Storing Guns Properly

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

There are no shortage of tragedies involving guns. Yet somehow, they seem to be especially bad when they involve children and guns. The anti-gun crowd loves to point to those cases where children get their hands on a gun and “accidentally” shoot a friend or sibling. While rare, they still happen and even one such incident is too many.

Recently we’ve had an event that puts those accidents on the back burner. A six-year-old boy took his mother’s gun to school and shot his teacher in the chest. Fortunately, the shooting was not fatal, but the 25-year-old teacher is still in the hospital, in serious condition. How she will overcome her fear and go back into the classroom is beyond me.

Sadly, the child who perpetrated the crime appears to be rather troubled and is also at least somewhat disabled. But that didn’t stop him from getting his hands on his mother’s gun and managing to get it into the school. The family’s attorney claims the pistol was stored on the top shelf of the mother’s closet, with a trigger lock in place. While we don’t know if that’s the truth, we have to take it at face value for now. My purpose is not to declare the mother or son guilty, but to see what we can learn that might prevent another such incident.

My first reaction to the news of this incident was that it was all but impossible. Not that a six-year-old couldn’t climb up to get the gun; I’ve seen kids climb worse things than that. What had me wondering was how the kid got the trigger lock unlocked and loaded the gun.

The only information I can find online says that the pistol was a 9mm. That makes it a semi-automatic. I’ve known a fair number of women who couldn’t rack the slide on a 9mm, let alone a six-year-old kid doing it. Loading the magazine is another challenge for the kid, at least past the first few rounds. The magazine spring can be hard to overcome, without a loading aid. But before he could even do that, he would have had to unlock the trigger lock (or magazine lock, if the lawyer misspoke). That means either knowing the combination or knowing where the key was stored.

All of this makes it sound either like a well-planned crime or some dishonesty on the part of the lawyer. I’ll leave it to the courts to decide. What I’m concerned about is how you and I can keep something similar form happening.

First, if you’ve got kids in the house, all guns must be secured. That either means on your body, in a safe or other locked container (like the cases that many pistols come in) or have a lock installed; either a trigger lock or a cable gun lock through the magazine well. My kids are grown now, but when they and my grandkids come to visit, all my guns get locked up where the grandkids can’t get to them.

Secondly, if you have a key for a gun lock or safe, make sure the key is well hidden too. Don’t put it on your regular key ring, as that’s too obvious. Find someplace your kids are unlikely to look and make sure they never see you put the key there or retrieve it. The same can be said for combinations. If you can’t memorize it, write it down in code and make sure the code is someplace they aren’t going to look.

Finally, how you store your ammo and magazines is just as important as how you store your guns. I’m guessing that the loaded magazines were co-located with the gun, something that a lot of people do. That’s almost asking for trouble. If someone can get to the guns, loading them usually isn’t much of a problem. The only way you can make sure that they can’t load your guns is to make sure the ammo and mags aren’t stored with the guns. That goes against everything we’re used to doing; but it is necessary.

Personally, the only gun I keep loaded, when the grandkids (or any other kids) are around, is my carry gun and I never leave it someplace where they can get to it. I have a small gun safe, with a biometric lock, to put the gun in at night. If for some reason, I’m not carrying it while they are here, that’s where the gun goes. It’s the only way I can be sure they can’t get their hands on it.

Gun safety is just as important as gun shooting. If anything, I prefer to go overboard on safety; that way, I know everyone is safe. It can be a nuisance; but it’s worth it. Like keeping my powder dry and my survival gear at hand, it’s something I do to keep myself and my family safe.

Dr. Rich

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