Gun purchases are on the rise, with many individuals purchasing their first gun. Below, we have provided a breakdown of the most pertinent gun safety information, including state gun safety laws, a basic gun safety course, and types of gun safes to consider.
Basic Gun Safety
The first thing you hear from a trained professional is to always assume a gun is loaded. Even if you’ve just removed the magazine and emptied the chamber, assume there is still a bullet lodged somewhere. Even if you’ve just spent the past hour cleaning and oiling the gun, assume it could go off unexpectedly. This means keeping the gun pointed down and out of the way, never pointing it toward yourself or others.
With the first rule in mind, everything else falls in line. Here are the basics of gun safety as taught by the American armed forces:
- Always treat the gun as if it’s loaded.
- Keep your gun in a locked container in a surveilled location. This generally means inside a safe hidden in your house with a motion detector alarm system.
- When your gun is stowed, keep all bullets housed separately (with the magazine and chamber cleared).
- When holding a gun, keep it pointed steadily downward and away from others.
- Even in dangerous situations, maintain two steps between you and the gun firing (safety on, weapon uncocked). This is your #1 defense against accidentally shooting others in a tense situation.
- Keep your fingers away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Be 100% sure of your target and everything behind it.
Holding a deadly weapon in your hand for the first time, you may or may not have trouble rationalizing how dangerous it is. Teenagers on social media may post selfies pointing guns at each other, but people who have seen a gun used would never do this. If you have chosen to take on the responsibility of owning a gun, for the sake of yourself and those you care about, please always remember what a gun is capable of.
Choosing a Gun Safe
There are numerous types of gun safes, but each can be placed under a category based on how it opens: key, combination lock, or biometric. They are also designed to be kept in different locations, with the most popular being hidden inside a nightstand or other location near the bed. Wall safes can be stored nearly anywhere inside the house, and easily concealed behind something.
Biometric Gun Safes
A biometric gun safe is generally considered to be the safest way to stow a gun. The majority of biometric safes require a fingerprint, though some can scan eyes or even recognize faces. The practical advantage to a biometric safe is not having to hide a key or memorize a password.
Lock & Key Safes
The most straightforward of safe designs, this type of safe comes with one clear advantage and one clear disadvantage. The advantage is a simple, non-electronic safe will never run out of batteries when you need it. The disadvantage is the key is a physical object, something that a minor in the house can access given the opportunity, and also something you can simply misplace.
Safes with a Combination Lock
The sweet spot between the two other options, a combination safe can either be electronic or mechanical. It also removes the need to worry about a key, and adds the need to remember a password. When creating a password, it’s a good idea to think of something any children in the house won’t be able to guess.
Portable Gun Safes
Some gun owners choose to keep a gun in a portable safe inside their vehicle. While a thief may not be able to break into the safe right away, they may steal the entire safe. A well hidden safe is less likely to be stolen.
Some questions to ask yourself when choosing a specific safe for your weapon:
- Is the gun safe the right size?
- Can it be kept in a handy location?
- Is it easy to conceal?
- Is it durable?
- Is it fireproof and waterproof?
- Does it require batteries?
Gun Safety Courses
We encourage all gun owners to either take a gun safety course or learn from an experienced gun owner. Getting used to emptying and cleaning the weapon, learning the feel of the safety, and developing muscle memory for safely handling a weapon are all crucial steps to responsible gun ownership.
If you have children in the home, you may consider helping them learn gun safety as well. Many gun-owning parents agree: The first step to teaching responsible gun ownership, as with other things, is by example. Practicing the basics of gun safety using a Nerf gun or other gun-shaped toy is a safe way to explain the concept of “assume the gun is always loaded.”
Gun Safety Laws
There are no federal laws concerning how guns should be stowed. State gun laws vary based on concealed carry and open carry permits (carrying a gun visible to others vs. hidden), and on how to keep a gun secure from robbery.
In the state of Nevada, anyone who is not a convicted felony or judged mentally incapable of responsible gun ownership will be granted a concealed carry permit if requested. There is no permit required to carry a weapon so long as it is plainly visible to others. Nevada also has “red flag” laws, meaning the police may legally confiscate all lethal weaponry from those deemed to be a threat. This most often occurs if someone notifies the police about alarming behavior, or if the police witness someone threatening others with a weapon.
Nevada law also requires safe storage of guns, meaning they must be locked in a safe. This law is intended to keep guns out of the hands of unsupervised children as well as felons.
While Nevada gun laws are relatively lenient, other states may require licenses to own specific weapons, or may ban certain varieties of guns. If you are visiting Max Pawn from out of state, please note the gun safety laws of your home state. When traveling between states, keep your gun stowed out of reach in a locked container, with copies of licensing and registration information handy.
With that in mind, take a look through our selection of firearms as well as other items in our online pawn shop.