Safe Gun Storage for Parents & Legal Guardians
If you own firearms, you are responsible for knowing how to properly handle your firearms AND how to keep them safely secure. This is especially important for those of us who have kids in the home. So many of the accidents I've heard about over the years involving children and firearms were completely preventable, if only the firearms were stored securely. Like many household items, firearms have the potential to do great harm if misused or used carelessly. Both education and storage options are vital to keeping your guns safe.
Here are some important points for other parents and legal guardians to consider when deciding how to store their firearms when kids are present.
Different Gun Storage Options
Here are a few ways for you to safely store and protect your firearms when you're not using them. These are honestly all decent options, and it is up to you to choose what best suits your lifestyle, priorities, and environment.
Cable Lock: $0-$6
Most new firearm comes with one in the case, and we include one with every used gun that we sell as well. They are easy to use as you just thread one through the magazine well, or barrel, of the firearm and lock it. One thing to consider though is they are easy to break too.
Pistol Vault: $30-$250
These are the next step up and can be secured via a key, combination lock, pattern lock, and/or biometrically (fingerprint). The price of pistol vaults greatly varies by level of lock security, and strength of material. The thicker the the steel, the better. What makes these great too is they can be locked and secured to something sturdy with a cable tether for extra protection in your home, office, or car. Another point to note is a pistol vault is required for transporting a firearm on a plane.
Firearms Being StoredStore firearms unloaded and outside the reach of unauthorized people. Store ammunition separately, if not under lock and key too. Re-check that firearms are unloaded EVERY TIME you remove them from storage, and any time you handle them really.
And ALWAYS abide by the three basic gun safety rules:
- Keep the firearm pointed in a SAFE direction.
- Keep the firearm UNLOADED.
- Keep your finger OFF the trigger.
Firearms Kept for Home Security
The decision to have a firearm in the home for self-protection, or to carry a concealed firearm, is a serious and very personal matter. Any added safety benefit gained from owning a firearm depends largely on the owner having appropriate training and a clear understanding of safe gun handling and firearm storage rules.
If you feel the need for quick access to a loaded firearm in your home, you absolutely MUST take special safety measures. Keeping a gun to defend yourself and your family makes NO SENSE if that same firearm puts your loved ones or visitors in your home at risk.
You MUST exercise full control and supervision over a loaded firearm at all times. This means the firearm must be unloaded and placed in secure storage whenever you leave your home, or are not carrying it. Securing ammo separately is also important as a gun cannot fire without ammunition. Home firearm accidents can occur when kids discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden or out of reach. This can be especially true if children have only ever been exposed to firearms through movies and television, and never taught basic gun safety.
Education is key!
The first thing to teach kids, especially very young children, is what to do if they ever find a firearm. There is an old mantra from the NRA that is an easy way for kids to remember what to do if they ever come across a firearm.
LEAVE THE AREA, TELL A TRUSTED ADULT.
It may be old, but I think it is still an excellent slogan for kids to learn.
For adults, and kids you feel have reached a necessary maturity level to handle firearms, how would these questions be answered?
Do you know how a firearm operates?
How can you tell if a gun is loaded?
How do you unload a firearm, and make it safe?
If you are unsure perhaps the next step is to get some education! Basic Pistol Training classes are a great place to start. And for those that may benefit better from a more one-on-one approach Private Instruction is also a fantastic way to get the individual training that may be right for you.
Even if you never touch a gun again, “arming” yourself with knowledge and the basics of firearms operation and gun safety is just smart to do.