The decision for people to keep guns at home for personal defense is a personal one. It is a serious personal matter to weigh as whether to maintain guns at their residence for personal protection. It is important to consider all factors as to how they will keep their family safe with guns on site that can potentially harm someone if handled improperly. Improper handling can most obviously happen if young children get hold of the firearms. Any added safety benefit added by keeping a weapon at home depends in large measure on the owner’s having appropriate and clear understanding of safe gun handling and storage rules. Factors to consider include; the members of the family, their ages, their knowledge of safe gun handling, availability of the weapons for emergency use, what to do in an emergency, and support of other members of the household for keeping firearms in the home.
If you decide that it is important to keep firearms in the home for personal family protection, it is important that safety rules be strictly enforced. After all, if the firearm is not immediately available in an emergency, than it has little value for personal protection. On the other hand, if keeping a firearm at home puts family members at risk, than that risk could outweigh the benefit. But it makes no sense to keep a weapon for personal protection if you cannot access it quickly in an emergency. There is another rule that applies to self defense, and that is “keep your gun handy”. That is why many people choose to keep their self defense weapon holstered on their side, even at home.
You all have heard of home invasion robberies, where thugs simply break through the door with you right there. If that happened, and your gun is at your bedside; how will you get to it? I have also read stories of people who were attacked at home but had their weapon handy and skillfully handled the situation. Each person needs to understand the risks with keeping guns at home and just how they will be stored.
If you choose to keep a firearm at home for your personal protection, it is imperative that you follow some safety rules to keep all members of your household and visitors safe. Below is a checklist that can help you maintain that safety.
Make sure that:
- Firearms kept for security reasons are fully controlled at all times. This may include having their personal protection gun locked in quick access safe or worn in a holster.
- Firearms are securely stored in a location inaccessible to children and other unauthorized persons at all times.
- Sporting firearms are unloaded before they are brought into the home and never loaded in the home.
- Sporting firearms are immediately cleaned and placed in secure storage when they are returned from hunting or target practice.
- When firearms are removed from storage that they are carefully checked to confirm that they are unloaded.
- Ammunition is stored under lock and key away from the firearms.
- The owner’s manual that came with the firearm must be read and understood.
Adherence to these simple rules can help to ensure the safety of yourself and loved ones.