The following post is a guest post.
If you are buying your first gun or are new to having a gun in your home, it is important to understand some basic safety rules for gun storage. Here are some tips to help you store your guns safely and prevent tragic accidents or damage to your valuable firearms.
Invest in a Gun Safe
Some states, such as California, have mandatory gun safe laws. Most states require that access to firearms be controlled either through trigger guards or gun safes. Even if your state does not require a gun safe, it is a good investment if you want to avoid criminal and civil liability for misuse of your firearms.
Guns should never be kept in plain sight, and gun safes can protect far better than trigger locks or barrel locks. Gun safes not only provide a safe environment to keep guns away from children and offer protection from theft but also provide some degree of protection from the elements. Guns should always be stored in a cool, dry environment to avoid damage to the metal parts. Ideally, both temperature and humidity control should be available wherever you store your guns, so a gun safe makes a good place to keep firearms to protect them from extremes. Of course, gun safes should always be kept indoors rather than in sheds or garages where extremes in heat, cold and moisture can damage firearms and ammunition.
Lock Ammunition Separately
A small lockbox placed in a gun safe is a good alternative to moving ammunition to a completely separate area. However, the safest way to store ammunition is by locking it up in a separate location from the gun itself. This prevents thieves from having instant access to both guns and ammunition if they do gain access to a gun safe.
Teach Children about Gun Safety
While locking up firearms is always a good idea, it is just as important for children to understand that they are never to touch a gun without a parent’s presence and permission. A child who is constantly kept away from firearms and made to think they are a big secret is more likely to be curious than one who is allowed to discuss gun safety with parents. Parents can even play a “game” of scenarios such as, “what would you do if a friend asked you to show him your dad’s guns?” By talking it out, children and parents are much more likely to reach an understanding about firearm rules and to abide by them.
Check on Guns Periodically
It is easy to lock a gun up and forget about it if is it not used on a regular basis. Every few months, open the gun safe and inventory guns, ammunition and any other weapons or objects that may have been placed there. It may help to have a written inventory that is located in another spot away from the gun safe to aid in memory.
Add Security Cameras Near a Gun Safe
While this is usually only helpful after a break in, a security camera can help a homeowner identify who has been in a gun safe and offer evidence to law enforcement that a gun was stolen from a gun safe if there is a burglary.
Common sense is all that is really necessary to store guns securely and safely. With the help of a sturdy gun safe, some locking boxes and a little imagination, homeowners can easily devise a way to store firearms securely and to keep family members safe.