Every state has different rules, regulations, and laws about how to carry and store your gun legally. However, there are steps you can take to stay in compliance with all these laws and ensure gun safety in your home and while you carry concealed.
There are many options for gun storage that will give you peace of mind and prevent unauthorized persons, including criminals and children, from accessing your firearms. There are also a variety of gun holsters that can give you confidence in gun safety and gun readiness whenever you conceal carry.
Before you get ready to purchase a gun, check out the storage regulations for your state. Some states require the sale of a locking device with every firearm, and they usually have regulations for storage of those firearms as well.
Currently, 27 states have laws designed to prevent children from accessing firearms, called Child Access Prevention Laws. Review your state's regulations related to these types of laws, including any regulations you need to be aware of in your home while transporting a firearm in your vehicle or carrying in public.
If you are transporting a firearm in your car, depending on your state laws, you will need to make certain arrangements. In some states, carrying the firearm on your person while loaded is fine while driving; in others, it must be unloaded and locked during your drive, and the ammunition must be locked and stored elsewhere in the vehicle.
Some states require you to open carry, while others require or give you the option to carry concealed. Sometimes it's best to carry concealed, rather than draw attention to your weapon or make you a target in public. In fact, many law enforcement officials recommend concealed carry over open carry.
Once you've figured out your local laws and regulations for transporting and carrying, you need to make sure you've completed a few steps before you begin carrying:
You are in possession of a tool that can hurt or kill other people, even unintentionally. Don't carry your firearm if you intend to become intoxicated, and don't brandish it for entertainment purposes. In some states, brandishing or carrying while intoxicated can get you arrested.
If you intend to carry your firearm for self defense purposes, it's important to make sure you are properly trained in how to hold it, use all of the mechanisms, and fire it under high-stress situations. Your firearm should almost become an extension of your body in order to maintain total control, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by building plenty of mental and muscle memory through training.
When you're carrying a gun, you need to maintain awareness of your surroundings, especially in crowds. If you focus on one event or area, you will neglect other threats that could be forming around you.
Choose clothing that is not form-fitting around your gun, and don't adjust or touch the area where the gun is to draw attention to it. If you're carrying concealed, you really should be the only one aware of it.
There's nothing worse than going to pull your gun and having it snag on your clothing or holster on the way out. This can cause confusion, delays, and even accidental discharges. Make sure you've chosen the proper holster for your gun, and that it fits correctly into your waistband, around your ankle, or over your shoulder. Don't waste precious seconds fiddling with a clumsy holster. Include drills of drawing your handgun from your holster in your training.
Whether you're storing your gun at home or taking it out for concealed carry, it's vital to ensure it's always in proper working order. Clean and perform routine maintenance on your gun often so you know it will shoot when you need it.
Storing your firearm correctly is essential for the safety of your home and family and those around you.
A gun safe or case with a code lock is one of the best options for storing your firearms. No one wants to fumble around with keys in the middle of the night, especially when you're scared or tense. Instead, memorize your 4-digit code so others can’t get into your safe or case.
Some states require your guns to be unloaded when they are stored, and for the ammunition to be secured and stored separately. Accommodate for this with a separate code-protected case with a second code.
Make sure the storage location of both your firearms and ammunition is in a cool, dry area. Utilize a cable or trigger lock for handguns for added protection, especially if there are children in the home. Guns must be stored horizontally or with the muzzle facing toward the floor. Guns stored with the muzzles up run the risk of the oil pooling into the barrel, compromising the firing performance of the gun when you need it the most.
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