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Posted: 6/14/2002 9:36:25 AM EDT
I'm expecting the birth of my first child in about a week now and for some reason I've been thinking about this subject. I don't have a pistol permit, so I've been keeping the 12 gauge and AR cocked, locked and ready to rock in my steel gun cabinet. I keep it locked during the day, but unlock it at night. Do you think this is an adequate measure? I know alot of you have children older than mine, so what do you do?
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:39:41 AM EDT
I keep my Beretta and Mossberg loaded with a round in the chamber. Beretta comes out of the safe once I get home from work.

I don't have kids living with me, though.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:41:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:46:10 AM EDT
My buddy has kids and he has his handgun in a small safe next to his bed.  It has four number pads in a row and he can open it in no time.  Even in the dark.  I think he bought it from The Sportsman Guide it is just big enough to fit a handgun in.  I keep them loaded in the house and only put them away if my sister and her kids are going to be over.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:52:15 AM EDT
Try this:

See if your child, or anyone else's for that matter, can cycle the slide on your handgun.  Neither of my children, aged 6 and 11 can cycle my Beretta 92.  I test them periodically to make sure.

My point:  If you keep an automatice loaded, but without one in the chamber, a la Beekeeper's shotgun, the kids either don't know how or are TOO WEAK to make the weapon active.  Combine that with a healthy dose of education and exposure as you raise your children and you will foster a healthy respect for firearms and NO CURIOSITY.

An empty weapon is a club, and a poor one at that unless you keep an '03 Springfield on hand.

-White Horse...who can think of nothing more important than protecting his family.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:54:06 AM EDT
Hi gunner.

First and foremost, welcome to parenthood. It is a joy.

I did this excercise 8 months ago.

I settled on a multi tiered approach.

I put my defensive shotgun, which is the primary house gun, on hooks on the inside wall of my master bedroom closet.  It is invisible from the room, you actually have to go into the closet and turn around to see it, but it is easy to access.

WHen my toddler starts using chairs to explore, I will put one of the electronic gunvaults between the studs in the same closet.

Your method sounds pretty good, too, but my safe is not inthe master bedroom.

Remember to maintain control of the keys, I was a little bastard about getting into my dad's case.    
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:57:26 AM EDT
Does a bear shit in the woods? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Yep, sure do. One of my handguns is always nearby and ready for action. I keep the gunsafe in "easy to open" mode whenever I'm at home and the 12ga and the AR with handy ammo are right in front. My girlfriend has an 11 year old daughter, we've taken her shooting many times, she understands guns and how dangerous they can be and leaves the one I have out alone (It goes where I go in the house anyway, she wouldn't have much of a chance of playing with it). When she has friends over to swim, I'll put it on top the fridge until they get outside, then I wrap it in a newspaper and take it with me while I supervise at the pool.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:00:35 AM EDT
My wife is also due in about a week.  There is no way I will keep a loaded gun around.  Guns are bad mmmmmm-kay?  

I'm kidding, not about the wife but the guns.  I keep my 1911 cocked and locked, I have the AR with a 30 ready to go and my wife has her Karh K9 ready to go.  When the child is able to move around the house I will keep the guns up.  During the day the 1911 is always on me and will be put up high at night.  Having a kid means there is more of a reason to keep a loaded gun around.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:13:10 AM EDT
gunner-1, if you simply put the guns somewhere high, you won't have anything to worry about for years.z
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:19:03 AM EDT
I keep a GunVault under the bed -- the Glock has a full mag, but is not chambered (sorta my last safety measure if the vault fails for some reason).  The GunVault is as advertised -- you can get into it in about a second in the dark with no problems.  Got good prices on ebay.

For your long guns, if you want to use them in a defensive role, i.e. get to them in a hurry, I suggest a safe with a keypad lock -- pretty quick, but you have to turn the lights on.

Don't rush, you have some time to make your decision.  Until the kids get mobile you don't really need to do anything.

Good Luck and congrats.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:20:36 AM EDT
I keep a loaded Mossberg 500, empty chamber, with a trigger lock on it in my bedroom closet. Everything else stays in the safe until the GF's kids go to sleep, then I pull out my HK USP and put it on a shelf 8ft over top of the bed. It gets locked back in the safe when I wake up.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:21:04 AM EDT
You can't childproof the world so it is better to worldproof your child.

When I say this I'm not talking about leaving a loaded weapon laying around within reach of children but chances are that someday our kids will come across a situation like this by themselves and all they will have is our teachings to guide them.

Start 'em young and congratulations in advance to all the expectant dads.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:50:15 AM EDT
Yup.  590 next to the bed, 5 rounds of 7 1/2 birdshot without one in the chamber, and my USP .40c is in it's holster on the bookshelf in the headboard with a full mag and one in the chamber.

No kids at my house though, so I'm sure our priorities will be different.  You shouldn't have much to worry about (firearm wise) for the next year or so, I would think.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:55:23 AM EDT
I keep my .45 loaded in my nightstand.  8 rounds in the mag, but the chamber is empty.  Hammer is cocked and safety is on.  I can rack the slide fast enough for it to be quite useful.  

Of course, I'm a single guy with no kids.  I have a nephew, but he's not quite old enough to get into things, and hasn't ever been to my apartment anyway.  When he is big enough, the pistol will be put away in my foot locker (locked) when he visits.  By the time I have my own kids, I should have a safe all lined up and filled up!  

Congrats on the kid Gunner!  My he/she be healthy!
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:10:06 AM EDT
I have 3 kids in the house. My 870 is loaded with no round in the chamber.
I keep it locked in the safe during the day, but unlock it at night.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:16:24 AM EDT

gunner-1, if you simply put the guns somewhere high, you won't have anything to worry about for years.z

Sorry Zoom, I have to disagree.  I was the bastard child that stood on desk chairs to reach the highest shelves in any closet.

I wholeheartedly agree about "worldproofing the child."  I never learned anything about gun safety till I was about 17.  Needless to say, I did a lot of things that I wouldn't have if I would have understood the risks.

Buy a gunvault or something similar, and make sure your kids don't have any pent-up curiousity.  

EDIT:  BTW, I keep a 1911 in a nearby drawer, cocked and locked.  As soon as kids come around, I'll buy a gunvault for it myself.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:22:27 AM EDT
Not just in the house, but in the desk and by the bed.  Kids don't mind, they know safty and how to shoot.

You will be a parent, their secruity is a top priority.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:30:36 AM EDT
3 kids, all under 13. Handgun in quick access (push button combo can do with eyes closed) bolted to floor next to the bed. Surefire on the night stand with cell phone. If I have time I can open my electric safe and get to AR. I will NEVER let my kids have access to my guns without MY supervision. When they become adults it will be their choice. My dad used to keep a loaded .38 in his closet. I knew it was there and messed around with it when I was young as 8. I never fired it, but one of my idiot friends found it at a party I had at 16, and fired the thing into the wall an inch from my head. Even though I will and am educating my kids about guns, again, only with my supervision. In most cases a handgun can be stored safely in a quick access safe and is fine for home defense if you practice. As important is a good drill to have your family do in case of emergencies like fire, burglary etc.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:32:25 AM EDT
No, I do not keep a loaded gun in the house; I keep many loaded.

I keep them locked up but readily accessible.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:44:13 AM EDT
You've gotten some good advice here.

Basically, you gotta balance being able to keep a bad guy from killing you or your family with keeping your guns in a safe place so you never hafta bury a child.

Tricky balance.

I'm just glad to see you care. yet another thing that convinces me that REAL gun people (NOt just gun owners) are the BEST people.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:46:56 AM EDT
Yes, I have several loaded firearms in the house.  I have no children (yet) and never have anyone with children visit.  If I did have friends visit that have children I would obviously unload them or lock them up.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:49:42 AM EDT
yes, I do keep my hand gun loaded in the house. My baby boy is 8 weeks old right now and the world is so differnt than when I grew up. I have talked to my wife about buying a gun vault for the master bed room when he is older not very moblie right now.

But as I think back my own dad kept a rifle behind the kitchen door with a magazine hidden some where's. Yes the older I got I did figure out where. On the other hand I was taught gun saftey and that guns were not toys and to treat every gun as if it were loaded.

If you think the gun is empty check again and leave the action open no matter what otherwise treat it as if it were loaded at all times.

No empty gun has every killed any one or gone off by accident.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 11:56:01 AM EDT
i keep my bushy next to my bed in my room and my dad keeps his Sig P220 .45 in his closet about 4 feet from his bed.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:21:10 PM EDT
I keep both my Beretta 92FS and my AR-15 locked in my gun safe. My gun safe is within an arms length reach from my side of the bed. I keep my safe locked at all times. Mr. Beretta is loaded with round in the chamber with safety on, ready to go if the need arises. I have 2 30 round mags loaded for my AR if the need arises.

One thing about kids I have learned, since Ihave a 4 year old boy, and a 5 year old boy. Kids are very smart, and are very creative. Both my boys go shooting with me so they are being properly educated about firearms, but my oldest son when he was about 18 months old started building things so he could get to things in high places. He would empty out the clothes hamper, flip it upside down, and stacked whatever he could find so he could get to just about anything he wanted to, I covertly watched him do this oneday, was quite entertaining, but also scarey.

Also both of my boys are strong enough to pull the trigger on my Beretta 92FS if the safety is off, but they cannot rack the slide, I test them on these very often.

If you have kids no matter how old they are, for heavens sake :


It is better to be safe then sorry. Even though my kids are being properly educated about firearms, and firearm safety, THEY ARE JUST KIDS, NOT ADULTS. Accidents happen all the time, even when someone is properly educated about firearms, and firearm safety.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:34:43 PM EDT

excuse me.....! did you say "...a loeded weapon...".......?????

are there any other kind ????????

if it ain't loaded, it ain't a weapon !! unless you plan on clubbing an intruder to death wyth it the only UNloaded guns in my house are my Black Powder guns........
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:34:43 PM EDT
When I lived alone or just with my wife, I kept a Mossberg 590 beside the bed with 6 in the magazine and 4 in the speedfeed stock, chamber empty.

When my stepdaughter moved home with her two kids, everything went into the safe.

I still keep a .357 revolver in the glove compartment of my truck, but the grandkids do not ride in my truck.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:38:59 PM EDT
Why would you have a gun in the house and not have it loaded?  
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 1:00:19 PM EDT
I also agree to "wold-proof" the children.
Yes,Several of the firearms are loaded,and I have loaded mags stored too.
As a father of two,ages 13 & 10.I taught both of these boys -Dead is Dead.At an early age,They'd see the deer that had been harvested by archery or modern rifle and even muzzle loading rifles. I also feel that to be open to any questions they have about firearm. And explain to youth "fire arms are tools" and do not try and hide firearms, - children are seekers and finders.It's also a good ideal to tell the children not brag about the firearms that are owned by the family.I tell em - it's  not what you shoot it's how You shoot.Just as I was taught.
This may not be the norm,But it has been working for Me.Our schools do not teach our children everything,esp.when it comes to the evil GUN. WE  GUN OWNERS MUST TEACH.
BOTH of the boys like the AR.15
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 1:25:07 PM EDT
I have four kids 2-8 and have two hand guns loaded and locked in a gun vault at all times . one is in the bed room the other is in a family room area. see www.gunvault.com
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:23:35 PM EDT

You can't childproof the world so it is better to worldproof your child.

Don't forget to teach your child to swim at an early age. Or you can run all around the neighborhood trying to get all the pools fenced up, drained, etc...you get the idea...
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:30:33 PM EDT
many guns loaded, none of them chambered.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:41:58 PM EDT
I never chamber a round unless I intend to fire the weapon.  

Guns should be locked up (OK, hidden may work for babies) if there are kids around at any time when you aren't there. If you aren't there, you can't use the gun anyway.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:42:07 PM EDT
We've got 6 kids in the house. Ages range from 8 to 16. When I get home, I have a .45 on the desk next to me. The rest are in the safe, except for the .357 that Mrs. Caveman has lock in the rifle rack in the bedroom.

From the time they could crawl, they were taught to not touch them. Once they got older more training as to the dangers and such.

It just seems the more they see a gun, the less they care about one.(Takes the mystery away)
I know what I'm trying to say, just can't seem to word it right.

Of course, once it's time to go to the range , they care alot.(My 16 yr. old can out shoot me )

Hope this makes sense. My brain is fried from being in the sun all day.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:54:42 PM EDT
I think some of you may be underestimating the creativity and determination of kids.  My dad hid his guns and only let me shoot them on rare occasions.  But of course he wasn't home all the time.  By the time I was about 6, I could detail strip and re-assemble a 1911, Luger, Garand and several small .25s and .32s.  By the time I was about 8, I was pretty good at patching holes in the house (none in me---there really is no substitute for being Irish!)

My kids on the other hand were taught to shoot as soon as they could hold a gun.  Usual progression, pellet guns, .22s, .30 carbine on up.  Taught how to handle them safely, what they could do, and to never take them out when other kids were in the yard.  My kids have only moderate interest in guns and have never (I believe), had an ND.

You can't hide them so well, or lock them up so securely that an 8-year old can't get at them---teach them.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 5:08:24 PM EDT
My 92 is ready to go at my bedside, my wife has her ladysmith ready to go, and my briefcase has a double eagle officers (officers length DA 45) each night when I get home.
When kids 9-16 come over we have some unloading to do.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 5:13:40 PM EDT
Yes I do, AR15 w/20rd mag, Springfield Ultra Compact condition 1, HiPower w/loaded mag, Taurus PT92AF w/loaded mag. All in the safe, locked while I am gone and unlocked at night.

You do need to teach your kids, it amazes me how little people teach their kids about the weapon that they drive, much less how to behave around firearms.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 7:04:36 PM EDT
I have 3 kids ranging from 3 to 8 and I keep a loaded gun at all times. I do keep the chambers empty but my kids do understand safety. They know that they don't touch my guns without permission.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 7:15:19 PM EDT
ak loaded, not chambered. i have many loaded ar mags too. with the bolt held open, a mag goes in and bolt is locked as fast as you can say shtf.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 7:41:12 PM EDT
When things go bump in the night, if you can't get your senses and arm yourself in quick time
(I have been instructed 5 seconds is about right) Your ar in the locked vault may be useless. Gunbox on your side of the bed with a surefire light and a  loaded sturdy 38 snub as the minimum. Ps it is advisable to have a sidearm when carring a longarm, consider it part of your longarms retention system so you are going to need one anyway ;)
Father of three
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 8:30:56 PM EDT
I have something loaded around when I'm off. When I'm at work, It's in the safe.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 8:35:29 PM EDT
Yes, I have several loaded firearms in the house.  I will have no children (ever) and never have anyone with children visit.  If I did have friends visit that have children I would obviously lock them up.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 8:42:31 PM EDT
I usually Sleep with my AR-15 next to me, with a full 30 rd mag in it. I also have two ankle holster's on while i sleep, one has a Glock 23 .40 Cal and the other has a Sig P220 .45 cal. Under the bed I have two AK-47's, locked and loaded, just in case I have to "hit the deck" when the shtf, before being able to get to my AR-15.
Oh, I also have a Sig P226 under my Pillow, and I have an M-4 Bushmaster I stuff in my wife's body pillow.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 7:43:16 AM EDT

So where do you keep the shotgun?
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 7:47:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 7:51:16 PM EDT
Please see my signature.  'nuff said.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 8:08:35 PM EDT
A .357 revolver sits in one of those tactile push button safes in the bedroom, a Beretta 92 FS hidden in the office downstairs, and a whole bunch in the gun safe.
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