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Loaded Home Defense Gun(s) and Kids - Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 777funk, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Well-Known Member

    I have always heard it's best to keep guns in one location and ammo in another. I tend to agree that this makes sense.

    There's probably more chance of an accident with an accessible loaded gun than the risk most would have of having to quickly take down an intruder.

    That said, where's the trade-off? Who wouldn't want the ease and speed of the loaded gun when called upon.

    I'm not one who believes that unlocking a safe in the dark is faster than popping a magazine in a pistol or putting a shot-shell in the chamber and slamming it shut.

    So where is the solution. I've always been out on this one.

    And it's hard to live without children at some point entering a home (even for those without children). So it's a pretty real question for all walks of life. Curious what your answer is to this.
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    FIRST -- GUN-proof your KIDS rather than kid-proof your guns. Talk with them, explain things to them, give them all the SUPERVISED access they want. Demystify the weapons and hammer home the safety rules at every opportunity. This is primary above all other concerns.

    Second -- there are plenty of ways to take reasonable precautions but it can start with a simple analysis of your risk. Worrying that your toddler is going to insert a magazine into your 1911, rack the slide and shoot is quite unrealistic. So probably until they're at LEAST 5-6, simply storing it where they shouldn't get to it, and with the mag removed and chamber cleared, is a reasonable level of caution.

    For more school-aged kids, and on up to teenagers, some kind of lock is probably the best plan. They should by then be very well programmed to be gun-safe anyway, but a lock helps them if they have a moment of weakness, or the hands of a little friend of theirs somehow manages to wander into your storage location.

    This can be one of the inexpensive bed-side pistol vaults, or a locking rack, or any of several other options.

    For my family, my primary defensive shotgun is stored "cruiser ready" and with the slide racked about 1/2 way open, with a cable lock run through the action. Even without the cable lock, it's pretty questionable that any but my oldest would be able to figure out how to (or be able to) rack a shell into the chamber anyway -- and after many years and quite a few kids, not one of them has ever shown any desire to fool with it.

    That would be pointless anyway as they all know that they can have all the access they want -- I'll always stop what I'm doing to show and tell gun stuff with them -- and even go shoot any of my guns they want to. They're more likely to try to go play with the lawn mower or my power tools than the firearms.
  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    There are countless thread here on this. One of the methods that pops up many times in each and every one of them is that the "first-up" firearm is always within reach of the "first-up" defender. That "FID" in my home is me, and my gun is on my hip at all times when I'm up and dressed. I do have a four-year old daughter, and she knows it's there, but I do admit I have not tried yet to educate her beyond what she's already figured out (which isn't much.) That day will come, though.

    But you, like others here, may find that to be an extreme. That's for you to decide, as you know yourself and your situation more than any of us could. As pointed out above, educating children about them at an early age to remove the "mystery" element goes very far to prevent misuse later. That's a practice we taught in the fire service; teach children about fire by letting them experiment with it under controlled conditions early, and the fact is, they'll be much less likely to play with matches or start fires later.
  4. 777funk

    777funk Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% on this. I try to let my kids shoot what they're ready for (mostly pellets at this point) as much as possible and only that with supervision. They need to be taught in order to learn. I'm not one who believes toy guns are a good idea simply because they can lead to a casual attitude with guns. For instance, I'd never want one of my kids pointing any type of real gun (loaded or unloaded) at anyone. So I don't like getting this habit started with toys. Everyone's opinion is different here. Just what I think about toy guns.

    And yes you are right, keeping the mystery out of guns is one of the best ideas.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  5. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    Demystify constantly, quarterly in my household. While supervised, "here, this is how I know it's empty see? You look. You hold it. Where should you point it? Should you touch the trigger? Hold it again, heavy? Set it down, what do you do when you see one at your friends' house? What should you say? What if your friend says....." I know it's working because they are getting bored with it. :D
    But OP's question was keeping arms defense-ready too, and the cruiser-ready is a great option for me, but you need to make your own decision on your situation. For me, the scattergun has the slide pulled back with the round hanging loose at the bottom. I need to, I push it forward and go boom. My kids can't do that physically so I feel comfortable.
  6. hovercat

    hovercat Well-Known Member

    The settlers of our country did it. Kids have not changed much in 150+- years. Check the laws of your state.
  7. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    The easiest solution is to carry it in your body, even at home.

    At night, I stick it on my night stand. I have a quick access safe for my wife's pistol, because she doesn't want to carry.
  8. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    I agree with gun-proofing your kids. I have a son on the way and he will be taught as soon as he is able.

    I recommend using a shotgun as a HD weapon, loaded or saddle loaded with a variety of ammunition. There are quite a few companies now that make trigger locks that mount directly on the shotgun that use quick release buttons similar to bed side gun vaults.
  9. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Well-Known Member

    My policy is to keep one pistol loaded and chambered, the AR with a magazine in, empty chamber. The rifle remains sacked and my HD pistol is also my EDC which goes from belt holster to bedside retention holster.

    My 4, 6 & 8 year olds are probably more aware of firearms than I was at their age even having grown up with firearms in view all my life. Under supervision my children are shown all they care to see. They help with basic reloading tasks and all now have their own rifles. No airsoft, no pellets, no toy guns and no violent video games.

    Love, patience, encouragement and learning...you know, typical gun owner mentality.
  10. gearhead

    gearhead Well-Known Member

    My dad kept a loaded revolver under the mattress on his side for as long as I remember. I also knew not to mess with it and I was never tempted.
  11. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    For gun proofing the kids:
    My kids always had a simple rule they can look at any gun they wanted just ask me first. they have grown up to be resposible gun owners themselves. Their friends and other family's children have been given the same instructions.
    As to kid proofing the guns:
    all my guns are kept locked up except the shotgun and carbine that are unloaded but have ammo near them. My CCW is on my person most of the time and I have a small safe on my nightstand that currently has a cocked and locked 1911 in it. I open the safe when I'm in bed and lock it up when I get up.
  12. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    SAM1911 said it right, gun proof your kids.

    I raised my children with training and exposure to firearms at an early age. They saw what happens to an animal when it is shot with a firearm. I allowed them to hear the report from a firearm at an early age, but from a safe enough distance as to not harm their hearing. Now many years later as grown responsible adults I have asked them if they ever so much as touched any of the firearms in our home when they were juveniles. To my absolute faith in how I taught them, the answer was no, we never even handled them once without you or Mom being present, and permission to do so.

    My Wife and I didn't buy them toy guns either. In my opinion allowing children to play with toy guns destroys and contrdicts everything you try to teach them about gun handling and safety.

  13. 777funk

    777funk Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, even though I always knew where the guns were as a kid and usually where the ammo was also, I never thought twice about touching them (aside from hunting or shooting with my dad). As a teen the rules changed a little. I could probably have gotten away with showing a friend or two what we shot (no idiots were allowed in our home when I was growing up. Parents approved or they weren't invited).
  14. skidder

    skidder Well-Known Member

    Kids are naturally curious and there are options that will not defeat the purpose. It's not my kids I worry about, but family and friends that come to visit.

    I have this $40 Winchester safe from Walmart bolted to my dresser. I keep it unlocked at night for easy access and locked during the day. Even with it locked one can still access their weapon in a matter of a couple seconds. Inside I have my wife's and my weapon loaded with an addition speed loader.


  15. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

    I also believe in gun-proofing children, but I also remember what I was like, and more importantly my friends were like. There’s also a concern of coming home during a break-in and facing one of your own weapons.

    I use V-Lines for my HD stuff, no batteries, very quick, relatively cheap peace of mind. IF it’s not physically on my person, it’s locked up. IMHO every defense should be layered, IF you can’t figure out how to buy the few seconds it takes to get into one of the small vaults you might want to consider carrying 24/7 or moving.



  16. sean326

    sean326 Well-Known Member

    I never let any toy guns in the house, only real ones.
    both my kids got crickets (small Pa made .22 bolt rifle) at about 5 or 6. 1911's in their early teens.
    We have our own range and shoot weekly or any time they wanted. In my house guns were no more fascinating or unusual than the knives in the kitchen.
    I also kept/keep my carry gun on me the whole day, then placed it in a simplex gun box under the bed.
    now... not so much of an issue my little guy is older and keeps a suppressed Sten in his room... just in case. my bedside gun is a short barreled 870 with an extended magazine and pistol grip, first couple rounds #8 shot, last few 00. Wife has a .38 smith snubby on her side i also have a glock 30 on my side near the the 870.
  17. dicky r

    dicky r Active Member

    Seriously ? What do you do when your kids have to defend themselves ? Or you ? Have you heard of TEACHING YOUR KIDS ? Mine go to the range with me. They field strip all my guns and theirs IN MY HOME. They know what guns do. They know the four commandments of guns. They check and clear every weapon every time. Why ? Because I TAUGHT THEM. Spend some time teaching your kids. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is deadly. Ignorance is the precursor to stupidity.
  18. sean326

    sean326 Well-Known Member

    who were you talking about?
    maybe i missed something but it looks like all the posters above were teaching their kids about guns......
  19. rhartwell

    rhartwell Well-Known Member

    I gun proofed my kids at a very young age. When my daughter was about 3 I took her out and had her pull the trigger on a rifle I was holding. Problem was solved. Take you kids shoot a watermellon or a glass jar of water (clean up the glass). It makes them understand really quick that a gun is not a toy. I never had a problem.
  20. asia331

    asia331 Well-Known Member

    Teach your children well.

    Here's what works for me.
    1.The Bible teaches us; "Train your child in the way he should go and he will not stray from it when he grows old"
    2.When there is an "unsecured" weapon in your home it best be on your person.

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