By Tammy Hunter, Cypress TX
There are three safe places for your self-defense pistol: (1) in your hand, (2) in your holster, or (3) locked in your safe. Once you’ve made the decision that a handgun will be part of your self-defense plan you must learn new habits and routines to ensure the 24/7 safety and security of that tool. The consequences for failing to do your part in ensuring that your handgun is secured from anyone and everyone that shouldn’t have access to it is always worth double checking when in doubt; it is never something you shrug and say to yourself, “well, I think I locked it.” The life of a loved one, family member, child, or innocent stranger is at risk the split second a responsible gun owner becomes lazy or complacent about his or her job.
Hand. There are times you will take your guns to the range for practice and training opportunities, after all, it is a diminishing skill that will deteriorate over time if not practiced. Your gun will be safe in your hand. There will be times you have to handle your firearm to re-locate it around the house, maybe at the end the day after carrying the firearm on your person and it’s time to get it secured for the night, maybe your dog has alerted to something at your front door, or maybe in your back yard. Your gun is safe in your hand, assuming you are following the 4 Rules of Gun Safety.
Holster. Hopefully, the majority of the time your gun is safe and secured in your favorite holster (likely not be the first holster you purchase). When your gun is in your holster, you go on about your day without touching or fidgeting with your firearm. A safe holster ensures that the trigger is completely covered to ensure an additional provision of safety. Your daily activities should not be affected much by the presence of this tool. Your holster should keep the gun stable and be comfortable for the time and activity level you need.
Safe. When you aren’t actively carrying a firearm for self-defense or using it for training, it should be secured in an appropriate safe. An appropriate safe means that the gun isn’t on a shelf, stuffed in the bottom of drawer, definitely NOT under a pillow, or anything careless like that. The market is saturated with a wide variety of truly secure handgun safes and lockable options to keep unauthorized people (young, old, and in between) away from them. Kathy Jackson did a fantastic job addressing “little hands” and there are so many things parents trust as “child proof” that kids seem to figure out when we least expect it. When you’re choosing a safe for your firearms, make sure you do it with proper diligence — and keep up with the abilities of those around you, so changes will need to happen. Your job is to keep EVERYONE (not just kids) from having access to them: it’s the AC repair person, the exterminator, the new neighbor you invited over last minute when you saw them outside, etc. It also includes our aging family and loved ones, too. Abilities grow and change, mental states ebb and flow over time, and so should your routines for securing guns around your house.