How to Safely Have a Firearm in Your Home 

Millions of Americans own firearms, which means millions of homes in America have firearms in them. Even though firearm safety seems like it is an inherent skill (something you just know), it is in fact a learned and ongoing practice (something you should continue to work at to always improve). Understanding the responsibility that comes with firearms ownership is paramount to keeping ourselves, our families, friends and communities safe.

3 Main Practices to Follow

This article will provide three main practices you should follow if you have firearms in your home around these topics:  

  • Safe storage
  • Conversations with people you know who may come into your home
  • Having strangers in your home (like repairmen)

These topics are not the only safety practices you should have with a firearm in your home. Other considerations are having a Home Protection Plan, teaching firearm safety to your kids, and many more topics that will be covered at

Safe Storage

Safe storage in technical terms is keeping your firearm secured and stored away from unauthorized users when not in use. If you have a firearm to defend yourself in your home, you may believe the gun is in use at all times in case you need it; and therefore not need to secure and store it. You may use the night stand as your storage area. If you do this, here are some questions to think about, “Are you home 100% of the time?” and “Who else is in your home?”. 

Are you home 100% of the time?

If the answer to the question, “Are you home 100% of the time?” is “no”, then your firearm needs to be secured and stored when you are not home.  Logicially, if you have a firearm to defend yourself in your home, you have some concern that there could be a break in. A break in can happen just as easily if you are not home, as when you are home. Actually, 72% of home burglaries happen when no one is home.

The last thing you want is having your firearm stolen from your own home. If your firearm is not in use when you are not home, your responsibility is to secure it and store it away from unauthorized users or bad guys.

Break in in daytime

It is your responsibility to keep your firearm secured and stored away from unauthorized users when not in use.

Who else is in your home?

If the answer to the question, “Who else is in your home?” is “kids or pets”, then the night stand is not an appropriate permanent storage place for your firearm. Unfortunately, the famous last words are, “my kid would never…”.  Children can and will make bad decisions. (Adults will too, but that’s an entirely different article.)  It is part of them growing into adults, it should be expected.  Therefore, as adults we should do everything in our power to prevent them from making bad decisions that can cause them or others harm.

Let’s use a hot stove as an example; You’ve just finished cooking and the stove top is still hot, so you tell your kids not to touch it, but you know if they do touch it, they’ve learned the lesson. Well, if they touch a firearm the consequences can be deadly. Pets, make bad decisions, too. Even the best dogs have been known to chew up nice things (Our dog Casey ate $100 cash that was on the nightstand.) Your cat can even knock things off the nightstand. As a firearm owner, the responsible thing to do is to secure and store your firearm when not in your immediate possession.

Kid touching hot stove

The Hornady Rapid Safe is a great way to secure and store your firearm, and still have quick access to your firearm if you need it to defend yourself or your family. Available at Bass Pro Shops, it checks all the boxes for real “Night Stand” solutions.

project child safe poster

Have Conversations with People You Know Who May Come Into Your Home

If you’ve made the decision to have a firearm in your home for personal protection, and you have family, friends or neighbors with keys to your house you must have a conversation with them about ensuring you know they are entering your house. There was a story of a neighbor almost being shot for doing what they thought was the right thing. The person who was the owner of the home had been on vacation. He asked the neighbor to look after the house and water the plants. The home owner came home two days earlier than expected, parked the car in the garage and took a nap. He was startled awake when he heard noise in the kitchen. He grabbed his firearm and stood at his bedroom door at the ready.  The neighbor was shocked when she entered the bedroom with a pitcher in hand to water the plants, to find herself looking down the barrel of the homeowner’s gun. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the homeowner should have told the neighbor to always announce herself, even if she thinks no one is home. A quick shout as she entered would have avoided this near miss. If you have a gun in your home for personal protection, ensure the people with access to your house know they must call ahead and/or yell out when they enter to ensure you aren’t home.

Having Strangers in Your Home

It doesn’t matter if you own your own home or rent a home; repairs are inevitable. Repairs come with one or more strangers entering your home to fix the problem. While they are in your home, your firearm should be in one of two places: either secured and stored away from strangers; or on your person in some form of concealed carry.  

NOTE: You should ensure that you are legally authorized to concealed carry in the state you are in; and as importantly, you should be trained on how to carry your firearm in this manner. The USCCA offers great training, and you can find an instructor in your area here

You can’t count on watching strangers 100% of the time, you may have to answer the door or some other task; or you or they may have to use the restroom. It only takes seconds for a criminal to take a quick look on your nightstand and steal your valuables. Your firearm should not be one of the items available for them to steal.


Being a Responsibility Gun Owner

Understanding the responsibility that comes with firearms ownership, is paramount to keeping ourselves, our families, friends and communities safe. Please utilize these three practices: safely store your firearm, have conversations with people who have access to your home, and store or carry your firearm when strangers are in your home.

Want More Safety Tips?

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  

Read these other articles on firearm safety:

A small fee may be paid for sales from links clicked on this page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *