Deciding to keep a handgun for home defense is a valiant move. Your objective may be driven by the need to defend your family and yourself, but you also have to admit that guns are dangerous.
With that in mind, you need to remember that guns can only do their job if you know how to handle them safely. Having kids at home, in particular, is already risky enough–knowing that they can find it anytime and point it to their siblings or even to you while still think that they’re doing it for fun.
That’s why it won’t hurt at all to always remind yourself of safety precautions if you plan on keeping your handgun for a long time. Take the time to revisit safety reminders, especially if you’re a new gun owner who’s yet to find out the dangers and risks of having a gun in your home.
Being A Responsible Gun Owner
Having a firearm is a huge responsibility. It’s not the kind of decision that you make out of whim or without consulting other members of your family. If and when they agree with you, you have to ensure that all safety measures are in place.
That being said, here are some safety reminders that you may want to keep in mind (and heart) if you’re keeping a handgun for home defense:
1. Store The Gun Properly And Safely
Even the best handgun for home defense can be dangerous if not stored properly and safely. That’s why it’s recommended to invest in a safe box or vault that’s heavily protected with lock combinations or a key that only you can access. Teens and children in your home shouldn’t have any information as to where you keep the gun, keeping them away from temptation. It’s also highly recommended to store the gun separately from the ammunition.
As for storing the firearm properly, it should be unloaded and locked at all times. In case you need to carry it outside, don’t load or unlock the gun for safety reasons. Likewise, don’t be comfortable with placing the firearm anywhere on your property, loaded or not.
2. Discuss Gun Safety In The Family
It’s better to tell it straight to your family if you plan on getting a handgun for home defense. That way, you can freely discuss with them what they should and shouldn’t do as there’s a dangerous weapon inside the home. If your children are old enough to understand, let them know that they’re not supposed to be near the weapon and that there’s no absolute reason for them to be touching it or, worse, fooling around with it.
Make them understand the difference between a real gun and those weapons they see in the movies. They need to be fully aware that real guns are dangerous and can cause real damage when used carelessly. This also helps in keeping your kids safe from gun violence.
Also, as early as now, set a rule in the family should you plan on allowing your kids to handle guns once they’re of legal age.
3. Never Leave Your Handgun Unattended
Under no circumstance should you leave your gun unattended, even for just a brief moment, especially if you have kids in your home. This is typical when a gun owner is cleaning or inspecting their weapon and they’d leave the room for a moment, maybe to grab a bottle of beer or go to the restroom. Even if the kids are nowhere in sight, you shouldn’t feel at ease leaving the gun without anyone to look over it while you’re gone.
This goes the same when you’re riding your car and you prefer to bring your gun with you. It’s not enough to keep the weapon in your console or glove box; you need to be more careful than that. You might want to consider getting a gun safe for your car or truck if you really have the need to bring your gun when going outside. The safe works like a vault that can be installed in your vehicle so you can keep your firearms safe.
Having a gun at home can make you feel both safe and in danger. Since you decided to keep one for home defense, you have to make sure that it’s more on the safer side and not the other way around.
Keep your family and everyone around you secure by following these safety reminders. Remember that being a responsible gun owner all boils down to how you observe and follow safety precautions. This way, your family members can see you as their role model.