GUN STORAGE IN THE HOME
IT’S NOT A ONE-SIZEFITS-ALL APPROACH.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But there might be another way.
This one involves a palate and menu that’s varied. This is not an epicurean palate, but a palette of other senses, with a focus on common sense. This palette involves the eyes and the mind, as well as values and standards.
It’s the palette of guns: From ARs to pistols to precision rifles, guns come in all shapes and sizes. However, regardless of the gun, we need to put it somewhere—somewhere safe. Our individual recipe for what is safe can vary from gun to gun and house to house.
FORGET YOUR UPBRINGING
Just as different families have different cooking and cleaning habits, gun habits are also varied, and understanding this is very important. For instance, while your dad might have locked every gun in the safe because he had a neighborhood of kids wandering through his house, my dad didn’t have to do that. So, I wasn’t raised like that.
My lifestyle today reflects that upbringing. Everyone in my family is a competitive shooter—my husband, three kids and myself. We are always practicing for a competition, and dryfiring is much easier when you have a gun. So, in my house, there is literally a gun on the couch at any given moment that my husband and/or I am home.
My kids aren’t little anymore, and I don’t have random neighbor kids coming into my space. I have kids highly trained in firearms handling by some of the world’s best shooters, and they (my kids) are very capable with firearms.
I don’t talk about this openly for the most part, because people tend to be judgmental. Nevertheless, my shooting friends—the ones who know we’re training for a world shoot—get it.
Conversely, I have a gunsmith friend who doesn’t even bring guns into his house: He has neighbor kids constantly coming and going, so it’s not a good plan for him.
So, to open yourself to a wider palette of gun ownership styles, you really need to be open to understanding that there is no single right way. You need to see if your gun “manners” fit your gun use.
THE BASICS: SAFETY
Before I continue, I want to clarify basic safety principles that all gun owners should be adhering to.
When handling firearms for practice—dry-fire, mag changes, drawing from a holster, etc.—ammunition should never be in that room or vicinity of the house.
Always follow the same rules as you do when handling a loaded firearm:
• Always check if the gun is loaded.
• Never point at anything you don’t want to destroy.
• Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. • Know your target and beyond.
Lock up all firearms when you’re not home.
Always follow child firearms access laws.
Legal-speak will tell you that everyone must always lock up every firearm at all times; but in reality, we know this isn’t the way many gun owners actually handle their firearms, because circumstances differ. The overarching considerations that guide them are safety and common sense. For instance, a military person living alone could leave their firearm, unlocked, in a nightstand without worries. But once kids or other people enter the mix, it’s time to reassess.
We should understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to gun storage and use. I might have competition guns that leave the house every time I leave and are used often. Even so, when I leave my house, everything else is in a safe.
SAFE QUEENS AND SPEED QUEENS
Now that you are thinking about what you are told to do with gun storage versus what you actually do, think about the roles different guns play.
We all own firearms that are the “washing machines” of guns (that is, we use them as part of our daily routine). We also have guns that are for going fast, going accurate and “just-becausewe-can-have-them” guns. And living with those guns means different approaches for each one.
My competition pistol is either being shot or is close at hand for practice. It’s not a “safe queen”—even if it is from the beautiful STI DVC line. We also have a .22 handy at all times for the vermin that are constantly chewing on our barn.
Every gun has a different use, and every household has a different character to add to the mix. Those who live in the suburbs or small town might view gun storage differently than someone living in a farmhouse in a rural area. You have to find the right way to store and secure your mix. While it’s not politics or religion, gun storage is a topic among shooters that is often taboo. People are afraid to “come out of the closet about it,” fearing that if they speak frankly about where they keep their guns, they will portray gun owners, themselves, as “unsafe.”
The general population of gun owners has been so ingrained with the idea that you must immediately lock every gun in a safe, especially if there are children in your house, that they don’t talk about what actually happens with their guns for everyday storage.
When the topic does come up, some shooters subcribe to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” or “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality. These people don’t want to tell you what they do with their guns; it’s not information they want made public … which is fine. It’s their choice.
Some shooters tout the party line: “If it’s not on your immediate person, all guns should be under lock and key.” There is a lot of that party line thought in the firearms industry due to the liability factor and for fear of backlash from non-gun people.
It makes some people very skittish about deviating from the party line, so they just recite the line and keep private about what they really do at home. Others live openly with their guns; firearms are a part of their life, like a pet.
GUNS = JOY + FREEDOM
Put the joy back into gun ownership by being realistic. No single recipe fits every household. No one method is right for everybody.
No matter how you choose to store your guns, don’t let the joy you find in firearms be locked away, too. Shoot your guns proudly, and don’t hide who you are. Bring your house over to the black rifle-loving, guns-over-the-mantle, proud-of-yourheritage side of America, and secure your guns—as well as
your rights to use and own them by not hiding them. Help educate future generations about responsible gun-handling by making guns part of everyday life.
Women have a unique role in making this happen: They are the ones who tend to monitor the kids, set up the layout of a house and establish good household habits. Many men won’t buy guns or allow the kids to take part in shooting without their wives’ approval. Don’t let your kids grow up ignorant of the joy of guns, even if guns aren’t your favorite thing. Don’t let them grow up uneducated about safe firearms handling, and don’t let them think guns are some secret thing we shouldn’t talk about.
Make your home a place full of the joyful sounds of firearms— actions being cycled, magazines dropped, etc.—or at least decorate with “gunmetal chic.” By that, I literally mean gunmetal—where it needs to be and when you need it. You’re free to do that, and freedom is really what guns are about!
Bringing this back around: The other way to a man’s heart is through ... guns. Understanding what it means to live with them in your house and making them a part of your life is a recipe for happiness. This recipe is pretty simple:
1 part guns
4 parts safety
1 part understanding
Add ammo; season to your own taste
Let it simmer ... under the watchful eyes of a woman.
The results will make you happy! GW
JUST AS DIFFERENT FAMILIES HAVE DIFFERENT COOKING AND CLEANING HABITS, GUN HABITS ARE ALSO VARIED, AND UNDERSTANDING THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
What’s on every household’s plate varies. Similarly,
how you incorporate guns into everyday life will vary, too. There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule to how
guns are part of your home.
The woman’s role in running a household puts a good portion of the responsibility on her to safely incorporate firearms into her home. Understanding that guns are tools, as well as creating access to them, is as reasonable as knowing where and how your washing machine runs.
If your daily life involves using firearms
(from hunting and competition to those
who work in law enforcement), you might need to accept that you are going
to have different standards and rules for how and where guns fit
in your home.
A precision rifle equates to a fine leather purse: If you’re going to invest, buy the best. Some guns have a role in our lives—like this Speed Queen washing machine. We use them as part of our daily routine.