Buying a firearm for the first time is a big purchase, and an exciting one when you have a strong interest in shooting. But it's also a potentially dangerous one, and you're likely already aware of all the risks a gun poses. As long as you're sensible, you won't have any problems, but that begins as soon as you make your purchase.
The first step is getting your gun and ammunition home safely. Follow these tips and rely on local gun shops for information to ensure you don't make any mistakes when you're transporting your new purchase.
1. Keep it unloaded
Having a loaded weapon in your vehicle can be extremely dangerous, so don't be tempted to try out loading it before you get home if you want to prevent unfortunate accidents. If, for some reason, it was already loaded in the shop, make sure you remove the ammunition before you go anywhere.
2. Take a lockable container for your ammunition
While you're transporting your new gun, the ammunition needs to be kept safe and secure. Before you go to buy it, get hold of a strong, secure container that can be locked. Put your ammunition inside before you leave, and lock it. If you don't have a suitable container or you forget to take one, ask in the shop if they have them for sale.
3. Don't leave your vehicle unlocked
You should attempt to get home without stopping, so don't plan any detours or extra bits of shopping during your journey. If you need to go somewhere else, you'll have to head home first and secure your firearm indoors. If you need to stop in an emergency or because of something unforeseen, lock your vehicle and double-check that it's secured. Don't go too far, and keep an eye on the area to prevent anyone from breaking in.
4. Make sure it's secure and stable
Ideally, your gun and ammunition should be placed in the boot of your car, where they're out of sight and can be locked away safely. If you don't have a boot, put it somewhere inside the vehicle that's hidden from view.
You should also make sure your purchases are on a flat surface, secured as much as possible, so they don't move around or get shaken up during your drive. Wedging them in place with jackets, boxes or other items is a good way to keep the gun and ammunition stable.