The actual risk of a violent home invasion in America is low but I still take steps to ensure the safety of my family. When people tell me “My neighborhood is safe” or “the odds of a break-in are so low”, I respond “Do you ever buy lottery tickets? The odds of winning the lottery are much lower, but you still buy a ticket.” Personal defense and security is a choice you make. The odds are, you will never have to deploy self-defense measures but it is important to have them available in case you need them. How and where you secure guns in your home can be critical to your safety and defensive capabilities. If you have firearms locked in your home, store them in a manner that gives you an advantage in the event of a crisis. What good is a gun in a crisis, if you cannot get to it?
Where do thieves go when they break into a home?
Real-world crime data shows that when a thief breaks into your home they are going to the master bedroom, home office, living room, and the dining room, most likely, in that order. If they think there is a safe in the house, they will likely go to the basement after going to the living room. A big, heavy gun safe is not a deterrent, but an invitation to a thief as they know something valuable is inside. Once found, if a thief came prepared, they will have a safe opened in mere minutes.
So where do you store firearms for the best tactical advantage in the event of a crisis?
The Master Bedroom – While the data suggests this is the worst room to store valuables, it is also a room where you spend a great deal of time sleeping. Store one to two firearms in a Fast Box under your bed. No more than that is necessary. The Kitchen Pantry – Great location for a small gun cabinet as thieves are not typically interested in the kitchen. This is also a room where people spend a lot of time during the day. In the event of a home invasion, if you are in the kitchen, you will have quick access to a firearm. Also, most homes have an exit near, or from, the kitchen. This allows you to arm yourself and then evacuate the home. Your goal always should be to avoid confrontation. A Closet Near the Front Door – This is a great location for securing firearms. Thieves ignore these closets. If someone you do not recognize knocks on the door, you refuse to open and they start trying to kick it in, you’ll have very fast access to a gun in that closet. Guest Bedroom – If your home has a guest room with a closet, this is a good location for additional gun storage. Thieves will typically ignore guest rooms.
Bottom line: Have a plan
We are taught that in case of a fire you should have a place outside the home for everyone to meet. This way you know everyone is accounted for. In a robbery or home invasion where you cannot exit the home, you should designate a room where family members go in the event of an emergency. A guest room or secondary bedroom with a locking door is a great choice. You should have a Fast Box or Agile cabinet secured in this room. However, in the case of home invasion, no matter where you are in the house you should always be within a few seconds of accessing your firearms. They should not be out in the open and they should be secured and hidden from small children and from being used against you. Proper storage of firearms is important to keep them out of the wrong hands. When you keep a gun for home defense, you have to balance speed of authorized access against security. In this article, I will talk about some of the best gun storage options when access for defensive use is important.
First Step: Evaluate Your Circumstances
Before you can decide how to keep your firearms, you should examine your situation. Your circumstances will impact what methods you use to secure your weapons. Hornady offers a number of handgun safes like this bedside unit that passes as a radio alarm clock. If you have children or visitors that bring children into your home, you must store your firearms with a reasonable level of security to prevent them from obtaining the guns. This will limit your storage options, but responsible gun ownership includes safe storage. Another thing to consider is your home’s layout. Certain areas may be better places to store a gun due to the amount of time you spend there. Other places may be poor locations due to the lack of space or accessibility. How you store a gun is influenced greatly by where you can store one.
Staging vs. Storage of Firearms
Pre-positioning of firearms for home defense needs is sometimes called staging. A staged firearm is a gun that is stored in a ready-to-use condition. Like a fire extinguisher, they are intended for emergency use. Some people — people I respect, mind you — make a distinction between the storing and staging of firearms. They correctly point out that when you store a non-staged firearm, it should be unloaded and kept in a very secure location such as a gun safe. For the purposes of this article, I use the terms storing and staging interchangeably. To my mind, a staged gun is a subset of stored guns just like non-staged guns that are unloaded and locked in a safe are also a subset of stored guns.
Gun Storage Methods
Once you evaluate your needs and circumstances, you can plan your home defense storage plan. While there are an infinite number of variations, storage breaks down into three basic categories: exposed, hidden and lock boxes. Let’s get into each of them now.
Exposed storage is when you lay out a gun in plain view for easy access. This could be leaning a rifle against your night stand when going to bed or leaving a 1911 on top of your desk. Exposed storage offers no security at all, but it may offer the fastest access. While your gun might serve to protect you, you must protect it when it’s not in use. Exposed storage is responsible only when you trust everyone else that may have ready access to the firearm. You would not want to use it if you have small children or were working in an office that was open to the public. Further, it should be secured when left unattended.
Hidden Gun Storage
Hiding a gun uses concealment as a form of security. While some methods of hidden gun storage offer some measure of access control, many methods do not. So, be careful when selecting the proper secret storage location if you have kids or other people that would irresponsibly handle a firearm. At its most basic, hidden storage can be as simple as keeping a pistol in a desk drawer. However, there are more advanced methods of hiding a gun from plain view, yet keeping it close at hand for a home defense need. Tactical Walls offers a variety of out-of-sight storage solutions made to resemble furniture and other household objects. Tactical Walls is one of the premier companies when it comes to building home décor with defensive functionality. The company offers a range of furniture and built-ins that are purpose-built to store guns. Many of these concealed gun storage solutions are quite handsome and will fit into a well-appointed home. One of the company’s top products is the Top Locking Shelf. It is a fully functional shelf with a drop down storage area designed to store a carbine like the Springfield SAINT AR-15, a pistol and even spare ammunition. I’d recommend visiting the company’s website for other unique covert gun storage ideas. There are other secret gun storage solutions to consider. You could, for example, hollow out a large book to conceal a pistol within it. Sitting on a kitchen counter or desktop, the book would look like any other reading material. Yet, it would offer fast access to a defensive weapon. I’m sure with a little thinking, you can come up with all kinds of creative gun storage ideas. Live The Armory Life. The latest content straight to your inbox plus an automatic entry to each of our monthly gun giveaways!
Secure Gun Storage: Lock Boxes
While a full-on safe will offer the best protection against theft, fire and other losses, there is another option for people that want fast access to a secured home defense gun. I call these devices lock boxes. However you store your gun, make sure it’s in a reliable and safe storage system — like this Vaultek handgun safe. A lock box is a general category of storage solutions that attempt to balance theft-deterrence with speedy access to authorized users. Many of these storage units use some form of metal box large enough for a handgun with a keypad or fingerprint scanner. Typically, they can be bolted to a large piece of furniture or studs in your walls. Some units are tethered with a steel cable to help prevent theft. Variations of the emergency access box also exist for rifles and shotguns. Some of these devices are designed to conceal under your bed while others mount to a wall. Hornady offers a number of fast access lock boxes for home defense firearms. For my needs, I have a Springfield XD Service model pistol stored in a Hornady RAPiD gun vault next to my bed. (Click here to read my XD Service Model review.) This is a supplement to my SAINT rifle and part of my home defense gear. The Hornady lockbox offers fast access via a keypad and an RFID fob on my keychain. I have something similar in my office that stores a full-sized handgun to augment my Hellcat pistol that goes everywhere with me. A good quality firearm, like this Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, deserves quality protection — like this Vaultek LifePod case.
You are the master of your own domain. Therefore, you are in the best position to determine the best ways to store a gun to defend your home. One pistol hidden behind a specialty mirror near the front door might be a good option for you, but not for me. As with all things, I urge careful consideration and finding a balance between home defense and preventing unauthorized people from gaining access to your firearms. Hidden gun storage only works when people don’t know about it. A locked gun storage solution offers better security but often at a higher monetary cost and slower access. Find the balance of how to store a gun that works for you. Then, with training guns or unloaded firearms, practice accessing them. When an emergency comes, you don’t want to fumble with a lock or hidden access latch. Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in! When it comes to how to store a home defense handgun, there is one subject that tends to be overlooked very often – the issue of gun storage. What most of us are concerned about is the weapon and the ammo you want to buy and how to use it if you were to get attacked. But today, let’s ask ourselves, how exactly should you store your home defense gun? This information is quite critical since storing this gun isn’t the same as storing the guns you use at the range – this particular weapon is the one that you would use to defend yourself and your family in case of anything unfortunate happening. Storing a home defense gun in today’s world is proving to be quite difficult, especially with our kids running around the house at all times. In this article though, we will take a look at ways in which you can safely store your gun at home, and away from your kids.
Gun Safety in the Home and Around the Kids
What makes home gun storage difficult is the presence of kids around the house. As you know, a gun is a dangerous weapon, and so, if your kids were to stumble upon it while playing, I know you don’t even want to think about what could happen next, right? I mean, we can only use one word – catastrophe! So, to avoid such a scenario, it’s good to take precautions. Now, one of the best ways to ensure that you have control over the weapon at all times is if you carry it around at all times. See, by wearing the firearm, you will never have to worry about its whereabouts, or not having the peace of mind when your kids are at home and you are not. However though, if we are being honest, carrying the weapon 24/7 just isn’t practical. You will need to think of other safe ways to store it inside the house, ensuring that it’s out of reach from curious hands, yet easily accessible in case of anything. Basically, the idea here is to ensure that the gun is safe, easily accessible, and as far away from the kids as possible. So, how about you think of places like a safe? This is the go-to method for many legal gun owners. It’s pretty easy and convenient, and also safe, which is why many people use them to store their guns. When we are talking of a safe, we aren’t talking about the one you would use for long-term storage, instead, we are referring to a particular safe designed for gun storage. With such a safe, you will be able to keep your gun anywhere, safely – even under your bed. Some safes are secured by finger sensors, others, electronic codes, and some, key locks, all of which offer quick access to the firearm. Now, you have bought a safe – good for you – and have secured your home defense gun inside, the next thing that you should think about, is the best place to keep it. You have to remember one thing; if the need for the firearm arises, obviously, it will be sudden and it’s not always guaranteed to occur when you are asleep. What this means is that you have to consider the fact your bedroom might not be the ideal storage place. If you have a big house, of course, you don’t want to be attacked in the living room, while your gun is securely stored at the farthest point in your bedroom. I mean, it defeats the point! So, how about you consider placing the safe in a central place that’s easily accessible from any point in the house?
Out in the Open
There are those gun owners who prefer to keep their home defense weapon in an open area, like the bedside table. With this method, of course, there is the benefit of accessibility, especially if you are attacked while in the bedroom. However, there are some serious problems that could be caused by you leaving your weapon in an open area, especially if you have children. One thing, if you have kids, leaving your weapons like this is dangerous, and could, in fact, be seen as reckless. Secondly, even if you don’t have kids, when someone breaks into your house when you are not there, they could easily access your weapons, and that could spell out problems for you, if the weapon is used in another crime, or if you burst him/her, only for them to use it against you. So, I guess it’s safe to say that the dangers of this method far outweigh the benefit. So, you will have to make the right call, based on your situation.
Home Defense Handgun Storage on Walls
If you have a collection of firearms, this is the best way to store them in your house. But, it’s recommended that you have an extra room to store, a room where only authorized people are around to enter, and certainly not your kids. And if your kids were to go in that room, you need to ensure that you mount the guns high enough, out of their reach. With a wall mount, you will have easier access to the firearms in case of anything. This is the main reason why a lot of people consider this form of storage – it balances safety and easy accessibility – not forgetting that maintaining the racks isn’t that hard, and are designed to serve you for years. SofHold makes magnetic gun mounts that can be mounted on nearly any surface, especially throughout your home. Final Thought Gun safety is critical, and you should always pay attention to it. When storing your guns, you really need to ensure that there is a balance between absolute safety and easier accessibility. After all, you are the master of your own domain, so, am pretty sure that you will figure out a way for you to store your guns. Use your judgment well, and you will be fine.
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