Whether for home protection, a job in law enforcement, or personal defense, handguns are powerful tools that can help individuals keep themselves safe. After the appropriate safety courses are taken, state requirements are met, and the buyer feels comfortable with the prospect of safely owning a firearm, these are four ideal options for a first gun.
Glock 19 Gen 4
A tried-and-true classic, the Glock 19 is widely regarded as the gold standard in handguns. With a light frame and simple design, it’s a common recommendation at gun shops as a first handgun. Its magazine holds 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, which makes it a popular choice among new owners because of its wide availability and reduced frequency of reloading. The Gen 4 Glock 19 also has customizable grips to accommodate any hand size.
Smith & Wesson M&P 9
A small but powerful gun, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 is a popular option for first-time gun owners because of its compact size and comfort. Plus, its no-frills design makes it easy to handle. With a 17-round magazine, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 is an excellent firearm for self-defense.
Available in three 9mm size options, the Springfield XD-M handgun line offers superior ergonomics and impressive power. Beginners will appreciate its three safeties: manual, grip, and trigger. With a curved grip that can be individualized, it offers comfort and precise control. It’s ideal for use by law enforcement, on the range, or for concealed carrying.
Revolvers like the trusty Ruger LCR9 are perfect for first-time handgun owners due to their point-and-shoot simplicity. With no extra features or complicated functions, the Ruger LCR9 doesn’t have much of a learning curve, and the long trigger pull makes accidental firing less likely. It does have a bit of recoil, though. With only a five-round capacity, buyers should spend time at a gun range to make sure that their accuracy is up to scratch before getting a Ruger LCR9.
Buying a handgun for the first time can be intimidating, but if you’re ready to make a purchase, the expert staff at River City Gun Exchange in Sacramento can help you. Our team of professionals undergoes specialized in-house training, so you can rely on us to answer your questions and provide insightful recommendations. If you’d like to purchase a firearm or ammunition, stop by our store today or call us at (916) 428-0377.
California, with its varied climate and topography, offers some of the best hunting on the West Coast. From doves and jackrabbits to deer and elk, there’s something to hunt all year round. But before packing up the tree stand and hunting bags, most hunters will need to follow the steps below to purchase a hunting license.
Take a Hunter Education Course
In order to apply for a hunting license, California gun laws state that applicants must obtain a California Hunter Education Certificate after completing a required Hunter Education course. This applies to every new applicant, with three exceptions:
- Those who previously held a California hunting license
- Those who possess the certificate of completion
- Those who have a current and valid hunting license in another state or one issued within the past two years
Everyone else, including children, seniors, and law enforcement, is required to complete the course, which teaches firearm basics, shooting and hunting skills, hunting safety, ethics, and more.
How the Course Works
Courses can be taken in-person or as a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. Hunters who opt for the online work-at-your-own-pace instruction will also need to complete an additional four-hour course with a certified instructor to demonstrate safe firearm handling and take a test. Otherwise, the in-person course will be about 10 hours of instruction. As an alternative, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) offers an equivalency testing program, but anyone who fails will be required to take the course before being issued a license.
Apply for a Hunting License
After meeting the safety requirements, hunters can apply for the license. There are several different types to choose from, including Resident and Non-Resident licenses. (Active-duty military personnel and anyone living in California for six months or longer are considered residents.) Youth under age 18 who hunt birds or mammals can apply for the Junior Hunting License. Additional licenses are available for disabled veterans and recovering service members, and depending on the license type, they can be purchased for varying lengths of time, ranging from one day to lifetime.
Hunters can apply for their licenses through CDFW’s website, and once approved, it’s time to start hunting! But before heading out into the woods, you can stock up on all your firearms, ammunition, and gun accessories at River City Gun Exchange. Call us at (916) 428-0377 or check out our weekly ad to see what’s on sale, then visit River City Gun Exchange today!
When it comes to gun safety, being fully educated before picking up a firearm is not optional. Here’s how to stay safe and maintain proper etiquette at a gun range.
Follow General Gun Safety
Any time a gun is used, it’s important to adhere to general gun safety and gun laws specific to the area. This means always keeping firearms pointed in a safe direction (not toward oneself or others) and keeping one’s finger off the trigger until shooting. Firing should stop immediately when anyone calls “cease firing.”
Know the Difference Between Hot and Cold
When a gun range is considered “cold,” guns should be unloaded at all times unless currently on the line firing. In a “hot” range, one should presume that all firearms are loaded at all times. Although “hot” and “cold” can define the permanent state of some ranges, other ranges may alternate between hot and cold as firing begins and ends. Be sure to become familiar with a range’s specific policies before beginning.
Use Eye and Ear Protection
Hearing damage does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone in the range, not just the person currently shooting. That’s why hearing protection should be worn all the time. Similarly, ricochets or small bullet fragments can affect the eyes of anyone in the range, not just the shooter, so eye protection should be worn at all times as well.
Follow Standard Gun Range Etiquette
For the safety and consideration of everyone on the range, observe basic etiquette. Shoot only range-approved targets, and do not fire at posts, supports, or target frames. Keep pets on leashes or under control—although it may not be a good idea to bring pets even if they are allowed, as their hearing may be affected by the shooting. Leave the range clean and pick up any gun accessories and trash before leaving.
Visiting a gun range is an effective way to maintain and teach shooting accuracy and other skills—as long as safety and etiquette are followed. If you’re looking for fully licensed firearms and accessories to begin or expand your collection, give River City Gun Exchange a call at 916-428-0377 today to learn about our inventory.
California gun laws are among the most restrictive in the country. As of 2012, the state is one of three where citizens do not have the right to openly carry a firearm, regardless of whether or not they have a permit. Because of the state’s stringent gun control policies, it’s especially important for owners to know their rights. The following guide offers a brief overview of California’s concealed carry laws.
Citizens must be at least 21 years old to purchase a gun in the state of California. All firearms sales, including private transactions at a gun shop or show, must go through a California licensed firearms dealer.
With the exception of some rural counties, open carry is illegal in the state of California, even for those with permits.
If a restaurant posts a “No Guns” sign, it’s best to check with the manager about the specifics of the business’ policy. Some will not serve alcohol to citizens carrying a concealed weapon. However, unless the California issuing authority has placed a “no bars” restriction on an owner’s permit, that person is allowed to eat at the restaurant without penalty.
State Park Carry
Carrying a firearm in a wildlife management area is illegal, as is taking one inside state park buildings. However, it’s perfectly legal to carry a concealed gun outdoors in a state park.
Residents of California who have a concealed carry permit may transport a loaded gun in a vehicle so long as they store it in the glove compartment, under the passenger’s seat or inside of a locked box. When transporting a firearm to and from a vehicle, citizens must carry it inside a locked box.
Must Notify Officer
While California laws do not mandate that citizens carrying concealed firearms must inform an officer, they must keep a permit and ID on their person at all times. Some counties do require that anyone with a concealed firearm who is stopped by an officer reveal that they are in possession of a gun.
No Weapons Signs
Even if a business or private property posts “No Weapons” signs, it is still legal to enter with a concealed weapon. Unless posted in areas which the law specifically designates as off-limits, such signs have no force of law. While it’s not illegal, it’s also not recommended to enter buildings where such signs are posted.
While California imposes strict gun control laws, firearm owners still enjoy many rights, including the freedom to hunt in designated areas and practice at indoor and outdoor gun ranges. As laws sometimes change, gun enthusiasts should stay informed to ensure their protection. The experts at River City Gun Exchange will gladly provide the best resources to our customers interested in purchasing a firearm in the Sacramento area. For more information, call 916-428-0377 or view our FAQ page online.
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