As posted, many TFLers have various valid points about how to store or secure a home defense sidearm. In general, Id have a fully loaded magazine with a empty chamber(safety ON if that is the design).
Some semi-auto pistols like the Ruger SR45 or standard Hi-Power 9x19mm have a magazine safety; which increases the safety/security. The pistol can't fire if the magazine isn't loaded into the firearm.
My new pistol; a M&P .45acp Compact comes w/o the magazine safety feature.
I store it in a gun case with a loaded(5 round) magazine. I plan to buy a S&W factory 10rd PVD treated .45acp magazine then use that(fully loaded).
My current home defense load is the potent MagSafe SWAT .45acp which comes in 10rd boxes. I may buy some top rated Hornady Critical Duty 220gr +P .45acp later too.
Some firearm instructors & tactics trainers advise gun owners to leave a round or two off to reduce the tension on the pistol magazine spring. This, to me, isn't bad advice, but most modern firearms & metal components are engineered to last for long periods.
Either way, Id advise any gun owner to check/inspect a home defense weapon often for any problems or damage. A quick check may prevent a lot of issues later,