Firearms sales in the United States have skyrocketed this year. In fact, according to an analysis out of the Brookings Institution, gun sales between March and July surged by more than 3 million compared with the same period last year. Concern for personal security is cited as the essential reason for the buying surge. This concern was initially spurred by uncertainty and fear over the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic turbulence, followed by additional insecurity over widespread civil and social unrest.
Follow state requirements
There are several things to keep in mind if you are contemplating buying a gun. For starters, learn what is required in your state regarding gun ownership. In Illinois, visit the Illinois State Police Firearms Service Bureau website to learn about gun ownership and how to acquire a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card and a Concealed Carry License.
Each state has different regulations around firearms, but all buyers must complete basic gun-safety training. New gun owners can take online classes to further their gun education. The National Rifle Association offers informative and easily accessible online courses.
Store your gun securely
New gun owners will need to establish a safe space to store their firearms and make sure they get the right insurance coverage. Housing a firearm securely at home means keeping it out of reach of children and anyone else the owner believes unfit to handle their firearms. Whether it’s a safe or just a locked room, it is critical to make sure your little ones cannot access your guns. Also, storing your guns safely reduces the risk of theft.
Get the right insurance coverage
In terms of insurance coverage for new gun owners, a homeowner policy covers firearms to some extent. This includes both property and liability coverage. Additional liability insurance might be a good idea based on the coverage descriptions and the amounts of liability protection.
Experienced gun owners who may be starting, or already have a firearms collection should consider an inland marine policy. This type of policy is the best way to ensure that valuable and expensive property such as firearms collections are protected fully. Inland marine policies also include a zero-dollar deductible.
Whether you are a new or experienced gun owner, correct training, safety and the right coverage are must haves. Check with your insurance agent to review your homeowner policy and determine whether you need additional property or liability coverage.
by Jack Mainellis