We have a GunVault Micro safe with the Biometric feature, It takes between 1.5 to 2 seconds to push the button, swipe the finger, register your print and open. I suppose if one had a job where you really tore your hands up all the time it might be questionable. Water, (and probably blood or really dirty hands) might inhibit a reading, but it has a key backup. I keep it in the closet away from the bed, if the intruder is already grappling with you when you wake up bedside might be too close a place to keep the weapon. ditto if you are a heavy sleeper, if you have to take a few steps to aquire your firearm, you will most likely be awake enough to make a good shoot/no shoot judgement by then.
You can enroll something like 20 fingers, so several people could be set up, and my wife and I each have two different fingers from both hands configured to minimize any risk not being able to open the safe.
The unit is battery powered with I think 4 AA batteries, change them once a year and even with 2-3 accesses a day you will be fine.
I suppose if I face a ninja and he cuts off my four enrolled fingers I would be SOL, because at that point I would know he was just toying with me.
Definitely get something to buy you the time to wake up and get to the weapon, be it an alarm system or dog.
Benefit of biometric is when the pressure is really on there is no code to remember. press index finger button and swipe finger. Kids can't spend hours trying all the possible button combinations til they get the one that works. I wouldnt rate the safe very highly against a teen with a big screwdriver, but if you have that problem down the road a real heavy gauge safe is the only option.
For me, a gun safe/lock box is a good way to die. My boy is 20 now and when he was little, I slept like I had been drugged. Manipulating a locked box in the dark is wasting time. It's adding more figures into the equation that makes the problem far more difficult. I would need every ounce of thinking ability going toward the high stress situation at hand. The lock box could easily make your gun useless. I go on the theory of the worst case scenario, that someone is already in my house and I have no time to fumble with anything. I have to save every little bit of sleep drugged cognitive ability to get my gun ready and determine a shoot/no shoot situation. Dogs and alarms are important tools, but they aren't always 100% reliable. The bad guys are going to come at you hard and fast. I could very easily have the disadvantage. Things won't happen like you envision.
I have always had my 1911 next to me in the drawer. I used to leave the chamber empty. There was no way my little boy could ever rack the slide. That was my trade off for security. If the youngster can't run it, it is safe. Then, when I get up in the morning, I put my pistol up on a high shelf in the closet where it is still handy.
My little boy always knew where I kept my guns. I had no secrets for him to search for. I took the shine off the apple. I let him safely hold them and drilled safety, safety, safety. Danger, danger, danger. I talked it all the time. I drilled it into him. I tried to teach my boy whenever any opportunity presented itself. I still do. When he was big enough to hold it, I got him a little Daisy BB gun; the one that is smaller than the Red Ryder. I had him handle it like a "real" gun and he was always supervised with it until he was older. Then, when he was big enough to handle it, I got him a miniature 22 rifle and supervised that.
The right age to start all this is when they are able to crawl. We were always firm and consistent with this matter. This is no area to be a mushy parent. My son knew that we meant business and he would get a spanking like he hadn't experienced before if he didn't do what he was told about the guns. We spanked like a loving parent does and never hit, smacked, or beat our boy. We used one of those rubber paddle ball paddles. It made alot of noise and seems dramatic, but you can't hurt the kid if you try. Another thing is to ride herd on the kiddos. We always knew what our little boy was up to. It is a chore, but it works great to know what the kids are doing. Our boy was hard headed and independent since he was a baby. He wasn't easy, but we never had one problem on the gun subject.
Forget the lock box, safe, keys hidden in the closet. You would do better just keeping a ball bat by the bed.
I use a Gun Vault
Mini Gun Safe - Mini Gun Vault - MiniVault | GunVault
Opens by pushing your preselects combination of finger touches or with a key. I keep it in a closet near my bed on a shelf that is to high for my little one. I made it a habot that the first thing I do when I come home is go to the bedroom lock up my gun.
I did a lot of research on this like you, my wife advocating for more safety and I advocating for faster access. We each had nightmares about our respective concerns. In mine, the bad guys got to me in bed before I could get the gun, in hers, the kids shot themselves. In the end we got a bunch of v-line lock boxes with simplex locks. A big one for the shotgun and small ones for the handguns. I open mine several times a day as I switch between gun and pepper spray, and you bet I could do it half asleep. I can do it without my morning coffee even! They are not anti-theft like a safe (though they can be bolted down), but no way the kids are getting in. I ordered them from Amazon because I get free shipping, have had no trouble. We have 3 and with another gun coming I'm about to order a fourth.
The Cornered Cat site someone linked to is a good one. Read it all the way through if you haven't.
I also let my older daughter (4) watch when I clean the gun sometimes, per the recommendations on that site. She has learned that it's to be considered dangerous unless empty and disassembled. For the most partł she's not curious about it anymore. We still have discussions from time to time about reasons for concealed carry in public.
Other good things to give you more time to get the gun out are getting a dog that likes to bark if a stranger is around, and an alarm system that will go off immediately if any doors are opened, windows are broken etc. We use both of these and other things to give us an early warning. Make sure to tell your kids what to do if a BG comes in the house, too. Ours know to stay in their room and hide in the closet until one of us comes to get them if the alarm goes off. That will help us avoid friendly fire, which would be so tragic.
GUN SAFES "THE TRUTH" weaponseducation - YouTube
I believe guns should be locked up with children around. I know people have raised kids with guns accessible in their homes, but it seems risky. Children make mistakes, and parents are responsible for their child's actions. Education is important, but as others have mentioned, there should be several lines of defense. A good safe that can be accessed quickly seems like a must to me, but I also don't have kids. If you're worried about quick access to a weapon in case of an emergency, look into adding other layers of home protection. Having a dog, a home alarm system, hardening your home to make it more difficult for people to break in, and having a plan when something happens could add precious seconds to get to your gun, whether it is locked up or not. But with small children, who are curious about the world and who might do dumb things from time to time, it is important to have the weapons secured.
With children under 3, it's extremely important that you not let them put firearms in their mouth.
Their saliva can completely ruin the finish on a pistol.
See a pattern? It is a pattern that existed in this country for nearly five hundred years. Now loaded unsecured guns are a crisis? Why is that? Or is it just the kool aid?
We have a nephew a genius around a ball, any ball, golf ball, foot ball, soccer ball made no difference any ball. In Jr High, college scouts are checking him out, He grew up with unloaded secured guns at home. After grandpa passed he and his buddy were looking through gramp's stuff stored in the garage. They found one of gramp's guns. They had never held a gun, before. They did not know how to check if it was loaded or not. They had not been taught the four rules of firearms safety. His friend shot him through and through left to right, he lived but he does not play ball any more.
Anyone can teach a toddler barely able to stand on their own not to touch a gun. Any child that has been taught respect and responsibility growing up around guns will not touch a gun without parental consent and/or supervisions. If they are smart enough to not put their peckers on hot burners they are smart enough to learn that they do not touch or play with guns ever.
But as has often happened, they will know where the gun is and how to use it if someone is raping mom or threatening their brothers or sisters.
And that's the exact reason that we should secure our weapons. We may trust our kids completely but we can't trust other kids or people who may be in home, invited or not.
My shotguns and pistols are in a GunVault brand safe. It is about five and a half feet tall and has a fast access hand print keypad on the top of it. It was $700 when I bought it and it weighs a couple hundred pounds. They have a biometric version that I have heard third hand is very accurate. Someone I knew knew a guy who offered his children $100 if they could open his biometric safe that he had keyed for himself and his wife; they didn't get it open (so the story goes).
I have the normal one though. I can open it with my eyes closed because of the ergonomic hand print. I keep my firearms loaded, chambered with the safety on. I can access and use them within seconds, but I have reasonable precautions against unauthorized access, which includes anyone other than my wife and myself: kids or others. I highly recommend the GunVault brand safes. They come in a variety of sizes for whatever weapon you want. An unloaded and locked gun is of no use to you.
My daughter is only two years old, but I have developed this phrase for anything that she souldn't be trying to grab, "No sweety. That is a tool, not a toy." Isn't that what a gun is? A tool? What is the difference between appropriate separation of a power saw from a toddler compared to a firearm from a toddler? Doesn't seem like much.
I knew a guy who made his 6+ year old children clean his guns after he came back from the range. He thought them everything about it, and made sure that they could maintain the rifles. He removed the mystery and the appeal of firearms by giving them excessive but guided access to them. Once they were around 8 to 10, he started taking them to the range one at a time. I figure a full on range day would be something to gauge on a per child basis. Some kids may be ready at 6, others at 16. All depends. My daughter will not go off to college without understanding firearms though. I find my personal lack of youth education about guns to be a terrible thing.
I wholeheartedly agree with this post and have practiced the same. Others here have suggested safes and that's great unless you are like I used to be years ago and didn't have one yet. They're not cheap for sure. I do think that you're best served getting a safe for all of them but for now, wanting to have something ready for home defense, have you thought of maybe having a handgun in your room's closet, on the top shelf? You could put a simple, standard latch up high on your closet door when your firearm is in there and it would still only take a few seconds to access. Not thief proof, but at least toddler proof.
And when the kids get old enough to comprehend guns, what they are and what they can do, it's your job to teach them and sate their curiosity with a proper education. Deny them unauthorized access but never deny them an opportunity to learn as the next person's house that they go to may not be as safe as yours. The 4 kids that I have raised are all doing well. Only one left that isn't of adult age. :smile:
Do make it a priority to buy a safe though. Toddlers turn into lock picking, closet snooping, wall climbing bundles of joy before you know it. :hand5:
And don't forget the 'ShotLock' for a HD shotgun. Push button access, secure, cheap and fast.
I've got two daughters: a 2 1/2 year old and a 15 month old. We also have a third (undetermined sex) child on the way (though that is not relevant for this discussion :wink:). I have very firmly explained to them that Daddy's (and Mommy's at that) guns are NOT to be touched. I am only human, and have made mistakes, and left the gun laying around before. This rarely happens, and it's always in a holster, but it's happened. My 2 1/2 year old saw it, and brought it to me because she knows it's Daddy's gun (she's probably just taking after her mother and cleaning up after me :wink:). While I was grateful that she wanted to bring it to me, she found out very quickly what happens when you touch Daddy's gun. Needless to say, she doesn't even think about touching it anymore.
(To anyone that might decide they want to inform me how terrible of a father/gun owner I am, let me say this: my 2 1/2 year old is not very strong. The gun is always in its holster: she's no where near strong enough to remove the gun from it. Her little fingers aren't nearly strong enough to pull the trigger, and even if they were, her hands are much too small to be able to squeeze the grip safety AND pull the trigger. I don't use that as an excuse to not practice good gun safety, by the way. It's just so you all know.)
ALL OF THAT being said, as long as I'm awake, my gun is on my hip. There's no worries about my kids getting a hold of it when I'm carrying. When I head to bed for the night, I take my gun off and place it on the night stand, locked, cocked (just kidding it's a striker-fired), and ready to rock. At that point in the evening both my daughters are in bed, their door is shut, and my bedroom door is shut as well. I sleep well, but not well enough that my daughters can make it all the way into my room and to my nightstand without me noticing.
I'm lookin at gettin a GunVault, specifically THIS ONE, but alas, I am only so rich. Requesting it for christmas, though! Quick access, easy to use, secure, and basic. It'll take up no more room on my night stand than my gun itself already does. Excellent product all around, IMO.
GA doesn't have any law about securing firearms a certain way around children, but everybody else needs to make sure they're aware of any laws of that sort and stick with that. I personally would not recommend putting a HD gun anywhere other than a night stand at night. You barely have to move to reach it there; it's convenient, quick, and easy, and in a HD situation, that's all necessary.
Just my 2 cents.
My suggestion is to keep a semi of 40 cal or bigger as home defense without a round loaded in the chamber (better yet, keep the magazine and the pistol in separate areas where you might have quick access). Most pint sized children cannot operate the slide on a caliber that big. And keep it out of there reach if they cannot wake you when they enter the room. Or do what my father did...make me believe he would beat me to death with whichever gun I had a thought about touching when he wasn't around.