Keeping a firearm in the home for self-protection and security is a decision which comes with a great responsibility.
Safety, safe handling and storage, a clear understanding of gun safety, training, as well as the support for having a firearm by other adults in the household – are circumstances that must be considered by a responsible owner of a firearm for home security.
Your biggest responsibility is being sure that children cannot access loaded firearms.
Kids are curious. Most kids have not been trained and disciplined to understand the true responsibilities that come with a firearm. Even if your kid (or young adult) has been trained and disciplined to properly respect the gun, there’s the situation when others may be visiting (for example). Just remember that fatal accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden or out of reach.
When you are keeping a firearm for home security, the purpose is to have the firearm readily accessible to you. Not to others. Treat it as your weapon and your responsibility.
Where to keep your home security firearm?
A handgun can be ‘worn’ on your person, or it can be 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, and a few years ago I discovered this particular biometric fingerprint scanner pistol safe (also with push buttons and key) – which I consider to be the best (fastest response time, and will hold two different prints – 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 and I want to minimize any unnecessary mechanical motions in the heat of the moment (e.g. in the dark) (remembering and successfully entering or pressing a series of button press codes on the safe). Instead, simply a swipe (and its lighted).
Having said that, there are circumstances and pros/cons for all sorts of gun safes – but this is my preference for a handgun safe. (Also available at Home Depot)
Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol 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
Firearms should be fully controlled at all times. Either on your person, or safely stored.
Firearms should be stored in a location inaccessible 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).
Whenever retrieving a firearm from storage, always check to see if it is unloaded (or not!).
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.
Keep 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.