Best Way to Carry with young children around
This is a discussion on Best Way to Carry with young children around within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello,
Seeking friendly opinions or thoughts on the safest way to carry around young children. I am relatively new to handguns -- have just purchased ...
April 26th, 2014 05:00 PM
Best Way to Carry with young children around
Seeking friendly opinions or thoughts on the safest way to carry around young children. I am relatively new to handguns -- have just purchased my first one, and am just starting to home carry (just for a few hours at a time, and completely unloaded... I understand an unloaded weapon is useless for defensive purposes, but my current purpose is to get used to a daily routine while becoming aware of safety or other issues that can't be anticipated until I actually try it)
The gun I am carrying is a Sig 1911... I carry in condition 3 (well, actually condition 3 but without any ammo in even the magazine -- so technically condition 4?) on a belt holster. I understand most folks prefer to carry in condition 1, and I respect that, but have decided I am more comfortable carrying without a bullet in the chamber, at least for now. (So in other words, I am carrying condition 4, to train for carrying condition 3 later). How to carry (with/without safety on, with/without a bullet chambered) seems to me a decision that involves trade-offs between the (remote vs. remoter) risks of an accidental discharge vs. the risks of having the gun in relative states of readiness/non-readiness. For me, personally, at this time, I am more comfortable risking the state of relative non-readines (by carrying in condition 3 & with safety On), than I am comfortable risking the (remote) risk of an accidental discharge ... mainly because I have a 15 month old, he loves grabbing at stuff (especially anything expensive !!)
All that said: my other major question is around holstering and how to position the gun for home carry. Due to the 15 month old (and, btw, another baby is on the way), I am often in awkward positions relative to the other humans (Especially children) in the house.
E.g., a minute ago was wearing my gun in my belt holster (4 o-clock) and sitting in an arm chair.... kid comes crawling over ... I decided to lock the gun in my safe before playing with him, but, point is, even with the muzzle pointed towards the floor, he would (at some point) have crawled thru the direction of the muzzle (had I not locked the gun away first).
Or another scenario is, where I am on the floor in the playroom, and kid has toys out, playing and crawling all over (including crawling on and over dad).
So I suppose my specific questions are:
1) When folks are around 'unsecured' (e.g. not in crib or high-chair) young [0-3 yo] kids -- or even actively playing with them -- is it best to simply lock the gun in safe, and not carry? I.e., making the conscious trade-off of disarming oneself, but also removing a potential 'accident' waiting to happen.
2) or if anyone carries in this situation, what is the setup? e.g. one thought I had was, a smaller pocket gun in an ankle holster -- when kid is around, always have the sole of that foot on the floor (implying that the muzzle is pointed straight into the floor), and obviously being extremely careful to maintain a 'buffer zone' where I don't allow the kid near that ankle.
To be frank, all of this seems extremely complicated, makes me wonder if it's "worth it". But, am trying to do research in advance to learn what carrying entails. Am reading Massad Ayoob's book on safety in the home (and have also ordered his book regarding concealed carry) so hopefully will learn a lot more in those books too. Anyways thanks for any help.
April 26th, 2014 05:07 PM
Welcome to the forum, and you ask a very good question. I am sure others with more experience will chime in soon. My kids are older, but I like your ankle holster solution. A little revolver or smaller (than a 1911) would work and no one would know.
The time you don't want to be without protection, is when your little ones are around. Too vulnerable.
Good luch and enjoy the little ones.
Zechariah 10:5 They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the LORD is with them, and they shall put to shame those that seek evil.
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Full Time Firearm Student
April 26th, 2014 05:11 PM
Carrying a firearm for defense of family is not for everyone. Get professional training. Lots of it. If your comfort level does not increase, you might want to reconsider.
I think maybe you should check out an exposed hammer revolver.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato
April 26th, 2014 05:31 PM
Depending on what kind of firearm you have, you should read up on the safety features of it. A pistol without a round in the chamber has no way of going off short of very extreme circumstances such as an extremely long fall, and any rounds not in the chamber would not build up enough pressure to do anything but damage the magazine and grip.
I would say you have nothing to fear by carrying your firearm on your person around your children without a chambered round as long as you're paying attention to what your children are doing and not handling the pistol.
If you become comfortable with that you might want to consider carrying with a round in the chamber. I carried my pistol unchambered for about a month when I started. Once I realized the trigger had not been depressed I became confident in the safety mechanisms of the firearm and have carried chambered ever since. I have had my pistol loaded almost 100% of the time for the past year, and it has yet to go bang unless I want it to.
That said, if you're not comfortable with it, don't do it. Decide how you want to carry, know how your firearm functions, and become confident in the way that you carry (or don't if that's your choice).
April 26th, 2014 05:44 PM
I like the questions you're asking.
Personally, if I'm dressed for the day, I'm carrying and if I'm not dressed, I've got something(s) in easy reach. In the house or on the property, I'm often OC'ing. Lots of the time, at home and away, I'm around kids from 0-18+, and I don't lock up my carry gun unless I'm going somewhere I can't carry and can't lock it in my vehicle safe when I get there (which is pretty much only when I go to the commissary or appointment at one of the military bases). I rough house with kids, run around the baseball/soccer courts, play games at youth group… all while carrying, usually in an IWB hybrid with only friction retention and I've never had a "clangalang oops" problem or found my firearm doing something it wasn't supposed to be doing.
There's a difference between covering something with your muzzle when a firearm is in your hand vs. in a secure, trigger-covered holster. Hell, my muzzle covers the edge of my butt cheek pretty much all day.
I'm not a fan of the ankle holster. I never found them particularly comfortable, they show easy if you're doing something other than standing, and if you cross your legs when you sit like I do, you're likely to sweep the whole room anyhow (albeit in a holster). I find the IWB 3:30-4:30 position is extremely secure, stable, safe, and yet quick to draw.
However, don't do something with which you're not comfortable. Train, talk with others, and then act. I like the idea of trying out with an empty gun… except there's no such thing. What about picking up a blue gun - maybe $40/50? Get used to carrying around the house, doing all your normal activities, trying out your rig, etc. See if it's secure. See if you're happy.
Bottom line: if you're smart and conscientious, and it sounds like you are, you endanger your kids a hell of a lot more when you put them in a car seat than by carrying a firearm.
April 26th, 2014 06:02 PM
A valid question indeed. I have found that when playing with my godchildren, i am most comfortable with a good tight fitting kydex holster that really holds my weapon in place. I am too out of shape to be running but playing on the playground with them has posed no problems. If that doesnt work for you, you may want to consider a holster that offers retention security by using a thumb snap. With a little practice they provide security with no impact on performance.
”God grants Liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.”
Your points are shallow... my points are Hollow....
April 26th, 2014 06:12 PM
I have raised children while armed on & off duty. It has never been a problem for me. I started with a revolver in a thumb-break holster to prevent a ND.
Much of my reason for carrying 'off-duty' was to protect my loved ones and since I was never trained to use a manual safety, a thumb-break holster acted as a trigger cover and my sidearm could NOT be discharged unless I removed it from the holster AND pulled the trigger.
A 1911 sidearm is better suited to more experienced shooters. Perhaps a semi, a S&W Shield, for example, which has a manual frame mounted safety in combination with a good retention holster would be safer for you... once you were properly trained and practiced for well developed muscle memory.
Another consideration, would be a level II retention holster, which requires a good deal of practice to draw, but is quite effective in preventing others from drawing your sidearm.
Many PDs require a Level II Retention Holster to prevent a subject from grabbing a sidearm during a scuffle.
It seems you are not comfortable with a holstered 1911. Consider other options and training.
Retired Deputy- State Trooper (38 long years) 8 yrs RTO - MS Degree- Criminology
Gun Control measures are Unconstitutional Infringements. Period.
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April 26th, 2014 06:15 PM
Yes, its very complicated. In the situations you've described I carry hammer down on a empty chamber w/safety off. I know how fast I can draw and chamber and am comfortable with this decision. Only you can make the decision concerning your families safety and what risks you are willing to assume. CCing runs the scale from those who can but seldom do to those who CC in the shower and sleep with their weapon on. You will have to find that balance that works for YOU. It takes time and experience and will change as your lifestyle changes. Good luck.
April 26th, 2014 06:17 PM
Good point. I'd put it this way. When I'm carrying in condition 4 (to practice for condition 3), the gun is loaded, in my mind... so I'd say I'm following rule #1 (treat every gun as if it's loaded). Trust me, as a new gun owner, I am feeling the natural nervousness and respect a new gun owner "ought" to feel as they get used to having a pistol at their side. That's why I locked gun up today when playing with kid (even though it was condition 4), because mentally I was treating it as if it were loaded and therefore was concerned about muzzle direction.
I like the idea of trying out with an empty gun… except there's no such thing. What about picking up a blue gun - maybe $40/50? Get used to carrying around the house, doing all your normal activities, trying out your rig, etc. See if it's secure. See if you're happy.
Taurahe, NH_Esau, wsigl91, all three of you seem to be offering good advice, although it does seem to sort of imply that with certain procedures in place, I can (temporarily, consciously) disregard rule #2 (always point the muzzle in a safe direction / at something you're OK destroying). The retention holster is a good tip (but again, doesn't really address the muzzle direction issue while playing with kids). I'm not sure if I can wrap my head around that, but thanks to all for getting the wheels turning & chiming in!
April 26th, 2014 06:21 PM
Honestly, I AM comfortable with the 1911. I love that I can carry in condition 3 (and even then click the safety on) whereas a glock or revolver -- while great options for many people -- would make me nervous to carry (esp. around young kids).
It seems you are not comfortable with a holstered 1911. Consider other options and training.
The idea that I'd have to turn off a safety and then pull back and release on the slide before being ready to engage a threat, doesn't make me nervous in the least. (Compared to the idea of carrying a loaded revolver with no safety or even an M&P with a round chambered, would make me nervous, relatively speaking.)
April 26th, 2014 06:31 PM
I have carried with one in the pipe since day one with my daughter. It was something not to be touched, like a hot stove. She went with me to the range and swept up brass from day one. She knows a gun is loud and messy. A good holster will keep anything from happening. Gkids know not to mess with my firearm while in my holster. Set boundries early.
April 26th, 2014 06:47 PM
I have 5 kids from 18 months to 11 years in age. I carry my Glock around them all the time, in condition one. My wife carries a 1911 around them all the time, also in condition one. Every one of my kids except the 18 m.o. Are learning/know the 4 safety rules. Here's the thing- we aren't the ones who have to be comfortable.... You are. First, work on your confidence with the weapon system you have chosen, second, decide when/how unarmed you are comfortable with, and third, teach your children. As they (and you) learn more, guns will lose the aura of mystery that makes them so attractive, and will properly be viewed as a useful, yet deadly, tool. I would also consider picking up a .22 pistol if feasible. As the kiddos get older, they will be able to go to the range with you... It makes for great family time.
Death twitches my ear; "Live" he says, "I am coming".
April 26th, 2014 07:02 PM
matdicdad & John,
Thank you for the advice, both of you. I do need to increase my confidence with more practice & education. And all the tips you gave re: education of the children themselves, make sense.
How do either of you handle Rule #2 (muzzle direction) & holstering, when carrying around a crawler or toddler who can easily get "under" any body part?
April 26th, 2014 07:07 PM
Like Recon said. Do not make your firearms the "forbidden fruit". My daughter is 12 and has her own rifle and pistol. She doesn't play around with them. She knows what they are and used for. Familiarity takes away the mystery.
April 26th, 2014 07:12 PM
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