In light of the recently highlighted tragedies in which children were killed because a gun was left unsecured by its owner, we need to go over some basics of storing guns securely to the absolute best of our abilities.
Basic Safety Reminder
A Sentry Safe (model unknown), class 350-2R. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- If the handgun is not used for immediate home defense, then it should be unloaded and in a safe
- If the handgun is used for immediate home defense, then it should be carried in a holster on your person or in a quick access safe.
- If you have kids, DO NOT try to hide the gun. They will find it.
- Teach them about gun safety.
- “Abstinence only” education on guns is just stupid.
Storing Rifles and Long Guns
- If the rifle is not used for immediate defense, then it should be unloaded and stored.
- If the rifle is used for immediate home defense, it should be readily accessible or in a dedicated safe for quick access in an emergency situation.
- DO NOT STORE LOADED GUNS ALONGSIDE UNLOADED GUNS.
“But I don’t have enough money or space for a safe!”
That is a poor excuse for not securing your guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.It is your responsibility to store a gun securely. Even in states where you will not be held criminally or civilly liable for not storing your guns correctly, the public opprobrium of being an irresponsible gun owner never goes away in the internet age.
Inexpensive safes like this one are available here.
If you are poor or simply cannot spare any space, then your options are improvised safe storage techniques. THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE for using a gun vault or safe.
- Remove the magazine or (unload the cylinder) of the firearm you intend to secure
- Double check the action to make sure that it is unloaded.
- Keep the action open
- You can also remove and store the bolt or slide of the gun somewhere else and then continue to step 4
- Run a python cable lock through the action of the gun(s)
- Lock the python cable lock onto something really heavy.
I like the Plano Field Boxes a lot since they are not bulky and relatively inexpensive. They also have two holes on them that allow you to run a thin python cable lock through them to secure them from unauthorized access.