As usual I got into an argument today, but a sensible one.
The debate was over whether or not a defensive gun should be simply stowed out in the open, or have some kind of immediate access prevention device.
Now what I mean by stowed out in the open is that it's just sitting in a drawer or perhaps hidden on top shelf or on a pin under a desk ready to go. There's nothing preventing anyone from simply grabbing the firearm and using it.
What I consider an immediate access prevention device is something like a "gun safe" (more properly a residential security container) or a microvault or even a cable lock... basically something that renders the gun not immediately operable. Trigger locks don't count because they just suck.
The argument against me was that in a crisis there is no time to open a safe or undo a lock.
I said yes I agree with you completely, but I do not own the property I live on. There could be someone in my place of residence right now, namely a maintenance worker. I will not put an immediately accessible gun in the hands of someone whose name I don't even know.
Besides I've actually practiced. I can, in the dark, get out of bed and have my glasses, light, and gun all ready to go in 3 seconds. That seems reasonable, especially considering I don't really need the light as I sleep with a light on. So really I can skip that part so long as there's not a power failure.
Now of course when I'm actually present I have my arm present. I normally set it down right here on the desk actually when I type this nonsense. There's a new XD40 in immediate reach. And sometimes I fall asleep and leave a gun sitting on my desk. But I'm still there, not 4 feet from it.
But otherwise, I put it in a vault or lock it in a car or whatever. My goal is not to prevent theft as that is a futile goal without a reinforced room with a vault door, it's simply to keep honest people honest and to be able to stand in court and say "Your Honor I kept the weapon secured."
I don't have any doubts about what I'm going to do if I need to do it. I have a designated place to keep the house gun, and it is the house gun. I ignore the microvault's instructions and keep it loaded and ready to go. I fail to see how I don't have instant access to it.
But according to my debate opponent, I'm going to die horribly no matter what because I keep my arsenal under a layer of access prevention.
Anyway I've rambled on, but the point is that I am protecting myself from liability issues and not enabling a bad situation with my practices. The fact is if someone wants to steal my .357 and commit suicide with it, I can't stop them if they go to the Home Depot and rent power tools to break down my door and cut open my safe. But at least then it's clearly their choice. No one can argue I supplied a weapon to an incompetent person.
Now if I was a little higher on the totem pole of life and lived in a different space, I probably wouldn't have the same problems to contend with. But I can't see myself ever just leaving a gun sitting out there in the open ready to go where any fool can get his mitts on it.
Unless I am right there within arm's reach to immediately supervise them, I do not leave unsecured guns laying about. Never have and never will. The only time I might consider it was if I was expecting a bear attack.
That's not to say that's correct for everyone in every situation per se as there are always exceptions. But when you can have a layer of protection and not give up any capability to respond immediately to a threat, I see no reason you shouldn't lock it up.
I may be a little biased though. A few years ago my grandmother's neighbor stole a .38 from another apartment and killed herself with it. I know it wasn't the guy's fault an old woman stole his gun and shot herself with it, but the courts may not always see it that way, especially in civil court. And I'll be honest: I'm such a chump I'd feel guilty if that was my gun and I didn't try to do something to keep that from happening.
No argument here...
I'm with you, Euc. My guns are either in a safe, in a range bag, in a holster, in my hand, or in pieces. I never leave them laying around, even when I'm home alone.
yep, at night the gun stays next to me , but the chamber is empty. A good point is those of us with kids need to be extra careful. My kids have been taught to respect and handle firearms. Also they know not to touch unless they ask.
My piece is carry all waking hours so - max secure in that regard. Night time it is on floor almost under bed and so not visible but - rapidly aquired with my arm dropping down side. No small kids to worry about.
My wife has her purse snub secreted where only she knows - plus the house revo is buried in amongst a boatload of clothing in a closet - it'd be hard to even find it by accident.
I would like to keep my 870 in house but - never have simply because too obvious and I am concerned when not there - it therefore lives 18" from my right hand when at puter - which is separate office shed away from house.
For those who have to be concerned re security such as Euc mentions, and cannot be lucky enough like me to wear it all day every day - then I think great importance has to be attached to max rapidity of access ....... generally the more secure the harder to get at - and that is potentially bad news. Careful planning needed.
Here is what rests on my nightstand
Opens about as fast as I can a drawer. I'll sacrifice the access speed for the extra security this provides.
I'd rather worry about the more real possibility of me needing the weapon right now versus the rare possibility that Enrique the maintenance man might get it - especially when I have an understanding with the landlord about access and have it in writing and have years of trust built up with the guy.
I've taken reasonable care to lock my doors and make sure no children ever enter my home, and past that, I'm just not worried about it.
My concern with any instant-open device, from a safe to keylock, is that it fails to operate as needed when needed. You all obviously feel differently, and that's your choice - but it's not one I'm personally comfortable with.
When i leave and no ones home sure i llok it all in the safe but other wise no ... Right now my 1911 is on the bedside table .. Mrs will be home all day so there it sits when shes goes to work im home getting ready for bed...
No kids live with us no enrique the maintman either so im pretty well set...
Euc i understand your sistuation (sorry i know my spelling sucks to hot normaly my head smoke when i have to spell now its just on fire ) at night i wouldnt worry unless i was gona then lock the stuff up otherwise close at hand is better...
Me when i get awoke if ime sleeping good id never get mysafe open even though i know the code well i still couldnt do it till i woke up fully
I have a young daughter so all guns are either locked up or on my body.
I always kept a pistol/revovler in each night stand until we had our little girl. Once she become mobile I put everything well out of her reach. I'll probably end up getting a small pistol safe like the one above before too long.
One thing worth noting here...
When I selected my pistol safe, I picked the model I did because it's impossible to get locked out of it. There's the quick access combination, which I can punch in sight unseen faster than I can get a sight picture, but the key bypasses it. In the event the key is lost and the battery is dead, simply sticking a 9 volt battery to the terminals on the side and puching in a certain code grants access.
Also, when there's only about 3 days worth of power left, the thing will beep continuously for those 3 days to remind you to replace the batteries or until the power runs out. If the incorrect combination is entered more than 4 times it will beep rather audibly constantly until the correct combination is entered or the battery runs out.
The models I purposefully avoided used biometric locks... yeah I'm gonna trust my life to a grocery store scanner that works 90% of the time... or had no backup beyond the primary unlocking mechanism or at least not a fast one like opening it with a key.
I guess that you could say I'm very lucky. No kids,grandkids,friends kids,neighbors kids,or any other kid EVER comes into my house. When I come home and change clothes(for lounging, working in the yard,on in my shop)my Kimber goes on top of my dresser still loaded(Cond.1) My extra (carry) mag goes next to it. My very small auto goes from the top of my dresser into my front right pocket.My 5" 1911(Colt) sits on my nightstand in Cond.1 with extra mag next to it. My Moss.500 stands next to my nightstand with 3 in the mag.(chamber clear). I have a small auto (in Cond.1)in the cupboard next to the fridge. Also several other weapons are located throughout the house/garage/workshop/toybox. In the computer room stands a Rem.870 loaded with 3 rds. of 3",#2's. Paranoid ? No reason to be with all these loaded weapons around!!--------
My HD shotgun hangs above the door in the closet and is unlocked before bed each night. Otherwise I believe in hiding my guns in plain sight around the house (children at college) One is in the basement in a box on a shelf marked “plumbing stuff” another in the closet in the bottom of a sewing box. My rifles are in a box marked “old tent” right out in the open in the basement where they look like just another storage box. Both my wife and daughter know where they are and if caught in a situation where they are needed will be prepared. I’m usually also carrying around the house and when I work outside.
Livin in the woods..... feelin mighty good
If my guns are with me, they are where I can get to them. If they are not with me, they are secured. I'm not worried about liability. I am worried about safety. When the SHTF, I don't want to be fumbling for a key or battery or key sequence. So, it is either on my person or at hand. If I am away and not carrying a particular weapon, it is secured from unauthorized hands.