By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts
With an up coming “fundamentals” handgun course coming up soon, I decided to step back to the very basics of owning and carrying a handgun for self-defense reasons. Here is a very brief look at the very basics of this very important decision and topic.
This take on these basic concepts are geared toward Nevada state law. Please check the laws in the area that you live.
Safe Storage of Your Firearm
You must at all times take reasonable precautions to ensure that your firearm is kept out of the reach of unauthorized users. The level of precautions is situationally dependent. You need to look at your specific situation and identify potential risks involved inside your “reasonable precautions.” Situations vary dramatically. The situation could be a lone home owner that rarely has any one, beside himself, in his house. The situation could be a young couple with new born child. The situation could be a house full of children. The situation could be a family that has people inside of the house that may have drug, alcohol, emotional problems or violent tendencies. The different situations are endless!
You need to tailor your safe storage around your situation and the inherit risks of your situation. You must look at this from every conceivable angle. It is not just about who lives in the house, but who visits the house. Even if your family is gun smart and safety oriented, does not mean that your visitors are. The crime rate in your neighborhood may also be an extenuating factor. You may need your gun rapidly accessible when you are home and locked away securely when you are not. You must carefully weigh and balance your self-defense needs with your safe storage needs. There are many safe storage options available. These options allow for specific levels of accessibility and security. You must tailor your specific needs to your specific situation. We must all be aware of the possible “criminal negligence” charges that we could be filed against us if our gun is taken or stolen from our house and used in a crime or involved in an accident.
Guns that are not going to be in use for a while should be unloaded, cleaned, lubricated, and locked up in an appropriate manner.
Children in the Home
There are very few things more devastating than an injury or death of a child due to improper safe storage or firearm education. Any house hold that has children (whether they live there of just visit) need to have special precautions put into place. Young children are naturally curious. They will explore every nook and cranny of your home if they have the time or opportunity to do so. The idea of being able to simply hide the gun is not a reality. If you have children you must lock your gun away to insure “safe storage.” It is not just about your children, it is about every child that may visit your home. Teenagers bring a whole new set of concerns to you safe storage tactics. Peer pressure, rebellion, alcohol, and drugs are all too prevalent in today’s society. Once again you must analyze your situation and make the moves that you need to make to insure that your firearm is not accessible to unauthorized people.
Children and Gun Safety Education
This is a very important tool towards keeping you and your loved ones safe. Teaching your children a healthy respect for firearms early is time well spent. Teaching them safety is only one aspect of this. By teaching your children to shoot, you take away the “mystique” of the gun. You get them past the “curious” stage which lowers their desire to touch “what should not be touched.” Teaching your children to shoot “watermelons” show your children the destructive power of the gun and makes them understand how dangerous it is to touch guns without parental supervision.
NRA Eddie Eagle program is a very good program for the education of your children. The Eddie Eagle gun safety message is, “Stop, Don’t touch, Run Away, and Tell a Grown Up.”