Firearm safety is a major concern among households. According to the Journal of Urban Health, about 4.6 million children live in homes where at least one gun is freely accessible and worse, loaded. The End Family Fire campaign reported that about eight kids are either injured or killed per day due to unintentional firing. These statistics are daunting, but it should also push you to look for the best way to store your firearms. It’s not just for the maintenance of your weapon, but also for the safety of your whole family.
Aside from the threat of burglary and unauthorized access, handling the firearms is another thing everyone should focus on. It’s a fact that guns are powerful weapons. It can kill anyone. So randomly aiming it or keeping it on your unlocked dresser pose a direct threat to the safety of your family or anyone staying in your home.
If you want to ensure your guns are far from being a source of accidents, follow these 15 safety tips I listed here. No matter how veteran you are in handling firearms, a few reminders will serve its purpose.
- 1 1. Get a gun safe
- 2 2. Always lock the safe
- 3 3. Don’t store it loaded
- 4 4. Know how to use it
- 5 5. Don’t aim haphazardly
- 6 6. Lock your ammo
- 7 7. Use a gun lock
- 8 8. Place a safe alarm
- 9 9. Mind where you put your fingers
- 10 10. Keep the firearms clean
- 11 11. Don’t do DIY gun modifications
- 12 12. Don’t let kids play with it
- 13 13. Avoid using thick pouches
- 14 14. Be aware of your surroundings
- 15 15. Educate them
1. Get a gun safe
The number one solution to safekeeping your firearm is getting a gun safe. These solid steel vaults are equipped with advanced locking mechanisms that can’t simply be picked using a pin or card. You can choose from a variety of sizes, features, and locking systems depending on your needs.
Unlike storing it in a locked cabinet, a gun safe offers a higher level of security for almost any possible scenario. Some models can withstand fire, flooding, and even brute force from prying or drilling. And if you’re looking for one, these gun safes for bedrooms will be excellent.
Gun safes can be affordable, but investing in a more high-end piece would be worth it if you want more features. This is the best way to store your firearms, so far.
2. Always lock the safe
The reason why you purchased a safe is to shield the firearms against unauthorized access. With this, make sure that you keep it locked at all times. Always spin the lock dial before leaving or check if you kept the manual key on its proper storage. Also, don’t share the passkey to everyone in the house to avoid stirring their curiosity. If you intend to share the safe with your partner, make sure that he or she checks the lock before leaving.
Safe locks may come in either manual or electronic versions. Manual locks are pretty hard to pick and spy on. Nevertheless, electronic locks have more edge in terms of faster and easier access during emergencies.
3. Don’t store it loaded
Always unload and decock the gun before storing it. This becomes even more crucial when you’re safe keeping long firearms. You might forget that the guns are loaded and you stand the chance of pulling the trigger. Long firearms can also fire when it experiences a strong rattle off if it falls off the storage cabinet or safe. The best way to store your firearms is to keep it unloaded.
Fired guns stored loaded are prone to damage. The gunpowder may stick and start to react to the metal component of the firearm. When it lingers for a long time, the gun may not fire the next time you try. And as far as gun experts are concerned, this scenario is quite dangerous.
4. Know how to use it
If you’re new to firearms, make sure that you read the manual and you did some research. Basic skills like knowing how to load and unload a gun as well as opening and closing the action are important. These could be lifesavers in the future.
Always know how a certain firearm operates and what risks it brings if not stored properly. Remember that each gun type has different firing mechanisms. For example, firing a handgun will cause the hammer to snap and a certain pin to strike the primer. This will cause a spark and this tiny explosion will ignite the gunpowder and force the bullet out.
5. Don’t aim haphazardly
Regardless if it’s loaded or not, always aim the firearm’s muzzle away from people. The best way to store your firearms? Always aim the gun in a safe direction. What’s a safe direction? If the gun fires accidentally, a safe direction is where no one will be injured. Having too much bravado while handling your guns isn’t a good thing. This can cause serious injuries.
Also, don’t use your firearms when you or someone in the house is drunk. Lock it away from the person, or if there’s a constant issue of safety, it’s best to store the firearm away from your home.
When retrieving the gun from its storage, make it a practice to point it away from any person.
6. Lock your ammo
Like firearms, ammunitions are as dangerous as it can be. Store your ammo in a separate container that’s locked away from your gun safe. Cartridges can fire if exposed to too much heat which can build up inside a safe.
There are dedicated containers for ammunition like the Plano Ammo Box. It’s made of plastic with a brass latch and a sturdy handle. This can fit .50 caliber bullets. Even if it’s made of plastic, it can handle the weight of the ammo.
The best way to store your firearms is to keep it away from the ammo. You can let the ammo container sit inside your closet and mounted using a security cable to avoid theft and unauthorized access.
7. Use a gun lock
If you’re really worried about firearm safety at home, you can use a gun lock. Curious kids may find a way to crack your safe open and have access to your weapons. A gun lock could either be a trigger lock or a cable lock. Trigger locks are placed on the trigger to prevent it from moving. Meanwhile, cable locks stitch its way on the magazine container up to the top area of the handgun.
Take note that these gun locks can easily be figured out by anyone who has the patience to browse the internet. Cable locks can be cut using strong pliers and trigger locks can be picked. It’s best to store the locked gun inside the gun safe for the utmost security.
8. Place a safe alarm
A gun safe alarm is an excellent addition to your gun vault. It will engage when someone tries to tamper with your locking mechanism or if the humidity of the safe suddenly changes. Safe alarms vary in features, but usually, it will start screaming or it will notify you via your mobile device.
Safe alarms can be triggered by a forced door opening, brute force, moisture level changes, low battery, internet disconnection, and more. This is a pretty interesting device that will increase the firearm security a big notch.
The Liberty Safe Gun Safe Alarm system is an excellent option if you’re thinking of the best way to store your firearms. It will send alerts when there’s a movement on your safe, excess humidity, burglary, and fire. The alerts will be sent via SMS or e-mail.
9. Mind where you put your fingers
The golden rule is this: don’t put your finger on the trigger if you don’t intend to shoot. Just place your finger on the trigger guard or on the handle of the gun. This will prevent accidental firing. Someone might cause you to be jumpy and the unintentional pulling of the trigger. God forbids you’re aiming at someone.
Proper gun handling training is important to prevent any serious injuries. It starts by knowing how your gun works and how you should react in case of a real-life threat.
When firing, make sure that you don’t just look at the target. Always consider what’s behind it and who else might be injured.
10. Keep the firearms clean
Keeping a clean collection of firearms is important as the best way to store your firearms. Cartridges may not fire due to the grime build up and it may cause possible injuries in the future. Make sure that the storage area of your guns has the lowest humidity possible. You can use a dehumidifier to catch the moisture in the atmosphere.
If you just returned from a hunting trip or a target shooting session, make sure that you clean the firearms before stashing it back to your gun safe. Remember, the burned gunpowder can cause corrosion and blockage to the barrel of the weapon.
11. Don’t do DIY gun modifications
If you want to customize your firearms for a certain purpose, let a gun professional service it for you. Guns have very intricate mechanisms and altering it yourself spells trouble. It will make your guns dangerous, especially if you’re not skilled to do the modifications. Doing it by yourself will save you money but it will jeopardize lives. Also, you might ruin your gun that will cause you more money in the long run.
It also pays to have your gun inspected regularly. These weapons also experience wear and tear over time. Fixing the issues even before it causes injuries is the way to go. You can always check with the manufacturer about the servicing.
12. Don’t let kids play with it
An unloaded gun may look harmless, but it’s not a reason for you to let your kids play with it. It’s a real gun, after all. You’ll never know when their curiosity will meet its bounds. You might forget to lock the safe and they’ll be accessing the weapons inside. And with the familiarity you build upon them, you just wish that none of the weapons are loaded. That’s the best way to store your firearms.
It’s best that you keep the guns away from the eyes of the youngsters. This way, they won’t be curious about it and how it works. Also, put your safe somewhere where the kids rarely go. It could be the closet of your bedroom or your home office.
13. Avoid using thick pouches
Thick pouches are used for transporting firearms. It prevents rattling and the risk of discharging a bullet. But when it comes to storage, it’s best to let your firearms bare inside the gun safe. Thick pouches can harbor moisture and cause the rust build-up on the gun. Dust and dirt can also accumulate inside.
If you’re storing handguns, use handgun hangers instead of fancy pouches. This will save you more space inside the gun safe while keeping the dryness of the weapons. For long firearms, a rotating rack would be the best option to keep the guns from rattling with each other. For smaller safes, just let the gun sit freely inside.
14. Be aware of your surroundings
When handling the firearm, always be sensitive to your surroundings. In case of emergencies where you have to fire, look who else is behind the target. He or she might dodge the bullet and someone at the back will get hurt. This awareness goes the same when retrieving the weapons and exposing it outside. If there are kids around, you might want to send them away first.
Remember, you can’t undo a shot. Firing due to a sudden noise or movement is an unsure action. Take your time before releasing that bullet. Aside from the best way to store your firearms, you should also know how fast a bullet can travel for each gun type you possess.
15. Educate them
Above all, educating your family about gun safety is the number measure to keep them safe. Let them know of the repercussions of mishandling it. It’s also important that you let the kids know of the gravity of owning firearms. This will tame their curiosity and keep them away from trying to access your weapons.
Knowing the best way to store your firearms is the first step to avoiding any unintentional firing. By following these 15 tips, your family will be far from harm.