So, You Want to Buy a Gun. What Now?

A comprehensive guide for the first time gun buyer

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Working as a sales associate in the firearms retail industry is literally a blast. The range of customers can be demanding of precise information on numerous platforms. However, more often than not, I encounter the timid first time gun buyer unsure of exactly what they seek. Although my primary services do not include legal advice, I am aptly prepared to answer most of your questions, as are all sales associates at Florida Gun Exchange (FGE). It is our duty to give you the tools and information needed to have confidence as a first time gun buyer. The FGE website has a current list of all classes and seminars readily available for your scheduling convenience (http://floridagunexchange.com/concealed-weapon-permit-class/).

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Courses vary from Handgun Education and Maintenance, to Concealed Weapons Training. Attending seminars hosted by The US Lawshield and The Well Armed Woman encourages responsible ownership, possession, and use; consider these options as valuable resources to aid in securing essential information on firearms. Become an active and knowledgeable member of the local shooting community by taking our FREE basic courses on handguns and the AR-15 platform (hosted by Jamie Zern, FGE Gunsmith). If you find yourself looking for what to say when you get to the counter at the store, have no fear. A little information goes a long way with helping your sales associate find what is right for you. How will you be using the firearm? Be sure to mention whether you are looking for something for home defense, concealed carry, hunting, hobby, etc. Often there are versatile features on many models that meet more than one application. If a handicap like arthritis or tissue damage has interfered with operating handguns in the past, there are many alternatives that will give you the secured feeling of handling, carrying and firing something fit for you individually.

A few other items should be considered while estimating the cost of your firearm. You’ll more than likely need a cleaning kit. Don’t forget hearing and eye protection and targets and ammunition for the range. How will you store and transport your firearm? Will you need a case, range bag, or safe? Try on any holster before purchasing it, or save your receipt and the packaging should you need to exchange it for another size within 30 days. If you’re curious about the difference between two items, ask questions! We take pride in a knowledgeable and friendly staff as well as an extensive and competitively priced inventory.

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As a first time gun buyer the process of executing and finalizing the sale of a firearm may seem complicated. Rest assured that here at Florida Gun Exchange we strive to make the experience simple and enjoyable. You will need to produce valid documentation of your current Florida residence as well as photo identification. These MUST be government issued documents. For example; a simple piece of mail or ordinary bill is not acceptable, where as a utility bill from a municipality of your residential city or a letter from the Social Security Administration will provide sufficient documentation. There is a mandatory 3-day hold on all pistols, NOT including weekends or federal holidays. For instance, if you purchase your firearm on a Thursday, it will be held for three FULL business days РFriday, Monday, Tuesday Рand your pick up day would be the following Wednesday. The only exceptions to the 3-day hold are possessing a valid Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License during this period, or in the situation where you are trading one pistol for another (or others). The purchaser, and no other, must then fill out the required 4473 form.

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Take care in reviewing this form (https://www.atf.gov/file/61446/download) and its instructions to be sure no corrections must be made. The information provided herein will then be submitted for a background check to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This usually takes no longer than fifteen minutes, although your patience is appreciated on especially busy days. We have no control over the time it takes to receive the final outcome of your background check and are not provided any detailed information on the ultimate decision. We are able to produce contact information for disputes and appeals. FGE offers a 90-day layaway with 20% down and your 3-day wait will begin the business day after your intent to purchase, or down payment.

The experience of shopping for a new firearm as a first time gun buyer can be potentially stressful for some. Remind yourself that everyone doesn’t know something before they do, and even brain surgeons at one point had the same amount of knowledge in their field of expertise as you do now on ‘guns’. The more you handle and familiarize yourself with your new firearm the sooner you will develop a soundly reinforced confidence through practice and performance. We look forward to seeing you soon at the Florida Gun Exchange!

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