The COVID pandemic. The riots. The looting. The general unrest in our country. If it has you feeling on edge, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to be asking, “How do I protect my home? How do I protect my family? What home defense weapons do I need to keep my children safe?”
Historically, pandemics and riots correlate with an uptick in crime. U.S. burglary rates spiked during both the 2003 SARS scare and the 2009 influenza pandemic.
In the Seattle area, burglary cases spiked by 87% when the area’s stay-at-home order was issued and the county policy to prohibit misdemeanor jail bookings went into effect. Furthermore, “as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, nonviolent offenders have increasingly been released from jail,” according to a recent article in the Seattle Times. This means those individuals are back among our community able to strike again.
Cast iron pans. Baseball bats. Golf clubs. Just about anything can be used to defend yourself. But generally speaking, most individuals who take home defense seriously, are looking for something with stopping power that can be utilized beyond arm’s reach.
Firearms —such as shotguns, AR-15s, and pistols — are the home defense weapons of choice. But storing these items securely is essential to your safety.
A Gun Safe Protects You Legally
July 1, 2019, RCW 9.41.360 came into effect. This law holds gun owners are held legally responsible for any improperly stored firearm that comes into the possession of a prohibited individuals (this includes minors and felons). Depending on how the gun is used, this could result in a conviction of:
Improper means you have left a firearm in a location where you know, or reasonably should know, it could be accessed by a prohibited individual. While there are a variety of ways to keep a firearm from prohibited individuals — the most secure way to store your firearm is in a gun safe.
Best Gun Safes for Home Protection
A heavy-duty Liberty safe, like the 2.5-hour rated Presidential 50, is one of the most secure home safes on the market. Its 7-gauge steel body makes it significantly more difficult to penetrate with brute force than a Walmart safe or a Costco safe. Additionally, it’s large size means you can store multiple guns, ammunition, and valuables.
A larger safe also allows you to protect other valuables from looters and burglars, like important paperwork, photographs, and family photos. Other sturdy, with a smaller footprint than the Presidential, is the Centurion 18. This Liberty Safe is coated with a tough textured black surface finish, making it resistant to fingerprints, dust and scratches.
For those who want to be able to monitor their safe from anywhere, the Vaultek RS200i is WiFi equipped and connects to a smartphone app. Plus, it features solid steel locking bolts, anti-pry bars, ruggedized interior hinges, and Impact Detection.
For a quick-access option, a Shot Lock Solo Vault (a mechanical shotgun lock that can be mounted on the wall) or a Shot Lock AR Vault (a mechanical AR lock that can be mounted on a wall), allows you to securely and discreetly store large firearms.
Smaller pistol safes, which can be mounted to a bedside table or bolted to the floor, make it easy to secure smaller personal firearms.
Learn more about quick access gun safes and the best home defense firearms.
Make Sure You’re I-1639 Certified
July 1, 2019, Washington passed Initiative 1639, which placed a litany of new restrictions on the purchase and ownership of firearms — specifically of Ars (assault rifles). These restrictions include:
- A minimum purchase age of 21-years-old.
- Increased background checks before an AR can be purchased.
- Completion of a “Recognized Safety Training Program”
- Purchase fee
- Waiting periods
- Storage requirements
In order to complete a “Recognized Safety Training Program” and by I-1639 certified, you need to complete a firearms safety training course, like the one offered by NW Safe. This course covers things like:
- Basic firearm safety
- How to properly store a firearm to keep it from children and other prohibited individuals
- Firearm and suicide prevention
- A thorough review of state and federal laws, including the prohibited transfer of firearms