By: Joe Warta

Christmas time is fast approaching, and for the gun lover on your list who has “too many guns” (is there such a thing?), or is a little picky when it comes to ammo, accessories, and so forth, play it safe with the gift of a classic gun book.

The following are a few page-turners any gun owner will appreciate:

1. “More Guns, Less Crime” by John R. Lott, Jr.
This book by then-University of Chicago economist John R. Lott, Jr. is the holy grail of firearms statistics and policy. Lott goes in-depth researching the real impact firearm ownership rates, concealed carry laws, Castle Doctrine, and “Stand Your Ground” laws have on crime. This book is jam-packed with eye-opening, invaluable information anyone who owns a gun – and even those who don’t – should be armed with.

2. “American Gunmaker” by John M. Browning.
Few would challenge the assertion that John Browning was one of the most influential firearm figures in history, and this book provides an account of his life and inventions. This book is a great addition to the library of the dedicated gun owner and history buff.

3. “Paul Revere’s Ride” by David Hackett Fischer.
This one isn’t exactly a firearms book, per say, but it does provide great insight into the history of the United States and an introduction to our nation’s pro-gun heritage. Fischer gives a dramatic, story-like telling of the beginning of the American Revolution and the first battles of the war. Again, this book is not specifically a gun book, but it is an important read for those wishing to better understand the underlying history of the United States and its relationship with guns.

4. “Lessons from Armed America: True Stories of Men and Women Defending Their Lives and Their Families” by Mark Walters and Kathy Jackson.
This book is a convincing study on defensive firearm use, and reading these harrowing accounts will refresh in the reader’s mind (or convince someone on the fence) why exactly our Second Amendment rights are so important. This book is gripping, terrifying, and exactly what every American – not just gun owners! – must read.

5. “Principles of Personal Defense” by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper.
Jeff Cooper is a bit of a legend in firearms circles, and it’s evident in the praise generated for this book. “Principles of Personal Defense” is mentioned in just about every list of similar “must-read” lists for gun enthusiasts; it’s widely accepted as one of the best books on the psychological aspect of actually defending oneself, one’s loved ones, and/or property, should the unfortunate event ever occur. This is a book on psychology and survival in the face of threats, and it is not one to be taken lightly.

6. “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America” by Adam Winkler.
This book is a little more political and modern than the rest on this list. Adam Winkler is a legal scholar known for his impartial reporting. In "Gunfight," he writes about the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court fight that ultimately overturned DC’s handgun ban. Heller was a landmark case and is still used as precedent for the gun rights debate. It is vital that anyone interested in gun policy is informed on this topic, and Winkler does an excellent job of it.

7. “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” by Nicholas Johnson.
Penguin-Random House writes “Negroes and the Gun” chronicles “the underappreciated black tradition of bearing arms for self-defense,” from “Frederick Douglass’s advice to keep ‘a good revolver’ handy,” to the more modern age of the KKK. This well-researched book provides a fascinating perspective on firearms and their history not often cited in the mainstream gun rights debate.

Joe Warta is a Regional Director with the National Association for Gun Rights writing from Colorado. Contact him at