If you keep a firearm in your home, there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure its proper storage and safety -- particularly if you have children in the house. (Also because guns stolen from homes is a big problem these days.) It's essential to know how to securely store your weapon while also having ease of access, should you ever need to use it. In our gallery below, we've outlined some key safety measures to consider.
How to Safely Store Firearms in Your Home
How to Store Guns Safely at Home
The best and safest way to store a gun is in a concealed, secure safe, lock box or gun case. Experts lean toward the purely functional, less-is-more design when it comes to gun storage. (Fancy vintage wood-and-glass display cabinets, as handsome as they are, don't offer truly safe gun storage.)
A steel gun cabinet with a locking mechanism that can be securely bolted to a wall or floor offers high security. A gun safe, however, is the most secure gun storage available to firearms owners -- but it's also the priciest. Gun safes run between $500-$2,500. Unlike gun cabinets, which can be removed from the home, heavy duty gun safes are an effective theft deterrent. It's highly recommended to homeowners with more than one firearm.
If you can't afford a gun safe or cabinet, purchase a pistol box (they start from $150) that can be opened by a security code. Make sure the box is hidden from children.
The National Rifle Association recommends that gun owners also use secure locking devices on their guns. This will prevent them from firing by accident. You can use a trigger lock or a cable lock -- both handy and inexpensive ways to disable firearms.
A trigger lock clamps around the trigger housing to prevent it from being pressed. (Most new firearms come with a trigger lock from the manufacturer.) Similarly, a cable lock is a long steel cable that is looped through the action of the firearm to block it from firing.
Always remove ammunition from guns unless you're ready to use it. Keeping your firearm unloaded will help prevent serious accidents and injuries from occurring, especially if it accidentally falls into the wrong hands.
If possible, store your ammunition in a separate safe altogether. Remember, a weapon without a projectile is no more dangerous than a hammer.
Teach your children about safe gun conduct and the dangers of gun use, and practice safe weapon conduct at all times. For young adult family members interested in learning more about guns for recreational purposes, the NRA offers youth education programs.