5 things women should consider before buying a handgun

Olde English Outfitters will host an additional in-store book signing event for Tara Dixon Engel’s The Handgun Guide for Women on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. 

If you are a woman pondering a first-time firearms purchase, there is much to consider. Tara Dixon Engel, author of The Handgun Guide for Women, offers these tips for taking that first step toward becoming a "gun girl"...

1. Safety first...always. Doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, safe gun handling is never optional. Always keep that index finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot, never point a gun at something you don't intend to kill, and never believe anyone who tells you "that gun's unloaded" (always check for yourself). If you plan to carry, make sure you have the proper training, and that you're familiar with the laws of your state, as well as any states you may visit.

2. All guns are NOT created equal. If you hate shooting your husband's .45 acp 1911 because it is loud and powerful, that doesn't mean there isn't a gun that's perfect for you. There are guns for almost every budget, size, purpose, and comfort level. Talk to friends or seek the guidance of your local gun salesperson, like the gang at Olde English Oufitters.

3. Size does matter, but not how you may think. Those cute little "plastic" pea-shooters (they're actually polymer...and very strong) often have a punishing "kick" that will leave you with an achy hand. Whatever caliber you're considering, you'd be better served starting out with a larger gun. It will be gentler on the hands than a mini model of the same caliber.

4. Use it! So you know what to do when it counts. Don't buy a gun, tuck it into your closet and forget about it. Like any other activity, practice builds proficiency. Remember, too, if you plan to use it for self-defense, in a high-stress situation your body will be charged with adrenaline, and you'll lose your fine muscle skills. Regular practice will ensure that proper gun handling becomes instinctive. There are plenty of good shooting ranges – find one and use it!

5. Ask yourself an important question. If you are buying a gun for personal defense, consider whether you can actually use it to defend yourself with lethal force. Don't ever buy a gun with the intent of "scaring" someone; criminals don't scare so easily, and you don't want the gun snatched from your hands and used against you. Then again, don't assume that, because you are squeamish about shooting someone, you shouldn't own a gun. If you were excited about the prospect, we'd worry about you!

Women interested in learning more about gun ownership are invited to join Olde English Outfitters for a ladies-only event on Friday, April 15, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature a Q&A with author Tara Dixon Engel, refreshments, door prizes, and more. Click here to learn more about the "OE for Her – a Girl's Night Out" event.