A lot of people own a firearm in this country, whether it’s a handgun, shotgun, rifle, or assault rifle. Of course, firearms need to be handled with care and store properly so that nothing happens to them. Firearms are pretty sturdy devices, but they must be stored properly to prevent theft and accidental discharge. Also, all gun owners must practice safe handling techniques to avoid injuring anyone else or worse. Therefore, here are some storage and safety tips.
Use gun safes or racks instead of trigger and barrel locks.
The minimum requirement for gun storage in most states is the use of a trigger lock or barrel lock to ensure that a firearm can’t be used without the key to unlock the device. Of course, gun owners should go above and beyond that requirement to store their guns away from the environment and to make them even harder to access for someone else. Gun safes and racks are relatively cheap, but they will both lock firearms into place so that they can’t be picked up or used. People can transport their firearms in gun cases that lock too. In the end, these options will protect guns from unauthorized use and – in the case of the safes – will protect the firearms from the elements.
Store guns in a cool and dry environment.
Obviously, guns shouldn’t be in moist and hot areas because they can rust and more. All firearms should be stored in a cool, dry environment to avoid any damage to the firearm. A rusty shotgun isn’t all that attractive to look at or use. Also, don’t store ammunition in hot and moist areas because they might not work later on or they could malfunction. Firearms, like many other things, are meant to be kept in a cool, dry place without any moisture or extreme temperatures.
Never store firearms with ammunition.
Only a mentally incompetent person should be storing their firearms with their ammunition in their house. Without a doubt, ammunition should be separated from the firearms. This can be accomplished, however, by simply keeping ammunition locked with locked firearms. A gun owner doesn’t have to hide their ammunition in the garage and their firearms in their bedroom. Simply put, a person shouldn’t have easy access to both firearm and ammunition if they crack open a gun safe. Ammunition locked in a container in the same gun safe is a great idea.
Use a quick-release lock instead of a barrel or trigger lock for home safety.
For home safety, many people either leave their gun unlocked or they use the barrel/trigger locks. The former method is dangerous because a person could end up shooting themselves fumbling for a gun. In the latter case, a person might not get the gun unlocked quick enough. Fortunately, companies have created quick-release gun locks that either mount on the wall or simply attach to the gun. These devices usually don’t require a key, so a person will have greater and easier access to their firearm during an incident.
Teach any children in the house about gun safety.
When there are children in the house with guns, a parent must always teach their children about gun safety. Basically, a parent should talk to their children about the firearms, let them know the dangers involved, and tell them to stay far away from the guns. A child who knows what a gun can do is less likely to try and get to one to play with it than a child who sees them and thinks they are cool looking. Fortunately, well-stored and locked firearms can prevent any child from getting to them.
Add a security camera near any gun safes or racks.
For people that own a big assortment of firearms, sticking security cameras near the firearms’ locations is a good idea. This will help ensure owners that their firearms haven’t gone anywhere and that nobody has tried to gain access to the weapons. Security cameras are relatively cheap, but they can help a person keep their firearms safe at all times. Of course, nothing will usually happen to a person’s firearms, but it is always a good idea to be cautious and have the ability to find out what happened to a missing firearm or a broken lock.
Store ammunition in ammo crates or locked containers.
Ammunition shouldn’t just be laying around in its cardboard container. In reality, a person should store ammunition in an ammo crate or some other type of locked container. First of all, this will prevent anyone from tampering with the ammunition. It will also protect the ammunition from the elements, such as extreme heat or cold and moisture. A person who stores their ammo in a locked container can be sure that it won’t malfunction or deteriorate in any way.
Check up on the guns every once in awhile.
Sometimes, gun owners don’t necessarily use their guns on a regular basis, so it’s always a good idea for owners to check up on their weapons every so often. This will give them a chance to notice anything amiss with their firearms or any potential disappearances. Either way, this is a great safety measure because a person should know right away if a gun needs to be fixed in some way or if someone has taken a firearm. Guns will usually just sit there, but it isn’t impossible for something to be wrong with them or to have a gun missing.
Store all firearms out of plain sight if they are in the house.
In any house with children, the little ones are highly likely to try to handle a firearm if there is one in plain sight. Too many incidents involving children and firearms have resulted in some pretty tragic results. Therefore, gun owners with children should keep their firearms out of plain sight to avoid tempting any child to handle that firearm. A parent could save their child’s life in the end by not displaying firearms around the house.
Use common sense.
In the end, common sense is what’s best when it comes to gun storage and safety. Leaving a loaded gun around the house is just begging for trouble. Also, unlocked guns around the home can become a child’s plaything that could result in injury or death in a worst-case scenario. Owners must use their brains and make sure that nothing can happen involving the firearms and potential injuries. Guns shouldn’t be stored while loaded and without the safety for obvious reasons. In the end, it is up to the owner to ensure that guns are safely and properly stored.
Gun safety and storage isn’t that difficult.
It really isn’t that difficult or complicated to store your firearms in a safe and efficient manner. Only the people who fail to think straight really make any mistakes in this situation. Sure, some accidents or incidents are hard to avoid, but the majority of them are preventable. It is the gun owner’s responsibility to prevent anything happening to or with their firearms.
For more information, visit Firearm Safety and Storage and Why Own a Gun?.