Why buy a firearm?

  Words by Chris Wagoner.

Thank you for joining us here at and checking out our firearms section.  Let me introduce myself first so you know who you are listening to.  

I am a U.S. Army veteran, and disabled vet. I was a Sgt. in the 3rd Infantry Division, 981st M.P. Co.  Also a 33 year veteran police officer in Florida and have worked almost every facet of law enforcement, including for the last 19 years, as a law enforcement trainer.  I have been teaching firearms to law enforcement officers since the 1980’s.  I am the Training Coordinator for a large police academy in North Central Florida and I run 3 firearms ranges. I am responsible for all the firearms training.  I love to shoot all kinds of weapons, and like to reload my own ammunition (if you have tried to buy any recently you know why I reload). That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

As an opening subject for I thought that we should start at the beginning of firearms ownership. Why buy a firearm?

What should you know before you run out and buy a firearm?

Well first and foremost are the 4 Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety. Before you ever pick a firearm up, you should know the safety rules:

  1. All firearms are always loaded! NO EXCEPTIONS!
  2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction unless you intend to kill something.
  3. Always keep your finger off the trigger and along the frame until you are aiming at your target and have decided to shoot it.
  4. MAKE SURE OF YOUR TARGET and what is behind it.

And you should consider where and how you are going to store your firearm(s).  Safety is the MOST important consideration.  You also should be aware and know the laws of your state that govern storage of firearms.  In Florida a owner can be held responsible for his or her firearm getting in to the hands of someone because it was not securely stored in the home. (790.174 Safe storage of firearms required)  There are many considerations for storage.  Do you want it easy to get to for use in the home if needed?  These concerns will govern how you store it.  Check out the link on on firearm storage options.  There are new and innovative storage solutions on the market today. (

That simple question, “Why buy a firearm?” gets some very interesting answers.  I have heard many, “I want to protect my home”, “I want to carry a gun”, “I think they are cool”, and more.  The one I like the most is “I want to protect myself and my family”.  That’s why I have firearms, and I throw hunting in on the side as an added benefit.

You should really think about why you want a firearm and what you intend to do with it before you go out and impulse buy something someone behind a counter that may or may not know what they are talking about sells you.  Take into consideration not only the firearm but what you will have to buy to go with it to have a complete system for what you want and need.  Just because a firearm is on sale for say $400, you also have to buy ammunition, a storage system, and something to carry it in or on you.  That can sometimes almost double the cost of your purchase.

Research before you buy!  Read reviews, check out forums, ask questions of those you trust and have knowledge.  And actually go shoot the firearm before you buy it!  If you don’t that’s like buying a car without test driving it.  Not smart at all, especially with something you might be buying to save your life or that of your family.  Many factors go into making that very important decision to own a firearm.  If you are going to get a concealed carry license also research that before you buy a firearm, some states restrict the type of weapon and even ammunition.

If you have questions or want to discuss types of weapons for specific uses post a comment and lets talk about it!

Be well and stay safe, train – train - train and train some more!

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