THUNDERBOLT (WTOC) - Many people are considering purchasing a handgun for the very first time to protect themselves. If that includes you, there are some things new gun owners need to know.
"If you are not involved in the gun culture, you haven't done any shooting, you need serious training," says Dick Berman of Thunderbolt Guns. "Especially if you bought the gun for self-defense."
Berman says there's a lot people need to learn before ever handling a gun or the wrong person could get hurt.
"You notice my trigger finger is extended alongside the pistol it is outside the trigger guard and the pistol is pointed in a safe direction," Berman says as he shows off the weapon.
That's just one of the mistakes new gun owners often make. Failing to safety check and clear the chamber is another.
"If you are going to be doing any kind of practical exercises such as dry fire, you don't even want a single round of ammunition in the room when you are doing the dry fire," Berman explains.
It's also important that you store a gun properly.
"But there is a little bit of a dilemma and that dilemma is that when you need to get access to it you need to get access to it real quickly" he says. That's why Berman recommends a small single gun vault that can quickly be opened with a card or finger print reader, or a wrist bracelet.
"These confrontations in the real world go down very quickly," he warns.
Repetitive practice is also crucial so that knowing how to handle the weapon becomes engrained in one's mind and Berman says they must also be ready and willing to use it.
"I have a lot of people that will come into the store and their attitude is I really don't want to shoot anybody, I just want to show the gun to Mr. bad guy and that will scare him away. That's another urban legend, it's a pipe dream. You are setting yourself up to have your weapon taken away from you and used against you by Mr. bad guy," Berman says.