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Let’s just be flat-out here—in today’s conservative world, it’s not every day that you get to buy your first gun. Where do you go? How much will it cost you? Where did guns even come from? Set aside your fears and worries—here are a few must-knows about buying your first gun.

Guns have been considered a modern weapon ironically as early as 1364, which was incidentally the first recorded use of a firearm. About fifteen years later, hand guns become popular in Europe, while matchlock guns became popular in Colonial America’s militia, and were the muskets most popularly used in the country’s best-known war. The wheel lock, which sparks the spark gunpowder needs to fire came around in the early 16th century. In 1835, Samuel Colt applied the Industrial Age tools to the idea of multi-shot firearms, and the Colt was born. The rest, as they say, is history. The late 19th century brought the advent of the first effective double-action revolver, and about twenty years after that, the first automatic handguns were brought into this innocent world. At the start of the 20th century, the contemporary period of guns began.

Where to buy the gun? In most of the continental U.S., you can get a gun at a local gun store. You go in, choose the gun, show some photo I.D. and fill out the background check—you know for sure you can’t buy a gun if you don’t pass one of those. As soon as the NICS approves your application—anywhere from instantaneously to three days, you can pay for the gun and take it home. Some states have statutes that makes this process a little more cumbersome, but you can check the rules your states has about this by asking a local gun dealer. If you’re into the whole technology thang, however, just check

There are so many different types of guns that it’s hard to know which one is right for you. Buy a gun that literally gives you enough bang for your buck—make sure you pick one that suits your wallet, so that you can buy the gun, the ammo, and have enough to get quite proficient at shooting it. Meanwhile, a gun is like a piece of clothing—it should fit comfortably in your hand like it’s a continuation of your body. Also, don’t try for a gun that fits all your needs; learn whether a gun that shoots smooth or feels different between the first and second shot.

No matter what has tipped you in the favor of leaning the scales towards buying a gun, do not let the sheer multitude of variety available to you discourage you from buying your first gun. Consider what has lead you to the decision in the first place. Perhaps it is that someone you know has been victimized; maybe someone special has come into your life andyou feel the need to protect them. Look up your laws, learn what’s available, and invest in a gun that will lead to a lifetime of enjoyment, safety, and good ‘ol-fashioned fun.