Firearm Safety For Guns Kept For Home Security


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:

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.

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.

Will EMP Fry the Electronic Keypad Lock on my Safe?

Sentry Safe Biometric Gun Safe Review


  1. Note: In the article I only used the example of a handgun. I know that most of us also have other guns which may be considered for home security. An example would be a shotgun. So, feel free to comment on safe storage and access of that too…

  2. I prefer hidden clocks, pictures, etc for quick and easy access for any firearms I may need for self defense. If I leave for any amount of time, my firearms are put into a safe. All other firearms are kept in a quality safe bolted securely to a cement floor and a hidden door accessing the safe room. Fire is a big concern, “even with a good fire safe” so I built a cocoon with fire bricks that surrounds my safe on all sides and top except for the door opening. I cut up and fitted a potable fire shelter that drapes over the front of the safe for further heat insulation. When my children were young, they never had any access to my firearms. As they grew older, I took them shooting quite often and instructed safety lessons before during and after any shooting sessions. Kids learn best by example. Safety was and still is the main focus when we train as a family. The mystery and forbidden apple syndrome of firearms was never a problem with my kids, as they were trained frequently through out their years. Today my kids are responsible adults and gun owners.

  3. we dont have any kids and we dont have kids in our place ever all i have is a shotgun that in a closet unloaded we are on a fixed income so cant afford a gun and this is ny state making it pretty hard to get a cc permit safe at this time and the shotgun shells are on table right next to me
    so we have things kinda safe the only problem is there HAVE BEEN SOME REALLY violent home invasions not more than 4 or 5 miles away from us my wife has home health aides that come here and she WAS ATTACKED AND RAPED VERY VIOLENTLY by a male aid so its really tricky trying to balance not making the aides nervous because they seen a shotgun out in the open and being able to get to it and load it if anyone has any ideas about to keep the shotgun out in the open and unseen so i can get to it PLEASE let me know

  4. I wear my handgun. If I’m gonna hard roughhouse I’ll remove it otherwise it stays on.
    I’ve once again had to cleanse the house with grandkids lol. I was shocked at how much pokey and bangy things I had laying round.
    I have a safe but one AR stays up high on a slick wall with mag in, empty chamber with an auto on red dot. Currently I have a second handgun in a level 3 holster however it’s reaching the point that it will need something more secure.
    I have a handgun safe in the truck. I’ve also given my kids safes. We also have some trigger locks.
    Their training will start very early on just as I did my children. Not only physical training but verbal as well. You must teach them to be quiet about it otherwise you might be standing in a store during a robbery and they will use their outside voice and say things like “PaPa why don’t you pull out your gun and shoot them”. I’m more worried about social media and weapons security than physical safes with the grandkids.

  5. Ken, you did a great piece on Pepper Spray recently. My advice is if it is too dangerous to keep an unlocked firearm in the house/car, Prepper spray is the next/best thing.

  6. We have a firearm, loaded, in every room of our house. We also keep a loaded shotgun by the bedpost, and another at the opposite end, in our den. If we have guests/family over, we take a bit more precaution, but most guns are out of sight. We don’t have unexpected guests — we keep our gates locked unless we are going in and out through gates to transport stuff by tractor or truck.
    If we had children here (and when the grandkids visit), all firearms are put away — under lock & key.

  7. To me, as safe firearm is one everyone knows is loaded and ready for use. I have lived my entire childhood, and adult life, with a loaded firearm at the ready in my home.

    1. Every firearm is hot, with the available safety on, in our home, with just the two of us.
      Pistols are always holstered. No exposed triggers. Secured on a person or otherwise.
      Rifles/shotguns are secured.
      There is always a once over before guests arrive.
      Especially with children.
      If unannounced, one will distract outside, while the other secures inside.

  8. I just keep my pen and my phone handy,
    Why would i ever need an awful dangerous firearm, especially one of those with the dangerous magazine clip things,,,
    The government will keep me safe. I trust the politicians to keep me snd my family safe…

    1. Kulafarmer
      You’re right.
      The almighty pen and paper.
      Now why didn’t I think of that?
      Here. Come take mine….
      That is IF I had any to hand over…..sold them all.
      I feel so much safer without them…..
      almost naked.

  9. Very good piece over at Fox news that pertains to guns and violence. I think spot on actually, but what do i know

    1. NRP
      Yes, I have read of your unfortunate experience.
      As they say, Shift happens for a reason.
      So sad, turning them all in could have gotten you……$100, maybe $150?

      So how are you and Ole Blue a doing?
      Me and Ole Red are sending comfort your way.

  10. Lost all my firearms in Navajo Lake in a boating accident.
    Was on the way with them to turn then in to the Feds for their Buy-Back program.
    Trying to keep the Country safe ya know.

  11. Ken, will the lock on your biometric safe get zapped in an EMP? is there an old fashioned key backup?

  12. Several years ago, I shared how my Stack On brand security cabinet seized up on me and left me unable to unlock it with a key backup.

    Way back when, the makers of security cabinets and safes were selling models with only electronic locks. Since that time, several things have happened:

    1. Many of the security cabinets with electronic locks failed after several years and Stack On has gone back to manual key locks. The locksmith that came to drill out the lock told me: “Yeah, that is my fourth one this week” as he took out his tools and drilled out the electronic lock. When the electronic lock failed, it seized up and prevented the key from working as well.

    2. The Sporting goods shops where they sell these items have told me: “If you buy an electronic lock, do so only on the high-end expensive gun safes out there.” If you are on limited budget, stick with lock and key or use a manual combination lock.

    I believe that the touch button safe that Ken shows is one of the premium, high end gun safes out there. I would be curious to hear of any body having failures of the lock etc on these devices.

    These days, my weapons can be placed under lock and key in less than 5 minutes if I hear or know of any children or people with dementia coming over to my house.

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