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Loaded Handguns At Home

A topic that comes up often is whether or not to keep loaded weapons, particularly loaded handguns, in homes where there are children. The fear is that their kids may accidentally or on purpose find the loaded gun. I think this is a valid concern, but I also think there’s a simple solution to this problem.

Carry At Home

It’s just that simple: carry your gun at home. Now I understand that not everyone has a concealed carry permit. If you live in a country and a state where this is allowed, I think you should get your concealed carry permit, get some training, and carry all the time. But even if you don’t have a concealed carry permit, in most places (at least in the United States) it’s perfectly legal for you to carry either concealed or openly in your own home.

If you don’t already know, check your state and local laws to be sure carrying within your home/on your property is legal. If it’s not legal where you live (you seriously need to move), there are some that would advise you to do it anyways and keep your mouth shut. I of course am above such advice. ;)

Carrying at home solves a couple problems. First, if the only loaded gun in the house is strapped to your side, your children aren’t going to accidentally or on purpose find a loaded gun in your home.

Second, in most cases where you’re going to need a gun, such as a home invasion, you probably aren’t going to have time to run to where the loaded gun is. Telling the bad guy “hey, just a second, my gun is in the other room” probably won’t work.

Tips for Home Carry

Usually the push back on this advice comes in two forms: it’s uncomfortable, and I don’t want my kids to know I carry.

Comfort

Yes it’s possible to comfortably carry a gun. Hopefully you’re comfortably carrying all day long, but if you’re not, comfort is about finding the right carry position, gun and holster. This is a much broader topic, but here is one method that works for me.

When I’m hanging out around the house, particularly in the evening, I don’t always want to have a gun belt on. If you don’t have a gun belt or don’t know why a gun belt is important, start here. A way to comfortably carry a gun without a gun belt is with a friction holster like the previously reviewed Remora Holsters. A lot of days, this is my go to option for carrying at home in the evening.

Being Discreet

If you don’t want your kids to know that you’re carrying a gun, carry it concealed. To pull this off, you may need to adjust your carry position.

For example, I have a three year old daughter, and for the past three months or so, I’ve been carrying in the appendix position. This doesn’t always work at home in the evenings though, because my daughter is quite frequently sitting in my lap, crawling on me, or I’m carrying her in my arms. All of which brings her in close proximity to my gun. Now, I’m not afraid that the gun is going to automagically go off or anything, but I want to avoid her asking me about it because she’s three and won’t understand.

This is why I adjust my carry position, and usually carry in the 3:30-4:30 position.

Logistics

Logistically, here’s the way it works. Carry your gun in whatever manner works for you, up until it’s time to go to bed. Take your gun off, put it on the nightstand next to your bed or wherever you’re going to keep it. The next morning, put the gun back on. It’s that simple. If you do this, your kids will not have the opportunity to find a loaded gun.

Wrapping Up

I hope this helps someone. It’s a simple solution to a very real problem that works. I’m sure there are others, so what works for you? Or maybe you think I’m nuts? Let me know in the comments.

32 Responses to Loaded Handguns At Home

  1. TK April 18, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I do the same thing, but I’ve never tried a remora. I’ll give one a try, thanks!

  2. Coletrain April 18, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    TeaCh your children about weapons, their purposes and potential dangers. I don’t leave my guns laying around, but my 3 and 6 year olds know what to do if they find one: STOP. DONT touch it. Go find an adult right away. Teach your children about guns, for that is the greatest protection you can ever give them. The reason curiosity killed the cat is because the cat didn’t know the thing was dangerous.

    • Brandon April 18, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      I couldn’t agree more!

  3. Mark H April 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Great timing on this subject as it relates to me, we bought in the suburbs in August 2011 and had no gun, I used to shoot with my dad when I was young but haven’t latly. Come to find out the neighbors on one side were occupying, stealing my water and who knows what else. A month ago 4-5 thugs occupied the house on the other side, they have been removed by the police dept. but, I realized I needed to protect myself and 3 kids, late of corse but I’ll never be unprepared again as I now own a XD in .45 and a Glock 23, friends and family have asked how I will store the guns, I wasn’t 100% sure till my mom of all people says “carry it all the time” so now I will take your advice and WILL carry the Glock at home. Thanks for advice and tools to accomplish this.

  4. Matt April 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    My 6 year old daughter is fully aware that I carry everywhere. I’ve made it a point to make her feel comfortable around me while I’m carrying. Will come in good use in the future.

  5. Jesse April 19, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    What’s the holster that the PPQ is in? PHLster? Thanks

  6. Robert April 20, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Great article. An interesting statistic regarding home invasions is that 100% of them happen at home. (pretty simple huh?). So if you are not armed at all times (or at least within arms length of your weapon), even if you have a firearm, it cannot be brought to bear to offer protection.

    Coletrain said it very well. Just like sex. Teach your children at the appropriate age regarding firearms, what they do, how and when they are used, how they work and why we have them. take the mystique out of it so they understand that its just another tool that daddy and mommy use.

    • Brandon April 20, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      Thanks Robert!

  7. Derek April 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m curious as to why you don’t want your 3 year old knowing you carry or asking about your gun. I have a 1 year old and even now she knows what guns are and that she isn’t allowed to touch them. Why would you want to hide the fact you are carrying from your daughter?

    • Brandon April 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

      She knows what guns are and that she’s not allowed to touch them, I just don’t think she’s old enough to understand carrying a gun. Since she doesn’t understand, she may talk about “daddy having a gun” out of context at school without meaning to, and (sadly) in today’s protectionist society, that could lead to trouble.

      For example, she knows that “mommy and daddy go to the shooting range” but that she’s not allowed to go until she’s older. Well, when picking her up one day, her teacher praised her for being a “big girl”. My daughter responded by saying “when I’m big I get to go to the shooting range”. No big deal in this instance, but gives you an idea of how she could say something out of context, which 3 year olds do all the time.

  8. Jake April 21, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Thanks for posting this, I’m going to send it to my wife. She’s afraid of having a loaded gun in the house, but this seems like the perfect compromise.

  9. Tim April 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I too carry all the time, most days at home it’s a Taurus 709 slim in a little IWB with a second mag in my front pocket. when I go out I have my MURSE, a Maxpedition colossus Versa pak with either my G-17 and a second mag or a Sig Sauer P250C. Like the old American Express Commercial, Never leave home without them. Heck, never leave BED without them, and even then it’s either under my pillow or on the nightstand next to my surefire flashlight.

  10. Rodger April 28, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    I carry a Ruger SR9C IWB in a Shielded Holster every day all day. Very comfortable and very secure. When I retire for bed, it is placed in my pants in the holster at the foot of the bed ready to put on as soon as my feet hit the floor. I have my XD .45 in the nightstand drawer beside me with a tactical flashlight.

  11. ramoadavo April 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I just think that if we hide what we do from our children when their small, what can we expect from them when older?? Teach then to respect and know what a firearm is now….and let them know why I carry!!! Just sayin’

    • Brandon April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      By all means, have the conversation with your children as early as you see fit. Personally, I don’t think my daughter is old enough to understand. I don’t know about you, but I “hide” things from my 3 year old all the time that she’s not ready for (sex, drugs, you get the idea). Thanks for commenting.

      • Isaac May 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

        Right there with you, Brandon. Every kid is different, and there’s nobody that understands them better than a parent. My 5-year old knows and understands gun safety now, but that is something he was only REALLY able to grasp 9 months ago.

  12. gabe June 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Carrying a gun around at home seems pretty silly to me. Not to mention it makes your kids even more anxious to get their hands on your gun since they always see you with it. Just lock it up in a quick open safe, and teach them about guns.

    • Brandon June 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      It’s called concealed carry for a reason Gabe.

    • Jimmy August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      The reason I carry at home is based on scientific evidence. 100% of home invasions happen at…..home.

      • Brandon August 12, 2012 at 10:39 am #

        Haha indeed.

  13. Mark H. June 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I used to think carrying a gun at home was silly too, then I had squatters and thugs occupying in my neighborhood. I also started reading the Police calls for the city I live in online, I read about the home invasions, thugs trying the doorknobs all throughout the neighborhood, mid day robberies, the midnight break ins, the stealing of copper piping, the carjackings in the local Walmart parking lot. Since Aug 2011 there were 3 cases of armed citizens shooting thugs in several of these situations, all this and we live in a nice small town with a crime rate lower than the national average. So I have decided to protect my family, I carry at home ALL THE TIME. If 2-3 thugs kick your door in, running to your safe will not work out for you very well. I would urge anyone to follow Brandon’s advice on this subject. I have 3 kids and they don’t care one bit what is in my waistband, I explained I have the gun to protect them, and that they can never touch. Thanks Monderno, great site, great topic!

    • Brandon June 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      Thanks brother, well said!

  14. John July 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    I conceal carry (front pocket) my Coyote Special while out & about everyday. I am also very open with my extended family & their children about the fact that I carry, and we have taught all of them about gun safety.
    I do not carry with a bullet in the chamber because I always have children climbing on me or in my close proximity. I just don’t feel comfortable having a bullet in the pipe.
    My question is this: Am I fooling myself with a false sense of confidence & safety? Will I be quick enough to react in a deadly situation if I don’t have a bullet in the chamber? What’s your opinion?

    • Brandon July 12, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      In my opinion, yes you are to a certain extent. The odds that you’ll have time to retrieve your gun from your pocket and rack the slide during an attack are pretty thin. Besides the downside of the additional time required, there is also an increased risk of malfunction due to you manually chambering a round under stress (failure to feed).

      It might all work out for you – you might have time to pull your gun and chamber a round without issue, but you also might not. My advice is to find a gun/holster/carry method that you are comfortable with carrying a round chambered.

      A note on the kids climbing on you – I can relate! If you have your gun in a proper holster with the trigger guard covered, your gun will not fire itself. This is another reason why I prefer Kydex holsters. They are very rigid and keep the trigger guard securely covered at all times. Additionally, if the retention is correct, your gun will not fall out of the holster.

      Hope this helps.

  15. JasonMan July 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    I also carry at home. My advice would be to get into a routine and stuck to it. I carry a Glock 27 when I am out and about and then switch to a Rugar LCR around the house.

    Keep in mind that carrying around the house is not the same mindset as carrying outside. Around the house, you’re generally more relaxed, comfortable and lazy, as you well should be. I practiced a month with Snap-caps and my LCR before carrying live ammo around the house. The month of practice proved valuable. Two weeks in I got up to take a shower. My routine was to carry my pistol into the bathroom with me. So I was sitting on the bed, reach over and picked up my pistol and at the same time I stretched and yawned.

    “Click”.

    I looked down and realized that when I stretched, I had pulled the trigger. If I had a live round, it would have went through the floor.

    A second time, I walked out of the bathroom to catch a news story and then walked into kitchen. Nothing like standing in the kitchen, drinking coffee and hearing your wife yell, “Honey, come get your gun!” I had gotten distracted and walked out of the bathroom without it.

    Practice, Practice and practice!

  16. Billy August 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    I think this is a good idea in theory, but it is simply not practical for me. First of all, as soon as I hit the door I dump my pockets- keys, wallet, phone, change, etc. and I’m on the way to the bedroom to lose the monkey suit and throw on shorts and a t-shirt. And if the shorts require so much as a belt, I’m choosing other shorts.

    Next, I play with my daughter a lot and a lot of that play involves being down on the floor, tickling and wrestling; places and activities where any extraneous steel is out of place, uncomfortable, and, well, unwieldy.

    I propose 2 solutions to the kids and guns issue:

    First, educate, educate, educate. Let them know what they are and what they do and NOT TO TOUCH. My daughter is not yet two years old and she knows what “don’t touch” means. Next, Demystify and educate. The kids who get into their parents’ guns do so because they are entering a really cool world of secret and forbidden things. If they are just another one of daddy’s tools, they won’t be so interested. And if Daddy drags them out to the range every weekend, they won’t be so awestruck every time someone mentions a gun, and they just might be the voice of reason when one of their dumbass friends tries to do something stupid.

    • Brandon August 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Billy. My approach isn’t a one-size-fits-all for sure, but has served me well.

  17. Billy August 31, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I will also add that a lot can be done to prevent home invasions from the outside. Staying alert, being aware of one’s surroundings, general situational awareness goes a long way toward preventing thuggery. This is not to say that it makes you thug proof, but you can mitigate some of it anyway.

    A couple years ago I had to call the police on a guy who was walking around the neighborhood looking through windows. These are some tips the officer gave me. (I don’t live in that neighborhood anymore)

    My first line of defense is heavy-duty dead-bolts. Get the best ones you can find, the best you can afford, and install them correcty: get very long screws to anchor it securely to the frame. Next, install timers on your lamps and maybe on a radio. If you’re being cased and your lights are inconsistent, they’ll move on.
    Most alarm systems have a panic switch on a keyfob and you should have that on you at all times. The idea of a home invasion is to take their time- if there’s a blaring siren going off, they won’t stick around.
    The best thing in the world over all of these is Doberman Pinscher. I have one of these and she makes people walk on the other side of the street. Any dog will do but for some reason black and brown ones scare gangbangers.

    I also have loaded and chambered pistols in each room within easy reach. I just have to make sure they are not within easy reach of the curious critter that lives in my house.

  18. Mark H. September 1, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    This remains a very interesting topic, I learn new things, witch I like very much, and also want to share some of my experiences too. Billy makes good points, doing things from the outside of the home is a good way to deter crime. Landscaping, light, beware of dog signs, etc. Stats show that criminals are in fact scared of being attacked by dogs, not just by any dog, but a breed that Billy brought up and the like to be sure, I have a Pit Rott mix named ”Buster” by the way, and also being shot by people inside the house, and down the list a little further they fear being shot by police, but that fear is not #1 by any means. The police officer gave good advice to Billy, those are things we should all do, my dad is a retired police officer/deputy sheriff and I will say though that it’s very unlikely that we will ever see a home invasion coming, I guess that depends on our own circumstances, but let me just say this, time will not be on our side.

    In terms of being ”cased” keep all windows and doors locked, blinds closed, keep the outside of your home well lit, and the INSIDE DARK, that way, nobody can see IN, but you can see what’s OUTSIDE! Thats very important! If your inside is well lit and outside is not, then everybody can see in very easley, my advice is to add a few more floods outside, and turn off more lights inside. Then drive/walk by your home at night several times to see what others can see.

    As I have mentioned before, my kids have very little interest in my guns, we’ve had discussions on safety etc. of corse, but having said that, they do not have access to them at any time anyway, education is great but I ”played” with my dad’s guns when he wasn’t home, knowing full well the danger and that I would be in huge trouble if he found out, didn’t stop me, ever. So my point here is that only I know where they are at all times, I’v removed the opportunity, let me just leave it at that.

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