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Frustrated with trying to learn in NYC

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by dgold0101, Jan 3, 2012.

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  1. dgold0101

    dgold0101 Member

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    Hey Guys,

    New to the forum, so I hope this post isn't redundant. I've decided this year that it's about time I finally learn how to properly use and take care of a gun, as it is a skill I consider necessary that I've put off learning for some time. I've been doing research about doing so, and I realize that in NYC it's a pain in the ass.

    I'm looking to learn to how to use a handgun. I know I need to join a gun club, and for that I need a permit, but for the permit to work I need to purchase a hand gun within 72 hours? Is that correct?

    Here's the thing. I do not feel that I can properly care for, or am responsible enough, to currently own a handgun. This is why I want to learn. I would be uncomfortable owning one as of now. Additionally, I do not really have the funds to purchase one. Or to take a really in depth gun class.

    The one thing I have going for me is that a friend's father is a retired shooting instructor for the NYPD. He's willing to teach me, but I need to belong to a gun club for that to be legal.

    Any advice? I have no idea how to proceed. I turn 30 exactly a year from now. I'd really like to know how to conduct myself with a firearm by then.

    Best,
    Danny
     
  2. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Well, with all due respect, until you get that responsibility issue addressed & under control, you are wise to avoid handguns all together. IMHO, at 29 years old you should "feel" capable of at least learning how to properly handle ...just about anything! Good Luck! ;)
     
  3. dgold0101

    dgold0101 Member

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    I've shot guns at ranges before a decent number of times. But I have no concept of how to clean and care for one, and until I do, and learn how to properly handle one, I don't think I should own one and keep one in my home. Also, considering I have two roommates, and that classes, permits, and purchasing a gun is a pretty heavy expenditure for me at this moment, I'm trying to figure out a way around owning a gun at this particular time.

    It's not like I don't think I'll be able to once I take the classes, just that before I do I probably shouldn't own one.
     
  4. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I agree with Ghost Tracker. Make sure you are responsible enough before you start using pistols.

    That said, I'm not sure how feasible it is, but is there any way you and your friend's father could go on a "vacation" outside of the state to somewhere where the possession rules aren't so stringent? Lacking that, you could go to a shooting class out of state where they'll rent firearms. But I must warn you, shooting schools and fellow students on the line aren't likely to take kindly to immaturity with lethal weapons. Just be careful.

    Edit: sorry, wrote that before you posted. Out of state shooting school is probably your best bet.
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Color me confused. You are a 29 year-old student. You want to learn how to handle a gun for some theoretical reason, yet you don't feel you would be responsible owning one and you can't afford one anyway. Plus, in your environment, responsibility for use/misuse of a gun could extend to other people.

    I strongly suggest that if you are concerned about self defense, you buy a baseball bat or take some classes in Tae Kwan Do, Karate, or whatever turns you on.

    When you are able to change your current situation, and possibly move to a more gun-friendly area, you can buy a gun and learn how to used it properly.

    Jim
     
  6. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Sounds like you're plenty responsible, mature as well.
    Then why the "permit" question? I don't know about NYC but are you telling me that to JOIN a Gun Club you MUST have a permit AND own a gun ...within 72 hours? I've been to NYC several times. I had NO IDEA it was that strange a place. Heck, move down South for the summer & let your new Southern Belle girlfriend teach you how to shoot! ;)
     
  7. dgold0101

    dgold0101 Member

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    Yeah, I think you guys are misunderstanding. I'm not saying I have a lack of maturity in regards to this stuff, more like a lack of experience. I grew up here, did not really have much access to shooting ranges or guns.
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    NYC makes it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to own or carry any firearm. They don't actually ban handguns (and so are not affected by the Heller decision) but they require compliance with so many rules that the law is in effect a ban.

    Plus, generations of anti-gun propaganda from the press has convinced many folks (like the OP) that owning a gun is somehow wrong, irresponsible, and a menace to society.

    There are reports that members of certain "families" have no problems getting gun licenses and carry permits, but I wouldn't know about that.

    Jim
     
  9. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Vermont isn't too far away and seems to have a reasonable attitude towards firearms.
     
  10. Dmitri Popov

    Dmitri Popov Member

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    You want a free safety class on firearms? Take a Hunter Safety course. I know the one put on by our local Game Warden (WVDNR) was top notch and really focused on gun safety. And like I said its free, even if you never want to hunt you can still take away alot of gun safety knowledge...for FREE.
     
  11. dgold0101

    dgold0101 Member

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    Jim K,

    Not a student. Working in a creative field where entry level isn't exactly high paying, AND paying off student loans. Not responsible enough and don't want to own one at this particular moment before I know how to use and take care of one properly. Still, even if I don't want to currently own one, I feel like knowing how to use one is a pretty necessary skill to have.

    Ghosttracker, to take a handgun class at range here, or to even simply fire a pistol, you need to belong to a gun club. I believe, though I could be wrong, that you need a permit to join a gun club, and that the permit REQUIRES you to purchase a gun within 72 hours of getting it. seriously. see here: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/features/4320/

    Key point: New York City has some of the most stringent handgun regulations in the country, and the license application is intentionally byzantine. I pay nearly $300 to the Police Department and New York State for the privilege of filing a stack of papers, revealing mishaps as minor as a ten-year-old speeding ticket, and getting fingerprinted.

    It takes several months for applications to clear -- supposedly because it takes that long for fingerprints to be checked on the city, state, and federal levels. You cannot touch a handgun in New York City before you have a license, and then, once you get your license, it expires if you don't buy a gun within 30 days. What if you don't want to buy a gun but want to take lessons? Too bad. New York City essentially forces every license-holder to buy a gun, and you must keep that gun in your house. There is no requirement that you take any instruction to learn how to operate the gun.

    If you do want to learn how to shoot, however, you must join a range. Most gun owners in New York have target licenses, which require you to belong to a range and keep your gun unloaded and locked at home when you're not transporting it to the range.
     
  12. au01st

    au01st Member

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    Why don't you think you're responsible enough? My little brother is turning 18 in 2 months and will be getting his first rifle. And we didn't grow up around guns, either.
     
  13. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Brother, you've got to MOVE OUT of New York!
     
  14. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

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    Well....

    I'd recommend getting out of that city, however, you do what you think is best.

    If you are serious about learning how to use firearms, research some NRA basic handgun courses, and if you can't find them in that hol....er....city, then look outside the city. Pennsylvania is not too far away, and I believe that they are not as paranoid about the use of arms.

    Stick with the basics, practice the basics, and you'll be on your way.

    There is nothing difficult about SAFELY using arms, however, it does take discipline. If you learn good habits from the start, and have the discipline to practice those habits EVERY time you handle an arm, you can go a lifetime without a negligent incident.

    Look into USPSA, IDPA, or GSSF competitions with your area (probably in PA), or join a local gun club as a non-shooting member or something. The shooting community is very accommodating face to face, and will be more than willing to help a new shooter. My gun clubs are at least.

    Good luck to you sir.
     
  15. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    The article says 30 days, not 3 days (72 hours)

    "...once you get your license, it expires if you don't buy a gun within 30 days."

    But I would recommend that you read the actual law (or consult an attorney) rather than rely on anything written in an article titled "Trigger Happy."
     
  16. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I would say you are already ahead of the curve.

    Your ability state your fears shows you are not bringing your ego along, which already puts you ahead of most male beginners.


    With no experience with firearms and an interest in a handgun, a .22 is the ideal option to learn with.
    These use very inexpensive ammo, have nearly no recoil or intimidation factor, and allow you to focus on learning the fundamentals of putting things in your sights and accurately placing bullets.
    The caliber is not suitable for defense, though it still quite dangerous and potentially lethal and needs to be respected. Even though it is a beginner's gun, you never outgrow the skills taught, they scale up, nor do you outgrow the .22 itself. It will remain a good training tool, and inexpensive source of fun even after you have purchased something more powerful.

    You may ask why get a .22 at all if you will eventually want to get something else, but a .22 will help you learn shooting without developing bad habits that may take more time to undo. It will let you repeat good skills over and over far more times due to the inexpensive ammunition. You can get familiar and confident without trying to rush anything due to the cost of ammo, and be as gradual or rapid in pace between trying new things or doing the same thing over and over until you are comfortable and want to try something else. The low cost removes the pressure of only being able to afford so many round for a session.
    Many new shooters that start out with something large develop a flinch for example. An involuntary compensation for expected recoil that reduces their accuracy and can take time to unlearn, when you should be progressing not unlearning before you can progress.



    There is a simple 4 basic rules of gun safety, found in some variations, that if obeyed can avoid most potential dangers:

    1. All guns are always loaded.

    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

    3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.

    4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.


    1. Means you treat all guns as if they are loaded, even when you know they are not. Most accidents where someone is shot involve 'unloaded' guns.
    It is too easy to misremember, for someone else to load your gun, or for you to recall what you did a previous time after you have done something thousands of times. Even if I am cleaning a gun and get up to get a phone, go to the bathroom, or do something else, I still always check the chamber of my firearm that I am already fairly certain is unloaded before I resume cleaning it.

    2. Is simple, if you never let the muzzle cross something you wouldn't be willing to destroy, you minimize the risk of a catastrophe if for some reason there is any type of accident, whether it is your fault or a mechanical problem with the firearm.
    You always stay mentally aware of what is in the direction of the gun, even when you are not shooting. You don't let it cross over another human being, gesture with it while talking, or let someone else walk in front of it. Generally you keep it pointing down range towards the target, even after all ammo is expended or while reloading.
    When not at a range or in a less formal setting you change its direction if necessary to keep from muzzle sweeping someone walking in front of you, generally aiming it up or down to keep it from even being pointed at another person. On some occasions someone may not respect it or continue to put themselves on a path to walk in front of it, but it is always your responsibility where you gun is pointed. You always maintain awareness of what the gun is pointing at and adjust as necessary.

    3. Unlike the movies you don't rest your finger on the trigger when not actively firing the gun. It is both dangerous, and a bad habit.
    Different guns discharges under different weights, and learning that bad habit even on some really heavy trigger where it poses less risk means you will be an accident waiting to happen when you use another firearm and carry over your trained behavior.
    Your finger can also jerk or involuntarily move when you are suddenly startled or subject to adrenaline. You may think you are very good at determining how much pressure is on the trigger and being safe, but be off dramatically when subject to stress, adrenaline, and not the circumstances you are accustomed to.
    Many people put their index finger pointed straight along the frame or the trigger guard, outside of the trigger guard, when not actively firing. This unnatural position not only insures it requires your attention to remain straight, but communicates to other shooters that your finger is clearly not on or near the trigger and your finger has your attention.


    4. This means obviously know what your target is.
    If informally target shooting know what you are aiming at.
    If you live with other people and investigate a suspicious noise in the dark, you don't shoot at a figure you run into in your home without knowing what it is.
    If you are hunting you don't shoot towards a noise or shadow you have not identified.
    Additionally you also make sure that when you are shooting that not only is your target safe, but the field beyond it is as well. That way when you miss or the bullet goes through your target it poses no risk to things behind it. Bullets travel a long ways, and something hundreds of yards away in the direction you are shooting is still in danger even if you are shooting at and hitting a target 50 feet in front of you. This means you always insure there is some backstop that will physically stop your bullet if it misses or passes through the target.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  17. ArthurDent

    ArthurDent Member

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    Welcome, dgold0101! :)

    Everyone please stop giving him a hard time! It sounds like he is trying his best to be a responsible and safe gun owner. We should respect that. Consider these two quotes:
    I'm quite sure this is where his concerns come from.

    Keeping and using a gun is an awesome responsibility, and everyone should take it this seriously. Having said that, familiarity would help alleviate some of his concerns. Those of us who grew up in a gun-positive culture are not as likely to have the pre-rational fear reaction that is being pushed by the anti crowd. But even here in the South I know several folks who have such an strong, negative, emotional reaction that they cannot discuss the subject rationally.

    I can't help at all with the legal or logistical situation in NYC. He has my full sympathies, but I can't do a thing about the problem. I also think it's unrealistic to ask him to abandon his whole life there so that he can add a new skill.

    My suggestion to dgold0101 is to take full advantage of his Dad's expertise! :) Jump through whatever legal hoops are required to make the lessons legit. Go ahead and buy a gun. Before you do this, buy a secure locking box for home storage and another one for transport. If you don't feel comfortable handling the gun, then leave it locked up and let your Dad help you handle it until you get the confidence to do it yourself. Trust your gut.

    The usual rules apply... you should try several models and get the one that YOU like. Zoogster's advice about a .22 is excellent. If you want a bigger caliber and are allowed to own more than one gun, I recommend a good starting place would be a revolver or a Glock or an Springfield XD. These are about as simple to operate as you can get. If you plan to get more than one gun, get a .22 that is similar to your other gun so you only need to learn one system.

    I know it may be hard to imagine the cultural difference, but here in the South most Walmart stores sell shotguns and high powered deer rifles, and they usually have whole aisle of ammo and hunting accessories for sale. It's not uncommon for folks to sit around and talk about their guns. Strangely, I don't know anyone who has gone on a shooting rampage. ;)

    I think you'll do just fine. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  18. Steve Raacke

    Steve Raacke Member

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    Dgold,
    I always feel a bit bad for those of you who live under such repressive restrictions as those imposed on NYC residents. I wish we could have some sort of visitor program designed so folks like you could come to less restrictive places where you can learn from those of us willing to mentor.
     
  19. nyctpt

    nyctpt Member

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    I can't answer this post in full at the moment bc I'm headed to work, but there is definitely some bad information here.

    OP: Please go to the nyc.gov pages and read up on the permit process and rules. That's a much better source of info bc it's from the horses mouth so to speak. This is not a firearms friendly city but it is by no means impossible. I currently own and shoot regularly several different longarms and am about 11 weeks into the pistol permit process.

    Ryan
     
  20. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    Wow! it's a different world there isn't it? 11 weeks into it? How long does it take?

    I'm just gonna sit here and hum a few bars of "Back home again in Indiana"
     
  21. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Dgold: I live in NYC, in Brooklyn. I have access to a pistol range in a private club that is a five minute walk from the subway at Borough Hall.
    I am quite willing to sit with you and to explain and demonstate the safe handing of a pistol and lots of other related information. Just give me a PM and we can set up a time.
    Note: You do not have to be a member of a pistol club in order to get a permit. Note, also, that, in NYC it is illegal to handle a firearm unless you have a permit. (how's that for a catch-22?). Permits are expensive and the wait is long but the process is relatively simple (not as simple as other states), mostly the application and waiting. If you are not a felon or the subject of an order of protection, you will get your permit.
    Once a permit is issued, you have 30 days to purchase the gun. Once you have purchased the gun, you have three days to take it to Police Plaza and have it registered. You may not fire the gun before it is registered.
    Pete
     
  22. parsimonious_instead

    parsimonious_instead Member

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    West Side Pistol Range in lower Manhattan... go there... it's not illegal to take a lesson in shooting a .22 rifle before getting a permit of any sort... it costs $65 or so and they give you a classroom lesson and let you shoot 50 rounds.
    The instructors there are really nice and I'm sure they'd be happy to answer any questions you have "over and above" the canned lesson they're supposed to give you.
    BTW, unless I have a personal or business emergency, I'm planning on attending Paul Barrett's gathering for the debut of his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun. I'd be happy to talk to you... I'll almost certainly be wearing some sort of apparel or insignia with something gun-related.
    January 10 @ 7pm
    Book Court, 163 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY (Cobble Hill)
     
  23. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

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    Give him a break. He is being honest. My advise is to move to a gun friendly state.
     
  24. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Member

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    I am sorry that you have to deal with such b.s. From what you said it sounds like, to do everything legal, you have to purchase a firearm. It is good that you realize that you still have some things to learn but you could get a pistol and secure it safely in your residence and just get it out when you go to your lessons. Just because you have it does not mean that you have to keep it loaded if you don't want to. For that matter you don't even need to keep ammo in your home.

    I know you said that money is tight. I don't know your exact situation but there are .22 caliber pistols out there that can be had fairly cheap especially if you find them used. And since you are just starting a .22 is the best thing to start with and cheap to shoot.

    As for learning to handle a firearm, safety is everything. It doesn't matter how accurate you are if you are not safe. I don't know about New York but where I am from you can get hunter safety manuals, free, that will cover firearms safety. I don't know but I imagine you could get some material from the NRA on safety as well. Learning to shoot well just comes with practice. Good luck.
     
  25. LSMS

    LSMS Member

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    If you have to buy a gun. You could always get a hi point. Just over a hundred dollars new. You can practice all the fundamentals without ever loading it so that covers your experience/responsibility. You could learn to field strip if, practice dry firing, practice safe handling, work controls ect. Warning, they are ugly, heavy, cheap guns. When you are ready to step up and shoot I would recommend an upgrade.
     
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