Gun Safety In The Home With Gun Boxes, Gun Locks, Gun Vaults, And Gun Safes
To take gun safety in the home to the next level consider the use of a gun box/vault which is typically a design made of strong steel and has a security door accessible by either a key lock, combination, or biometrics.
This video demonstrates how technology can be utilized to develop new types of Gun Safes.
Typically, gun boxes/vaults usually hold a small number of handguns and long guns, and accessories. Because of their relatively small size it is suggested that wherever you store the gun box/fault that it be secured in place with the various types of mounting mechanisms that come with many of them. There are some that do not have any mounting capabilities and so your particular needs should be well thought out before you make your purchase.
Trigger And Cable Locks Should Be Your Second Choice
If the only firearm in your home is a handgun the choice of a gun box/vault is far superior to any type of trigger or cable lock system. Personally, I feel that the best choice is having a gun box/vault in the home for securing a firearm (handgun) that is going to be used for self-defense. I prefer the combination lock or biometric lock that allows not only for the firearm to be highly secure but also makes it quickly accessible simply by putting in the combination or scanning your personal fingerprints into the lock mechanism. I think these two locking mechanisms are superior to that of the key as a key can be lost and misplaced.
Although I have my personal preferences there can be arguments made pro and con for every type of equipment piece available, you must choose the one that best fits your personal requirements.
There are a wide variety of gun boxes/vaults for all different possible scenarios for not only securing a handgun within the home but also within the vehicle and or place of business.
There are even those designs that make a handgun accessible from under a table or countertop or some other security requirement that you feel you may need, a little bit of research can reveal the extensive variety of gun boxes and vault applications that are available.
The Ultimate Firearm Security Is A Gun Safe
The ultimate level of gun safety in the home can be achieved with a gun safe. Gun safes come in very wide variety of sizes and can accommodate anywhere from just a few firearms to dozens for both handguns and rifles/shotguns.
Gun safes can either be of a very simple design up to and including very elaborate high-security systems that are virtually impossible to breach.
Typically if theft is also a great concern in addition to gun safety in the home a safe is the best choice as just by the sheer size and mass of a gun safe it can prevent your firearms from being accessed or stolen.
The variety of gun safes is quite extensive and even have the ability with some manufacturers to protect your firearms in the event of a fire or even flood.
The Cost Of Gun Safes Vary Greatly
The first consideration that many families have is the cost of a gun safe, the second is the sheer size and weight of the safe, and where to place it within the home, other than those three considerations if you truly want the highest level of gun safety within your home you would store all of your firearms within a gun safe and restrict access to the codes and/or keys to the safe to only adult members within the home.
Consider the following; In some states simply by not having your guns properly safe and secure per your state law exposes you to criminal liability and/or prosecution. In every state if a firearm is not properly safe or secure and there should be an accidental shooting which results in injury or death of another you will be exposed to possibly not only criminal prosecution, but most assuredly a civil lawsuit.
Gun Safety In The Home, Planning And Education
When planning for gun safety in the home education is the key, and there is a wealth of information available on the Internet. In addition to resources that can be found easily on the Internet there are also community organizations that can provide both planning and educational resources, these can include local representatives of the NRA, local VFW posts, and in some communities the local law-enforcement agencies provide community outreach and education programs.
One resource that is often overlooked is the retail communities such as sporting goods stores and or shooting ranges, and local firearms instructors, all of these can be good resources to help you plan and become educated in proper firearm safety and storage within the home.
There is a wide variety of equipment that can be used to make guns safe within the home
One national resource is the NRA which provides specialized education and training courses regarding firearm safety and self-defense in the home, these courses include; A course on basic personal protection in the home, and a home firearm safety course. Both of these courses are outstanding courses that will give you a strong foundation for both personal safety and gun safety in your home.
When considering what type of equipment to use for the various firearms in your home you will want to first research what is the minimum requirements per your local laws.
The most widely used and common of all gun safety devices is known as a trigger lock.
Trigger locks are designed to prevent access to the trigger, and the rearward motion of the trigger; however a trigger lock depending on its specific design cannot guarantee that the fire alarm could not be discharged in all circumstances.
There are some very specific types of trigger locks that are integrated into the design of a specific model of firearm and require no external parts besides the key.
Typically, the vast majority of trigger locks come in two pieces and they come together on either side and behind the trigger between the back of the trigger and the trigger guard.
This positioning of a bar behind the trigger is supposed to prevent the trigger from being pulled in a reward position and discharging of the firearm. There are other types of trigger locks that do not specifically block the trigger yet they encompass the full area around the trigger and the trigger guard making the trigger itself inaccessible.
Because these types of locks come in contact with the trigger they should never be used on a loaded firearm!
One drawback to trigger locks was made public in 2008 in a US Supreme Court's decision concerning a Washington DC law that requires handguns to be locked or otherwise Completely inoperative in the home, the decision basically stated that the city law mandate made it impossible for citizens to use the firearms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.
If one does the research they'll find that that Supreme Court decision does seem to be somewhat in conflict with laws found in certain current state laws regarding trigger locks.
Interestingly, every trigger lock manufacturer clearly states on the package or on a removable tag on the lock that trigger locks are not to be used on loaded firearms. Although this is primarily for general liability purposes there have been some reported incidents were trigger locks that were not properly installed were involved in an accidental discharges of loaded firearms when the firearm was dropped.
Even with the known shortcomings of the basic trigger lock design they are approved and comply with several state laws for gun safety in the home. The advantage of trigger locks is the simple design, they are easy to use, and they are very inexpensive, and can be obtained at any sporting goods or most hardware stores.
Note: Some Trigger Locks Can Be Easily Defeated With Household Tools.
There are many organizations within many communities that will even provide trigger locks and/or cable locks at a nominal fee or even free of charge, simply check with your local law enforcement agency or the Internet and you'll be able to find their availability in your community.
Cable locks are becoming the lock of choice for the vast majority of firearm manufacturers as they are being shipped with all new firearms being sold to comply with current federal law.
The reason that cable locks have so much favor is that they are inexpensive and the cable is can be looped through various firearms including, virtually all revolvers, autos, rifles, and shotguns. The cable lock is usually installed in one of two different ways, the first being through the magazine well up through the breach and then is locked, this configuration in auto pistols requires the slide to be in the back or rearward locked position, for revolvers the cylinder is open and the cable run down the barrel, and for rifles and shotguns the procedure is similar to an auto pistol.
For auto pistols a second method is again to have the slide in the locked and rear word position and the cable inserted down the muzzle coming out the breach and then locked again preventing the slide from operating or from the firearm being loaded. All of the methods prevent the firearm action from being closed.
Any time you purchase a trigger lock and or a cable lock for any firearms there will be usually clear instructions on the package and if not there will be a link to a website which will show the different configurations of how the trigger lock and/or cable lock can be used on handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
Note: Most cable locks can be defeated by simply cutting the cable with a tool.
The third type of lock and one which is finding a large following is a type of lock called a "chamber lock or internal gun locking system" and its primary design is to block any ammunition from being chambered. If the ammunition/round cannot be chambered the gun is made completely ineffective and the ammunition cannot be discharged.
Omega locks exceeds all state and federal safety standards and are approved for use in California, and Maryland.
One that I have seen and which I believe is the most ingenious is one made by the Omega gun lock company, they make an Internal gun locking system for revolvers, auto pistols, rifles, and shotguns and are caliber specific. These particular types of locks take a little extra work to learn how to engage and disengage but their safety is superior. I suggest you take a look at their website to see the instructional videos, I'm sure you'll be impressed with the design and functionality of these particular types of firearm locks. To learn more go to: www.omegagunlock.com
Another unique locking system that is also highly ingenious and has many applications for securing firearms in the home, work, or vehicle is called “The RAC”, also known as ” The US RAC Weapon Security Device”, It is highly cost effective, and works for handguns, rifles, and shotguns, and is a perfect alternative to a much more expensive gun safe. To learn more go to:http://theusrac.com/
Another Gun Lock, and as of 2016 the most advanced on the market today is the ZORE, for now it is only made for handguns and specifically automatics. For more information, visit: www.zore.life
The NRA has a produced a complete series of Videos on home Gun Safety specifically for Children, Eddy Eagle
Gun Safety In The Home Special Laws To Consider
Gun safety in the home starts with three simple steps, the first being planning, the second is education and the third is equipment.
If you live in California, Florida, Maryland, or Massachusetts You Will Need To Read The Following.
If you're going to have firearms in your home regardless of whether they are handguns, rifles, shotguns, antique collectibles or even fully automatic firearms (for those of you that have the proper ATF paperwork) careful planning should be done to make sure they are stored safely and securely.
If you are in a family situation where there's more than one person living in the home and especially with children careful planning must include an educational component with all the family members about gun safety, education on where and why firearms and ammunition is stored in the home, what to do if non-family members enter into the home, what to do if a firearm is brought into the home by a non-family member, and make gun safety something that is not secretive or mysterious for if you do it will create undue curiosity within children, it is better to include them upfront in a very open and honest discussion about firearm storage and safety.
I have read and researched dozens of articles in about gun safety and many are provided by very reputable organizations, with only a few exceptions most of them do not address one particular issue and that is about having a loaded firearm in the home, and one that is readily accessible in the event of an imminent threat such as a home invasion.
Unfortunately, in our society the threat of having a criminal enter into your home while you are in the house is real, you can read dozens of articles and hear about it on the nightly news about this occurring almost every single day somewhere in the country.
The Gun Must Be Readily Accessible
With a threat such as this being real, one must find a way to not only have the guns stored safely in the home but also be practical in that at least one firearm needs to be readily accessible for self-defense. This is the tough part, depending on who you talk to and what expert provides their advice the bottom line is as a homeowner and a parent only you can make the final decision on how best to protect your family and how to store your firearms.
This article is to give you some ideas on what might be the best course of action for you and your family, and also some of the education and equipment that is available to help you do that.
For me personally, I do keep a firearm that is loaded at all times within the home and that firearm is kept in a lockbox that is specifically designed just for a handgun. I am the only one that has the combination to open the box, it also should be noted there are some of these boxes that are biometric and can be opened only with the proper fingerprint scan.
One point to consider here is that with some of the existing and new laws that are coming out in different states you must determine that if you have children in the home if you're allowed to have a loaded firearm in the home and if so what are the legal requirements for keeping it secure and out of the hands of children, some states are making violations of this a felony so it is incumbent upon you to know your specific state, county, and city laws for the jurisdiction in which you live.
In some states there are no such laws, and in other states simple trigger locks or a lock box are sufficient to satisfy the law, you must also take into account not just the law, but what truly gives you the peace of mind for the safety of your family and what products work and do not work for the specific type of firearms that you have in your home. Again, all this is part of the planning, education, and equipment that is needed to properly and safely secure all firearms in your home.
Careful Planning Is Key For Safety And Self-Defense
I would like to go back to my earlier comment about keeping a loaded firearm in the home for immediate access for the defense of your family, and being able to get to it quickly in the event of an intrusion by a criminal.
One thing I would strongly suggest you not do is to keep any guns in a place that could not be found easily by anyone including the kid next-door. Statistically, the vast majority of accidental shootings occur by either a family member or close friend, or a child in a home that comes across a loaded firearm that was not properly stored. Another all too common occurrence is the gun owner being startled usually late at night and ends up shooting a family member mistaking them for a criminal.
Personally, based upon cases that I handled as a Deputy Sheriff and talking with firearms experts all over the country I do not believe having a gun underneath the pillow or on the nightstand is a good idea at all.
The reasons are obvious, the primary one is it is too accessible by everyone and quite frankly in my opinion is a disaster waiting to happen.
Your Brain Needs To Be Awake
There are some that will argue vehemently against my advice but I feel that it is better to have the firearm at least across the room in a locked box that can be quickly accessed by combination or biometrics. Though there are several reasons I choose this method, I feel it is just common sense to keep the firearm in a secure manner. Secondly, I don't know about you but most people that I know of if woken up out of a dead sleep their brain just doesn't quite kick in and needs a few seconds to think before they can make a life-and-death decision, for this reason alone by having the firearm in the lock box across the room you can collect your thought and yes it will take a couple of seconds to get to the firearm but I think those few seconds of allowing your brain to wake up and allow yourself to think about what you're doing far outweigh the risks.
The historical facts and the known tragedies of accidental shootings by a family member by someone simply being startled and then they pulling the trigger before they had time to clearly think prove my point. Ultimately, it is YOUR decision alone.
Children Must Be Educated In Firearms Safety
If you have children in the home, make certain that part of your educational program with them is to explain to them that whether they come in contact with a firearm in their own home or the home of another make sure they understand there are at least four steps they should ALWAYS take.
- They should stop whatever they're doing.
- Do not touch the gun!
- Leave the area where the gun is.
- Find an adult and tell them what you have found.
One thing that a parent should realize that even a child as young as three has the strength in their finger to pull the trigger, as such it is important that when a child comes in contact with a firearm that they leave the area because another child could pick up the gun and cause an accidental discharge of the firearm.
Also, as part of the planning and educational process there some other steps that can be taken within the home to make it safer when children are present.
Unless you have a gun safe specifically designed to store both guns and ammunition it would be a good idea to store the ammunition in a separate place away from any firearms within the home. Ammunition just like the firearm should be in a locked container.
Secure Firearm Cleaning Supplies
Also, to prevent a curious child or a criminal from easily accessing your locked gun case, box, or safe, and if they are locked via a key the key should be stored separately from your everyday house and/or car keys. This provides just one more added layer of protection.
Another item that is almost always overlooked are the cleaning supplies, a parent must keep in mind that some gun cleaning supplies especially solvents are highly poisonous and special consideration should be given to their proper storage out of reach of children.
Finally, it is the adult's responsibility that a firearm is never left unattended, even when cleaning and if distracted for any reason the firearm should be secured before responding to the distraction. This includes both the firearm and the cleaning solutions.
Gun Safety Education Regarding Firearms Extends To Your Neighbors House
Gun safety in the home also extends to those homes where your child may visit such as a friend or relative's house. Make sure you have a talk with your children about gun safety outside of the home.
As a parent it is your duty to do whatever you can to protect your child within reason at all times, so if you know that your child's is going to be at another home that has firearms in it there is nothing wrong with you talking to the adult of that home and discussing their firearm safety plan.