Things To Know When Buying Your First Firearm

Buying your first firearm is a big step, and there are a few important things you should consider – especially if you have never bought a firearm before. Here’s what you need to know for your first firearm purchase.

Ready to Buy Your First Firearm? What You Need to Know

Check Your State’s Laws

While all states differ slightly in their laws, there are some general rules on purchasing a firearm.  First, you must be 18 years old to purchase a rifle or shotgun.  Second, you must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun or handgun ammunition, and the handgun purchase must take place in your state of residence. Otherwise, the handgun must be transferred to an authorized licensed dealer in your home state for processing. All purchases are subject to a background check, so it’s wise for Nebraska residents to visit their county sheriff and apply for a Handgun Purchase Permit. The questionnaire is short and only costs $5. While not a legal requirement for purchase, it expedites the sales process and eliminates the need for the vendor to call in a verification check.

Choose Your Caliber

If you’re purchasing your very first firearm, it’s wise to come and speak with our experienced sales staff before you decide on a caliber.  They’ll know what questions to ask to help you make the best choice for your intended use. If you’re are still not sure which gun to choose, we have a variety of firearms available for rent so you can try different styles and calibers until you find one that’s right for you.

Safety First

Safety is the most important thing when it comes to handling your firearm, and you should take the necessary safety precautions before you consider your first purchase. Safety tips include making sure that you have a safe storage method like a certified gun safe to keep your gun in when it’s not being used, and ensuring that you familiarize yourself with basic gun safety – 88 Tactical offers several classes and products that fits this need, including our Firearm Essentials Basic Safety Course.

Examining Your Needs

Remember to ask yourself what purpose you are purchasing the firearm for. If your purpose is self-defense, the firearm you want or need may differ greatly from the model that you might pick if you you are looking for a hunting or sports firearm. Don’t choose the first model that you fall in love with, either – this only leads to buyer’s remorse, even for gun-owners. Talk to our staff, take your time, and find the gun that suits you and your needs best.

Know where you can get firearm products and advice

88 Tactical’s Pro Shop stocks the merchandise you need, from firearms and ammunition, to apparel and accessories. While our retail selection may not be as large as your typical chain retailer, everything we sell is “88 Tactical Approved” by our staff and instructors. If our team wouldn’t use it, we don’t sell it. Most of the 88 Tactical family is current or former law enforcement or military – so many of the products have been evaluated in more than just a controlled range environment. Our well-experienced and friendly staff can make great personal recommendations when it comes to gear and merchandise.


Make time to attend a firearms course

At 88 Tactical, we believe that when a crisis occurs, civilians on the scene are the true first responders. Knowing what to do while the Police/EMS are on the way can have a dramatic, positive, and sometimes life-saving impact on the outcome of an emergency situation. That’s why 88 Tactical has developed an unrivaled broad range of curriculum to help individuals, families, EMS workers, and military members develop the confidence and ability to deal with any situation or crisis.

What type of firearm courses does 88 Tactical offer?

We have a wide range of firearm courses available for beginners through to advanced handlers. Here are a few:



88 Tactical is open to the public, but membership has its privileges. Members can enjoy discounted merchandise, training classes, rentals, range time, armorer services and more. Membership benefits also include priority on special events, facility rentals and lane reservations.

If you join with a Founders Club membership, free range time, deep discounts and access to the private lounge is just the beginning.

If you’re a business owner, ask one of our membership sales associates about our Corporate Memberships – designed to provide business professionals with the resources to develop strong relationships with clients and colleagues in a fun and professional environment.


88 Tactical offers fun public community events as well as private events for our members. Want to host a family gathering, bachelor party or corporate team-building event? We’ve got you covered. There are multiple rooms and spaces available for rent in our state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities. Our event services include a comprehensive event plan, including catering options.



Schedule a Tour

Come explore our state-of-the-art facility and exclusive amenities and see for yourself what makes us so much more than a shooting range.