although well meaning, only a trained and experienced professional is fully equipped to train you. Many times, there can be great challenges in being taught by someone close to us.
A gun that you are comfortable with, can handle confidently, and that will fit into your lifestyle.
A Safe or effective locking device. If you have children in the house, the consideration of its safe keeping is a major factor in how you store your gun. See Firearms and Your Children. The BEST option in all circumstances is a Biometric Safe that allows you (and only you) very quick access to your firearm, literally, just a swipe of your finger.
A Gun Cleaning kit. The care of your gun is directly related to its performance. Regular cleaning after shooting is extremely important.
A Holster. Whether or not you carry your gun on your person, your gun should be kept in a quality holster that covers the trigger guard to prevent accidental firing. Read below recommendations for those that carry their gun on their person for self protection.
Eye Protection. Quality eye protection is necessary for when you practice.
Ear Protection. Quality ear protection is also necessary for when you practice.
Ammunition: You will need to have quality ammunition for both practice. Standard rounds are recommended and typically have a lower cost. Self Defense ammunition is recommended for when you carry your gun or have it ready for self or home protection.
The business card of a good lawyer familiar with gun laws. It is a good idea to have a conversation with or identify an attorney that you can call in the event you ever have to use your gun. Carry the card on you at all times along with your Concealed Carry Permit .
Other items that are useful and should be considered at some point:
A Range Bag. As you will be practicing regularly – a quality range bag in which you can carry everything you need and keep it orderly is very helpful.
A speedloader or a revolver or a magazine pouch with extra Magazines for a semi-automatic pistol. To be prepared, the ability to have extra rounds readily available is something to seriously consider.
A Gun Case. A gun case helps to protect your gun from moisture and any debris that might be in your range bag or other area where you store you gun. These often come with locking devices which adds another layer of security in homes with children.
Dummy Rounds for Dry Fire Practice. Practice rounds or “dummy rounds” as they are known are a fabulous training tool. These allow you to practice using your gun without risk or possible damage to your firearm. (see important rules for dry fire practice)
What You Need For Concealed Carry
If you are going to carry your firearm on your person, you will want to have a variety of holsters that will work with the variety of clothing that you wear most often. For example: If you wear pants often, you will want a good “On The Waistband“, “In The Waistband” or “Ankle holster. If you wear tighter slacks, the holster recommendations for dresses should be considered. If you wear dresses, a Thigh Holster, Bra Holster or Undergarment Holsterwould be recommended. The goal here is to comfortably and safely wear your gun in all situations. See Concealed Carry article for more holster type discussions.
If you are going to own a gun to protect yourself, it won’t do you any good to only have one holster that only works some of the time. The least recommended option, although very convenient is a Concealed Carry Purse. Keep in mind, if you become separated from your gun, you can’t protect yourself. Also, if someone gains access to your purse, like a child or other untrained person – the results can be disastrous. The utmost care must be taken. I do carry my gun in a purse at times because some situations require it, but it never leaves my side.