Tips to Be a Better Gun Owner

Colt Defender

We have some tips on how you can be a better all-around gun owner. (Photo: Don Summers/

Being a gun owner isn’t just about stocking your safe with cool guns. It also entails being a good representative of the 2A lifestyle. With that in mind, has compiled a shortlist of ways you can be a better gun owner.

1. Practice Safe Handling Techniques

Beretta PX4

Practice safe handling, like keeping fingers off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. (Photo: Don Summers/

Safety is paramount when handling guns and unfortunately complacency can get the best of us. As gun owners, it’s important for us to not only keep ourselves safe but also protect those around us.

If you need a refresher:

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  • Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  • Make sure you know what your target is and what’s beyond it.

Additionally, model good gun behavior at the range by wearing proper ear and eye protection.

2. Properly Store Guns When Not In Use and Record Serial Numbers

Glock in Gunbox

Securing guns, like this Glock in a Gunbox RFID safe, protects those in your house while also keeping guns away from bad guys. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

If you’re not actively using your firearm, place it in a location that is inaccessible to unauthorized users. Whether that’s a bedside safe, a traditional safe or even some fancy RFID concealment furniture, properly storing guns ensures they stay out of the wrong hands.

If a safe is a little outside the budget, organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation provide free safety kits through the Project ChildSafe campaign. The Project ChildSafe Safety Kit supplies free safety kits include a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions to help you better secure your guns.

While you’re locking up what you’re not using, take a moment to also jot down a list of serial numbers for all guns. If guns are stolen or lost in a natural disaster, they can be easily identified and returned to the rightful owner using that serial number.

3. Give Back to the Community

family range

James showed off his first “real” rifle, this youth-sized CZ bolt action .22LR gifted by his father Chris. Getting involved with youth shooters ensures the gun community continues to thrive. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Give back to the gun community by supporting an organization aimed at preserving the Second Amendment. Whether you choose to join a national organization or a state/local, getting involved can be as simple as donating a few bucks or volunteering some time. Joining an organization is not only a great way to give back to the gun community but also helps you network with other like-minded gun buddies.

On a similar note, consider volunteering or helping out with local youth via the 4-H club or clay clubs at area schools. Volunteers are always needed within these groups and organizations are eager to put volunteers to work. You can also get involved with Hunter’s Education classes, lending your expertise to encourage a new generation of hunters.

Additionally, get active! Meeting with local state representatives or senators, making phone calls and sending letters (a la snail mail to really get their attention) to advocate for Second Amendment rights is a great way to lobby for what matters. Takes some time out to attend rallies and events with local lawmakers to make sure they understand what’s important to you.

4. Invite a Friend to the Range or Fields

Woman training with friends

Bring friends to your training sessions. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Going to the range or heading out to a hunt can feel intimidating, especially if you’ve never been; so help future gun owners out by inviting friends to the range. Extending that invitation for some lead-slinging fun lessens the anxiety for those that might be curious about guns but don’t know where to start.

Alternatively, invite your buddies out for a hunt. Many gun owners want to head to the field but just don’t know where to go. Take the guesswork out for them and lead the way!

5. Train-up

Woman and Instructor

Training with an instructor allows you to correct bad habits and work on skills. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Classes are useful resources that encourage good gun handling techniques, reaffirm the basics, break bad habits and introduce new concepts to gun owners. As a gun owner, you should always be a student in pursuit of the latest information. Remember, you are investing in a lifelong skill. Also, keep in mind that gun training shouldn’t be a one and done venture. Continuing to take classes and educate yourself on tactics and techniques, no matter your style of shooting, will help you achieve your goals on your gun journey.

Whether you’ve been shooting for 40 years or 40 minutes, training with a certified, reputable instructor is a wise investment and good use of time.

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