We all have rights that are protected by the constitution, but with those rights comes immense responsibility. Gun safety is paramount, especially when there are children around. Hands down, the best way to keep curious fingers from your firearm is to keep it locked up.
Gun Safety Tips for Parents
As stated by the National Rifle Association (NRA), “Parents play a key role in developing safe practices and are ultimately responsible for the behavior and safety of their children.”
As such, the NRA recommends the following gun safety precautions to protect children:
- Regularly Teaching Children About Gun Safety: Parents regularly teach their children about gun safety. According to a 2021 study conducted by Statista Research & Analysis (an independent research and analysis service), 42% of U.S. households had at least one gun in their possession in 2021. So even for those who take every precaution, it is possible their child could come into contact with a gun at an individual’s house who doesn’t (such as when playing with friends or at a neighbor’s).
- Properly Storing All Firearms: All firearms should be stored so that they cannot be reached by anyone who should not have access to them without your consent, especially children.
- Properly Store Ammunition: Ammunition should be stored securely so that any unauthorized person, especially children, cannot reach it.
Top 5 Bedside Gun Safes for Child Safety
Whether or not you should keep a gun on the nightstand is one of the most widely debated topics among gun owners. When the firearm is intended to be used as a personal defense weapon, some gun owners argue that having it on the nightstand gives them faster access.
However, a gun on the nightstand can also pose a serious risk — especially to children. Luckily, there are several quick access bedside gun safes that allow you to securely store your personal defense weapon and access it at a moment’s notice.
This biometric handgun safe features a compact, portable design. The 11-inch by 5.75-inch interior compartment is 2-inches deep and can hold one handgun, plus extra magazines. Vaultek’s VS20i model is outfitted with both Bluetooth technology for monitoring access via your smartphone and a biometric fingerprint reader for quick access.
The Vaultek SL20i is a sleek design that mounts directly to your bedside table. The slim, vertical design makes it extremely discrete, while the 5-digit keypad and biometric fingerprint reader allow authorized users to open it quickly. Furthermore, this quick access safe uses a three-point rail system that presents your firearm in the ready position.
3. Vaultek NMXi
A generously sized bedside safe, Vaultek’s NMXi can hold up to 8 handguns (6 in the pistol racks and 2 on the bottom shelf). Definitely a bit heftier than most bedside gun safes (it weighs 32 pounds), it is designed to mount to the top of a bedside table, on a wall, or on the floor. Additionally, the Wi-Fi-enabled safe can connect directly to an app on your smartphone so you can monitor when it is accessed.
Vaultek’s Pro-VTi handgun safe is our go-to solution for a portable bedside safe. While it can be mounted, it also comes with a steel security cable that allows you to secure it to a heavy object, such as a bed frame or nightstand. Additionally, it comes equipped with an 8-digit keypad and biometric fingerprint reader, so only authorized persons can access the safe. And, the Wi-Fi-enabled safe allows you to monitor all authorized access and any tampering that may occur.
Ready to tackle life, Vaultek’s LifePods are water resistant, dustproof, and lightweight. Plus they float, in the event you drop one in the water. Unlocking with a single touch, they come with a security cable for securing your portable high-tech lockbox to a heavy piece of furniture, like a nightstand or bed frame.
What Parents Need to Know About Washington State Gun Safety Laws
RCW 9.41.360 came into effect on July 1, 2019. This law holds gun owners legally responsible for any improperly store firearm that comes into the possession of a prohibited individual, including minors and felons.
Depending on how a prohibited individual uses the gun, this could result in a conviction of:
- Community Endangerment in the First Degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Community Endangerment in the Second Degree is a Gross Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
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. The use of ‘reasonably’ within the law leaves some grey area and room for interpretation by the court.
However, there’s no denying that the most secure way to store your firearm is within a gun safe. Especially where children are concerned, a gun safe keeps curious tiny humans from exploring bedside tables, closets, and under the bed to find a potentially lethal weapon.
Children & Gun Safety FAQ
What’s the Difference Between a Gun Safe and Hiding a Gun?
The difference between a gun safe and hiding a gun is that a gun safe places a locked barrier between your firearm and unauthorized persons. Hiding a gun doesn’t.
Does this mean you can’t hide your gun safe? Absolutely note. There are a variety of ways to hide your gun safe. These include:
- Using a Safe Cloak or Safe Cover
- Installing a Smaller Safe in a Pantry or Closet
- Installing a Wall Safe that Can Be Hidden Behind an Object
Are There Specific Things to Know About Gun Safety with Toddlers?
As babies turn into toddlers, they start crawling, walking, and getting into pretty much everything. They are also not yet capable of fully comprehending a lesson. When it comes to gun safety with toddlers, the thing to know is to not give them access to a gun.
Make sure all firearms are securely stored in a locked gun safe so they can’t be accessed by curious kiddos. Because even the most diligent parent or guardian can’t hope to watch their child every second of every day.
When Should You Start Teaching Kids the 4 Rules of Gun Safety?
The four rules of gun safety were created to emphasize the basics of safe gun handling. They include:
- Always Keep Firearm Pointed in a Safe Direction
- Treat All Guns as Though They are Loaded
- Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until You Are Ready to Shoot
- Always Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond It
As a rule of thumb, you should begin to teach your children about firearm safety as soon as they show any interest in a gun. According to the Keystone Shooting Center, this typically happens between three and seven years old.
Should I Have More Than One Quick Access Safe?
As a rule of thumb, we recommend having enough quick access safes to securely store all of the quick access firearms that you don’t have stored in your primary gun safe. For many gun owners, this means installing more than one quick access safe throughout their house, as you’re not guaranteed to be in a specific location during an attack.
Additional Gun Safety Tips
The AR-15 is arguably one of the most popular guns right now. Whether you just bought or built a new one, you’re likely thinking — how do I store it? How do I care for it? Ripping through a few boxes at the gun range and then sliding it into the closet isn’t going to cut it.
Whether you’re a “serious shooter” or a first-time gun owner, you will likely want to keep some extra ammunition on hand. This can be a great way to not only be prepared for the unexpected, but to take advantage of deals.