Gun owners are constantly looking for the right balance between security and rapid access. The world is full of trade-offs, and you can’t get something for nothing. The same is true with secure firearms storage.

The personal or portable gun safe provides a pretty good option for accessing a firearm when needed but still keeping it safe from unauthorized users when the owner is not carrying the gun. Portable gun safes can be opened with keys, biometric locks or numeric keypads. The best of these safes offer multiple means of access. (Having more than one means of getting to the gun ensures that you can get access even if batteries die, you lose or cannot operate the key, or you forget your access code.)

As with every piece of emergency equipment you own, training and regular practice are essential to ensure that you can actually get to your gun and use it effectively under stress. Remember, you will not rise to the occasion when under stress; you will revert to your lowest level of training.

Start by determining how you wish to store your gun in the safe. Many people choose to store the gun unloaded, with a full magazine beside the pistol in the locked box. Another method is to have the magazine inserted in the pistol but no round in the chamber. Either method requires that you take some sort of action to load and make ready after you grab the pistol from the box. The more steps you are forced to take, the more training and practice you should conduct to make certain you have perfected the movements. I don’t recommend placing a gun into the box with a live round chambered. This is simply because grabbing that pistol amounts to what can only be called a non-standard draw, which could make it much easier to get your finger on the trigger and possibly cause a negligent discharge in your haste to get the gun into action.

To best train with your safe, unload your gun and remove all ammo from the room. Stage the gun and a magazine loaded with dummy rounds in a manner that is comfortable for you, then lock the box. On the command, open the box, load the gun and come up on target. Repeat. Repeat again. Repeat until your actions are so smooth you could do it in the dark. Then do it in the dark. And do it again in the dark.

When You Need Your Gun…

You never know when you will need your gun. If that gun is in the safe, you can bet you will likely be relaxed and feeling like you don’t need it. Your call to action will come without notice. Only good training will ensure you can get your gun into action when you need it.

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