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cloud8a
June 28, 2009, 02:58 AM
I am all over the place about the best tactical way to secure my gun with 3 kids in the house.

I have a lock box in the closet for my gun. I keep the keys for it on my key set. What if the kids figure out the coke machine keys really go to the lock box with guns?

I have tried to keep a full magazine under my pillow and an empty gun hidden in other places. But that does not seem tactically sound or safe to me either.

right now I do not have the money to buy a safe i can just run and put my fingers on for it to open. also I do not want to run and and find my keys so I can unlock a safe.

give me some good ideas as to the best way to keep your weapon secure from your children and at the same time make it efficient for home defense.

Rich Miranda
June 28, 2009, 03:11 AM
Honestly, cloud, I wouldn't keep a gun in the house without being locked up if you have three kids running around. Even if you kept it unloaded, there is always a chance they might find a misplaced round and chamber it.

I'd keep it locked up with the key near you at all times. This will slow down your access to it but with kids I can't justify taking a chance.

You need to get a GunVault or similar, ASAP, I think.

cloud8a
June 28, 2009, 03:31 AM
that is the problem. I have a gun safe. but it slows me down a great deal. there has got to be some tricks or some good ideas that I can use out there without spending a boatload of money. On one hand I have got my children that must be kept safe from my weapons, on the other hand I have got my children who must be safe from BG's coming into my house at break neck speed.

Owens187
June 28, 2009, 03:55 AM
I am in the same position. I have a twelve year old and a five year old. The only solution I came up with, temporarily until I can get a Gun Vault with touch pad opening is....


I have a small handgun safe bolted to the top shelf in the master bedroom walk in closet, higher than the five year old can get to. (The twelve year old is familiar with the dangers of guns, though I still take all precautions.). This safe contains my S&W .38 special, and my S&W 908, along with boxes of ammo for said guns. The keys for this safe are on mine and my wife's keys, which btw contain no keys that either kids have any buisiness touching, as I noticed you talking about keys to a soda machine...remove those from the ring any firearm keys are on! The kids also know our keys are strictly not to be touched, and we never, ever, ever, leave our keys "lying around".

I work nights, so when I'm gone, my wife hangs her keys in the lock of the safe, so that if needed, she can just run in there, turn the lock, and grab either gun, which are kept loaded in the safe. When I get home, I remove her keys from the lock, put them IN the safe, and replace hers with mine in the lock. The next morning she takes her keys out of the safe when she leaves, and I take mine with me when I leave. Since the keys are on the same ring as our car keys, there's no way to forget to lock the safe when we leave.

Also, any time we are gone, under any circumstance, especially if the twelve year old is to be left alone for ANY amount of time, the safe is locked, the door to the bathroom closet is locked, and our bedroom door itself is deadbolted.

You just need to make sure the kids go nowhere near that room even while you're home.

My kids know that our room is completely off limits, they are not allowed in there whether we are home or not, unless we are in there with them. And with my lame split, open floor plan, theres really no way for them to get in there without us seeing them (bedroom door is off the living room, directly to the right of the t.v.). Also, if we leave sight of the kids at ANY time, even just to go out in the yard, the keys are removed and the safe locked. In other words, the safe is locked unless we are directly supervising that room, and know where the kids are every second.

Most importantly, make sure your kids are well educated in the dangers of guns. Even my five year old can spout off the rules of gun safety, word for word, anytime asked, which is daily at the least. And "take the mystery" out of guns. Take them shooting. If curious, let them handle the double checked UNLOADED gun. My kids absolutely love going on a can killing spree with my .22 rifles, even the five year old, and shes actually a pretty good shot!:D But shell tell you that even a bb gun is not a toy and not to be touched under any circumstance, unless dad is the one to hand it to her, no-exceptions-I-don't-care-who-it-is. The good lord himself can try to hand her a gun, she is not to touch it.


As for the long guns, I have another small safe bolted to the same shelf where any and all ammo is stored, as I do not yet have a large safe for the rifles and shotgun. Those are stored up on the shelf, double checked, unloaded.

Like I said, this is very temporary until I can get a Gun Vault for the handguns, and a proper safe for the long guns, but just an idea for you....

tovarich
June 28, 2009, 04:19 AM
Buy a good trigger lock.Not one with a key but one with a digital locking system.They are sold here in Belgium for about 30 US$.We are obliged to use them when transporting a gun say to the firing range.Paul

scottaschultz
June 28, 2009, 09:10 AM
NEVER underestimate the creativity and ingenuity of a child... ever! Of course your children are trustworthy and would never go anywhere near daddy's guns. If you believe that, I have this bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in!

You need to make proper storage of your firearms your #1 priority.

Scott

lockedcj7
June 28, 2009, 09:11 AM
Wal-Mart sells a lock-box with a digital keypad in their home-office department for around $30. It's plenty big enough to hold two handguns and extra magazines. (More if you wanted to just stack them on top of each other). I've got two and programmed them with the same 4-digit combination. One is on the nightstand and one is in a downstairs closet. I haven't bolted them down but there are holes in the boxes for just that purpose.

My son knows the rules about never handling a gun without proper supervision. The boxes are there to keep him honest. If you wanted to add more security, you could also use a trigger lock or cable and you could lock up the magazines and ammo in a different box with a different combination.

NRAhab
June 28, 2009, 09:25 AM
You might want to look in to a safe like this, from Gun Vault (http://www.deansafe.com/gun-gv-1000.html). It's designed for quick access and can be bolted down so a thief can't just pick up the safe and run with it.

djohn
June 28, 2009, 10:09 AM
I have a safe with a digital -back light touch pad.It takes me about three seconds for entry and I keep the override key with me at all times.When you have kids you can't take chances when it come's to safety period.

sakeneko
June 28, 2009, 10:13 AM
I'm not a parent, but one of my best friends is a serious gun-owner with two gorgeous girls who are now nineteen and fifteen years of age. He had a gun safe for most of the guns. He always carried his protection piece on him or, if he was showering or doing something where he couldn't safely, turned it over to his wife or locked it in the safe. If the gun is properly secured *on your person* in a good holster, it should be safe.

Or so I've always believed. Does anybody here know of cases where a parent did this and the kid was able to get the gun away from them?

djohn
June 28, 2009, 10:26 AM
Not that I know of but then again I dont fall a sleep with one on.;)

sakeneko
June 28, 2009, 10:41 AM
The friend sleeps with it under his pillow, or so he and his wife tell me.

I hope Pax weighs in. From reading her web site, she raised five boys in a house with firearms. Didn't hear any of them have died yet, although with some of the (non-gun-related) stunts they pulled it's a miracle. ;-)

pax
June 28, 2009, 10:47 AM
cloud8a ~

When I had the same problem and no budget to solve it, I did thusly:


Cable locks for all non-defense guns (cheap cheap -- I think we got ours from some giveaway at the sheriff's office or somesuch)


Defense gun on my hip in a secure holster during all waking hours, even at home


Get a secure lock (including available key hidden somewhere else in the house) for master bedroom door. Add baby monitors scattered throughout kids' rooms. In the master bedroom, place a cheap lock-box near the bed (cost $20 @ WalMart).


At bedtime, lock master bedroom door. Place gun in open and unlocked lock box, near bed but far enough away to force complete waking before it can be accessed. (A later refinement: place gun in fanny pack along with flashlight, cell phone, and reload, then place entire fanny pack on lock box at bedtime.)


If need to leave master bedroom for any reason during the night, either pick up the gun & take it with you, or lock the lockbox before opening that locked bedroom door. Adding the fanny pack gave me the opportunity to easily throw the gun on along with my robe if I was going to be pattering around the house in the wee hours.

The main thing that makes this work is self-discipline. Don't delude yourself into making exceptions "just this once", either to your regular carry routine OR to locking that box before you open the bedroom door when the kids need you.

Of course, if your kids are used to climbing in bed with you at all hours of the night, you'll need to build new family habits before it'll work. But that's how we solved the problem.

Hope it helps.

pax

Ric in Richmond
June 28, 2009, 12:51 PM
Neighbor of ours had keys for his safe. Kept them hidden.

Had a very trust worthy son. Eagle scout, straight A's.

Son found figured out where the keys were.

Had a bad day and ended it.

Bet dad wishes he did a better job of securing his guns.

Mine are either on me, in the full size safe, or in the gunvault next to the bed.

Pyzon
June 28, 2009, 03:09 PM
I have great sympathy for anybody with the dilemma of guns and kids, but admit that no need for self or home defense outweighs the need for safety.

I made the decision when my kids were small to upgrade the lighting around the exterior of my house, improve the locks on the doors, and invested in a cheap do-it-yourself X10 security system, but kept the guns in the safe.

I think the good lighting outside the house made the biggest difference, since some neighbors with dark houses have been broken into now and then but not us.

Now that the chillens have grown up, all the things I did to make my home less easy a target are still working just fine but guns are now way more accesible.

phantom1984
June 28, 2009, 04:24 PM
The best way to keep your kids from them is to TRAIN THEM in the capabilities of firearms from an early age. my guns have been out in the open loaded (with me supervising ) since my kids were born. out of reach till they get to an age they can reach them. Take them out show them what they will do if used. I showed my kids using a Block of Ice Now at teenage years they don't touch them with out my permision and I have never had a problem.

pax
June 28, 2009, 06:36 PM
Phantom,

Yep, train the kids.

AND lock the guns up when they're not under the conscious control of a responsible adult.

Don't bet your kids' lives on them being perfect when you're not around!! :D :eek: :(

When someone fails to lock up their firearms when not in use, they are betting their child's life that the child will always be perfect and will never make a mistake.

When someone fails to teach their child about firearms from an early age, they are betting their child's life that the adults around him will never make a mistake.

Don't bet your children's lives on having the world's first perfect family ...

pax

Lost Sheep
June 28, 2009, 06:41 PM
Cheapest way:

Padlock on the gun to make it inoperable, key on a chain around your neck, spare key on a chain around the neck of your wife.

Most elegant way (at least, that I have thought of so far):

This works best with a handgun. For Shotguns it is a little cumbersome, but doable.

Find a wall that has access to both the front and back sides and at a location you want to have access to the gun. The front side should be wallboard/drywall/gypsum. If you cannot find such a place, look to the wall above any closet door. They usually have access to both the front (outside the closed) and the back (from inside the closet).

Cut a hole in the front side and repair it by spackling a piece thin, rigid styrofoam in place, or a piece of wallboard which has been scored on the back side to make it easily fragmentable. Retexture and paint so that the hole and patch are invisible. Make the hole with a larger vertical dimension than you would think necessary. This is the "window" for emergency access to the gun.

Exactly opposite the first hole, on the back side of the wall, but another hole, frame it in and put a lockable door in place.

Inside the wall, install a frame that will keep a handgun and ammunition secure, protected and ready for use. Mount the gun up high. Mounted right on the "door"'s backside is convenient, especially if you have mounted the door hingeless, so it comes completely out of its frame when unlocked.

Access in an emergency is through the front access panel. Just punch it, or push on it and it will give way and you push the pieces down out of the way of the gun (mounted in the upper half of the "window", remember?).

Access to the gun for any other purpose is through the locked door in the back.

If one of your children or a guest does break into the gun box through the front, they know they will have a lot of explaining to do. And if you also have a lock on the gun itself, so much the safer. Have both keys around your neck at all times.

Lost Sheep

P.S. If your skills at patching, texturing and painting drywall are meager, do the best you can and then camouflage your work by mounting a fire extinguisher in the same spot. Or hang a picture.

P.P.S. Most of your emergency access to the gun will be through the locked door, but it is comforting to be able to access a weapon without a key or combination or any interference I cannot easily clear.

dabigguns357
June 28, 2009, 09:55 PM
I have a 10 year old,2 year old,and one on the way.I take so many precautions to make my kids safe.I have a walk in closet with a small long gun safe and a smaller handgun safe on top,both stay locked as does my walk in closet and even my bedroom.I only keep 2 guns out and loaded,1 on me and one on my wife.I have 2 night vision camera's outside and 2 night vision camera's set up inside.First indoor camera faces down at the living room and front door,camera number 2 faces down from above my bedroom door to my hallway and both are equipped with sound.If either of my kids come to my bedroom door,i know it before i even leave the bed.If there is a bump in the night we can identify the problem from any camera angle inside or out.My kids know better than to come in my room for any reason at all,and if they need something we go to them outside the bedroom.I know i may seem paranoid but i don't want to make a bad decision while defending my family.

Drake Remoray
June 28, 2009, 10:13 PM
Depending on how old the kids were, I'd definitely consider home carry. If it's under your directcontrol they can't get to it. any other guns locked up with only you and the wife having access to the keys.

easyG
June 29, 2009, 08:06 AM
Wal-Mart sells a lock-box with a digital keypad in their home-office department for around $30. It's plenty big enough to hold two handguns and extra magazines. (More if you wanted to just stack them on top of each other). I've got two and programmed them with the same 4-digit combination. One is on the nightstand and one is in a downstairs closet. I haven't bolted them down but there are holes in the boxes for just that purpose.
This sounds like a very good option.

When I was a kid one of my friend's dad was an insurance salesman and had a briefcase with a combination lock.
Only as an adult did I learn that he actually had two briefcases, one for work and one that he kept his pistol in.

armsmaster270
June 29, 2009, 08:14 AM
My dad was a career police Officer his snub nose D.S. was in his top right dresser drawer and his duty gun was always in his holster attached to his Motorcycle jacket in the hall closet both loaded. My older brother & I were trained early that touching without permission was a big no no and my father had to hand me the revolver and I in turn had to doublecheck it was empty. At about 6 he started my pistol training in both aimed and hip shooting. Those were different days then and storing unlocked weapons is illegal here now but I am thankful that Dad taught us right and we lived in a time with more freedoms and the children were more responsible.

Doc Intrepid
June 29, 2009, 09:09 AM
http://www.thefind.com/sports/browse-gunvault-pistol-safe

"Neighbor of ours had keys for his safe. Kept them hidden.

Had a very trust worthy son. Eagle scout, straight A's.

Son found figured out where the keys were.

Had a bad day and ended it.

Bet dad wishes he did a better job of securing his guns."
Same thing happened to my neighbor, and friend of mine. His youngest used to play with my youngest. There is a photo in the den of the two kids, smiling at the camera.

He also thought he'd 'safety-proofed' his kids and his house. He was mistaken.

The thing I remember most was that he always told me he 'couldn't afford a gun safe', but when the time came he found that he could pay for a coffin.

To this day I wish I'd just bought him a Gun Vault like mine and given it to him.

Something like a Gun Vault costs $100 or so.

It affords you virtually instant access to a loaded gun, which is otherwise inaccessible to kids.

If you have kids, and you can't afford to secure your firearm, then you can't afford to own a firearm.

And Cloud8a, take this from a guy who knows. If you think a Gun Vault is expensive, try buying a coffin.

Vanya
June 29, 2009, 11:05 AM
Also, any time we are gone, under any circumstance, especially if the twelve year old is to be left alone for ANY amount of time, the safe is locked, the door to the bathroom closet is locked, and our bedroom door itself is deadbolted.
[Edited to add: stargazer65 pointed out that this statement wasn't made by cloud8a. Sorry about the initial misattribution, but I still think my question below is a reasonable one.]

Am I missing something here? You're (rightly) concerned about keeping your kids safe, i.e. away from your guns, and you think you need more or less instant access to a gun while you are at home... But you're OK with leaving your twelve year old home alone, with the guns locked up (as they should be!)?

If you're relaxed enough about what might happen, in terms of break-ins, etc., to leave your child home alone, why are you so worried about what might happen while you're there?

I think theotherTexasRich said it best:
Honestly, cloud, I wouldn't keep a gun in the house without being locked up if you have three kids running around. Even if you kept it unloaded, there is always a chance they might find a misplaced round and chamber it.

I'd keep it locked up with the key near you at all times. This will slow down your access to it but with kids I can't justify taking a chance.

If you think you absolutely must have access to a gun while you're home, carry a holstered handgun, keeping it under your immediate control at all times. Better, just keep the guns locked up. It's not worth the risk.

OldMarksman
June 29, 2009, 11:38 AM
If you're relaxed enough about what might happen, in terms of break-ins, etc., to leave your child home alone, why are you so worried about what might happen while you're there?

Excellent question!

Honestly, cloud, I wouldn't keep a gun in the house without being locked up if you have three kids running around. Even if you kept it unloaded, there is always a chance they might find a misplaced round and chamber it.

That's the way it is these days. We didn't have guns in the house when I was growing up, but when I visited relatives in the country, there were loaded guns, the kids knew about hem, and we kept our hands off of them, but I don't think that's a wise approach today.

I'd keep it locked up with the key near you at all times. This will slow down your access to it but with kids I can't justify taking a chance.

I think a combo lock would be quicker and safer.

If you think you absolutely must have access to a gun while you're home, carry a holstered handgun, keeping it under your immediate control at all times.

That also addresses the possibility of your not being near the gun in the eventuality of a sudden home invasion.

But--it leaves open the question of why you feel the need of having a gun when you think it's OK to leave a child home alone.

stargazer65
June 29, 2009, 11:49 AM
Vanya posted:
Originally Posted by cloud8a
Also, any time we are gone, under any circumstance, especially if the twelve year old is to be left alone for ANY amount of time, the safe is locked, the door to the bathroom closet is locked, and our bedroom door itself is deadbolted.

Am I missing something here? You're (rightly) concerned about keeping your kids safe, i.e. away from your guns, and you think you need more or less instant access to a gun while you are at home... But you're OK with leaving your twelve year old home alone, with the guns locked up (as they should be!)?

If you're relaxed enough about what might happen, in terms of break-ins, etc., to leave your child home alone, why are you so worried about what might happen while you're there?

Cloud8a did not post that comment that you quoted. That was someone else.

Anyway, we have small kids also. Right now, we have no handguns but we have long guns with cable locks, the keys are on my person and with the wife. We intend to get a quick access gun vault now before we even get a handgun. We're going to put the "tactical shotgun" keys in there. I realize this is not the quickest but we feel it is our safest bet right now. When we get a handgun that of course will go in the gun vault when it's not on our person. We've been educating the kids, let them safely handle the guns, and will be shooting with them to remove the mystery.

If you have anything to spare right now, you could as an option, sell a "non-tactical" gun to get the quick access gun vault you need.

Vanya
June 29, 2009, 03:35 PM
You're right - thanks for catching that. I wasn't paying attention -- I withdraw the question, as addressed to cloud8a. But I still think it's a reasonable question, in general, to ask anyone with a kid that age and guns in the house...

stargazer65
June 29, 2009, 04:31 PM
But I still think it's a reasonable question, in general, to ask anyone with a kid that age and guns in the house...

It is a reasonable question and it might be a good topic for another thread. How should your teenagers defend themselves if they are at home alone. In the old days it would have been the same way adults did, with the use of a gun. What do you think?

Vanya
June 29, 2009, 05:20 PM
How should your teenagers defend themselves if they are at home alone.
Not quite the question I was asking, but that probably would be a good topic for another thread; it was touched on recently here (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=360013&highlight=14+year+old+home+defense), and addressed a while back in this one (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=277742&highlight=teenager+home+defense). The short answer is that it would depend entirely on what sort of teenager it was, but I'd say that for most teenagers, especially young ones, the default should be "set off alarm, go to safe room, call 911." But don't let's hijack this thread...

Back on topic, more or less, I've been wracking my brain to try to remember the source of an article I came across a few years ago in which a parent (a mom I think) did her own "consumer research" on the child-resistance of handgun lockboxes and such, by giving her kid a screwdriver and a prybar, some common models of lockbox, and telling him to have at it. The results were not encouraging, as I recall.

Anyone else remember this/know where to find it? Pax?

Shadi Khalil
June 29, 2009, 05:26 PM
I'm sure it been said but the best thing for you is to keep the gun on your hip. When I go to my mom and dads on the weekend there are at least 3 children there, my little brother and my nieces. I don't even feel safe leaving it in the car. I do keep a lock box there but I just prefer to keep it near at all times. The next best thing to do is to make sure the little guys know gun safety. My little brother is more intimated by guns than he is intrigued. He goes shooting and enjoys it but is to cautious to mess with them. Despite that, I always make sure its on me and secured when he is around.

Th0r
June 30, 2009, 03:52 PM
OP - My thoughts are as follows. If you've got kids who you feel might pick up the weapon they ought to be taught not to screw around with weapons and not to feel tempted to, either. You've then got to trust they'll apply their knowledge regarding why guns can be dangerous.

In the event of a burglary/armed robbery/home invasion trying to open a safe which is locked via keys isn't a great idea. Same goes for a combination safe.

You could lose the keys/forget the combo/or have a mechanical fault. All of which would mean you can't get access to your firearm when you need it.

Electronic safes are a much better option, since it only requires punching in, generally speaking a four digit code. Since the code can't be forgotten and can be randomised to prevent access to a child or novice thief who reckons everyone is dumb enough to use the year they were born as a code.

Until you've got enough dough to spend on a Gun Vault I'd buy a cheap electronic safe. Just my thoughts though.

Composer_1777
June 30, 2009, 08:59 PM
Show your kids the gun to eleminate the curiosity. I am in favor with your idea of hiding the mag under your pillow; when you are awake keep the mag with you.

Housezealot
July 1, 2009, 08:18 AM
"Neighbor of ours had keys for his safe. Kept them hidden.

Had a very trust worthy son. Eagle scout, straight A's.

Son found figured out where the keys were.

Had a bad day and ended it.

Bet dad wishes he did a better job of securing his guns."
I could be wrong but don't most kids obtain the rank of eagle scout at 17 or 18?
at that age if a kid wants to kill himself he'll find a way.

on another note (I have posted this before so sorry if this is a rehash)
I also have small kids and my solution was to mount heavy duty pipe hangers in my closet above the inside of the door like a gun rack and have zip tied my shotgun to them in a manner were it CAN NOT be racked. I have put a slight score on the hangers so they will break in a certain spot and they break under my weight (200 and some change). when they break it frees up the zip ties and the gun is rackable, the drawback to this is my wife doesn't weigh enough (thankfully:p) to free the gun easily. the other nice thing is that the hangers are cheap so you can afford to try a few diffrent ways and sizes so you know what will work for you. everything else stays in the safe.
here is what the hangers look like
http://www.made-in-china.com/image/2f0j00YedamSQfCDokM/Plastic-J-Hook-Water-Pipe-Hangers-LW-00101-.jpg
those arent as heavy duty as what I used but you get the idea.

Kyo
July 2, 2009, 12:19 AM
http://www.gunvault.com/
if you can't afford the safe don't buy the gun

cloud8a
July 2, 2009, 12:50 AM
All of these Ideas are great. Thank you for your help.

Until I get the dough to purchase a more efficient safe I have decided to do this. (leaving for a Seattle vacation Friday and all funds going for that).

I will Keep my weapon unloaded close by but hidden. I will sleep in shorts that have a back pocket zipper, and keep the magazine in my back pocket zipped up while I sleep. Discomfort is not a factor to me.

My children are aware of the dangers of guns, but since they are my children I will never be satisfied with their awareness. If one pro gun owner can have a ND, then my kid who I have pounded in their brain gun safety, can have one too.

Still, I would like to hear from folks that might have a problem with even this. I am not hard headed about this subject in any way. Although If you say not to buy the gun if you cannot afford the electronic safe, It is too late for that. I did buy the key safe but do not like it. Let me know beyond that.

Zombi
July 2, 2009, 09:46 PM
Rule #1. Kids will find it.

Rule #2. Kids will open it.

Rule #3. Kids will play with it.


As soon as they are old enough teach them about guns and to respect them.
I realize you can't afford a safe at the moment.
But, consider getting a cheap safe w/ dual combination and key lock. While your kids may manage to find your keys and open that curious lock box you have hidden away. It would be allot harder for them to figure out your combination and find your keys at the same time. You can find these for relatively cheap for the peace of mind they offer.

Ricky B
July 2, 2009, 10:24 PM
cloud8a,

You have to choose your risk. Here's how I see what you're saying. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Risk no. 1 is an intruder will enter the house even though it is occupied and you won't be able to get to the safe and unlock it in time.

Risk no. 2 is that one of your kids will find the unloaded gun and will also somehow have access to ammunition. You don't say whether you keep all the ammo locked up, but even if you do, it's possible to drop a cartridge one day, have it roll out of sight, and be found by someone who is a lot closer to the ground.

Risk no. 3 is that a burglar could find your gun and steal it.

For me, risk no. 2 outweighs risk no. 1. Where I live, it's extremely unlikely to have a home invasion. You may live in a worse neighborhood, but since you don't have the funds to buy a safe, why do you think that your house would be such an irresistible target for a thief that he would break in while it's occupied? If that did occur, however, you still might be able to retrieve your gun from the locked safe in a timely fashion. Risk no. 3 also would impel me to lock up the gun.

I'd rather keep the safe key with me (sleeping with the safe key in my pocket rather than a loaded magazine) than leave the gun in an unsecured location.

rantingredneck
July 2, 2009, 10:37 PM
I carry at home and I keep the keys to my gunsafe on me. My wife chooses not to carry at home (there's a thread around here somewhere on the subject).

Our compromise is one of these (http://dsafe.stores.yahoo.net/stboxdrsahas.html) lockboxes mounted in the closet with a 3" SP101 in it. She can get into that safe in seconds. It ain't perfect, but it's the best we could come up with given her choice not to carry on her person.

Owens187
July 3, 2009, 02:51 AM
Wow....I didn't expect everyone to jump all over me for stating that I ever left my twelve year old home alone...:eek:

Do none of you EVER EVER leave your teenage kids home alone? I'm the only one?

Yes. I do occasionally leave mine, for maybe an hour, max, Maybe just while we run to the store or something, at times she would rather stay home. She is mature, and old enough to be trusted, but darn sure not old enough to be trusted unsupervised with a loaded firearm, and there's no way I will leave a firearm out while she is alone, thats just nuts! THATS why my safe, bathroom, and bedroom doors are locked when I'm gone. Do some of you really trust your kids that much?!

I would rather leave her with a fully armed PHONE, very protective testosterone fueled male Boxer, and the two neighbors that I usually ask to keep an eye out on her and the house.

So, some of you said, if I EVER leave my teenage child alone, then I have no buisiness ever needing or owning a gun?

I don't get it.....:confused:

Maybe I'm just reading something wrong.....:rolleyes:

Maccabeus
July 3, 2009, 06:16 AM
Wal-Mart sells a lock-box with a digital keypad in their home-office department for around $30. It's plenty big enough to hold two handguns and extra magazines. (More if you wanted to just stack them on top of each other). I've got two and programmed them with the same 4-digit combination. One is on the nightstand and one is in a downstairs closet. I haven't bolted them down but there are holes in the boxes for just that purpose.
Is this the lockbox you mentioned? If not, would you post the model you have? (The one below sells for $78.00). Thanks!

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=11071342

Kyo
July 3, 2009, 08:20 AM
dude no offense but i just read you talking about the money to get one. put it on a credit card or something...be responsible about it.

stargazer65
July 3, 2009, 09:04 AM
I will Keep my weapon unloaded close by but hidden. I will sleep in shorts that have a back pocket zipper, and keep the magazine in my back pocket zipped up while I sleep. Discomfort is not a factor to me.

That seems reasonable if you keep the magazine on your person and there are no other magazines accessible. Don't get lazy about it though. I assume you will keep the gun on your person when you are not sleeping. I still think that you could find a way to get a quick access safe that you would like.

stargazer65
July 3, 2009, 09:20 AM
Owens187 wrote:Wow....I didn't expect everyone to jump all over me for stating that I ever left my twelve year old home alone...

Do none of you EVER EVER leave your teenage kids home alone? I'm the only one?

Yes we leave them alone sometimes (my 13 yr old is the babysitter) and the firearms are locked and inaccessible to them as required by law here for under 16. We just have them lock the doors, don't leave the house, don't answer the door or the phone for anyone except us or immediate family members. They are trained for emergencies. We live in a good neighborhood but I suppose anything could happen anywhere. It's a scary thought to think they might be harmed by an intruder, but the honest truth is they are more likely to be hurt riding their bikes on the street and I let them do that.

Vanya
July 3, 2009, 10:21 AM
So, some of you said, if I EVER leave my teenage child alone, then I have no buisiness ever needing or owning a gun?

Owens, no one said that -- I certainly didn't. My point was to ask why someone wouldn't be comfortable at home themselves (with phone, dog, and attentive neighbors, if you like -- all good!), with their guns locked up (and a key right to hand), IF they felt comfortable leaving a twelve-year-old home alone under the same conditions (minus the key)?

If it's good enough for the twelve-year-old, why not for the whole family?

In fact, I think your precautions sound pretty good... but having the keys in the safe locks when you're home still seems a bit of a risk, compared to a locked safe and the key around your neck, or even a locked safe and a holstered gun on your person.

Beauhooligan
July 3, 2009, 11:00 AM
[quote]
Phantom,
Yep, train the kids.
AND lock the guns up when they're not under the conscious control of a responsible adult.
Don't bet your kids' lives on them being perfect when you're not around!!
When someone fails to lock up their firearms when not in use, they are betting their child's life that the child will always be perfect and will never make a mistake.
When someone fails to teach their child about firearms from an early age, they are betting their child's life that the adults around him will never make a mistake.
Don't bet your children's lives on having the world's first perfect family ...
pax
[end quote]

Howdy Pax,

Right on target!

I keep two 1911 "house guns" out of the big gun safes in touch pad lock boxes that are securely bolted down, one to the 250# headboard of my bed, the other to the fireplace mantle in the family room. My two big gun safes are always locked, except when I am directly overseeing one, say doing routine cleaning and maintenance. My boys were raised with guns, and were safe shooters by the time they were 8, but unlike house breaking a puppy, I never gave them a chance to make a mistake. Teach and train the kids right, but never, ever, give them a chance to make a mistake. By the time Chris, my oldest, was 12 I could ask him to get the Browning OU out of the safe in the hall closet so I could clean it, and he would fetch it back to my work bench, with the action open, and fingers outside of the trigger guard. My boys are grown and gone now with families of their own, and are teaching their kids to be gun safe, the way they were taught, and it should go on like this for generations.:):)

Mello2u
July 3, 2009, 11:34 AM
Rather than a secure container with a key lock, you might try to locate a push button lock. You could lose the key or have trouble opening the lock with the key if excited.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb197/farwalker/gunlocker2copy.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb197/farwalker/gunlocker4copy.jpg

There is an option to set a combination where you press two keys simultaneously. This raises the possible combinations available and should help defeat someone trying to randomly gain access as they might not consider pressing two keys at the same time.

I've had this box for about 20 years and can't remember who made it or sold it. The dimensions are about 18" x 18" x 6". You can open it in complete darkness by touch.

Ricky B
July 3, 2009, 11:57 AM
Wow....I didn't expect everyone to jump all over me for stating that I ever left my twelve year old home alone...

Welcome to discussions on the internet!

And yes, depending on the maturity and nature of the child, 12 can be an appropriate age to leave a child alone, particularly a girl. Many parents hire 13 year old girls to be baby-sitters.

rantingredneck
July 3, 2009, 12:25 PM
Is this the lockbox you mentioned?

Here are a couple of lockboxes I use:

Stackon brand, sells for about 50-60 bucks at Dick's or Gander Mountain or the like:

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/041.jpg

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/042.jpg

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/043.jpg

Pro's: Very solid construction with heavy duty locking bolts. Small and easy to hide.

Con's: So small that maneuvering a handgun in or out is tricky if it's a full size revolver or automatic. 4" GP100 or Ruger P-Series size gun is maxing it out. (3" SP101 pictured in safe).


Honeywell model that Walmart sells for about 30 bucks:

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/044.jpg

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/045.jpg

http://i386.photobucket.com/albums/oo306/rantingredneck/046.jpg

Pro's: Good size. Can get guns in and out quickly without banging up fingers or guns. Will easily accomodate truck gun +2 extra mags and allows me to place a layer of foam over the top so I can secure my carry gun when I'm going into NPE's.

Con's: Lock is not nearly as sturdy as the above Stack On model. One bolt only and it's not of the same quality. Hopefully it's enough to discourage or slow down the typical smash and grab guy.

Cruncher Block
July 5, 2009, 08:32 PM
Home defense gun and kids -- here is how I handle it.

1. One and only one firearm is "quickly" accessible. "Quickly" for me means a pushbutton handgun safe most of the time.

This is still a lot slower than having the gun on the hip. The hip is probably the most secure place for it, too. Just food for thought.

I strongly prefer the simplex mechanical locks like Mello2u has pictured. I used to use a Gunvault but we had a power glitch during a storm and, despite using both AC and a battery backup, the combination reset. I didn't realize it until a few days later. Imagine if I'd needed the gun one of those nights

All other guns are stored in a more traditional gun safe. The key stays on one key ring that stays under my control. The other key is locked away.

2. Teach the kids. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to this. The message needs to be tailored to the kids' understanding, attitude, and maturity. I'm striving to cultivate healthy respect for firearms rather than a "forbidden fruit" mentality.

The way I see it, they're going to learn about guns -- are they going to learn from me or Hollywood?

Owens187
July 8, 2009, 11:02 PM
Teach the kids. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to this. The message needs to be tailored to the kids' understanding, attitude, and maturity. I'm striving to cultivate healthy respect for firearms rather than a "forbidden fruit" mentality.


I totally agree! And, as an update, I have now purchased a handgun box with a push button digital keypad, so no more key worries for me.:cool: So much better. The emergency override key stays on my keyring which is constantly under my control/on my person, and the spare is locked up, along with the keys to the other safe, which now serves as an ammo safe.:D

cloud8a
July 13, 2009, 03:14 AM
"dude no offense but i just read you talking about the money to get one. put it on a credit card or something...be responsible about it."

I do not use credit cards. I spend the money I earn. I cannot afford to pay interest on money that is borrowed. I believe one can be safe and smart without having to spend money that is not mine.

Colt Delta Elite
July 24, 2009, 07:21 AM
"right now I do not have the money to buy a safe"

"Until I get the dough to purchase a more efficient safe..."

"(leaving for a Seattle vacation Friday and all funds going for that)"


Not to be harassing, but this seems a little contradictory.

I guess it's a matter of where you place greater importance.

Spade Cooley
July 24, 2009, 12:58 PM
We might be going the wrong direction with this problem. I'm a retired LEO and had a loaded gun in the holster hung on the bed post every night for 25 years. I raised one son. All the other cops I knew with families did the same thing as far as I know. I never heard of an accident and the Department numbered over seven thousand.

First, remove all curiosity about the gun. Let them handle it whenever they want, unloaded of course. Let them ask qusetions but in the end show the kids what it can do. Let them shoot it if they are old enough. When the children are very little and don't understand, just keep it out of reach. You have dangerous knives in the kitchen but don't put them under lock and key.

armsmaster270
July 24, 2009, 01:39 PM
"Quote Spade Cooley:
We might be going the wrong direction with this problem. I'm a retired LEO and had a loaded gun in the holster hung on the bed post every night for 25 years. I raised one son. All the other cops I knew with families did the same thing as far as I know. I never heard of an accident and the Department numbered over seven thousand.

First, remove all curiosity about the gun. Let them handle it whenever they want, unloaded of course. Let them ask qusetions but in the end show the kids what it can do. Let them shoot it if they are old enough. When the children are very little and don't understand, just keep it out of reach. You have dangerous knives in the kitchen but don't put them under lock and key. "

Thats the way my brother & I were raised as well as my 3 children

stargazer65
July 24, 2009, 01:44 PM
We might be going the wrong direction with this problem. I'm a retired LEO and had a loaded gun in the holster hung on the bed post every night for 25 years. I raised one son. All the other cops I knew with families did the same thing as far as I know. I never heard of an accident and the Department numbered over seven thousand.

First, remove all curiosity about the gun. Let them handle it whenever they want, unloaded of course. Let them ask qusetions but in the end show the kids what it can do. Let them shoot it if they are old enough. When the children are very little and don't understand, just keep it out of reach. You have dangerous knives in the kitchen but don't put them under lock and key.

I sympathize with your view, but here in CT, safe storage laws require guns to be locked in some way if you have kids in the house.

Destroyerman762
July 24, 2009, 07:56 PM
We have raised 5 kids, youngest had 40th birthday recently. I've been a shooter since 1951, an NRA Instructor of one sort or another since 1955. You never know what kids will do, or not do. The best you can do is to establish good safe habits in them, and have a "layered defense," not just against bad guys, but against your own good kids. Teach "Eddie Eagle" to them when they are young. Teach the basics of safe shooting, and then have another qualified person, NOT YOU, instruct them further on safe handling and accurate shooting. Lock away the guns and the ammo. Have just one, 01, gun available for immediate home defense ... and have it so secured that only you or your spouse can get it ... and not even your spouse, if not trained and experienced in safe gun handling in emergency situations.

I'm also a retired EMT. Ran a call to the home of a friend, a well known and widely respected senior police official. His teen age daughter shot herself with his .357, in her bedroom, while her parents and a guest were talking in the living room. No alcohol or drugs involved. Carrying their child out of the house was one of the hardest things I ever did.

When you protect your home and family from evil doers, protect your family from your firearms.

oneounceload
July 24, 2009, 08:26 PM
First, remove all curiosity about the gun.

THAT'S the first step

Take them shooting and show them what it can do
TEACH them gun safety
I raised two boys - as soon as they were old enough, I took them shooting and taught them gun safety. The only gun out of the safe was the revolver in the nightstand and it was loaded. There was NEVER an issue. They knew to keep their friends out of our bedroom. They knew they would never go shooting or hunting again if they touched that gun (home invasion notwithstanding).. They're now grown and out of the house.

EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE

Take the mystery out and it becomes no different than any other ordinary thing in the house

Spade Cooley
July 25, 2009, 07:43 AM
I believe in gun safes to protect my guns. But I always have one loaded firearm or more around the house. They are no good to you in an emergency unless you can get to them quickly.

We have a widow women down the road. We live in the country along a river and the few policemen we have are far away if there at all. The widow called me one evening telling me she had a burglar in her garage. I called another male neighbor to back me up as I went to check it out. I ended up taking care of the problem alone because it took my back up neighbor at least ten minutes to get dressed and go to her house.

By that time I had checked it out alone and found it was only a racoon getting into the cat food stored in the garage. My neighbor with the gun locked up was useless and would be an excellent victim for someone breaking into his home. A gun locked up will not protect you and your family.

Steamboatsig
July 26, 2009, 10:56 PM
No kids in my house. This is my solution for my HD shotgun. The problem with this set up is the gun can still be racked and fired. When kids come over, for a party for example, all the guns go in the safe. My point is there always seems to be some compromise between access and safety.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j320/steamboatsig/IMG_6999.jpg

Ricky B
July 27, 2009, 01:19 AM
there always seems to be some compromise between access and safety.

True that.

Spade Cooley
July 28, 2009, 06:48 AM
If you have all your guns under lock and key during the night and someone has broken in, just call yourself a victim.

When you are in the privacy of your own home, you make the rules and decide what the law is. Never mind about the liberal state you live in.

If you own more than one gun, you need to purchase some kind of a gun safe in order to guard against burglars. Don't buy another gun until you buy one.

pax
July 28, 2009, 10:38 AM
Destroyerman762 ~

Well-written, heartbreaking post.

Worth reading again, guys.

pax

GeauxTide
July 28, 2009, 11:04 AM
Raised three sons with guns all over the house. Trained them and took the curiosity away by taking them to the range when they were young. They didn't like the recoil. Also took all the guns out every three months with them and they handled and asked questions freely. They are now 33, 29, and 26 and they own their own guns.

Daugherty16
July 28, 2009, 12:23 PM
Responsible gun ownership does indeed mean protecting your guns - all of them - from unauthorized access. Not only does this prevent tragedy within the family, but theft is deterred and your peace of mind is enhanced. Absolutely get a safe. (My wife, who really dislikes guns, was visibly pleased when i brought my safe home). More than one, if you need long gun storage as well as immediate handgun access. Even a cheap safe is a better strategy than hoping the closet shelf is high enough. Kids ALWAYS know what's in their parent's bedrooms, closets, etc. - it's their job - and they know how to climb.

Educate and train your kids - absolutely. Teach them to shoot and to have proper respect for firearms. But since you can't train all their friends, or even hope to control any teenager's raging emotions and moods, you have to store your firearms securely. Always. No exceptions. If not on your person, it needs to be locked up. Develop a routine and follow it exactly, every time. If you go to work in the morning and suddenly remember you left your pistol in the nightstand or forgot to lock the safe, it may already be too late. Go back home immediately and secure it, then develop a better plan. Taking a shower? Lock the door, or lock up your pistol first.

Once is all that is required for tragedy to strike and destroy your family or someone else's. As if the certainty of having your life unravel from an unthinkable tragedy wasn't enough reason, you could also get to enjoy the multiple pleasures of financial ruin, permanent loss of firearm ownership, and possibly incarceration and a cellmate named Tiny who really likes you a lot. :barf: It's really the flip side of why we carry - we carry because we can never know when the fates will select us for a robbery/carjack/home invasion - right? So, store your guns safely because you never know when the critical test will come -and the stakes are too high if you lose.

Read Destroyerman's post if you need any further incentive, and Ric From Richmond's. Be safe.

Owens187
July 29, 2009, 01:12 AM
I really like the digital handgun safe I got. I drilled holes through the bottom, and permanently bolted it to the very heavy nightstand next to my bed. It has a six digit combo, and now that I purposely did the combo, over and over...and over...in the dark,... with my eyes closed,... left handed,.... laying in bed,... standing up...etc etc...all to ingrain the combo into my muscle memory, it takes me less than a second to open it up and have my 9mm fully loaded with Golden Sabers in my hand plus an extra clip (or even my .38 special if so inclined) in my waistband for backup. Solved a lot of problems for me. If the gun isn't on my person, it is in the box.:D

danbrew
July 29, 2009, 07:26 AM
Many of us are responsible and will take steps to secure firearms in our own homes, yet one out of every two homes in America has a gun in it. Think of the dumbest guy you know - chances are good he has a gun in his home. Do your kids play with his kids?

I worry less about gun accidents in my home than I do elsewhere. My guns are locked up in a big honken' safe. I've got a SD gun that is secured in a gun vault that I can get to pretty fast, but I've got a GSD that can get to any intruder waaaaaay faster than I can set up a defensive posture.

http://danbrew.smugmug.com/photos/184836470_9B5jr-L.jpg

No one, repeat, no one is getting up those stairs past the dog.

The wisdom is these threads is that it makes us think not only of training (securing firearms, tactics, etc.), but it makes us think of education. You have to teach your kids what to do when they encounter a firearm. Not "if" but "when". You can't be with your kids 100% of the time - they are going to see things at a neighbors' house that you probably wouldn't want them to see at home - so you need to teach them right/wrong and how to respond. My youngest is 9, but at 5, all the kids knew to Stop, Don't Touch, Leave the Area, Tell an Adult.

We all know these things - it's the dumb guy that lives next door that you need to be worried about. The only thing you can do is teach your kids how to respond when they encounter guns, creepy people, etc.

:D

Glockar-15
September 3, 2009, 08:24 AM
I will echo the thoughts of many who have posted. If you cannot/will not afford to buy a quick access safe such as a gunvault with kids in the house, I believe you cannot afford to have loaded firearms. It only takes 1 time for everyone's life to change. I have the Gunvault deluxe and I love it. Mine has the backup power adapter in case the batteries run out. I have taken the back up key and stored it outside my home...it will lockout anyone putting in repeated wrong codes and the model I have even has a motion alarm if you rattle it around. I bought it before I bought my first handgun. Stay safe.

Dannyl
September 3, 2009, 08:48 AM
Hi All,
I have a 10 YO boy, and many times there are several of his friends that are playing around the house.
Therefore, all my guns are either locked in a safe (two of them are with digital keypads, in different rooms, which offer me quick access to a firearm within seconds whever I am in the house) or in a holster on my body.

At night there is one loaded gun on the table next to me.

My boy has been shooting since age 8, can recite the safety rules in 2 languages ( the golden 4 + a few more that I have) and when he plays with toy guns, he keeps his finger off the trigger.

Even so, he is still a 10 YO boy, and there is no way that I will leave a firearm within his reach.

I do realize that in the US safes are not compulsory, but the peace of mind is worth every cent.

Danbrew, you are aboslutely right, dogs are not only great companions , but a good dog will alert you to the fact that strangers are close long before they are at your door, and many will defend you with their lives.

Brgds,

Danny

JAYBIRD78
September 8, 2009, 09:20 PM
This has been a great thread. I am a new dad (first one) and have been contemplating on what to do/buy for my SD pistol.

I really like the idea of those simplex mechanical locks. All my other firearms are locked in a RSC in the basement that sank in a boating accident. ;) I think I'm going to call a buddy of mine also that has a 2 yr old and mention this. I'm 99% sure his are just hidden and unloaded.

Be safe

BCeagle
September 10, 2009, 07:13 AM
Love to see what you guys think about my solution and if it is good enough.

I have a biometric safe bolted to the bottom of my nightstand, in the safe I keep my handgun and all the keys to my other gun locks. The other handgun and the shotgun are in the closet with a cable lock and trigger lock respectively. The safe accepts only mine and my wife's thumbs and the only key is worn around my neck.

sakeneko
September 10, 2009, 12:05 PM
BCeagle, that sounds solid to me. I wonder if any of the more experienced guys here can think of a hole?

Claude Clay
September 10, 2009, 12:20 PM
^-----

if you cut your thumb and it was greasy from the antibiotic and sticky from the band-aid
if your arm/hand was in a cast.

the post says 'thumbs', plural so perhaps it reads all 4?

a BHP with a mag interlock was when my kids were growing up and by default, still is my bedside gun.
never read of or heard of one failing: it is my choice to trust the mechanical interlock.

Destroyerman762
September 10, 2009, 09:14 PM
Sounds good, if equipment reliable, keeps BGs out, lets GGs in. ... but:

I had some recent experience with a fingerprint reading system. Not a safe, but a GPS/HandHeldComputer/digital radio transmitter/receiver. Used by the US Census Bureau in the "pre-Census" to locate all the dwellings in the USA.

:cool: It had a digital ID system, read your fingerprint before it would let you do anything.

We were group trained on how to use the wondrous widget, and the first part of training was how to register our fingerprints in it, and which fingers to use.

We could use any fingers on any hand, only needed one to open but had to register two and AVOID USING THUMB OR INDEX FINGER. Strongly suggested, but not mandatory. Why? :confused: They were the two fingers most likely to be grungy, most likely to be injured (burns, cuts, broken). I think most of us used the signaling or emotional digit of our strong hand for our primary use, and the same or a different finger on the weak hand for secondary use.

Unfortunately, we had to turn in our widgets when we completed our work. :(

kazanski612
September 10, 2009, 09:44 PM
My wife and I have one of these:

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6285/gallery11x.jpg

... and a 2-yr-old boy at home. Works great. Our only complaint is that occasionally it doesn't read my wife's fingerprint just right. I do worry a little that when it really counts, that she won't be able to get in (you have to get your finger on there exactly right). But we've decided that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks (for now).

Bonus: it's easy to hide behind a painting or whatnot. Here's the website: http://www.securelogiconline.com/index.php/products/wall-vault

Carne Frio
September 10, 2009, 10:14 PM
The one for pistolds, here looks practical:

http://gunracks.tylerrose.com/
:D

BCeagle
September 11, 2009, 09:48 PM
I bought a Lock-Saf on some great references. Many of the safes will accept up to 20 fingerprints, so with a husband and wife you can actually do every finger.

IamHenryBowman
September 12, 2009, 09:21 AM
cloud8a, I know the feeling, I have 4 kids of my own from 16 to 2 years old. Older kids like my 16 year old daughter and my 14 year old son know where the guns are at and how to get to them and use them properly, education is key with them. As far as younger kids....... http://www.invisivault.com/inwallsafes.html#coatrack

I keep my Beretta in a bedside picture frame not 4 feet from where I sleep.


Never hurts to have a good dog blocking for you either. I prefer Pits.

dec41971
September 12, 2009, 05:52 PM
:confused: Lock up the guns until you can get a touch safe.