One of the most important parts of firearm safety is storing your guns correctly. There are many reasons for properly storing your firearms. Just having guns lying out all over the counter and on the kitchen isn’t what I would call smart or safe. Once you become a firearms owner, you are making yourself responsible for a very deadly device that, in the wrong hands, could potentially kill someone who is unaware of the danger they can pose.
The first thing a responsible gun owner needs to think about when storing firearms is what they’re guns are going to be used for. I have many guns, but only two for home defense. The rest of my collection sits unloaded in a gun safe in my closet that I bolted to the frame of my house. I can’t think of a good reason to leave my collectible and hunting guns lying around the house fully loaded. It would take a fair amount of work to haul off my collection, and that’s the way I like it. I have no children in the house, so my home defense guns are in two locations. I have a drawer in the coffee table that I can get to immediately should someone break in while I’m in the kitchen or in the living room. Since I spend most of my time at home in one of these locations, I figured it would be a good idea to have a gun handy. Otherwise, if an intruder came through my front door, I would have to run past the entryway where the bad guy is, run down the hall, past the bathroom, and get to my shotgun that sits next to my bed. This would give the intruder plenty of time to pull a gun of his own, or physically attack me before I could get behind the trigger. There is an inherent danger however, in leaving guns in places that are accessible by anyone in your home. You have to consider guests, some with children, like to peek in drawers to satisfy their curious nature. Obviously, I can’t let this happen, so before I have guests, I usually take the coffee table handgun, and put it on top of the entertainment center which is way out of reach of little hands. Unfortunately, it isn’t just little hands that don’t need to touch my firearms. I have plenty of non-gun loving friends whose parents never exposed them to the world of firearms. These are good people, they just come from a world where they pretend guns don’t exist, and nothing bad can ever happen to them, so sad.
As my life as a bachelor comes to a close, and the prospect of having a family of my own becomes a reality, I find myself forced to consider balancing home safety, with child safety. GunVault makes some affordable options. The cases they produce are keypad controlled, but the operator can open them almost instantly with the proper code. I like the idea of a child not being able to get to a locked up pistol, while I can still maintain some level of home defense. These cases are battery-powered though, so you would have to be sure to change out the batteries on the safes periodically.
The most important thing you can do to keep your children safe from guns in the home, is to teach them gun safety at a very young age. My father never owned a gun safe, and had a pistol handy near the bed my entire adolescent life. He was a police officer as well as an avid hunter, so he carried a gun with him all the time. There was no mystery in guns for me, since my father taught me to respect them as soon as I was old enough to get around on my own. While I plan to carry on the tradition of gun safety to my own children, I still like to piece of mind of having them under lock and key. It is amazing how much better I tend to sleep knowing my house, and my family, are safe and sound.