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Thread: For those with small children - where do you keep your home defense firearm?

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    For those with small children - where do you keep your home defense firearm?

    All of my firearms are kept in a safe, in our bedroom. It's a keylock safe. My wife and I were having a discussion, and she does not feel safe with any of the firearms left out in the open where our two and a half year old daughter may grab ahold of it, regardless of if it's kept loaded or unloaded.

    While I agree, this poses another question - what does a person do in the event of a home invasion or burglary? Realistically, if I hear someone prowling around my home, I'll have time to grab my firearm and prepare, however, it isn't always that white and black. There are circumstances where the intruder will just make his way in without any sort of warning signs being displayed. Especially if there are times where my wife or myself forgets to lock the door. We are normally very good about keeping our home locked, but I have caught the door a few times being unlocked.

    What sort of solution to the problem do you suggest? I want to keep my firearms safely out of any sort of danger zone from my daughter and when we have small children over (my wife babysits) but I want it easily available if I need it in an emergency.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Find a spot high enough to be out of reach for the tot. As soon as she is old enough start introducing her to it. Don't make it taboo. That will peak curiosity. When your wife babysits, just lock it up.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    I don't have kids yet, but when I do I'll probably do as my parents did when I was a little tike. Keep the guns available for adults, not locked up but not easily accessible. At 5-8 give the kid a shotgun and start keeping guns in the kid's room. When kids are too small to safely handle firearms they can be taught not to handle them, when large enough to hold the firearm properly, pull the trigger and handle the recoil they can be taught safe handling. Me and those I grew up with are living proof.

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    I keep my 1911, loaded and chambered, with 2 extra magazines in a GunVault on the nightstand. Everything else goes in a long gun safe. I keep a 12 gauge shotgun and 2 AR's loaded in that safe, all else is unloaded. If my 1911 is out it's in a Blackhawk Serpa CQC retention holster.

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    I keep my home defense guns accessible to everybody in the family. Much like the old fire extinguisher bit, goes, the family guns are treated as such.

    When my boys were a bit younger, I was concerned, however, by showing them how to safely handle firearms, all of my concerns were erased. Would I leave guns in the kids' rooms? Probably not.

    If my wife were babysitting, I probably wouldn't change the way I'm doing things. It's just one of those things, though, it all depends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    What sort of solution to the problem do you suggest? I want to keep my firearms safely out of any sort of danger zone from my daughter and when we have small children over (my wife babysits) but I want it easily available if I need it in an emergency.
    The first step in the "solution" is to recognize this a problem with no perfect solution. The two goals you have established cannot be simultaneously and perfectly obtained.

    There is some level of unavoidable risk in this situation--either on the out of danger zone goal or the easily available in an emergency goal. Or both.

    The second step in the "solution" is to never, never forget the law of truly large numbers . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    What sort of solution to the problem do you suggest? I want to keep my firearms safely out of any sort of danger zone from my daughter and when we have small children over (my wife babysits) but I want it easily available if I need it in an emergency.
    Holstered on your belt is the best for that.

    Otherwise, have you checked either biometric safes, or the fingerpad combo safes?
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrightme View Post
    Holstered on your belt is the best for that.

    Otherwise, have you checked either biometric safes, or the fingerpad combo safes?
    I think this post sums it up.

    If the issue is weight and discomfort for lounging, you could also find a lightweight pocket gun or something.

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    The best home defense gun has always been a 12 g pump.

    No one wants to use a gun on another human. You do not want the head ache that goes with it. It is better then being dead, but thats about it.

    On that note, keep the pump on a rack above the reach of any kid. Keep the chamber empty and the mag full. When you hear the break-in, jack a round into the chamber. Most every bad guy knows that sound and will leave. Thats what you want. If they do not leave, you are set to do what is needed.

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    I have 2 boys, 5 and 8 months. I use a gun vault next to the bed with my pistols loaded when I'm not wearing them. When we go to bed, I usually leave a loaded pistol on the nightstand. The gunvault is quick and easy to access and can be mounted just about anywhere so it's easy to reach. When my oldest son was about 4 I began teaching about the guns, how they work, safe handling etc... What age they are ready to for an accessible firearm is up to you and you know your child the best.

    One thing I would suggest if you like dogs or can have one is to get a well bread protective dog. We have a german shepherd/rottweiler mix and he's great with our boys, even the baby, but will place himself in the path of danger anytime he feel it's needed. It's amazing how perceptive he is to situations and how he responds by placing himself between the danger and us. He even checks on the boys when they are sleeping, he'll walk into their rooms and sniff their faces to make sure they're still there and breathing. He does all this with just a little training. Protective dogs will also alert bark to let you know something is up or someone is coming towards the house and this can buy you that extra few seconds to get a gun, your family and call the cops. Dogs are a great deterrent of home invasions and burglaries. i consider our dog to be another layer in the defense of my family and our home. Not to mention, he's a great companion.

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    I have a 22 rifle by the porch door to shoot birds. A friend comes over with her daughter once in a great while. She gave me crap about having a gun. My house, my right, dont come over then.
    Nephew is over quite a bit. He is 6. He doesnt bother the gun since he is raised around it by his dad.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    There has never been a time in my life (that I can remember) that I did not know where each weapon in my Dad's house was, along with the ammunition. I had access to them all, as did my younger brother. I think it's a matter of training and knowledge above all else.

    That being said, a 12 gauge with the chamber empty sounds like a good call to me. If it's going to be a handgun, I'd just keep it out of reach. If you're especially talking about at night, I don't see why you couldn't just put the gun next to your bed at night, and move it again when you get up in the morning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iopencarry View Post
    The best home defense gun has always been a 12 g pump.
    ...
    On that note, keep the pump on a rack above the reach of any kid. Keep the chamber empty and the mag full. When you hear the break-in, jack a round into the chamber. Most every bad guy knows that sound and will leave. Thats what you want. If they do not leave, you are set to do what is needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    ...
    That being said, a 12 gauge with the chamber empty sounds like a good call to me. If it's going to be a handgun, I'd just keep it out of reach.
    ....
    Wouldn't it be better to have a live shell in the chamber?

    Quicker. No need to get the gun into a firing state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iopencarry View Post
    When you hear the break-in, jack a round into the chamber. Most every bad guy knows that sound and will leave.
    That is actually a myth that's become very popular in the firearms community. Although most fights that involve a shotgun end within two rounds, the sound of the action cycling a round in the chamber does nothing to deter a criminal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    I have a 13, 12 and 9 year old twins. I keep my sidearm where it should be, sitting out, accessible, loaded. Not once have they ever touched any firearms that I have had sitting out.

    I think it has something to do with teaching them that firearms can kill you, that the firearm is not theirs, firearms are not to be played with, and that if they ever want to touch any of the firearms all they have to do is ask and we can unload the firearm and they can ask questions, look at it...if it's a good weather day, we will go shoot the hell out of it. Being firearm competent and safe is a lifetime exercise.

    People teach their kids to be idiots, and create an environment for their children to be firearm stupid. I would never do this but I would leave my handgun loaded, sitting on my desk and go shopping, leaving the kids home, and know they wouldn't touch it. I would never do that because I carry everywhere I go.


    I will give an example of responsible children. My partner and I will go out to dinner together. I had taught the kids a couple of years ago to use pepper spray. We leave a huge canister of it in a specific area. They have been instructed what to do in a break-in situation, one of those things is utilizing that canister. I even went into detail about how it feels to get sprayed and how they should stay calm if they ever had to use it an got back spray...with my oldest two I have explained the psychological response that occurs when pepper spray hits a person in the face...aside from it being uncomfortable, panic sets in with the sensation of not being able to breath...I remind them that they might feel as though they can't breath, but they are able to and will be fine.

    Over the past three years that canister has not been played with...the pin is still intact and the canister sits, waiting to be used for its intended purpose, to blind intruders.
    Last edited by Beretta92FSLady; 11-21-2010 at 03:08 PM.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    I have a 13, 12 and 9 year old twins. I keep my sidearm where it should be, sitting out, accessible, loaded. Not once have they ever touched any firearms that I have had sitting out.

    I think it has something to do with teaching them that firearms can kill you, that the firearm is not theirs, firearms are not to be played with, and that if they ever want to touch any of the firearms all they have to do is ask and we can unload the firearm and they can ask questions, look at it...if it's a good weather day, we will go shoot the hell out of it. Being firearm competent and safe is a lifetime exercise.

    People teach their kids to be idiots, and create an environment for their children to be firearm stupid. I would never do this but I would leave my handgun loaded, sitting on my desk and go shopping, leaving the kids home, and know they wouldn't touch it. I would never do that because I carry everywhere I go.


    I will give an example of responsible children. My partner and I will go out to dinner together. I had taught the kids a couple of years ago to use pepper spray. We leave a huge canister of it in a specific area. They have been instructed what to do in a break-in situation, one of those things is utilizing that canister. I even went into detail about how it feels to get sprayed and how they should stay calm if they ever had to use it an got back spray...with my oldest two I have explained the psychological response that occurs when pepper spray hits a person in the face...aside from it being uncomfortable, panic sets in with the sensation of not being able to breath...I remind them that they might feel as though they can't breath, but they are able to and will be fine.

    Over the past three years that canister has not been played with...the pin is still intact and the canister sits, waiting to be used for its intended purpose, to blind intruders.
    I agree with this pretty much completely, except for two points.

    1) What about when they are younger? I certainly agree that at the ages you mention, there is no doubt that they should be educated enough to know not to touch. But what about when they are younger?

    2) At what age are/would you be willing to allow your children to use firearms to defend themselves when you are not home?
    "They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
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    Quote Originally Posted by catass View Post
    That is actually a myth that's become very popular in the firearms community. Although most fights that involve a shotgun end within two rounds, the sound of the action cycling a round in the chamber does nothing to deter a criminal.
    I have a really hard time believing that. You state it is fact--do you have any proof to back that up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    I have a 13, 12 and 9 year old twins. I keep my sidearm where it should be, sitting out, accessible, loaded. Not once have they ever touched any firearms that I have had sitting out.

    I think it has something to do with teaching them that firearms can kill you, that the firearm is not theirs, firearms are not to be played with, and that if they ever want to touch any of the firearms all they have to do is ask and we can unload the firearm and they can ask questions, look at it...if it's a good weather day, we will go shoot the hell out of it. Being firearm competent and safe is a lifetime exercise.

    People teach their kids to be idiots, and create an environment for their children to be firearm stupid. I would never do this but I would leave my handgun loaded, sitting on my desk and go shopping, leaving the kids home, and know they wouldn't touch it. I would never do that because I carry everywhere I go.


    I will give an example of responsible children. My partner and I will go out to dinner together. I had taught the kids a couple of years ago to use pepper spray. We leave a huge canister of it in a specific area. They have been instructed what to do in a break-in situation, one of those things is utilizing that canister. I even went into detail about how it feels to get sprayed and how they should stay calm if they ever had to use it an got back spray...with my oldest two I have explained the psychological response that occurs when pepper spray hits a person in the face...aside from it being uncomfortable, panic sets in with the sensation of not being able to breath...I remind them that they might feel as though they can't breath, but they are able to and will be fine.

    Over the past three years that canister has not been played with...the pin is still intact and the canister sits, waiting to be used for its intended purpose, to blind intruders.
    did you spray em a bit just to make sure they would not be surprised?

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    did you spray em a bit just to make sure they would not be surprised?
    Haha, I thought about asking that as well, but I think even 13 is a bit too young for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    I agree with this pretty much completely, except for two points.

    1) What about when they are younger? I certainly agree that at the ages you mention, there is no doubt that they should be educated enough to know not to touch. But what about when they are younger?

    2) At what age are/would you be willing to allow your children to use firearms to defend themselves when you are not home?
    I had bb guns since i was in single didgits. Got my 1st shotgun in 4th or 5th grade.

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    On my hip, in a spot high enough that it cannot be reached, or in a safe.

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    There is a lot of truth in the phrase I heard a while back:
    Gun proof your children don't child proof your guns.

    My little one is 'gun proofed' and I could leave it anywhere and she would do nothing with it. The mystery is completely gone for her.
    We have even tested her <avoid_idiot_response> yes it was unloaded </avoid_idiot_response> by leaving them in areas around the house. She just left it where it was and thought nothing of it or let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodbender View Post
    Find a spot high enough to be out of reach for the tot. As soon as she is old enough start introducing her to it. Don't make it taboo. That will peak curiosity. When your wife babysits, just lock it up.
    Excellent answer Rod! That's what we do with our nephew and niece. He's actually old enough to get chairs and investigate, so we take the next step and lock it in either the big safe or the nightstand safe. The only one(s) that are ever loaded are the one on my person and/or my wife's which would also be on her person. Everything else has barrel flags and is locked in a safe somewhere.

    We've taught him that if he happens to somehow find one or gets in my range bag:
    Stop.
    Don't touch.
    Leave the area.
    Get a responsible adult.
    Ask to lock it up.

    He's really good about this and once he figured it all out he wanted to show his dad what he had learned. Such an intelligent and proud little guy.

    Eddie Eagle videos have been a wonderful tool to reinforce these concepts too.
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 11-21-2010 at 06:09 PM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    did you spray em a bit just to make sure they would not be surprised?
    Nopers, that would be child abuse IMO.

    Someone asked what age is old enough for a child to use a firearm in a home defense situation...someone had answered this a time ago on here. I would say the "right" age is when the individual child is competent with a firearm.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    In a holster, or in a lock box or safe..

    My kids at 22 and 24 are all grown up, or at least they think they are. When they were smaller, the self-defense handgun of the moment was always kept either in a holster on my belt, or in a lock box bolted to the bed or in the safe. I never left guns out loaded or unloaded. I also taught firearm safety to the kids at a very young age. When they were about 9 and 11 I started taking them to the range and let them shoot the .22 Ruger and a .22 rifle, larger caliber guns at they got older. They also helped with cleaning the guns from time to time. Learning a healthy respect for firearm at a young age is a major plus in life, IMHO.

    Now that they're out of the house, at night I move the handgun and ammo from the belt holster on the pants to an identical holster on a Velcro belt near the bed. I can quickly put this on over PJ's or whatever if the need so arises.

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