Whether we like it or not, guns and other weapons can be attractive to children. The reason is that they often see or even play with toy guns and watch movies or video games with guns. Even if you take safety precautions, it is wrong to assume that your children will not find the weapon. Kids are always going to be curious and will snoop around the house to find almost anything that you hide.
So, the moment you decide to get a gun, you should not only consider your own safety but as well as to your children, the adults living in your home, and possibly visitors that would come inside your house. This post will talk about ways you can protect your firearms at an adequate level to avoid accidents or unauthorized access to your weapons, yet still keep them available if you ever need them to defend your family.
The Pros and Cons of Trigger Locks
- Straightforward/ Easy to use
- Prevents gun from accidental discharges
- Not ideal to use for loaded guns
- Slow to remove
A trigger lock is very straightforward to use. Although it comes in different forms, the most common is the one with a small metal or plastic device that fits over a gun’s trigger guard, preventing the gun from firing. Trigger locks basically work like a padlock – it can only be removed using a key or the correct combination.
Trigger locks are popular devices to protect your weapons from accidental discharges because they’re a low-impact solution and hassle-free to use. These devices don’t require gun owners like you to retrofit your firearms with a complex technology you’re not familiar with. You simply buy the device and install it to your weapon.
Although it’s a popular and simple option to protect your firearms from children, it does have some drawbacks. Trigger locks are not ideal to use for loaded guns. In fact, it could even make your loaded guns dangerous through negligent discharges. Trigger locks work by sliding a small rod through the gun’s trigger guard, right next to the trigger. If your gun is loaded while you remove the lock, you could accidentally set the gun off as you remove it. For some locks, dropping or exerting enough pressure on the lock could discharge your weapon.
What’s the downside?
They’re very slow to remove! This is not a good solution for a gun that you want to keep near your bed for a home defense situation.
So what does this mean? Trigger locks provide the simple, adequate solution to protect your weapons from unauthorized use. However, it does not mean you can just leave your guns anywhere in the house where children can have access. You can install trigger locks to unloaded guns and combine it with other precautions to keep them safe from unauthorized use.
Use a Gun Safe to Keep Your Weapons Away from Kids
Another option to keep your toddlers away from your firearms is using a gun safe. A safe is primarily used not just to prevent unauthorized access to your weapons but also to protect your guns from thieves, fire, flood, and many other disasters. Although its main function is to protect the contents inside, gun safes could come in many forms with different features.
Gun safes could come with electronic locks or mechanical locks. Mechanical locks are often more reliable but may take you more time to open compared to the electronic locks. There are also gun safes that have both the mechanical combination lock and key locks to prevent casual attempts by trying multiple combinations.
You can read more about features that you may want in detail in our article about gun safe features.
To discourage unauthorized access, you can install gun safes through false walls or a door inside an existing closest where it is not obvious. Other places to keep your safes are under the bed, in the vehicle, cabinets, mirror, nightstand, and many others as long as it is hidden from obvious view. Just make sure that you include a dehumidifier in your safe to prevent rust on your weapons. If a safe seems right for you, check out other helpful gun safe accessories that will help you get the most out of your gun safe.
Educate Your Kids With Programs Like Eddie Eagle
Fun programs like cartoons are great ways to teach your kids about almost anything. In 1988, NRA (National Rifle Association) launched the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program to teach young children about gun safety. Although it has been around for decades already, the cartoon has been recently modernized with some added characters to make the program more interesting for the current generation.
The cartoon basically educates children about the rules when they see a gun in a form of a fun and catchy song, “STOP! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.” Aside from the cartoon show, the program also provides an interactive video program with a workbook and certificate of completion, with the end goal of teaching children the quick rules when they see a gun.
There are many ways to keep your firearms safe from your children. Some people say that a house without a gun is safer than a house with a gun, and this is due to accidents in households with guns. But, there’s no reason that you can’t safely keep one with a few precautions and a little training.
The ones we have mentioned above are definitely some of the best ways to keep you and your family safe from accidents. Just remember to balance out the pros and cons of owning a gun and the methods you use to store them so that they’re available when you need them. You might end up taking too much time to get your guns ready when somebody kicks in your door at night.
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.