Sunday, December 23, 2007

Firearm Safety During the Holidays

Tony3Dogs emailed a reminder of our responsibility, as firearm owners, for the safe use and storage of our firearms. A family in San Antonio is grieving this holiday season because a pistol was left where an unattended 3 year old could find it. The full story from My San Antonio can be found here.

During the holidays many of us have friends and family over to visit, open presents, eat and just in general enjoy each others company. It is very important that our firearms are secured, not only from the hands of children visitors, but the hands of inquisitive adults. My library/computer room/gun room has a keyed lock on the door, as does the master bedroom. When we have larger groups over, the library gets locked. This is not my only means of securing my firearms, but keeping the entire room off limits makes good sense.

From an earlier post, Kids and Firearm Safety:

The #1 means of preventing your children from becoming involved in an accidental shooting is to raise responsible children, and take the mystique out of firearms.

From Fr. Frogs Pad:

I will do my best to educate my child about the many things in life that, if mishandled, can result in harm. This will require open and frank dialogue and, in the case of firearms, careful, supervised instruction in their safe handling and proper use.

I will not allow my child to play in a home headed by irresponsible and inattentive adults.

I will take proper and prudent measures to ensure the safety and security of my home. Firearms, stored in such a manner that they are readily available to my trained and practiced hand, while being secured against unauthorized use, are an important component of this security preparedness.

I will urge and DEMAND that others, including public servants, show respect for the principles of freedom and individual liberty on which our republic was founded. I will demand that my children inherit the full spectrum of liberties guaranteed to free men and not permit these freedoms to be diminished by ill-conceived attempts to trade precious liberty for illusory safety.

Proper storage of firearms and ammo when you are not in the area is just plain common sense. If your only use for firearms is hunting and target practice, then storage is easy. Purchase the best quality safe you can afford to secure your unloaded firearms.

If you have a firearm for home defense, then you have to be a bit more proactive.

Something I found on the California "Tips for Gun Owners" site:

There is no such thing as being too careful with children and guns. Never assume that simply because a toddler may lack finger strength, they can't pull the trigger. A child's thumb has twice the strength of the other fingers. When a toddler's thumb "pushes" against a trigger, invariably the barrel of the gun is pointing directly at the child's face.

I just added that as something to think about.

There are many different locking devices available today that will keep a loaded firearm secure, but ready for quick access.

The Bio Vault is one such device. It is small, discreet, and opens quickly with a fingerprint. There are other small gun locking devices that opened with an electronic touch pad or quick acting combination lock. My sidearm is either in my holster, or in one such device.

Another idea is to keep the unloaded handgun in a drawer or on a shelf, and keep a magazine or speed-loader on your person.

Firearm safety in the home is mostly common sense and educating your children.

For more on this issue, go to Fr. Frogs Pad here.

Remember, with the right to keep and bear arms comes the responsibility to do so safely. Our decision to own firearms should not put others at unnecessary risk.

Before company arrives, ensure your firearms are properly secured.

Have a safe and blessed holiday season.


Just John said...

Great post. My firearms that are stored have trigger locks. My dad does the same when we visit and bring the kids.

Of course, living in Japan, guns are a moot point. When we get back to the States, a healthy dose of education, and hands-on training, will be on the agenda.

theotherryan said...

guns and kids do not go together well in an unsupervised setting. Keeping guns either on your person or locked up is the only safe way to do that. the fingeprint vaults are great and if your on a tighter budget the keypad ones can be had for under a hundred bucks. bolt it by the bed and you are good to go. consider getting another one for downstairs or the other side of the house.