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Old June 28, 2009, 02:58 AM   #1
cloud8a
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Securing your gun at home problems

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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 03:11 AM   #2
Rich Miranda
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 03:31 AM   #3
cloud8a
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 03:55 AM   #4
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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! 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....
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Old June 28, 2009, 04:19 AM   #5
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securing gun for kids

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
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Old June 28, 2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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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.

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Old June 28, 2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 09:25 AM   #8
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You might want to look in to a safe like this, from Gun Vault. 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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:09 AM   #9
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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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?
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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Not that I know of but then again I dont fall a sleep with one on.
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:41 AM   #12
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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. ;-)
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:47 AM   #13
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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.

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Last edited by pax; June 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM.
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Old June 28, 2009, 12:51 PM   #14
Ric in Richmond
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 03:09 PM   #15
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 06:36 PM   #17
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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 ...

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Old June 28, 2009, 06:41 PM   #18
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Cheapest way. Most elegant way

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.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; June 28, 2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old June 28, 2009, 09:55 PM   #19
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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.
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Old June 28, 2009, 10:13 PM   #20
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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.
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Old June 29, 2009, 08:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
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.
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Old June 29, 2009, 08:14 AM   #22
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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.
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Old June 29, 2009, 09:09 AM   #23
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http://www.thefind.com/sports/browse...lt-pistol-safe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric in Richmond
"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.
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Old June 29, 2009, 11:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owens187
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:
Quote:
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.
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Old June 29, 2009, 11:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
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!

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
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