Many people keep at least one firearm in the home for self-protection and security. It is a decision that comes with common sense responsibility.
Gun safety. Safe handling and storage. A clear understanding of the specific gun itself.
One of the biggest responsibilities is being sure that children cannot access firearms. Loaded or not.
Kids are curious. Your own young ones might be disciplined around firearms. But there’s the situation when others may be visiting (for example). Just remember that accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden or out of reach.
A firearm for home security should be readily and quickly accessible. Accessible to you, but not necessarily to others
Where to keep your handgun at home
One best place for your home security gun (e.g. a handgun) is to carry on you person as every-day-carry (EDC). Or readily accessible in a quick-access case, pistol safe or gun safe.
Even if there are no other people living in the household (perhaps just you, or you and your spouse), some may choose to leave a firearm openly accessible, although perhaps out of sight (e.g. in a closet, a drawer, etc..).
Personally, I don’t like that notion. If you leave the home (without your firearm) and someone breaks in, your firearm will not be locked up. If you have guests over the house – you may not think about the fact that you have an accessible firearm which is out of your immediate control (what if your guests have kids?).
In any event, I highly encourage a lockable gun safe or pistol safe (or multiple safes for various purposes). There are all sorts of sizes, shapes, and accessibility attributes to various gun safes.
I have had several different handgun safes through the years. A few years ago I discovered one particular biometric fingerprint scanner pistol safe (also with push buttons and key). I consider it to be the best (fastest response time, and will hold two different fingerprints – one for me and one for Mrs.J).
The way I look at the situation is that if I ever truly needed emergency access to a handgun (e.g. awakened in the middle of the night), chances are that the adrenaline would be flowing… I want to minimize any unnecessary mechanical motions in the stress of the moment, such as remembering and successfully entering or pressing a series of button press codes on a gun safe. Instead, simply a swipe of the index finger and the gunsafe pops open.
Having said that, there are circumstances and pros/cons for all sorts of gun safes. But this is my preference for a handgun safe:
For your interest, I wrote the following related article awhile ago:
Have More Than One Handgun? Do This For Better Home Security
Gun Safety Tips
I: TREAT ALL GUNS AS IF THEY ARE ALWAYS LOADED
II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
Firearms should be fully controlled at all times. Either on your person, or safely stored.
Sore firearms in a location that’s not accessible to children or anyone else who is unauthorized.
Clean your firearm immediately after target shooting or hunting so as not to leave it lying around until later (unsecured).
Retrieving a firearm from storage: always check to see if it’s loaded or unloaded.
Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction – always!
Pretend there is a destructive laser beam from the barrel at all times.
Keep your fingers off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Don’t depend on the gun’s ‘safety’ for safety.
Consider keeping a firearm unloaded when not in use (except for special purposeful and safe circumstances under your immediate control – carrying for protection, home security pistol safe, etc..).
All members of the household must understand and follow gun safety handling and storage protocols.