A firearm is a powerful tool we use to defend ourselves and our families. Responsible gun owners dedicate time and money on training so they can be effective defenders of the home, and they educate their spouses and children about the potential uses and dangers of firearms.
The question of whether or not to lock up firearms is an important one, and the answer varies based on the situation. Perhaps the most sensitive aspect is how to secure your home-defense gun. A home-defense firearm needs to be as ready as possible to deal with a threat—even (or especially) at 2 a.m., if you hear an intruder in your home. But for many gun owners, the need to be ready must be balanced with the risk of their firearm falling into the wrong hands—particularly those of children.
Here are some methods of keeping your home-defense gun secure but ready.
By far, the most accessible and secure option is keeping your firearm on your person. With this option, you are at your readiest to engage a potential intruder and this practice ensures that you are always in control of your gun. But it has a drawback. What do you when you go to sleep, take a shower or can’t carry for some other reason?
Another popular option is to hide the firearm. With a variety of hidden shelves, false-bottomed drawers and DIY options available, there is no shortage of ways to hide your gun around the house at any budget. This can be a great option for fast access—and can be inexpensive. But what happens if your kids find it? Even if your children have been educated about firearms, their friends might not be; and that poses a potential problem.
A gun safe is a good bet for keeping guns out of the hands of children and thieves, but it can slow access to your firearm.
Put it in a safe
Hiding your gun is akin to concealment without cover. A better choice might be to use a safe. Small safes of all types exist and allow you to keep firearms locked up and accessible using a variety of methods, including keys, pins, biometrics and RFID. You can place your gun anywhere around the house and keep it secure from kids and even, in some cases, theft. Some of the latest options include the Sentry Quick Access Biometric Safe, Gunvault’s Speedvault or The Gun Box. With any safe, however, reliability and accessibility can become an issue. For RFID and keys—what if you don’t have the device on you, lose it or have trouble fitting it in quickly? Biometrics, while very fast, are not always reliable enough—just think of times that your smartphone’s fingerprint ID failed after you got out of the shower or broke a sweat.
Technology today allows for in-gun locks like the ZORE X, which calls for the owner to dial in a code, then eject the lock and chamber a round in one move. A disadvantage is that this doesn't do much to prevent theft.
Use a lock
Another category is an on-gun lock that attach to a gun in various ways, disabling it. These types of locks allow for maximum portability with little added bulk or weight. Several styles exist. Chain and trigger locks are inexpensive, purely mechanical and reliable, but can be quite a pain to access quickly or under stress. New innovations, however, have brought this category to the 21st century. Identilock is a trigger lock that relies on biometrics to open it, making it fast and easy to use. Another option is ZORE X, an in-barrel lock that uses a dial code, without the need for any visual contact with the lock. Making the gun ready is easy, as ZORE X needs just one charging motion to eject the lock and chamber a round simultaneously. The most significant concern with on-gun locks is that they don’t prevent theft.
So, which option is best?
Choosing a way to secure your home-defense firearm is a personal decision and depends on your situation, but by thinking about the issues that concern you most, some of which have been touched on here, you can choose the right lock to keep your family safe.
Yonatan Zimmerman, who served as a commander in the special forces of the Givati brigade, is the co-founder and VP of Marketing at ZORE.