New to firearms, want to get more involved


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soccermiles
January 9, 2011, 04:36 PM
I have had a fascination with firearms and hunting since I was a child, but I only fired a gun for the first time yesterday, as part of a basic handgun course. Basically, I know absolutely nothing of gun laws. Here are my questions...

What is the basic process (assuming I have done absolutely nothing already) for obtaining a firearm which can then be used at a shooting range?

Are there no shooting ranges along the western side of the Rocky Mountains that don't require an expensive membership?

Are any firearm qualifications required to use a shooting range (even if not specified by the shooting range's rules)?

NOTE: In the state of Colorado.

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Matt018
January 9, 2011, 04:42 PM
Alright, I know in my state all you need to do to purchase a handgun is be 21 or older and fill out some forms then the shop will make sure you are not a felon and you pay and be on your way with your new gun. Now thats PA and yours will differ. I recommend going to a Local gun shop and talking to them, you may pay more but you will gain knowledge or go with a friend that shoots and he will help you. They will set you up right as long as they are an honest shop. Also ranges do not require a qualification course. But i do recommend taking a course of gun safety or at least learning them. Also at the range don't be nervous. Many gun guys were where you are now and will help you, if you get a malfuntion ask someone to help if you are unsure how to clear it, if you need help with targets, ammo,etc just ask people. Welcome to the forum, and you can pm me if you have any questions at all.

pacerdude
January 9, 2011, 04:42 PM
To be able to more readily answer your questions pertaining to gun ownership, we will need to know which state you live in. But assuming that you do not have a criminal record and live in a state with decent gun laws, then getting a pistol shouldn't be too hard.

Good Luck my friend, and welcome to THR!

brandon_mcg
January 9, 2011, 04:52 PM
says in OP that he lives in colorado.

http://csp.state.co.us/faq_Guns.html

hope that your interest continues to grow!

Buck Snort
January 9, 2011, 05:12 PM
Matt018 wrote: "I recommend going to a Local gun shop and talking to them, you may pay more but you will gain knowledge or go with a friend that shoots and he will help you."

Don't worry about "paying more" at a local gunshop. If you appreciate having a local gun shop that serves your shooting needs then support that shop by doing business with them. They can't compete with the online prices or the big outlets but then again they are there in your community providing you with goods and services. If I can't afford the local gunshops price then I put my money in a savings account and add a bit to it each week until there's enough money to make the purchase. You also might consider a layaway program.

soccermiles
January 9, 2011, 05:29 PM
What is a layaway program?

Is getting a gun really just as simple as not having a criminal record, and buying the gun at a shop? I guess I assumed the process would be much more rigorous given that I live in a heavily anti-gun community. In what states do guns have to be registered?

Is some sort of permit or qualification required to buy a gun? (like evidence of having completed a safety course)

I did take a pistol course, but I want to take a rifle course. I haven't found any good ones in my area. The big issue, since I have already been taught gun safety, is finding a source of valid information on rifle shooting technique. Would this forum be a good place to ask around about that?

pacerdude
January 9, 2011, 05:32 PM
Sorry I didn't notice that he mentioned living in Colorado in the OP...my bad :o.

oneounceload
January 9, 2011, 05:32 PM
In CO, find any BLM land and go have fun shooting

22-rimfire
January 9, 2011, 05:32 PM
Take a Hunter Safety Class. You will learn a lot about safety during that class. It is generally required prior to buying a hunting license the first time.

If you have the firearms already, you may be able to find a safe and quiet place on Federal (BLM) land where it is free to shoot. If you are under 18, I would find someone who is 18 to go shooting with.

Generally you can purchase a long gun from a licensed dealer at Age 18 and a handgun at age 21 with no criminal history (check ATF regs). You can purchase at a younger age from individuals assuming it is legal in Colorado; these are commonly referred to as private sales or face to face transfers.

It would make things easier if we knew your age...

Hanzo581
January 9, 2011, 05:38 PM
Depending on your state laws the process is very simple. You will go in, select your firearm, fill out the paperwork, pass the NICS background check, pay for the gun, and go.

Some states will make you wait, some will have a bit more paperwork or you'll have to take a class. Best thing to do is contact your local gun shop, or even better visit them, and talk to them about the process.

HowardC
January 9, 2011, 05:51 PM
Hello Soccermiles! Welcome to the sport! I don't know what area of "...western side of the Rocky Mountains..." you are referring to, but there are a few options. One is the list of clubs/ranges at the Colorado State Shooting Assn site: www.cssa.org , and the Colorado Division of Wildlife has a few ranges as well:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/PlanYourHunt/ShootingRanges/NWRanges.htm

for a partial list. Some are private, but some are open to the public year round, or less, depending on the reason. eg: Byers Canyon is closed during winter to allow for big game foraging, etc.

Most areas of national forest and BLM lands are available for shooting, as long as you observe local rules and exercise some modicum of safety. Be sure to be safe, and pack out all your trash, brass, etc. Contact the local Forest Service station for details.

Other posters are right about finding a mentor, paid or otherwise to help show you the ropes and advise on things.

Be safe and shoot straight, -West

buck460XVR
January 9, 2011, 06:24 PM
Take a Hunter Safety Class. You will learn a lot about safety during that class. It is generally required prior to buying a hunting license the first time.


+1. Most hunter safety classes will cover basic hunting and safety skills. They are also a good place to ask questions. All the hunter safety instructors I know are involved with other organizations affiliated with hunting and shooting. They'll know where to go to shoot and who to contact if you want to get involved with specific sportsman's groups such as pheasant's forever, NWTF and the RMEF. Many of these sportsmans groups have a mentoring program at the local level. This includes adults as well as youth.

If you are truly interested in getting more involved with shooting sports whether it be hunting or just target shooting. Please take the time to do it safely and legally.

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