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Old January 16, 2020, 12:13 PM   #1
Pistoler0
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Kids in the house and night stand guns: empty chamber?

Hi all,

I have kids in the house of different ages: a 4 y.o, a 6 y.o, an 8 y.o and a 14 y.o. My 8 and 14 y.o. are already being schooled in firearm safety, and they regularly come to shoot with me at the range with their 22s. But I remember all too well how my dad taught me about firearms yet I found where he kept the key to the gun cabinet when I was 14, and my cousin and I utilized this knowledge for all kinds of unsafe fun.

So this is to say that I do not believe that firearms education by itself, no matter how good, is enough to keep certain kids away from them. Kids are just fascinated by guns. But anyway, this is a different topic.

This post is more about bouncing around ideas about how best to have a gun readily available for home defense, yet safe from little (or not so little but immature) young ones.

My hunting and target guns are locked away in the rifle safe in the basement. I do not believe in electronic safes, so I always purchase safes with keys. I keep the keys to my rifle safe inside my bedside, push button safe:



I am not a believer in "supercarry" (carrying inside the home) so when I am at home the gun is in my bedside safe. By the way I recommend V-line or Fort Knox push button safes for those who like me are not comfortable with electronic safes. These push button safes are very quick to access and very reliable!.

However when I sleep, I do not trust that I would have the time to access my bedside safe (which is under my bed) during a home invasion. So while I sleep I keep my gun un-holstered under my mattress, loaded mag but WITHOUT A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER. It is my experience that little hands cannot rack a slide (my 8 y.o cannot rack the slide of my 9mm although he can rack the slide of this 22lr pistol). I do not believe in carrying empty chamber, but I think that for home defense with little ones in the house it is a good balance.

So my safety approach with kids in the house is:

1. Long guns in rifle safe with keys stored in bedside push button safe.
2. Hand guns for home defense (and keys to the rifle safe) in bedside push button quick safe, chamber loaded.
3. While sleeping, handgun under mattress with a full magazine but without a round in the chamber.

How do you fellow gun owners with kids manage your situation? I'd be eager to learn about different approaches and ideas.
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:47 PM   #2
FITASC
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While sleeping, the handgun is on the nightstand where it can instantly be reached, and yes the chamber is loaded. An unloaded gun is a rock. If someone breaks in at 3AM and you're in a sound sleep when all hell breaks loose, are you sure you will have the ability to reach your gun under your mattress and then load the chamber in time to prevent a tragedy?
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:52 PM   #3
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My kids are grown and gone so I don't have the delimma you have, but I can honestly say the safest place to keep a handgun in a housefull of inquisitive kiddos (and their friends) is on your person.

You say you "don't believe" in packing a pistol on your hip at home, so I wonder what the reasons might be?

Even though I don't have little ones around I carry unless I'm in my PJs. Not because I'm concerned of a home invasion, I just don't like taking it off and putting it on over and over. Maybe I'm just lazy, but the less a firearm is handled the safer it will be. When it comes off it stays in the holster.

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Old January 16, 2020, 12:56 PM   #4
Pistoler0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC View Post
While sleeping, the handgun is on the nightstand where it can instantly be reached, and yes the chamber is loaded. An unloaded gun is a rock. If someone breaks in at 3AM and you're in a sound sleep when all hell breaks loose, are you sure you will have the ability to reach your gun under your mattress and then load the chamber in time to prevent a tragedy?
Yeah maybe not. I do not believe in empty chamber carry either. The problem here is kids.

I sleep with the door cracked open, next to the kids' room. They do from time to time come into our room or crawl in bed with us. That's the reason for the empty chamber.
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Old January 16, 2020, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
My kids are grown and gone so I don't have the delimma you have, but I can honestly say the safest place to keep a handgun in a housefull of inquisitive kiddos (and their friends) is on your person.

You say you "don't believe" in packing a pistol on your hip at home, so I wonder what the reasons might be?

Even though I don't have little ones around I carry unless I'm in my PJs. Not because I'm concerned of a home invasion, I just don't like taking it off and putting it on over and over. Maybe I'm just lazy, but the less a firearm is handled the safer it will be. When it comes off it stays in the holster.

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Why not packing at home?

Preference. I carry AIWB. Sit on the couch watching tv with the wife, the wife hugs me or the kids sit on my lap... Its just not the most practical.

But I live in a rural/mountain setting, its not like you could surprise me/us during the day, we would see you coming down our dirt drive from 400 yards out. If a car approaches I have time to holster my firearm before meeting anybody. And you would not get to my house on foot.

It is a different issue at night of course, as we are sleeping.
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Old January 16, 2020, 01:29 PM   #6
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Sorry, but with children in the home (to me that means minors and dependents), the firearms are secured. Nothing out unless it's on your person.

Children are capable of amazing things when they are trying to satisfy their curiosity. I know of at least one case where a child died when they were able to rack a slide by applying all their body weight with the nose of the slide against a drawer. He then turned it toward him in an effort to make the trigger move, and used the thumbs of both hands to finally actuate the trigger.

I'm sure you can figure out the end result.

Just don't do it. You would have to live in an incredibly high risk area to justify the risk to your children. (just my opinion, I'm fully aware I don't know your circumstances)

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Old January 16, 2020, 01:40 PM   #7
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"...Kids are just fascinated by guns..." Moreso if they're not taught about 'em. Most likely be your kid's buddies than your kid though. Best is to teach yours to leave daddy's stuff alone, but also take even the 4 year old shooting as you are. Takes the mystery out of it.
And not all kids are fascinated by guns.
"...where he kept the key..." That really belongs on your key ring with your car keys. Even that won't stop an inquisitive 14 year old(there are many levels of 14 year old maturity). More likely to be the younger ones though.
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Old January 16, 2020, 02:12 PM   #8
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You eliminated a couple of my "approaches" in the OP.
I carry in home, why not.
Electronic safes, they work, key backup.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:04 PM   #9
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The firearm is in a quick access safe with the chamber loaded. Could I be rushed in the time it takes me to get to the firearm? Yes. It's why I have other physical security measures and dogs. In the end it's the choice I make to protect my kids from themselves. I think this is an area where it's an individual decision.

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Old January 16, 2020, 03:37 PM   #10
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nightstand gun is in a basic holster, loaded and ready to go.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:43 PM   #11
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I haven't seen Pax around here in the last few years, but the Cornered Cat website had an example of de-mystifying the carry pistol and it seemed to work for her and her household.
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Old January 16, 2020, 07:17 PM   #12
FITASC
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Quote:
Yeah maybe not. I do not believe in empty chamber carry either. The problem here is kids.

I sleep with the door cracked open, next to the kids' room. They do from time to time come into our room or crawl in bed with us. That's the reason for the empty chamber.
Then put in the nightstand drawer. Besides, if the kids are coming in to crawl in bed with mom and dad, they shouldn't be touching anything on the nightstand
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Old January 16, 2020, 07:57 PM   #13
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I taught mine to leave'em alone, if we were shooting or hunting.
Don't touch,
Don't play,
Don't talk or brag about'em at school or with friends
Don't ever show'em to friends visiting.
They are grown now and all will tell you they never broke those rules, never even thought about it.
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Old January 16, 2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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Back when I had kids at home, the solution was a push-button drawer safe that I could operate in total darkness. Safe but accessible.
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Old January 16, 2020, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
Back when I had kids at home, the solution was a push-button drawer safe that I could operate in total darkness. Safe but accessible.
Hey that's what I have! :-)
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Old January 16, 2020, 08:53 PM   #16
FITASC
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Quote:
I taught mine to leave'em alone, if we were shooting or hunting.
Don't touch,
Don't play,
Don't talk or brag about'em at school or with friends
Don't ever show'em to friends visiting.
They are grown now and all will tell you they never broke those rules, never even thought about it.
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Same here, my nightstand gun was my 357 revolver with a Mossberg cruiser ready in the closet
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Old January 16, 2020, 09:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
I can honestly say the safest place to keep a handgun in a housefull of inquisitive kiddos (and their friends) is on your person.
Gotta agree...I carry all the time here on the farm...and when grandkids are here all guns not on my person are locked up.

At night, my carry gun is on the night stand and our bedroom door is locked to give us a few extra seconds should anyone get past the security system. We've had little ones stay with us, and sometimes have slept with us, but the night stand gun was put down in the safe for the time being.

Kids WILL FIND A WAY to access your guns so training is mandatory. In our house, our grandkids range from 2+ to 15 years old...all girls. None, are allowed downstairs,in my wood shop, nor the gun shop unless I'm with them . None, no exceptions....all adult family, and all visitors can only go downstairs with me as a chaperone...no exceptions. My sons and their wives respect this and abide by the rules.

Find a method to keep curious hands out of your lethal stuff, then enforce the rules but trust that they'll one day find a way to defeat your best efforts, hence the mandatory training.

Good luck and be safe....Rod
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Old January 16, 2020, 09:40 PM   #18
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I'd submit that keys, that may have been seen on a visible key change, even if later hidden or kept in a pocket), or have been seen by the kids, and any push button combos that may have been partially seen by any of the kids offer no measurable security. (Not that I might have had some kids / neighbors' kids that figured out access to any guns in the house.)

For security concerns, I tend to look at what's the downside if there's a compromise, os in this case, one of the kids gains access by solving for a combo or knowing where the key is hidden / kept, then look at a more secure option.
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Old January 17, 2020, 01:12 AM   #19
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Commendable to the OP for securing his guns in a home with kids.

Solution: just add some cheap motion sensors at any entry points....

https://www.homedepot.com/p/SkyLink-...-300/301981469
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Old January 17, 2020, 07:58 AM   #20
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MY son has ,6 and 8yos, has a small safe with his HG next to his bed..BUT Glock 17, condition zero..push button..push the first button, pad lights up..easy to find that forst one..at the end of the 'row'.

BTW-NO kids at home, but I carry at home also..no reason not to..
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Old January 17, 2020, 08:50 AM   #21
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I keep a gun in night stand at night (beretta 92fs with safety on). During the day the nightstand is padlocked and there is a safe in the night stand that the gun is locked in - so double locked. I unlock it all when I go to bed. I put my phone next to the gun so that there is no way I could forget to lock it in the morning when I wake up. I've tried the push button safes and they just weren't quick enough when I was jolted up from a deep sleep. Additionally, I've got cameras and a house alarm on every door/window.

My carry gun is locked in another safe in my closet and is either always in the safe or on me. Long guns are in a big gun safe. I've taught the kids about guns but I still would never trust their curiosity.
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Old January 17, 2020, 09:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistoler0 View Post

This post is more about bouncing around ideas about how best to have a gun readily available for home defense, yet safe from little (or not so little but immature) young ones.

I do not believe in electronic safes, so I always purchase safes with keys. I keep the keys to my rifle safe inside my bedside, push button safe:

I am not a believer in "supercarry" (carrying inside the home) so when I am at home the gun is in my bedside safe. By the way I recommend V-line or Fort Knox push button safes for those who like me are not comfortable with electronic safes. These push button safes are very quick to access and very reliable!.

However when I sleep, I do not trust that I would have the time to access my bedside safe (which is under my bed) during a home invasion. So while I sleep I keep my gun un-holstered under my mattress, loaded mag but WITHOUT A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER.

So my safety approach with kids in the house is:

1. Long guns in rifle safe with keys stored in bedside push button safe.
2. Hand guns for home defense (and keys to the rifle safe) in bedside push button quick safe, chamber loaded.
3. While sleeping, handgun under mattress with a full magazine but without a round in the chamber.

How do you fellow gun owners with kids manage your situation? I'd be eager to learn about different approaches and ideas.

I always pocket carry a P3AT at home. I add a G26 IWB when in public. No kids at home any more, but grandkids from time to time and I also want to keep my home defense guns out of any visitors's hands including the cable guy, electrician or just the cleaning service.

I will not own an electronic safe either. I love electronic gadgets like most guys, but I also understand that when something goes wrong with them it's usually without warning. I won't use one especially for my dedicated defense weapons.

I have one of my FAS1 safes bolted to my bed frame and it's right next to my pillow. I am a side sleeper so my right hand can easily access the safe from a sleeping position. Since the safe uses a holster to present the gun to me when the door opens, it's impossible to grab the trigger in the dark and it's always in the exact same place making it very easy in complete darkness to safely have my gun in hand.



My primary gun in the safe is a G17 and my carry gun goes in the bottom of the safe at night so if I get up and grab the G17 my wife can grab the G26 if needed. Spare mags are also in the safe standing up under the latch making it easy to grab one with my off hand.



Long guns for home defense (Rifle and shotgun also chambered) are in the big safe and that is the direction my wife would go if needed while calling 911.
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Old January 17, 2020, 10:51 AM   #23
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If anyone else of any age is in the house any are guns locked in a safe or on my person. At any night loaded guns are in a locked finger print opening safe.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by FAS1 View Post
Since the safe uses a holster to present the gun to me when the door opens, it's impossible to grab the trigger in the dark and it's always in the exact same place making it very easy in complete darkness to safely have my gun in hand.

I really really like how your gun is in a holster when opening that push button safe. Mine is not (as you can see in the picture in the OP) so I must be careful when grabbing it from the safe, although my gun has a thumb safety and the safety is engaged when the gun is in the safe.

What safe is it?
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:43 AM   #25
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With kids in that age range, I would be more concerned with the fact that your car keys aren't locked in that small safe alongside your firearms.
The older one at least, is far more likely to take your vehicle for a 2am joy ride than play with a gun.
The statistics don't lie.

This is also a GREAT fact to point out to the anti-2A crowd as well.
When I speak to one who starts spouting off about about mandatory locks, safes, etc. I ask them if they lock their vehicle keys in a safe as well, then follow up with "child" deaths via firearm vs vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistoler0 View Post
Hi all,

I have kids in the house of different ages: a 4 y.o, a 6 y.o, an 8 y.o and a 14 y.o.

My hunting and target guns are locked away in the rifle safe in the basement. I do not believe in electronic safes, so I always purchase safes with keys. I keep the keys to my rifle safe inside my bedside, push button safe:
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