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Lock it up!

We should all help those who are unsafe and irresponsible with education and training. If you have a gun, lock it up, pretty simple. Safe storage is an important component of responsible firearms ownership.

You should know the cardinal rules of firearms safety.

  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded

  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire

  3. Do not point a firearm at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy

  4. Know your target and what is behind it

Somewhere between 1500 and 3000 children are killed every year by firearms. Again the number does not matter so much as this- One child killed because of a preventable accident is one too many. Lock up your guns when not in use.

To be clear I am mostly speaking about handguns. Long guns in my mind always belong in a gun safe, but trigger locks and cable locks can be used also.

(An easy way to lock up a revolver with a handcuff, a trigger lock, and cable lock can also be used)

There are a number of things that prevent folks from locking up guns. One- cost, Two- emergency access, Three- ignorance.

Cost- yes a good locking system can be expensive. I would argue that no matter the cost it beats the heck out of the angst, sorrow and perhaps criminal and civil penalties that could come with a preventable accident.

Access- sure a complex locking system can delay your ability to access a gun in an emergency. There are however a number of good systems that are faster than others and not cost prohibitive. Key to this – PRACTICE. Also, consider carrying your CCW firearm at home-this ensures it is secure [in your holster] but readily available.

Ignorance – You are reading this so you are educated and informed.

Trigger locks, which open with a key, are not super useful in a hurry. Same with the cable type locks that come with every gun you buy now. But these two can be useful for longer-term storage.

I like a system that focuses on options.

Long term storage for guns that are not used often – I prefer a large safe. Holds many guns and cannot be removed from the house. This would also be where I use cable locks, trigger locks. If you shoot your gun once a week at the range or other non-urgent circumstances you fit this category. Safes are large and can be purchased fireproof and should have a rating of an hour or two, the time it will take criminals to defeat it. (One example is

Urgently needed guns not immediately under my physical control. If I’m not wearing the gun and I set it down but may need it at night, when I answer the door, etc… I consider having an urgent need for. In this category, I love the small vault and think it’s appropriate. It offers less protection for the long term, criminals who have a crowbar can defeat these, but it will take 20 minutes or so… and it keeps our kids safe. This is my favorite category of devices and can store firearms safety in multiple locations like by the door, in the bedroom, etc. (Example of one type that fits this description is ) You enter a combo of key presses and the door pops open, can be very fast, and does not require a key. I do not like the biometric locks. I like to be in control of how it opens. Always look for a handgun vault with a key override in case the batteries go dead.

Any of the small vaults and safes can and should be bolted to the floor or wall.

Travel solutions- a small commercial cable locking box or a pair of handcuffs, some sort of method to lock up a gun away from home. It's possible the cable lock that your gun came with could fit this bill. (Example of one type that fits this description is and the cost is $20-30) Anytime you cable to something, be sure that thing is relatively solid. I have seen cable locks to things like the leg of a desk, picking up the desk defeats it. Lock onto solid things that cannot easily be disconnected or defeated. I keep a travel safe like this in my car at all times in case I need to lock up a gun, I run the cable to the frame of the vehicle.

There are many decent versions and for convenience, I used the NRA store as a site to view examples but it's possible you can find the same or better items from other vendors. If you seek assistance with a particular system or product, the instructors at Raven One Five or RATH-Defense would be glad to assist you.

One of the best things you can do is seek and attend proper training. Repetition and practice will ensure you are confident in your selection and skills.

Another point as a responsible gun owner is that you need to educate everyone in your household on firearm safety. Keeping the firearms as a Taboo from your children can create a curiosity that could lead to unsafe behavior. You may not want to train your children how to use firearms, but you should at a minimum teach them the four safety rules, as well as the dangers of unsafe handling.

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