If you are new to firearms, Id rent
or borrow a few range guns & shoot a few times first. The firearms will quickly lose the "scary" factor or be "intimidating". New or entry level gun owners often feel like the firearm is a living, breathing being that will somehow; "go off"
or be "unsafe".
must learn to safely operate & fire the weapon before
you go out as a CCW license holder or use it for hunting/defense/match-target.
As noted, keep the firearm muzzle(the end part) away from anyone or anything(other than downrange at the target).
Get into the safety habit of opening/checking the action every
time you handle a firearm or if you pass it to the sales clerk or your friend/family member.
If the firearm has a magazine, remove
down the magazine well & the firearm's chamber(barrel) to insure no rounds are "hiding"
It's quick & easy to be distracted or stressed but still do it.
If a weapon has a manual safety put that on too but
don't rely on safety levers or controls. Firearms, just like any mechanical device can have parts that break or fail. Learn what to do & how to check a weapon before you use it.
Id add that you should also get in the habit of doing "function checks" or safety inspections before
you carry any firearm or use it for hunting/target shooting/defense/etc.
There might be a obstruction in the firearm's barrel or a problem with the ammunition. Or a small part may break or not work. It's your job to check the weapon you are going to use or carry. Not the range master, cadre/instructor/gun shop employee.
Read & understand the firearm's owner's manual/directions. Macho Mike may look cool on YouTube pulling out guns & nailing targets 100 yards away but you need learn the basics and be a safe, responsible shooter.
: the safe way, is the right