Owning firearms can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. You can have a sense of pride in knowing that you are protecting your family and owning something that signifies the great freedoms that are a birthright of being a citizen of our free and brave country. Not to mention the fact that firearms can be fun! That fun comes with a responsibility to safely handle and store those firearms when not in use. Here are some practical gun safety rules you can use to secure your firearms while protecting you and your loved ones at home.
These important tips will help protect from unwanted or improper use of your firearms.
Safely and securely storing your firearms and ammo is one of your most important responsibilities as a gun owner. Even if you live alone, keeping your guns in a locked container, such as a gun safe, can keep your firearms out of the wrong hands. The black market for stolen guns in the U.S. is huge. In 2016, more than 237,000 guns were reported stolen nationwide, a 68% increase from 2005 according to businessinsider.com.
If you have a family, you have an additional responsibility to protect your children from being able to access your guns without your consent. We talked about this in length in our Gun Safety Guide for Families.
Even if your firearm has been properly stored in your gun safe for a long period of time, you are still human and may have left a bullet in the chamber when you stored it away. Always err on the side of caution here, and double check to make sure the gun is unloaded, and the chamber is empty when you are handling it.
You want to use a safe with a passcode entry system with multiple locking bolts (the more, the better). Make sure the passcode is easy to remember in case of emergency access. However, do not use a code that anyone else would know or can likely guess (like a family member’s birthday or your own birthday, for instance). And definitely do not use repeated (like 1111) or sequential numbers (1234).
It goes without saying but even if a minor fire erupts near your ammo, properly storing it in a fire rated safe or lock box can make all the difference in the world.
If you and a partner have a difficult time moving your safe without a dolly, a thief that has broken into your home will probably skip over your firearms and move on to something else. Most burglars work within a small time frame of being in your home and don’t want to have to spend any more time than necessary. A large, heavy safe is usually not worth getting caught and going to jail for.
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