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On August 31st, 2017

Firearm Ownership: 3 Things You Need To Know

Posted In:
Gear | Law Enforcement | Life | Military

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.- 2nd Ammendment, U.S. Constitution

Whether you live in Arizona or not, some of the things I will go over today should help you as a gun owner. I just happen to live in Arizona where the topics below specifically apply. Some of the laws are the same if not similar in nature to other states; unless you live in California, New York, or Chicago.

First and foremost, the most important thing that EVERY gun owner should know is weapon safety. Whether you own a rifle, a handgun, or a rocket launcher; these weapon safety rules will apply. A good ditty or way to remember them by is Treat, Never, Keep, Keep.

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Keep you weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
  5. Know your target and what lies behind it.

Those are the safety rules the Marine Corps specifically uses, although the 5th one is spoken and not written down. Every branch either uses those or has a similar version when teaching a firearms course. It is imperative to know and implement those rules as a gun owner.

It is important when owning a gun to be proficient at shooting. What would be the point in owning a gun if you couldn’t even hit the broad side of a barn when shooting it? Being a proficient shooter does take some athleticism. Not the same kind as for other sports like football or wrestling, but athleticism nonetheless. The ability to draw your weapon, align the sights, smooth but quick pull of the trigger, and accuracy are all things that a good shooter is proficient in. The only way to get better in those skills to practice, practice, practice. Even professionals in sports practice before games.

Keanu Reeves - Training for John Wick

There are many ways to practice getting better; you can go and pay for a class, research techniques and try them out, or go with friends that know the fundamentals and can teach you. You can also do just target practice, moving drills, speed reloading drills, scenario drills, etc.

This section is super important, however, not as important as the first two! The reason I say that is because weapon safety for gun owners is hands down the most important. If you own a gun in your house and you happen to live alone, the rules apply for your own safety. If there are others in the house, they should know the rules as well as they will be around the dangerous tool. If you have children, they also need to know the safety rules; however, it would also be a safe practice to keep your guns in a gun safe. The reason proficiency is more important than knowing gun laws is because you can have safe gun practices down and know the laws, but if you have an intruder in your home, that doesn’t matter if you miss when you do shoot. That goes back to the know your target and what lies behind it. If you miss, and you happen to live in an apartment, the bullet can go through the wall and into someone else.

There are some laws regarding guns that are pretty much universal. For example, it is illegal to walk into a bar with a gun. The reason for that law is that a loaded gun in the hands of an impaired individual is a bad mix. It is very similar to drinking and driving. You could end up in a bar fight and if you are impaired, your judgement might be to pull your gun and start shooting. Another scenario, for those who might be a designated driver, is that you may not pull the weapon but in the middle of the fight the gun is taken from you and is now in the hands of an impaired individual. That more than likely wouldn’t happen if they were stumbling around drunk, but it can happen, more so if the individual only had 2 or 3 shots, beers, whatever.

Arizona, specifically, no longer requires a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit. In Arizona, you are not able to register your firearm; “The State of Arizona does not require citizens to register their firearms with the State. It also prohibits local jurisdictions (i.e. Counties, Cities or Towns) from requiring licensing or registration of firearms or ammunition. See ARS 13-3108.”

There are many laws regarding gun ownership and use. I highly recommend anyone who wants to get a gun, take a CCW course. A good course should be 16 hours. I have seen some on Groupon ™ that say $29 for a four-hour CCW course. That should only be for a renewal or re-familiarization or for anyone moving to Arizona and want to get an Arizona CCW that had one from another state. The CCW course should go over some laws, maybe a few scenarios, and a firearms qualification. Hint: If you go through an Armed Security Training course in Arizona, download the CCW packet and fill it out. Your instructor should be able to sign off on the 16 hour Armed Security course for the CCW application and mail it to DPS with the appropriate documentation i.e. fingerprints and money order. Kill two birds with one stone.

Lastly, if you want to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state, google (your state) revised statutes. For my fellow Arizonians, check out our ARS Title 13, Chapter 4. You can also check out this PDF from the Phoenix website that has a brief FAQ.

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