Shopping Guide for the First Time Gun Buyer


Monday, June 8, 2020

The month of May saw the third consecutive month of record gun sale in the United States. Of these the majority of buyers are first time buyers. The first time purchasing a firearm can be quite daunting and lead to plenty of questions. What gun should I buy? Where do I buy? Is it legal to own? What accessories do I need? What’s the difference between them all? I bought one, now what? I will try to do my best to guide you in the right direction and answer as many questions as I can.

The most important thing to do is follow all the laws both federal and state regarding firearms in your area. In general you must be 18 to own rifles and shotguns and 21 to own handguns. The best place to go and buy for your first time is a local gun shop. These shops should be willing to answer every question you have if they don’t want to go to another, find someone to work with and get an idea of some firearms you may like. Go to online forums and get more information prior to buying, YouTube also has great video reviews.

As to what you should buy? For defensive purposes a semi-automatic rifle such as the AR-15 is the best option. One important thing in firearms is the sight radius or the distance between the front and rear sight. The longer the distance the more accuracy. Rifles by their nature have a longer radius. A rifle can be owned by anyone over 18 and legally capable of owning a firearm. Furthermore rifles such as the AR-15 don’t have the problem of over penetration or when a bullet travels through an assailant and strikes someone or something else. Rifles also have greater capacity with the AR-15 having a standard 30 round capacity. This is not to say you’ll need 30 rounds but it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.


  • Ruger AR-556
  • Smith Wesson M&P Sport
  • Springfield Saint

Shotguns would make a great second option though they have a few tradeoffs. They are limited in their capacity holding 6-7 rounds at most for entry level shotguns. Most shotguns also require you to manually cycle the action by pumping them which is a lot to do under great stress. Shotguns also suffer from problems with over penetration to mitigate this get Buckshot ammo over Birdshot.


  • Mossberg 500 
  • Mossberg 590
  • Benelli Nova

Handguns would be my last recommendation for a first time buyer. You have to be 21 to purchase one and they are much harder to aim and shoot. They are effective but you must be willing to put time into it and get to know it and how to properly use it. If you go this route get a 9mm as the ammo is cheaper and just as effective as .40 S&W and 45 ACP. Most law enforcement agencies are ditching the two latter rounds as well. You must also get Jacked Hollow Points or JHP to prevent over penetration as well.


  • Glock 17 
  • Smith Wesson M&P  
  • Sig P320

Now that you have a firearm what accessories do you need? None. In reality you don’t need to put any fancy attachments or scopes or slings. The only things you’ll need are gun oil and a towel for cleaning. Others may try to tell you otherwise they just want to upsell you, put that money towards ammo and find a range to train at.

You’ve chosen to use your God given right to self preservation. It’s nothing to feel guilty about but some may try to shame you. Let them. Remind yourself you are in the right, that when seconds count police are minutes away. And know that you will not be a victim!

Above all else remember this, the 4 rules of firearms safety:

  1. Always treat firearms as if they were loaded. At all times!
  2. Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy!
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!
  4. Always be sure of the target and what is in front and beyond it!

Emilio Avelar is a 20-year-old college student pursuing a BAS in Aeronautical Sciences. He hopes to help spread conservatism on campus to people in his age demographic.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Emilio Avelar

Green River College

Emilio Avelar is a 20-year-old college student pursuing a BAS in Aeronautical Sciences. He hopes to help spread conservatism on campus to people in his age demographic.

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