When it comes to firearm ownership, we are usually taught at a young age that safety is priority number one. This is absolutely true, and as our living situations change over time so must our protocols for in-home safety. Living by yourself, it is not unreasonable for your pistol to be left on the nightstand next to the bed at night, however, this would not be recommended if our family has grown and there are kids in the house. This being said, here are some considerations for in-home safety.
Firearm storage is a big consideration for all of us. For many gun owners out there, myself included, a fortified gun room made into a vault is on my list of dream home modifications. However, this may not be a reasonable item on our list; we may not own enough firearms to justify an expense like this or the expense itself may not be reasonable. Thankfully a hidden vault, as much as we may want one, is not the only solution. Cable locks are included with the purchase of new firearms now, and they are a perfectly acceptable way of locking up firearms. You can also go to any gun store, sheriff’s station, etc. and they will give cable locks to individuals requesting them for free. I recommend keeping a few around just in case. An extra in the house is a great advantage in the off chance that you need to store another firearm at the house. It’s better to have a plan in place than to try to figure a new plan out after you already have a firearm at home and no way to lock it up. There are also some other options for smaller, single handgun safes that can be purchased relatively cheap from many sporting goods stores. I do recommend bolting the safe down if it is going to be used long term as they are fairly easy to walk away with if they are left loose at the bottom of a nightstand. Safes will provide a level of security in the home where a thief would have less time to gain access, however; if someone takes it to another location where time was not limited, the safe would afford very little protection as it could be accessed with relative ease using a grinder or torch.
Keeping a cable lock in the glove box of your vehicle is a great idea as well, in case we end up needing to head into the post office and don’t want to leave a firearm unsecured in the vehicle. One great way to secure a firearm in a vehicle is to loop the cable lock through the child seat anchor in the back seat. Utilizing this would prevent someone from breaking into the vehicle and removing the firearm from the vehicle and trying to remove the cable lock at another location.
One other consideration for in-home safety would be a clearing station for loading and unloading your firearms. You have the highest probability of a negligent discharge while loading and unloading your firearms. Keeping in mind that even if a round is fired accidentally, you are responsible for where that round stops; therefore, it is of vital importance that we load/unload in the safest manner possible. It is recommended that you load and unload your firearms in the same place every time, as repetition builds a habit. A makeshift clearing barrel is also highly recommended, and this can be done by simply filling a coffee can with sand. For those of us that may live in an apartment building, we may have roommates above us, below us or to either side. If we utilize this clearing barrel, in the off chance that we have a negligent discharge the round is unlikely to pass through 10-12” of sand with enough remaining energy to wound or kill. You could accomplish the same goal with a few phone books that are no longer being used as the same concept applies.