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  • Understanding Gun Laws

    Is there a quick source of information for a person to learn about gun laws in their area? I am considering a gun purchase but am completely ignorant about the laws. I am already first looking into training courses prior to such a purchase to be certain I understand guns, how they work, safety etc. I don't want to be one of those idiots that just buys a gun for self defense only to shoot off my toe while trying to clean it.

    The following a few general questions:

    1. Are there any recommendations for types of guns best suited for home self defense.

    2. What are the steps to purchase a gun. (ie from retail purchase, registration, laws)

    3. Besides basic safety and training courses, are any other types of training/understanding recommended for a first time gun owner.

    (I did try a search to see if this has been discussed before but didn't get a return so perhaps I did the search incorrectly so sorry if this thread is a repeat. Just link me to the answers if they already exist.)

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Mem there are a ton of books dedicated to weapons & tactics for hor home defense. Gun laws vary from state-to state but if you check Amazon.com or your local book store there is a conservativly book written about gun ownership & citizens rights. I just can't remember the title right now.Sorry. You might also want to check out a place calle "Gunsite Raven" in presott Az. or "Thunder Ranch" in Tx. These are just a couple of places you could go to learn some serious personal defense with a handgun. As for types of weapons to use, that's a very personal choice so advising you on that wouldn't be right. I will suggest, however, that you get at least 9mm or .38cal in size of bullet. I would suggest, also that you talk to a local lawyer or the county prosec. & become aware of your rights in your state regarding self-defense. Like gun ownership, different states have different criteria for that & the atty should be able to fill you in & peraps evem give you local case law regarding it.

    Comment


    • #3
      <a href="http://www.packing.org/state/">http://www.packing.org/state/</A>

      Good site with info mainly on CCW but most states have a section that governs general 'Open' carry.

      State police websites typically have in their CCW section material that can be of use.

      As mentioned by hemi, call around to some local ranges, some at least here in Az have rentals available with different models and makes of firearms for a reasonable fee. I would also suggest that you take a basic firearms safety course (usually also avail at ranges for a fee) to get comfortable with handling and hopefully prevent bad habits that can develop if not properly taught.

      Hope that helps,

      Comment


      • #4
        Since you posted this in the MI forum, I assume that you are interested in MI procedure for purchasing a handgun. So, to answer you questions:
        Originally posted by Mem
        The following a few general questions:

        1. Are there any recommendations for types of guns best suited for home self defense.
        Go to a gun store and talk to the clerk, they can help you select one which will suit your needs. Most importantly, find a gun that if comfortable in your hand.
        Originally posted by Mem
        2. What are the steps to purchase a gun. (ie from retail purchase, registration, laws)
        Go to the Police Dept or Sheriff Office of your residence. You will need to obtain a pistol purchase permit. Normally the cost is about $5 and they might require you to take a short multiple choice test on handgun safety. The test does not get into specifics, simply: Don't point it at someone, always assume it is loaded, keep away from kids...that type of thing.

        Bring the purchase permit to the store and they will fill out the rest. They know what to do.

        After the purchase is made you will have 5-10 days to bring the gun (unloaded, in the box) to the Police or Sheriff dept for a safety inspection and registration. The Officer/deputy will make sure the gun is in proper condition and you will have to fill out a short form. Bring you Purchase permit with you.
        Originally posted by Mem
        3. Besides basic safety and training courses, are any other types of training/understanding recommended for a first time gun owner..
        Check with the store where you purchase the handgun, they may offer training course.

        Comment


        • #5
          sheesh, glad we don't have 29 steps to complete to purchase a weapon,

          1. criminal records check.....you pay for gun dealer to run ch check
          2. wait 3 days, even if yr a cop with a gun on yr hip
          2a if ya have a ccf permit , you can pick up same day ( make sense )

          when i lived in illinois, they had a F.O.I.D. CARD

          FIREARMS OWNERS I.D. CARD.....THAT WAS GOOD FOR CERTAIN AMOUNT
          of yrs....ya needed that to buy or possess firearms or ammo.


          www.schackdaddy.com
          " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
          " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

          Comment


          • #6
            Its really not that bad...we don't even have a waiting period.

            And, when I go in for the purchase permit (yes LEOs have to get on too ) They waive the fee and the test.

            If the purchaser has a CCW permit, there is no need to obtain a purchase permit. Kinda funny who that works, LEOs are exempt from the CCW laws, therefore, we do not need a CCW permit. But, because we do not have the CCW permit, we have to obtain a purchase permit.

            Doesn't make any sense to me. Hell, the department GIVES me a gun, why do I need a permit to buy one?

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks all for the information. Yes I am in Michigan and have had no clue on procedure/law. I will take the information given here and make sure to take the right steps to get a proper gun for me and to learn proper safety operations As far as choosing a gun I guess I will let the expert behind the counter help me find what is best for my stature and need. Since I have never even held a gun (I know, how naive can a person be but a few of us still exist) I will be certain to attend the necessary courses to learn and understand the weapon.

              Thank you again for all you help.

              Comment


              • #8
                You really don't want the guy behind the counter picking your gun for you. Get involved and get a lot of different opinions. The guy behind the counter may be the best guy in the world but he will most likely pick the gun that he would carry which is not necessarily what is best for you. Personally, I think having an HK USP, good flashlight and an AR-15 w/ short barrell in the house is best. Many will choose something different. You need to get some practice in, look at the layout of your house and houses around you and determine what will work best for your situation.

                You also need to get your family involved because they will be living with the gun also.
                "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mem
                  Is there a quick source of information for a person to learn about gun laws in their area? I am considering a gun purchase but am completely ignorant about the laws.
                  Mem, forget most of what JHoek posted. It's not accurate.

                  Go to a gun store and talk to the clerk, they can help you select one which will suit your needs. Most importantly, find a gun that if comfortable in your hand.
                  The only thing a clerk in a gun store is worried about is transferring the cash from your hand to his.

                  Best bet: Get involved locally, either at a local gun range or by joining an internet discussion forum that is based out of your area. Michigan Gun Owners ( www.mgouc.com ) has great discussion forums, and they are a Michigan group. Great knowledge on there to share, and some really good (local) dealers, too. I know most of them. WhoIsJohnGault is a dealer in Brighton, MI and Karcent is near Port Huron. Both are top notch. I am NOT affiliated with either, just a long-time mgouc.com member (free).

                  Go to the Police Dept or Sheriff Office of your residence. You will need to obtain a pistol purchase permit. Normally the cost is about $5
                  Wrong again. There is NO cost. The permit to purchase is FREE in Michigan (statutory law).

                  and they might require you to take a short multiple choice test on handgun safety.
                  It's not 'might' require you -- it's WILL require you. Again, statutory law requires them to test you. If they don't, they'r ein violation of state law.

                  You'll get a little pamphlet to review first. It's a common-sense test that you have to answer 70% or better on. Not a big deal.

                  After the purchase is made you will have 5-10 days to bring the gun
                  I have no idea where he gets "5 to 10 days" from.

                  The permit to purchase is good for 10 days.

                  If you purchase a pistol within the 10 day period, you then have 10 ADDITIONAL days to bring the pistol and the permit back to the sheriff's office. Otherwise, you can be fined (most won't, but just do it within 10 days and you've got nothing to worry about).

                  (unloaded, in the box) to the Police or Sheriff dept for a safety inspection and registration. The Officer/deputy will make sure the gun is in proper condition
                  When transporting a pistol in the State of MI and you do NOT have a concealed pistol license, it needs to be:

                  (1) Unloaded
                  (2) In a locked container or with a gun lock on it in non-locking container
                  (3) Inaccessible to the driver (in trunk/furthest point away from driver)
                  (4) Separated from any ammo (including no loaded magazines).

                  Don't just drive around with the gun in the original box, jammed under the passenger seat (as JHoek implied was okay).

                  and you will have to fill out a short form.
                  I have no idea what he's talking about. There is no additional "short form" to fill out. Just bring the pistol (unloaded/unlocked/in box) and empty magazine (if a semi-auto), the two remaining copies of the permit to purchase (the seller will have kept one) and a form of picture ID (MI driver's license or ID).

                  Check with the store where you purchase the handgun, they may offer training course.
                  Again, forget that. Get involved as stated above (local gun club or discussion forum). Get advice from other Pro 2A shooters who AREN'T trying to sell you something - you'll get better advice.

                  First step: Go buy a copy of "The Concealed Handgun Manual" by Chris Bird -- it's the quintessential book for first timers. It doesn't cover JUST the gun and how to pull a trigger -- it's an acclaimed personal protection book.

                  Good luck and see you over on mgouc.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ro56
                    Don't just drive around with the gun in the original box, jammed under the passenger seat (as JHoek implied was okay).
                    Never even suggested on how to transport, was simply refering to when it is brought to the counter.

                    Originally posted by ro56
                    Wrong again. There is NO cost. The permit to purchase is FREE in Michigan (statutory law).
                    I guess the County that I went to for the purchase permit is breaking the law. They were charging the people in front of me $5.

                    Originally posted by ro56
                    It's not 'might' require you -- it's WILL require you. Again, statutory law requires them to test you. If they don't, they'r ein violation of state law.
                    I wrote "might" b/c when I was not tested and was not certian of the test for others

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks again for the help. I did go and register over at that michigan gun site so thanks for the link. I do prefer to try and know what I am doing before making such a serious purchase. I live alone so the only idiot I have to worry about with the gun is me so hopefully I will be better educated before dealing with it. I do find guns a bit scary for a first timer like me and being a woman I would prefer something smaller, easier to handle should the unfortunate moment come I could have to. But of course, my first choice is to dial 911 and hope they get their first.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Small woman, that is not a disqualifier to a big gun if you can handle it. I've seen tiny women w/ big ol' 357 magnums and they shot the heck out of them and I've seen big corn fed guys who couldn't handle a 9mm. What I would say though is to get a 22 to practice with at first and then buy your defensive gun. Your style and preferences will change greatly over the 1st year or so of shooting so if you want to keep costs down this would be the best way to go.
                        "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                        For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          MEM:

                          Sounds like you are taking the correct approach. There are some eun stores in Michigan that have indoor ranges and also rent handguns to use at their range only. Some people find this to be helpful in making the decision on whic gun to purchase. In any case you must be comfortable with the gun you purchase and each person is different.

                          A couple of important reminders:

                          1. Understand the law and keep checking for changes.

                          2. Practice, practice, practice.

                          3. Always look to avoid situations that may require the use of the gun.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just in case you wanted some carrying concealed information, MI State Police has assembled a pretty handy "concealed" section on their website:

                            http://www.michigan.gov/msp/1,1607,7...654---,00.html

                            Another excellent web resource on "carrying" can be found at the packing.org website. Although not meant to be taken as "legal advice," the vast majority of their state-specific webpages are highly up to date and accurate. It explains each states' respective "concealed/firearms" laws...have fun.
                            Officer Down Memorial Page

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