Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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Thread: First Firearm

  1. #1
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    Red face First Firearm

    Hi, I am new here and also hoping to get my first gun. However, I do not know which one would feel right for me. I have very rudimentary experience with firearms and am hoping to find a place to "try out" different pistols. Does anyone know of a range, relatively close, that allows this? I would also be interested in going to a class to get some training.
    Thanks and Nice to meet everyone!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Wecome to the Forum. Good luck in trying out the abundance of pistols .
    Last edited by CleanDean; June 21st, 2013 at 08:03 PM.


    Hold my drink; and watch this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    I can't help you with the "where" due to my unfamiliarity with your area, but you certainly have the right idea.

    As far as training goes, depending on your experience level, you might want to look into NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation and NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

    Here is a link showing the different courses: http://www.nrainstructors.org/CourseCatalog.aspx

    And here is a link showing course offerings in or near your area: http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx

    Good luck, and welcome to PAFOA.
    .
    While many claim to support the right, precious few support the practice.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    There is a NRA certified instructor in Hunlocks Creek I've heard good things about. You can get his business card at Piesrtaks in Nanticoke.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Thanks for the reply's and I have been looking into those links but I get the impression that they want you to already own a firearm which I don't.

    "NRA First Steps courses are designed for the student who already owns a firearm but wants quality training in the use and maintenance of their firearm."

    So, I guess it would be more useful to take this sort of course after I have bought a pistol.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Quote Originally Posted by justbreathe View Post
    Thanks for the reply's and I have been looking into those links but I get the impression that they want you to already own a firearm which I don't.

    "NRA First Steps courses are designed for the student who already owns a firearm but wants quality training in the use and maintenance of their firearm."

    So, I guess it would be more useful to take this sort of course after I have bought a pistol.
    I don't disagree at all. Since you're out to purchase your first, and presumably only firearm (for the time being), it makes even more sense to have your choice along with you for those courses. Sometimes it can be a couple months before a certain course comes around and I thought you might like to have those links/pages at your fingertips earlier rather than later. You can get an idea about what's available and when and at what prices.

    Bookmark 'em Danno.
    While many claim to support the right, precious few support the practice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Quote Originally Posted by justbreathe View Post
    Hi, I am new here and also hoping to get my first gun. However, I do not know which one would feel right for me. I have very rudimentary experience with firearms and am hoping to find a place to "try out" different pistols. Does anyone know of a range, relatively close, that allows this? I would also be interested in going to a class to get some training.
    Thanks and Nice to meet everyone!
    You might find this website helpful:

    http://www.corneredcat.com/article/c...-on-a-handgun/

  8. #8
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Quote Originally Posted by justbreathe View Post
    Hi, I am new here and also hoping to get my first gun. However, I do not know which one would feel right for me. I have very rudimentary experience with firearms and am hoping to find a place to "try out" different pistols. Does anyone know of a range, relatively close, that allows this? I would also be interested in going to a class to get some training.
    Thanks and Nice to meet everyone!

    Depending upon how new you are, here is a bit of info that might help you in some other areas.

    This is a very basic outline for someone new to guns and considering getting a firearm in Pa. I thought it might be helpful based on a recent thread I read here and a conversation I had last night with someone thinking about getting a gun. I did a search and did not find a post dedicated to just this topic but my googlefu might be off. I figure anyone doing a search might come across this and hopefully it will give some helpful info. There are great sources on this site that have more info. (a couple which I listed below) While I do address some of the info in those sources, I am trying to focus on the difference between the process of buying a gun and getting a LTCF.

    I am not an expert, lawyer or lawmaker, just a gun owner who was once new to the processes and topics below. This list is for beginners and not complete. It omits a lot of in depth things that you will learn about if you choose to get more involved with firearms.

    General Info

    1.* In Pa you can own guns for in home/property use or carry for protection. 2.* Both the U.S Constitution and Pa Constitution have sections pertaining to peoples right to bear arms. 3.* Gun laws vary from state to state. What works in Pa will not work in NJ. 4.* In Pa you can own a gun as long as you are not a prohibited person.* Your criminal or mental background would determine if you are prohibited. 5.* You do NOT need a LTCF just to own a gun in Pa. You do need a LTCF if you intend to conceal carry in Pa.

    Process to obtain a gun

    To buy a handgun or new long gun in Pa, you will: 1.* You will buy it from a seller who has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) or they will send it/sell it through a person with a FFL. 2.* The FFL will charge you a fee above the price of your gun to transfer the gun to you. The price varies depending upon the person with the FFL.*Generally $30-50 from what I've seen. 3. You will be required to fill out paperwork when purchasing the gun. The paperwork will ask various questions to determine if you are prohibited. 4.* After you have finished the paperwork, the FFL will make a phone call to Pa Instant Check System (PICS) which is linked to the National Instant Criminal Background check System (NICS) run by the FBI. 5.* The PICS check is the final word at that moment if you are a prohibited person or not.

    If you are found to be a prohibited person, you will not be allowed to take the gun with you. You will then have to determine why you are prohibited.

    If you are not a prohibited person you will be allowed to have the gun and take it home right then.* You are allowed to take the gun home in your car without a LTCF if you go straight home. It is important to note that passing a NICS check does not mean you now have a LTCF or even that you will be approved to have a LTCF. That is a different process

    Carrying a gun

    There are basically two types of carry, open (OC) or concealed (CC).

    A. Open Carry: Carrying a gun in public where everyone can see it. There are laws that you need to know if you do this. See the links below.

    B.* Concealed Carry: In Pa you may get a License to Carry a Firearm (LTCF) This allows you to CC which means carry a handgun on your person while hidden. (the gun, not you ) It can be hidden in an Inside the Waistband holster (IWB), ankle holster, shoulder holster, pocket carry and so on. You may OC if you have a LTCF. You may NOT CC if you do not have a LTCF. It also allows you to carry in a car and during a state of emergency.

    The LTCF will allow you to CC or OC anywhere legal in Pa. Here is a resource that is well worth the time to read.

    http://forum.pafoa.org/concealed-ope...nsylvania.html (READ FIRST: Where you CAN and CANNOT Carry weapons in the State of Pennsylvania) (READ FIRST: Where you CAN and CANNOT Carry weapons in the State of Pennsylvania)

    and another great resource:http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...44990110,d.dmg (Your Pennsylvania Gun Rights ~Handy flyer to carry with you.)
    * To apply for a LTCF: (Note:this is suppose to be uniform across the state but there still seem to be variations, especially in Philadelphia. Hopefully someone who understands Philly better than I can do will add to this)

    1.* You must be 21. 2. * You go to your Sheriffs Office at your county courthouse and fill out an application. (or print one out and fill it in ahead of time). Take a photo ID with you. 3.* You should only have to pay a $20 fee and they will process your application. 4.* They ask you for 2 references. You can use anyone who is not a family member. 5.* They will do a background check. They use (PICS) run by the Pa State Police. 6.* They have up to 45 days to process the application.* Each county is different, some do it the same day, others take the entire time. 7.* Pa is a "Shall Issue" state which basically means they need a good legal reason to not issue you a LTCF. 8.* If you have been found to be an acceptable person to have a LTCF, you will receive a letter telling you that you have been approved. They will either send you your LTCF or you then take the letter to the Sheriffs office and they will issue your LTCF. 9.* If they deny your application there is a process to find out why and challenge it.* Don't waste time, get to it once you get your denial letter. There can be reasons that simple challenge will overcome.

    Couple of facts/things worth further research:

    There are different laws that apply to handguns and Long guns. You should know the laws for whichever you have.

    You can't just lend/give a gun to whomever you want. Look up info or ask questions before lending/giving a gun to someone. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Remember, you might currently have the right to own guns, not knowing the Pa gun laws could easily lose you that right once you have a gun.

    btw....... those links I posted earlier, here they are again in case you ignored them for some reason. My info is basically procedural info for someone wondering how to go about getting a gun. The links are really worth your time to read and may save your rights, the information is that valuable.

    http://forum.pafoa.org/concealed-ope...nsylvania.html(READ FIRST: Where you CAN and CANNOT Carry weapons in the State of Pennsylvania) (READ FIRST: Where you CAN and CANNOT Carry weapons in the State of Pennsylvania)

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...44990110,d.dmg(Your Pennsylvania Gun Rights ~Handy flyer to carry with you.)
    __________________
    Last edited by internet troll; June 22nd, 2013 at 09:19 AM.
    Proof Armed citizens make a difference. http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=316012

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    Wow! Thanks for the information Johannes_Paulsen and internet troll. I really appreciate it! Some of the info you addressed I was actually wondering about already.
    Internet troll, I did get my LTCF a few months ago, and thanks for going over the rules concerning CC as I am worried about doing something wrong. Also, for some reason the first link that you inserted isn't working for me?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First Firearm

    You may want to go to a few gun shops in your area, and ask about ranges where you can shoot. You can also handle some firearms, but be careful about info they provide. Knowledge at gun shops can range from very good to down right awful.

    What is your intended use for the firearm? Home defense, target shooting, concealed carry? All of the above?

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