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I am a licensed, responsible gun owner. I own one handgun that I use to shoot at the range. I keep it locked in a safe as required by law, and (although I am allowed to) I do not keep live ammunition in my home, out of an abundance of caution.

Gun ownership is abnormal in Canada where I live; only about 5% of the population is licensed like me. In addition, I am aware as a man that women may be concerned about the implications for domestic violence. Because I practice a legal activity that may nevertheless cause prospective partners distress or objection, I would like to know the proper way, and stage of the relationship, to broach the subject in a way that ensures they feel safe.

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    Some questions to clarify: why do you own this gun for? Competition (licensed?)? Sports? Are you a hunter (too)? Do you practice any other "recreational" activity at the same level than shooting?
    – OldPadawan
    May 5, 2022 at 5:42
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    Could you call the shooting at the range a 'hobby' and introduce it as such?
    – Tinkeringbell
    May 5, 2022 at 5:43
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    @OldPadawan The first piece of information you request is right there in the second sentence of the post: "that I use to shoot at the range". I'm not competitive (yet), I just try to improve my own accuracy. I'm not a hunter. I fail to see the relevance of your second question, but yes, I have multiple other hobbies. May 5, 2022 at 13:35
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    I was asking about the other hobbies for the exact same reason @Tinkeringbell asked you :)
    – OldPadawan
    May 5, 2022 at 13:46
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    "I'm aware [...] domestic violence" is this just a feeling of you or are you sure that in Canada women are concerned?
    – guest
    Jun 24, 2022 at 6:23

1 Answer 1

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You may be overthinking this. I don't have much experience dating (and I'm Dutch, not Canadian), but one thing that invariably came up in any conversation where I was getting to know strangers better was some small talk about our hobbies. It doesn't matter if that stranger was a new co-worker, a new friend, a new significant other, or whether I was having a date, a get-to-know-you coffee, or a casual chat with a new face at a bar/party.

It's not weird to talk about your hobbies when dating a new person, and you can simply introduce yours as taking your gun to the range to go shooting, together with 2/3 other hobbies or on it's own (while mentioning you have several), if you really want to draw attention to that. You can start the conversation about hobbies yourself by asking about hers, or perhaps she will start with that question to get to know you better.

In the exceptional case that this is someone you've known for years but that doesn't know about this specific hobby yet, you can still say you have another hobby that you never really talked about, but you want her to know about now and would like her thoughts about. It's how I learned that one high school guy that I went on a date with was actually quite adept at playing an instrument, and would not be able to 'date' on certain days due to lessons.

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    At uni a friend once turned up wearing the scarf reserved for people who represent the uni at competitions. This guy was a normal engineer type, nobody exceptional. We asked why, and he said; I'm a Small Bore, I shoot for the uni. It seemed he had been shooting competitively since he was a teenager. This was a great surprise and fascinating for all of us.
    – RedSonja
    May 25, 2022 at 9:57

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