1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Safe Storage

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by madmike, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    From a thread veer elsewhere.

    First of all, IDEALLY, I regard a solid safe, or the weapon on one's person to be the safest storage.

    For many reasons including economic, this is not always possible.

    I regard "under the pillow" or "on the coffee table" to be VERY unsafe if there are children around. Actually, under your pillow is none too bright.

    My father used a single action drawer lock. He had to lock it to take the keys, so it was locked when he left for work. I COULD have ripped the drawer open in a moment if I NEEDED a gun. It simply wasn't accessible to play with.

    I don't have a problem with unloaded weapon on a high shelf, ammo secured elsewhere, for weapons not in use with kids around.

    I'd mentioned my wife could not work the slide on a 1911. This was true, it isn't now. She can work it with some difficulty, I assume with practice she'd get it. But I have seen a number of smaller women, including military officers, who could not.

    My daughter, this one, as most of you know: [​IMG]

    With coaching, was barely able to wiggle a .45 round into a magazine, could seat a magazine, was unable to work the slide, cock the hammer or release the slide, even with the weapon braced on the ground. She CAN load 5.56, work a charging handle with difficulty, and fire an AR easily.

    Obviously, a revolver would be MUCH easier to operate. Here's another strike against having revolvers around.;)

    The five year old had no idea what to do, but was busy yanking at levers trying to take it apart.

    Now, agreeing that a safe or carry on person is ideal, I still don't see anything wrong with shotgun on high shelf and ammo in a separate drawer, as was the case when I was growing up. Eventually, I'll have an entire vault for weapons, food, gold, bail out gear and storm shelter, with antennas, phone and satellite. But in the meantime, I have an 8 gun cabinet with 36 guns and am primarily concerned with minimizing theft and keeping the pistols not being carried from being played with.

    I note again that most people don't secure their chemicals, or kitchen knives other than drawer or counter, and the accident rates with both are far higher than with firearms.

  2. Mulliga

    Mulliga Well-Known Member

    Anecdotally, a lot of the newbies I take to the range (full, grown-up college-aged adult males) have trouble racking the slide. But kids are pretty clever, and they will be able to find a way to load a gun if you give them a lot of time.

    madmike, I agree not everyone can afford a safe, but nearly every firearm made today comes with a lock of some sort. Heck, they give away locks for free at many places - police stations, gun stores, etc. Economics isn't much of an excuse.

    I see no difference between the readiness of a firearm that is locked and the readiness of a firearm that is unloaded and kept in an out-of-the-way place with ammo separate. However, the former is almost certain to prevent kids from using the firearm (again, given enough time, a teenager might be able to break through), whereas the latter is not.
  3. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    I guess it depends on your kids ... my mom had a pistol from the time I was about 8 yrs old (she got it when we moved cross-country) and kept it under her mattress at home. I just knew enough to leave it alone.

    But I was from a different generation ...

    Doesn't matter at my house anymore since there are no kids around. But even when our girls were little I kept a loaded rifle under my bed. Later on (about age 10) I taught them to shoot. By the time they were about 16 they had explicit access to guns for home security.
  4. I remember a recent study that showed children as young as 3 yrs old managing to rack the slide of a .45acp and the same study showed that children between the age of 2-12 that were supposedly trained to be "gun safe" by their parents failed a safety experiment at a rate of like 80% when left in a room with a weapon and no adult. I know Oprah even showed some of it on one of her shows but I think it originally aired on one of the prime time news shows. The only safe place for a gun around a child is safely locked away. I always suggested following the "Eddie Eagle" criteria about children and gun safety.
  5. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    That sounds doubtful. I'd need to see a cite.

    The ONLY way I can see that is to grab the grip in both hands and wedge the slide against the carpet/couch. I've done combat cycles with the rear sight hooked on a pocket.

    But my kids are trained with guns and had me coaching and are quite strong and well fed (Heck, my FIVE YEAR OLD can pass the entrance PT test for the Army), and they couldn't move it with muscle strength. Insufficient wrist or hand strength.

    Revolver, easy. Light frame auto, possibly. Large frame? Not a chance.

    Dear me. What did we do before locks and safes?

    And I'm still waiting for everyone here to assure me they keep toxic chemicals and knives where kids can't reach them. How much strength does it take to load and arm a butcher knife?

    Anyone who depends on a device for safety is a fool. There is certainly nothing WRONG with safes, locks, etc. But the only real safety is the user. And that includes kids.

    Look up the rates for accidental overdoses before and after "Childproof" caps came out.
  6. Geez, what is it that sets off some people when you point out an obvious fact like children should not have access to loaded weapons. I guess you just have to deal with the "My son cletus' been a handlin' firesticks since he done started crawl'n and he ain't shot but two dawgs" crowd.
  7. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    Listen, at NO POINT did I say children should have unsupervised access to loaded weapons.

    I SAID that SMALL CHILDREN, defined as UNDER FIVE, GENERALLY lack the ability to load, cock and then operate most weapons. This came from the thread where a woman wasn't happy with the idea of a weapon in a SAFE, with a LOCK on it, even WITHOUT kids.

    And my children have access to loaded weapons pretty much every weekend, and have since age 4. What's obviously wrong? Because neither I nor they are experiencing your panic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2006
  8. madmike

    First, what you said is still in your first post and that is not what you said. Maybe you should read your own post. You went off because I had the gaul to say small children should not have unsupervised access to firearms. How dare I...what kind of leftist monster must I be to not think a 5 year old should be able to get to a loaded pistol whenever he wanted. Plus, I did not say it had to be a safe. A locked closet, a locked drawer, anything that makes it very hard for a small child to get to...

    Second, are you saying that it is an exceptable risk to allow your small children unsupervised access to loaded firearms. Because unless that is what you are saying you are not commenting on what I said.
  9. MSgt B

    MSgt B Well-Known Member

    Mind if I watch?

    This is going to get ugly.

    BTW, madmike, did you receive my check for that autographed picture of your daughter? (You know, the one with the scary GUN:what: )
  10. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    MSG B, got the check, she autographed the pic, it goes out Monday.

    Bird, you obviously DIDN'T read what I wrote.

    But for your edification:
    Show me where I said, "unsupervised access to loaded weapons."
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2006
  11. pax

    pax Well-Known Member


    Mike & Penguin, sorry I was slow getting to this one. Errr, can we do this calmly? Pretty please? :scrutiny:


    Mike ~

    Rayra had a good point in the other thread. What your wife can or cannot do is really not a measure of what "most" women can or cannot do. One of the things I do with my weekends is help teach people how to shoot. To date, I have met a lot of women who "can't" rack the slide on a semi-auto ... until they are shown how. Barring arthritis and similar conditions, I have never met a healthy adult female who was physically unable to rack the slide on a semi-automatic handgun, but I have met plenty who didn't know how to do it until they were taught and I have met even more who were convinced they wouldn't be able to do so because all the guys in their lives had told them they wouldn't be able to do it. It's simply an oft-repeated lie that women-in-general can't cope with running a semi-auto handgun.

    Similarly, Mike, what your own kids can or can't do, or will or won't do, is not a valid measure of what "most" kids can or will do. It's anecdotal only.

    Anecdotally, every single one of my dear children was able to climb out of his crib before the age of 12 months. All of them could open "child-proof" cabinet latches before their first birthdays. One of them could climb over baby gates before he was old enough to walk. And one of them demonstrated to me, in a heart-stopping manner, that he was perfectly capable of climbing up to the top of the fridge when he was two years old. My experience has shown me that my own kids were quite capable of getting into an awful lot of stuff they couldn't possibly have been able to get into at the ages they did. As a result, I think "child-proof" is a sick joke.

    Are these typical of most kids? I don't know. I do know that I would have been a fool to leave a gun on top of the fridge for my two year old to find. Especially since I had lots of other options even when we were so broke I was rummaging through the couch cushions to find milk money.

    I also know that it's a lot smarter to err on the side of caution. Whether my kids are typical of the majority of kids or not, they are certainly representative of at least a few kids. Your kid might be safe around a cabinet latch; mine weren't. If 90% of kids are like yours, and only 10% like mine, is that any consolation to the mom whose kid kills himself because the "child-proof" latch wasn't?

    As you said, not everyone who owns a gun has money for a gun safe. In some cases, that claim is a copout ... but not always. Safes are expensive and not every family has cash on hand for such things. We didn't have money for a safe in the early years.

    But you know what? A cable lock, which is not just "child-proof" but adult proof, only costs a couple of bucks. That is not out of reach of even the poorest household in America -- especially considering that it isn't all that hard to find someone to outright give you such a lock.

    For years, my coffee table was an antique chest with a padlock holding it shut. Guess what was inside? Again, not just "child-proof" but adult proof too. It wouldn't have stopped a thief, but it certainly kept fools and little children from pawing the weaponry.

    So what are the other options? I agree with you that keeping the gun(s) out of sight is a good first step. So is separating the ammunition from the gun. But I think that is only a start. My own experience has shown me that "child-proof" isn't good enough. If I'm going to rest easy about my children's access to something, it's got to be secure enough that even an adult can't get to it easily. If I want the kids kept out of something, I either keep it on my person all the time (like my handgun), or locked up with a real lock. There really aren't any other safe choices.

    I also agree with you, strongly, about educating the kids. Every one of mine has handled firearms from the time they were quite small. They could recite the Eddie Eagle rules very early, and they knew the Four Rules by heart before they took their first trips to the range. Because we made a point of making sure each of them knew that he could handle our firearms any time they asked, under our strict but friendly supervision, none of them was particularly tempted to play with the guns when we weren't around.

    As for kitchen knives and such, believe me I know how dangerous such objects can be. When the kids were little, I kept them behind a locked cabinet, the key to which was always in my pocket. Similarly, the bathroom cabinet had a real lock on it, not just a pathetic "child-proof" plastic tab (10 months. That's how old our firstborn was when he showed me how stupid those tabs were). Our dishwasher detergent and household cleaners were in a cabinet with a padlock. Yes, it was a pain in the backside. But that's the way we did it.

    That gun on an upper shelf might have been the norm a century ago. But a hundred years ago, parents who raised all of their children to adulthood without losing any were few and far between.

  12. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    Pax, if I said "Most" I meant "many" and it depends on:

    finger strength to GRIP the slide, which is in part a function of hand size.

    Wrist and arm strength to work the slide, or, arm and pec strength, depending on which method is used. By specifying "Healthy," you ruled out a HUGE segment of the people who most need to defend themselves.

    Believe me, there are a LOT of people who can't do that. That YOU have met FEW is ALSO anecdotal and an attempt to prove a negative. And that IS part of the reason the military went to the Baretta, and is going to a new .50, also.

    You might as well say everyone you know can get their fingers around the grip of a 1911, which is possibly true for you, but I know a lot of smaller adults, generally female, who can't. It IS a "large frame automatic." I didn't say ALL autos, I specified ONE PARTICULAR popular but old and heavy auto.

    I also know adult males who don't like firing the 16 oz .380 I have, for the recoil. That does not mean recoil from OTHER automatics is uncomfortable for them, nor that they are lesser beings for it.

    That's perfectly normal. The problem comes when parents aren't aware to expect that or don't observe it to be happening. Which are the type of parents who WON'T buy locks or safes even if they DO have the money.

    Wrong. Please consider that again carefully. THAT is the attitude that gets people killed. You are PLACING THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR SAFETY ON A DEVICE.

    I think, for purposes of an article, I'll have my 8 year old tackle a cable lock tomorrow. I'll bet she can beat it in five minutes. I know a 12 year old could. In 30 seconds.

    I'd bet, until "trigger locks" started being handed out less than a decade ago, that 98% of gun owners didn't have any kind of lock. Yet the accidental firearm death rate for children under 14 was around 50 a year. BIKES are more dangerous. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL is more dangerous. And that latter IS supervised.

    I also bet that most gun purchasers now toss the locks in the trash. Those inclined to be safe don't need them, and those inclined not to be won't bother with the attempt. And half of all households own at least one gun. Think back to the last gun show: How many guns walked out? How many safes? How many locks? How many cases a lock could go on that couldn't be twisted off in half a second? How many locks for those cases? Hmmm?

    Actually, I'm trying to figure out WHY my kids won't touch a weapon without asking, won't touch my guitars, won't touch my computer, won't touch the jewelry, won't touch the chemicals, won't touch the drawer next to the bed (er, enough said), but can NEVER obey about cleaning up the house, getting ready for bed, not playing outside until homework is done...maybe they are aware of the priority.

    I'm now having to break the 5 year old of the rule that he can't change DVDs lest he scratch them. He was told so a year ago and doesn't believe he's mature enough to do so yet. "No, Dad, YOU have to change it for me!"

    Now if only he'd pick up his room. :rolleyes:
  13. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Mike ~

    Many women are unable to rack the slide initially. Many women need to be taught how to rack the slide. Having been taught how, every single woman I have ever worked with has been able to do it.

    Every. Single. One.

    In my experience, the slide on a 1911 is considerably easier to rack than the slide on nearly any subcompact pistol you care to name. This is true for women with tiny hands too. I do see women with smaller hands struggle to reach all the controls on a 1911, usually having to scootch their hands around to do the job, but I simply have not met even a single healthy woman who was literally unable to rack the slide when shown how. (The most difficult struggles, btw, come from women trying to learn to shoot on double-action double-stacked, fat-gripped Sigs... but I digress!)

    As you say, the above is probably just an anecdotal attempt to prove a negative. But I've seen an awful lot of women learning to shoot, and I have never yet met one who couldn't be taught to rack the slide.

  14. whm1974

    whm1974 Well-Known Member

    You know, you can teach and train your kids on gun safety, but what about thier friends?

  15. Mulliga

    Mulliga Well-Known Member

    I believe that anyone who can take apart/disable/pick a standard cable lock (like the Project Childsafe locks they give out for free at a bunch of places) is definitely capable of finding a way to rack a 1911 slide. I don't have a study to cite, I don't have any kids to experiment with, but I'm fairly certain it's the case.

    What are they going to do? Take a bolt cutter to the cable? That takes plenty of strength and a decent amount of coordination. Try to pick the lock? It's a standard keyed lock - if they have the intelligence to pick it, they can rack the slide. Break the lock off with a hammer? Again, takes strength, and they might even damage the gun in the process.

    But with your argument, you are placing the responsibility for their safety on the assumption they can't load a gun. With parenting being equal, a locked firearm is just plain safer. Yes, mechanical devices can fail. But it's better than NO mechanical device at all.
  16. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    umm... a smart 5 year old (my god daughter) was at the range with me and her dad, and wanted to fire a 9 mm pistol of her dads... he smarted off and told her if she could load it, she could fire it...

    she got a half dozen rounds in the magazine, insreted the mag, and then (pointing it at the ground, in a safe direction, away from her leg) put both hands on the grip, put the top edhe of the front of the slide (above the barrel) against the edge of the wood bench, and pushed down on the grip, chambering a round...

    i stepped up and helped her fire her rounds...

    we were both too surprised at her tactics to stop her... and a 5 year old with the want to shoot CAN and DID load a semi auto...

    kids WILL, given the chance, find a way!
  17. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    There are two ways you can prevent a child from getting hurt.

    Lock the gun where even you can't get it, thus rendering any legitimate use for it pointless.

    Or you can train the kids to be safe and use a moderate amount of safety to keep it where you can reach it and kids can't play.

    As to other kids, why the @#$&^ are they in your house without adult supervision?

    I'm sure, GIVEN TIME, the girl could combat-rack it against a bench. How long do you leave kids unattended with guns?

    It's amazing. A few years ago, everyone was ranting against the antis demanding "Reasonable" safe storage that rendered access to the weapon impossible.

    Now a large section of gunnies have decided that not only is that "reasonable," but that anyone who doesn't go in lock step is criminally negligent, and that children barely survived before it existed.:barf:

    And it doesn't take bolt cutters for most cable locks. A Leatherman will suffice.
  18. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    "the same study showed that children between the age of 2-12 that were supposedly trained to be "gun safe" by their parents failed a safety experiment at a rate of like 80% when left in a room with a weapon and no adult."

    I suppose most of the kids I knew were lucky to still be alive by 1960. Heck, I had a couple of guns in my bedroom closet if I didn't feel like walking to my parents' closet. I can't think of one relative or friend of the family who had a safe or gun cabinet. Guns were stored in the back of the hall closet or a bedroom closet and one or two were frequently left behind the door in the kitchen. The only folks who hung them on the wall were my mother's parents.

    How many parents do you know who lock up their car keys to keep their 10-year-olds from playing with the car? Aren't cars dangerous, too? And power tools.

    My parents had sensible rules, even when I was little - "If you're going to play with matches while we're gone, stand on a chair and do it in the kitchen sink."

  19. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    ummm... she "combat racked" it in less than 2 seconds... i am serious... she had a plan before the first round was in the magazine... every move was exact and planned... smart kid...
  20. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Good idea ... of course, then you would have to lock up the key to the car keys, aand then lock up the key to the key to the car keys :D

    Maybe there is some sort of genetic devolution going on, and kids these days just can't be taught to leave things alone ;)

    The simplest solution would just be to lock up your kids :p

Share This Page