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erik_26
12-28-2010, 11:24 AM
What is the best way to keep your home defense weapon ready, easily accessible to you, but not to your kids or unauthorized people?

Right now I have my guns in a locked safe. With gun locks on. Plus a loaded magazine on the shelf in the safe. I am guessing I would need about 2-3 minutes before I would be ready. I have to hope my dogs can keep a would be intruder at bay or at least buy me some time.

How do you do this better?

tacticalcity
12-28-2010, 11:32 AM
There really is no good solution from a self defense perspective. Anything that can successfully block your kids from access will block you as well. You do not have the time you think you do. No matter what you do, when the time comes it will likely turn out to have been the worst thing you could have done with regards to being able to get access to your firearm. Murphy's law is alive and well.

Engineers have been working on this one for a long time. Biometric safes were a nice idea, until people realized just how glitchy biometrics are.

Locked in the safe would be as far as I would go. I would not add gunlocks on top of that. You might as well seal them in a box that can only be slowly cut open with a welding torch at the point. You'll have about as much luck getting to them in time.

The simple truth is, no matter what steps you take to keep your kids from being exposed to the guns (including not even owning them) it will not do a damn thing to keep them safe. Because you have ZERO control over their friends parents. Over half the households in America own a firearm, and you can bet your bottom dollar less than half of those households exercise proper gun safety. So a proper combination of keeping your own firearms locked up, and teaching your kids about gun safety is critical.

Part of your job is going to be educating your children on gun safety. There is an appropriate level of exposure for each age group, and odds are it is considerably higher than you (and especially your wife) might think. Since California tends to treat even adults like helpless idiots it is no wonder we under estimate the intelligence of our kids. Talk to the guys over at the NRA, they have some great tips on how to keep your kids safe while teaching them gun safety. A lot of it will be played by ear, as you measure how well your child responds. My buddies 5 year is still at the, "What is that? A Gun? What do we do when we see a gun? Don't touch it and go and find an adult!" stage of exposure. Which started when she as only two and is perfect for her age group. And it has already worked. At three years old she saw someone's BB Gun in the garage, and did not touch it and went and found an adult. It was only a BB Gun, but it was proof the exposure and safety training works. Sometime before she is 10 I would expect she will be at the "This is how to clear and strip a firearm to render it safe!" stage of the game. Not because you don't want her to go find an adult still, but because you know her rebellious idiot untrained friends won't let her. The thing most parents overlook when thinking about this stuff, is the reality of what it was like to be a kid and all the presures they are under. By age seven or so you become the idiot in their minds and their dumb friends become their roll models. Run and get an adult only works for so long.

Librarian
12-28-2010, 11:37 AM
Belt holster, when you're home.

Wear a vest or a sweater/sweatshirt if that would seem a bit over the top for family or visitors, but the answer to 'two minutes away' is to keep it closer.

ZX-10R
12-28-2010, 11:54 AM
Keep it where you know it is unloaded...Have the magazine in your pocket. That is what I do now that I have a handgun. My daughter is 14 and guns are not her thing and she knows extremely well what purpose they serve. My wife is pro gun and agrees with my practice. If there are guests, the guns go away.

Katana
12-28-2010, 12:47 PM
An Airweight J-frame (a non-snag internal hammer is best) carries fairly comfortably in the front pocket in a pocket holster—or just use a rolled up bandana to keep it upright.

At the very least, you'll be armed while accessing your safe for something larger.

Super Spy
12-28-2010, 1:25 PM
I have a GunVault Biometric safe....It's not perfect and you need to practice opening it, as well as record fingerprints at different angles and with different amounts of pressure. Practicing getting into it makes sure your not pressing the hell out of the scanner and distorting the image it collects. That said I can get to my pistol in about 2 seconds, rack the slide and I'm ready for action.

Everything else is in a gunsafe that is bolted to the wall and the slab.

Swift Justice
12-28-2010, 1:39 PM
Non-biometric gunvault. Or, one of those fake picture frames that can conceal a gun.
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=148194

Hooru9TsV74

DaveFJ80
12-28-2010, 1:42 PM
If you don't feel comfortable carrying around in your house (playing with kids running around, depending on what clothes you're wearing, etc), then think about how your home is layed out and consider what routes you can take to get to your gun(s).

For me, I realized that if I'm in a front area of my house, then I can easily get up and go to my bedroom to get my loaded handgun in the GunVault (out & ready in a few seconds, while taking cover from back there as needed). However, if I'm in back area of my house and if badguys come through the front, then I can't go by them to get to my GunVault in my bedroom, so I put another one and hid it at the other end of the house. Again, easy for me to get to and can be ready in a matter of seconds, plus it's towards an area where I can take cover from as needed.

Just really depends on how you want to approach the situation, whether you're more comfortable carrying in your house or strategically stashing your firearms in your home.

InGrAM
12-28-2010, 2:04 PM
Your home defense gun should be in YOUR room at all times. Have a safe in your room where you ONLY keep your home defense gun. A small single or dual gun safe.
Leave it unlocked when you are home/sleeping.
Tell your kids about gun safety... end of story.. letting them shoot the gun/guns is a good idea. EDUCATION! is key.
Lock the safe when you leave the home.
period.

I have no kids but a new non-gun exposed wife and this is what I do. It takes me about 5 seconds to get to the safe and chamber a round.

sevensix2x51
12-28-2010, 3:12 PM
i keep it in my back pocket, locked and loaded. its not going to do you any good when its in a safe, or even unloaded. maybe one of these days i'll start using a holster, but old habits die hard. kids arent going to get to your pistol and shoot themselves if it is in your possession. it either goes in the safe when i leave, or comes along for the ride. usually the latter.

esartori
12-28-2010, 3:21 PM
I would look into something similar to this safe. It is small and can hold one to two pistols. You don't need to fumble with a key, and it has a feature where it will disable to safe if too many attempts have been made. Something like this combined with good education should do the trick; you can be safe while also being prepared.

esartori
12-28-2010, 3:21 PM
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/86_261/products_id/78100

forgot the link...

tacticalcity
12-28-2010, 3:27 PM
I am a fan of the gunvaults, but anything battery powered has a failure potential that has to be kept in mind. Have a backup plan in case you can't get in. Seen it happen my friends.

I do not carry inside my home. My gun clashes with my boxer shorts. ;)

I do open the safe when I get home. I do not have kids. My buddies that do have kids all have Gunvaults. They are a pretty decent seller for me as well.

Mickey D
12-28-2010, 6:05 PM
Belt holster, when you're home

Best answer. Mine's on my hip at all times. My shirt always untucked or a sweater. Dress around your needs.

kahai808
12-28-2010, 6:07 PM
i keep mine with a loaded mag but i also live by myself

bsg
12-28-2010, 7:07 PM
if you want to carry in your home without detection consider the old Bianchi Belly Band. you can wear boxer shorts, tee shirt and this deep concealment rig with handgun on board. a few extra magazines can also be carried on this rig. the rig also serves as a money belt. it is no longer offered for public consumption by Bianchi, but other companies make various offerings similar to the Belly Band. i believe Galco makes a variant. the Bianchi model can be found through the secondary market.

i wouldn't recommend this setup for a heavy handgun. you can carry a G26 and almost forget it's being carried. it is recommended to wear the rig just above the waistline, but i have worn mine higher. there are numerous positions you can wear this in, simply by moving the position of the rig. it is made of ballistic nylon and comes in a tan color. i have worn this rig under a loose fitting tee shirt with no printing or visible evidence of the concealed gun that it carries. the higher you wear the rig, the more your gun seems to disappear. however, the higher you wear the rig... the more difficult it becomes to draw your gun when needed.

this is just an option for those of you that want to carry while in your home, but wish to do so without notice.

this is not a "fast draw" setup and it's major drawback is slow access to your gun. but it works... and truly serves it's purpose as a deep concealment rig.

erik_26
12-28-2010, 7:58 PM
I have thought about leaving my safe unlocked at night with a mag ready to go. I just worry about forgetting to lock it up in the morning or in the evening (when I work nights). The ol' lady is anti gun. I am trying to get her to come around. She is really concerned with my behavior because we just recently got a hand gun (have had rifles and shotgun). She doesn't see the need. I get the whole "we have gone all this time without any issues, so why do we need it now?"

My neighbor had his truck broken into in the middle of the night. I am starting to think that's how it all starts. First a couple of cars, next the criminals get a little braver and step up to home burglary. I don't care if they steel the TV or whatever. I am worried about them having a gun or knives and hurting my family.

I am trying to balance gun safety with readiness.

My kids are 6 and 7. My daughter has zero interest and is afraid of the guns. My son wants to go shooting with me (he is 7 and wants to be just like dad). I talk to them about gun safety all the time. I want to take him shooting. But I just don't think he is mature enough. Obviously he wouldn't be shooting the hand gun. He could handle the .22 LR rifle. But I want to wait a few years.

My wife doesn't even want to learn how to make sure any of my guns are clear and safe. It is frustrating.

My objective with this thread was to consider the possibilities based on what more experienced people do to balance being ready but safe.

samsigsauer
12-28-2010, 8:03 PM
I have a compact safe with keypad in the bedroom and the rest of my guns in the large safe. I bought the safe at Harbor Freight it is a inexpensive. I have it bolted to the wall and have Lithium batteries powering it.

Bill Carson
12-28-2010, 8:05 PM
What is the best way to keep your home defense weapon ready, easily accessible to you, but not to your kids or unauthorized people?

Right now I have my guns in a locked safe. With gun locks on. Plus a loaded magazine on the shelf in the safe. I am guessing I would need about 2-3 minutes before I would be ready. I have to hope my dogs can keep a would be intruder at bay or at least buy me some time.

How do you do this better?

You only have 7 seconds.

den888
12-28-2010, 8:52 PM
I have them hidden "strategically" in the house.

MrOrange
12-28-2010, 8:59 PM
I hear your concerns, and your unfortunate situation with a spouse who isn't going to help monitor a ready firearm while you're in the shower or whatever.
And of course ya gotta sleep sometime.

Have you thought about a revolver with a Magna-Trigger?

http://www.tarnhelm.com/magna-trigger/gun/safety/magna1.html

I have one on an older model 640 and it works fine. The only problem for me is that it rules out using CTCs which I consider practically mandatory for a self-defense sidearm.

Just-in
12-28-2010, 9:08 PM
http://www.gunvault.com/handgun-safes/mini-mini-deluxe.html
you mentioned long guns, ya know a scattergun isn't half bad for home defense itself...
The action cycling alone would probably make your common two legged animal think twice about his actions.

steelcore
12-28-2010, 9:40 PM
For those who carry in their home.... what is the reason to conceal it completely? I understand that you don't want to walk by the window with a full size grip sticking out the side of your shirt, but is there a reason to completely conceal it?

The only time I'd actually carry a sidearm on my person is if there have been frequent burglaries or if I hear people sneaking around the apartment.

longarmshortlegs
12-28-2010, 9:43 PM
Why not dedicate one firearm as your primary night gun, and get a small lockbox or safe to put bedside or near so you can get to it. No sense in having to have the entire arsenal out in the open, or at least not immediately.

The key is to make a habit of taking it out of safe, safety check, dry fire, load it, safety check, and secure it before bed, and then in the morning safety check, unload, dry fire, safety check, and lock it back in the safe in the morning. Never get lazy, or be lazy and skip your routine. As someone pointed out, that same day will be the day that Murphy shows up.

Lowbux
12-28-2010, 10:59 PM
Because I have a 16 year old son in the house, I basically do what ZX-10R stated above but the handgun doesn't stay out when I'm not home. It goes back into a safe whenever I leave the house and comes right back out when I/we get home. It quickly becomes second nature just like seat belts and cellphones.

When I sleep, it is snuggled under my pillow ala "James Bond" (unchambered and barrel pointed toward the headboard of course) along with a pocket flashlight on the nightstand.

Introducing my son to firearms by the age of 8-9 was very important. And getting him to the range for handguns and rifles by the age of 12 drastically reduced his curiosity in handling firearms around the house, but yet he is as capable as I am with one if the need arises.

Consider your daytime "stash point" carefully. You wouldn't want an intruder who may already be in your home to be between you and your gun. Sometimes I relocate the gun based on where I am in the house. The larger guns are just to heavy to tote around the house on my hip. It also gives me the chance to fondle it more...:D

BunnySlayer
12-29-2010, 9:41 AM
Personally I keep a handgun safe by my bed. You can bolt them to the floor for security and they are reasonably fast to open, with a little practice. I do not however like the electronic versions as I am a firm believer in murphys law. When I really need to get in there the power will be out, the battery dead and the key will be lost. So the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) applies for me here. I keep my 870 in my gun safe with a loaded tube and the chamber clear. No matter what you do it will be a compromise between speed and safety. Do what's best for you and your family.

maxicon
12-29-2010, 10:28 AM
I've got teenagers (and their friends) in the house, and went through this process back when they were babies. My kids are well trained in gun safety, but their friends, and their friends' friends, are unpredictable. I also don't like to wear a gun around the house, though I do sometimes just for the practice.

I keep a bedside gun in a Gunvault, and have a few more stashed around in inconspicuous places (all with flashlights next to them). These guns are ready to go, with loaded chambers and no locks. Being able to roll out of bed and grab a gun and a flashlight in a few seconds is pretty important. Easily, 99% of my "What was that?" sweeps have been in the dead of night, but the practice also pays off for daytime or evening need (like when the police helicopters are circling the neighborhood).

The plus of the Gunvault is that it only takes a few seconds to get into it if you're close to it, and it's easy to use even in the dark. It also counts as a Cali-approved handgun safe, for those without real safes. The minuses are that it's an electronic device, and it won't keep burglars out.

That's my trade-off, and I've been happy with it for quite a few years now.

Go handle bedside safes, work them with your eyes closed, look at the motions it takes to go from hands-off to hands-on, and it'll soon become clear what works well for you.

Whatever you choose, practice it regularly, especially in the dead of night when you've just woken up. With a Gunvault, practice recovering from a fumbled combo attempt, and practice getting the gun out if the batteries or electronics are dead.

BTW, when my kids were hitting 7 or so, I started taking them out to shoot .22 handguns. The most popular by far was a little High Standard revolver, as it was light, and easy for them to load and unload. Sure, their targets looked like shotgun patterns, but we all had fun, and they learned to handle guns. They didn't like rifles as much because they were too heavy.

.410 single-action and pump shotguns were also popular as they got older and could handle long guns better.

all torque
12-29-2010, 11:31 AM
^^^ I agree. My 13 year old has been shooting since he was a 8-9 years old and my seven year old fired his first rounds off at about the age of five. Give your 7 year old a try, he might surprise you. Mine is hyper and has a very small attention span, but when it comes down to shooting he's a different kid. I also make them tell me the 4 safety rules before they can put some rounds down range.;)

BunnySlayer
12-29-2010, 4:51 PM
Knowledge is power. Educate your kids and no matter what you will never have a problem!!

Mickey D
12-29-2010, 6:42 PM
For those who carry in their home.... what is the reason to conceal it completely? I understand that you don't want to walk by the window with a full size grip sticking out the side of your shirt, but is there a reason to completely conceal it?

The only time I'd actually carry a sidearm on my person is if there have been frequent burglaries or if I hear people sneaking around the apartment.

I carry concealed at home because I work in my garage/shop frequently with the door open, Don'y want passer-bys to detect I'm armed. Also it's just been a habit for many years.

MarioS
12-29-2010, 8:45 PM
A Gunvault or other fast access safe might be a good option. They can be had for around $100 or so if I remember correctly. Two to three minutes is way too long. I think 10-15 seconds is even way too long. You can have a loaded gun in your hand with a round in the chamber ready to fire in under five seconds with a Gunvault or something similar. If you're leaving for a while, take it to your safe and even unload it if you want.

steelcore
12-29-2010, 8:46 PM
That makes perfect sense. I grew up at the end of a col-de-sac, so I really couldn't imagine someone driving down the street and looting an open garage with 5 other homes facing them, 90% of the residents having lived there for decades. My current place isn't as... quiet and soothing... to say the least.

It also depends on the neighborhood. A few months ago I would probably have been the same way, with some dope dealing kids next door to my mom. They have since been forced out of the neighborhood, so I don't worry about her as much.

Turbinator
12-29-2010, 10:51 PM
i keep it in my back pocket, locked and loaded. its not going to do you any good when its in a safe, or even unloaded. maybe one of these days i'll start using a holster, but old habits die hard. kids arent going to get to your pistol and shoot themselves if it is in your possession. it either goes in the safe when i leave, or comes along for the ride. usually the latter.

Good answer. CCW'ing at home is the best way to keep it accessible at all times and pretty much rules out scenarios where you'll have to fight your way to retrieve your home defense weapon. The only thing I'd add to the above is that you should use a proper holster - belt, IWB, or some other reasonable solution.

if you want to carry in your home without detection consider the old Bianchi Belly Band.

...snip...

this is not a "fast draw" setup and it's major drawback is slow access to your gun. but it works... and truly serves it's purpose as a deep concealment rig.

Excellent suggestion on the above.

For those who carry in their home.... what is the reason to conceal it completely? I understand that you don't want to walk by the window with a full size grip sticking out the side of your shirt, but is there a reason to completely conceal it?


My opinion only - concealing it completely gives you the advantage in that should someone confront you, you know you are armed, but they don't know you are armed. You have the option of using an escalation of force if needed. If they knew you were armed up front, they might take immediate steps to neutralize you since you would clearly up front pose a threat to the intruder.

Concealment also allows you to not alarm guests or neighbors who might drop by during the day.


The only time I'd actually carry a sidearm on my person is if there have been frequent burglaries or if I hear people sneaking around the apartment.


See, I don't get this. Either you're prepared, or you aren't. You don't turn on your smoke detectors exclusively when you have the fireplace going, candles lit, or the gas stove on, do you?

Turby

erik_26
12-30-2010, 7:47 AM
The key is to make a habit of taking it out of safe, safety check, dry fire, load it, safety check, and secure it before bed, and then in the morning safety check, unload, dry fire, safety check, and lock it back in the safe in the morning. Never get lazy, or be lazy and skip your routine. As someone pointed out, that same day will be the day that Murphy shows up.

I think I will try this out. Not sure about the dry firing part, seems unnecessary.

But I will start making my weapon more readily available and get into a routine.

steelcore
12-30-2010, 5:38 PM
Turby, I live on the third floor. The layout makes it rather inconvenient for people to get a ladder up to my balcony, whereas you could walk right up someone's back door on the first floor. Sure, they could pick my unit to break into by chance, but far more often than not burglars go for what's easy.... and no, I don't have debts to anyone

Keeping batteries in a smoke detector isn't comparable to carrying a gun on your person. Batteries involve no thinking, you set it and forget it.... occasionally testing it.