One of the simplest ways that we can keep firearms away from youngsters or people who should not have access to them is by securing them. Securing a firearm can mean different things to different people. It can mean that we lock them in a safe. But what options do we have, if we do not have a safe, or the means to buy one? A very simple option is a gun lock. Project ChildSafe offers free gun locks that are easily obtainable, and fit pretty much any gun. Now, while some might find fault with a lock like this, I’m going to share some reasons and ways that this free tool is nothing to be ashamed of using.
Sponsored by NSSF and Project ChildSafe
First, most of us gun owners do have safes, but what about that brand new gun owner? What about the single mom or dad with no extra cash? What about the college female who can legally carry a concealed firearm, but doesn’t have money for or want the attention of a gun safe in her living space? A lock is a very simple tool that can be used to not just protect someone who shouldn’t have a gun from themselves, but it can also protect us, the gun owner. It does this by creating a layer that prevents use of the gun, even if someone gains access to it. It helps to ensure that not just toddlers and children cannot use a gun, but it renders the gun inoperable to anyone else who should not have it. Sure, they can just get a bolt cutter, but for the person who happens upon a gun and might be tempted to play with or use it on the spot, finding bolt cutters might be too much work.
The ability to obtain a free gun lock, no questions asked, is something very meaningful about this program. I simply walked into my local sheriff’s office, and the display from Project Childsafe was there in the lobby. No questions asked, nothing but a simple way to secure a firearm, free. There is a “how to” on its website, and the gun lock is packaged with a 19-page insert of safety tips on how to use the lock, along with general firearms safety.
If you don’t have a safe and this gun lock is your plan for securing your firearm, you want to look at the list of considerations below, and develop a plan for how the lock is used:
One of my real concerns when travelling with firearms is that TSA doesn’t allow me to see who handles my guns. TSA has changed its rules and now allows for TSA agents to open your case WITHOUT you being present. Certain airlines allow transport of ammunition, in covered magazines, inside the gun case. I have to use this option often to make weight limits on my bags – meaning I put ammo packed as per their rules in one bag, and a loaded mag or 2 (packed as per the airlines rules) in my gun case. A lock through the receiver will prohibit anyone from being able to do anything massively wrong, and gives me an added layer of “the gun can’t even fire because it is locked.” So, if I choose to lock my trigger (some countries I fly to have required trigger locks at all times when not on the range) or lock my action from closing, that’s one more way I am preventing someone ignorant from doing anything wrong with my firearms. I’ve experienced the TSA removing locks on my gun case and sending my guns on through other countries! So, the fact that I can lock my gun and make things more difficult for anyone who might want to misuse them, just adds another step someone would have to take to do something wrong. For all the people who laugh at gun locks, know this: if you travel, you should consider the potential for unforeseen interaction with your firearm.
So, be active in securing your firearms. Teach those around you to respect them and don’t be afraid to use simple tools for safety when you don’t have access to a safe.
Becky Yackley primarily competes in 3 Gun, USPSA, Bianchi pistol, but has competed in shooting since 1989 in disciplines from service-rifle, to NCAA Air Rifle and Smallbore, air pistol and a little bit of long range rifle. She shoots guns and cameras at competitions around the country, and writes in her fictional spare time. Her writing can be found here The WON in her column titled "Not a Soccer Mom" and sponsored by Jagemann Sporting Group, as well as Guns America and Gun World. View all posts by Becky Yackley