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Rational safe storage

by Michael Z. Williamson
daggers@indy.net
 

One of the loudest rants of the know-nothings is "safe storage" of firearms. Despite their ignorance of the subject, their concern is valid. Their proposals are not -- ranging from trigger locks, which in many cases increase the likelihood of a misfire and place the perception of safety on a device rather than the operator, to firearms safes, which render a weapon inaccessible on short notice and thus useless for self defense. 

And, let us be realistic: a person who isn't safe with a weapon will be unlikely to use a safety device, and therefore no safer. Even a conscientious operator is unlikely to use the firearms safe every time. Laziness, like it or not, is part of human nature and must be taken into consideration.

Not only are triggerlocks ineffective, they are easy to defeat by a person bent on trouble. The danger here is, since one assumes the lock is in use, one assumes the weapon is unreachable. The first evidence of this may be misuse.

What we need, then, is a means of securing a weapon so that it is easily accessible when needed, inaccessible to small children, readily seen to have been tampered with, yet still reachable by a competent youth in an emergency. It should also be readily available and inexpensive to be ideal. Does such a means exist?

Yes, it does.

My father, an engineer, developed a quick, cheap method of securing a weapon. As far as I know, he still uses it. It's his night table. Slightly modified.

He purchased and installed a single-action lock. The key can only be removed by locking the mechanism, and will not come out otherwise. They are inexpensive, and can be installed in a few minutes using nothing more than a power drill.

Here's how it works: at night, when sleeping, your keys are in the lock, unlocked. Your firearm is readily accessible. Upon dressing, you take your keys, and must lock the drawer to do so. Your weapon is then secure against small children.

Should you need the weapon while awake, you are likely to be retreating from a criminal anyway. Assuming your phone works, the bedroom extension most people have is at hand, as is the weapon. One can unlock and acquire while the criminal is in pursuit or breaking the door. 

A teenager can still acquire the weapon in an emergency by ripping the front off the drawer. This takes a few seconds and no excessive amount of strength. It will, however, be obvious that this was done, which makes misuse obvious also, and less likely, due to the glaring visibility of the theft.

There's an additional benefit: one must make a daily effort to release the weapon. This encourages one to examine, clean, and take care of it. If an enterprising youth (your own or another) has acquired the weapon, you will notice quickly. 

Certainly, such a method is not as physically secure as a metal safe. However, it is more likely to be used, and that helps balance out that concern. If one should forget to unlock it at night, it takes a few seconds to grab keys and open it, as opposed to trying to work a combination in the dark.

Is it ideal? That depends on your criteria. It is inexpensive, secures against most misuse and accidents, and only minimally if at all hinders access when needed. I plan to adopt it myself now that I have small children around the house.

Copyright 2001 by Michael Z. Williamson. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this article in toto provided credit is given to the author and KeepAndBearArms.com. Please notify the author of any such use. Mr. Williamson's other articles can be found at http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/Williamson.


KeepAndBearArms.com Note:  Though it's obviously a very personal choice, we do not recommend being in your home without having your firearm in reach at all times. There have been thousands of cases of predators invading homes where the homeowner had exactly two seconds to respond. With small and/or untrained children about the house, the safest way to assure that a gun is always within reach but out of the reach of your youngster(s) is to have it on your person.

If carrying a large .45 seems a bit heavy while milling about the homestead, a pocket-sized hammerless revolver would suffice to help you get to your nightstand for your backup self-defense tool.  (I only notice my high capacity .45 when I don't have it on, which only happens until I realize it's in the bathroom where I inadvertently and temporarily left it.) We also reiterate our support (call) for thorough training in gun handling, safety and shooting -- of all children, as soon as they are bright enough to understand what you are teaching them and why.

Finally, in states and cities where the government has attempted to usurp your right to keep and bear arms by telling you that you must lock up your self-defense devices, we support you in in exercising your right to keep and bear arms by ignoring their anti-American edict, provided you:

  • trained your children responsibly to the point where you absolutely trust them,

  • are truly conscious of their mindsets regarding firearms,

  • are aware of how they are feeling about themselves and life in general and are comfortable that you've got tabs on their sensibilities, and

  • are prepared to take full, personal, sole responsibility for whatever actions they could take with your firearm(s).

NO governmental agency or entity has any right whatsoever to disarm you in your own home, regardless of how many lawyers in black robes tell you otherwise. I'm penning my name to this KABA note to take personal responsibility for what I just said -- and all its ramifications.

The Merced, California Pitchfork Murders would have been stopped and lives saved but for a "safely" stored gun. A man in Colorado just recently gave us this juicy little quote, and he knows it to be true based on the circumstances: "If I'd had a trigger lock, I'd be dead." 

Which makes less sense: your government sentencing you to death in your own home, or your following their shoddy advice?

Angel Shamaya
Founder/Executive Director
KeepAndBearArms.com

 

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