A Safety & Gear Checklist for New Gun Owners

The Gun Source is the best resource for new gun owners. We provide a safety and gear checklist to help you get started.

The first step in becoming a responsible gun owner is to understand the fundamentals of firearm safety and practice. As a new gun owner, it may be intimidating at first—but with proper preparation, you’ll learn how to operate and store your firearm safely and effectively at all times.

Because gun ownership is a serious responsibility, we have compiled the most essential safety tips to ensure responsible operation.

This guide also provides a list of essential accessories that all new gun owners should consider purchasing to ensure safe and responsible handling practices.

Lastly, we have outlined some of the most effective methods for safe and secure gun storage.

Safety Checklist for New Gun Owners

Gun safety is essential for anyone who owns or handles firearms.

Taking the time to learn and practice the following gun safety practices is important for anyone who owns or operates firearms.

When done correctly, these measures ensure a safe environment when handling weapons by reducing the risk of accidents, as well as promoting responsible ownership of guns.

Possess legal documentation or a firearms permit (if necessary)

Federal law in the United States, for example, does not require permits or licenses to own a firearm. But that’s not the case for every state within the U.S.

Depending on where you live in the world, legal guidelines and requirements for owning a gun or obtaining the necessary permits can be very different. Make sure you know your local regulations.

Know how your firearm works

As a responsible gun owner, you must understand the functioning of your firearm. Being educated on the operation can enable you to safely manage your weapon, troubleshoot problems, as well as adhere to local laws.

If you have any questions about how to use your gun, take advantage of certified instructions or find advice from an experienced firearms dealer or club.

Use the correct type of ammunition

When it comes to firearms, using the correct ammunition is very important. Every gun is designed for particular calibers and using an incorrect type can lead to reduced accuracy and potential gun damage.

Make sure you always take the time to check your ammunition and never use ammunition that does not match your firearm’s specifications.

Assume every gun is loaded with live ammunition

All gun owners should treat a firearm as if it’s loaded.

This socially responsible practice not only avoids potentially dangerous accidents but also establishes an attitude of respect towards firearms and other people in your immediate environment.

Even if you are confident that a gun is filled with blanks, it is best practice to handle it carefully and respectfully without any casual intentions.


Always point your firearm in a safe direction

Pointing your gun in a secure and safe direction is essential to protect yourself and those around you from accidental discharges.

If the weapon is pointed in an unsafe way, it could cause serious injury or harm if fired accidentally.


Only put your finger on the trigger when ready to fire

There is no reason for you to rest your finger on the trigger unless you are preparing to fire.

If your finger is on the trigger when you are not ready to fire, you risk discharging the firearm and causing serious consequences, including injury or death.

Gear Checklist for New Gun Owners

As a responsible gun owner, it’s essential to consider investing in these must-have firearm accessories for safety and proficiency:



Having an extra supply of ammo is vital for several reasons, including self-protection, honing your skills, emergency scenarios, and convenience. Consider these three types of ammo:


Dummy ammo

Dummy ammunition is a form of inert ammo that does not contain propellant or primer. It can be used for safe practice and instruction, repairs, storage purposes, and more.


Defense ammo

Defense ammo is precisely manufactured for self-defense scenarios; its particular design allows it to maximize stopping power, while also reducing the risk of bullets penetrating too far.


Practice ammo

Practice ammo, also known as target or range ammunition, is ammo designed for training and target shooting. It is usually cheaper than defense and hunting cartridges, yet provides accuracy and dependability.



One of the most important pieces of equipment for any new gun owner is a holster. This device can be used to secure your firearm on your body or in a bag or purse and keep it within easy reach.

When selecting a holster, it is important to select one designed for your particular firearm make and model. It is also important to select a holster that is comfortable to wear and fits securely.

You don’t want a holster that is too loose because the gun may fall out. You also don’t want a holster that is too tight because it may be more difficult to draw the firearm.

Spare Magazines

New gun owners should consider carrying additional magazines for their firearms, especially if they plan to use them for self-defense or personal protection.

This can be beneficial in the event of an emergency when a reload is necessary. It’s also convenient to have spare magazines at the shooting range.

Moreover, magazines can wear out over time and become less reliable. Carrying spare magazines will make sure you always have a functioning magazine on hand.


Personal protective equipment


Eye Protection

Protecting your eyes with safety glasses will protect against flying debris, ejected shell casings, or ricochets.


Ear Protection

Prolonged exposure to loud noises, like gunshots, can damage your hearing. Wearing appropriate ear protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, is a strong recommendation while practicing at a shooting range.


Hand Protection

By wearing gloves while shooting, you can protect your hands from potential heat and abrasive surfaces.

Carrying case or travel bag

Most shooting ranges require firearms to be stored away until you reach the firing line, which is why a gun case is an essential piece of gear.

Specialized range bags are outfitted with secure compartments and pockets to keep your firearm, ammunition, and other accessories organized during travel.


Cleaning kit

Maintaining a cleaning kit for firearms is part of responsible gun ownership. If your firearm isn’t effectively cleaned, it could suffer from malfunctions or misfires.

Regular cleaning can help ensure the proper functioning, accuracy, and longevity of the firearm.

Firearm Storage

Responsible gun ownership requires proper firearm storage. Ensuring that your firearms are properly stored is key for safety and security reasons.

Here are some common methods of firearm storage:


Gun safe

A gun safe is a secure and effective way to store firearms. They come in a variety of sizes and designs and can be used to store one or multiple firearms.



A lockbox is smaller and more portable than a gun safe. They are typically made of metal and are designed to be used with a combination lock or padlock.

Trigger lock

A trigger lock covers a firearm’s trigger and prevents accidental discharges.


Hidden compartment

Gun owners who want discreet yet accessible storage for their firearms can check out the amazing assortment of concealment furniture on the market, which feature hidden compartments while blending in with home decor.

Closing Thoughts

As a new gun owner, safety should be your number one priority. Firearms can lead to grave consequences if not used responsibly.

While new gun owners may be enthusiastic to shoot their weapons and learn the basics of marksmanship, safety should always come first.

Proper gun safety training can help new gun owners learn how to handle and store firearms safely, and can help prevent accidents and injuries.