Owning a gun comes with a lot of responsibilities — on top of knowing how to handle the firearm, first time gun buyers need to know how to safely store it at home. Here are three invaluable tips for storing your guns.
Lock Your Guns Up
Your firearms should have their own designated container that can be locked with a key. Whether you purchase a safe, a gun case or a crate with a separate padlock, you want it to be difficult for your children or any intruders to open. Make sure you store your key in a safe location that only you and any other trusted family members know, and keep the number of copies limited. Let everyone know that there are guns stored in the house, and keep them somewhere safe but easily accessed in case of an emergency.
Keep Ammunition Separate
In most cases, it’s better to keep the magazine out of your gun when storing it. Keeping the gun loaded significantly increases the chance of an accidental fire, especially if young children or anyone who shouldn’t have access to the gun gets ahold of it. You can opt to store loaded magazines somewhere close by outside of the gun’s locked container or you can keep the magazine empty; either way, the gun needs to be empty before it goes into storage. Remember to store ammo in appropriate crates too, and try to keep a single area for ammunition rather than multiple spaces.
Teach Your Family
If you’re going to keep guns in your home, then you need to make sure everyone in the house understands what they are, why you have them and how they are meant to be used. Don’t be afraid to teach your partner and children about gun safety in a secure environment; one good way to start introducing children to firearm safety is by letting them sit in and watch while you clean one.
This gives them a chance to observe the gun in parts, so you can explain the function of the gun piece-by-piece. If you and your partner feel comfortable with it, you may even want to let older children and family members take classes to learn self defense with firearms.
A firearm is a great way to protect your home, but you need to be smart about how you store them. It’s important that everyone in the house have a strong respect for guns, so make this apparent before bringing any home.