Letter: Shotgun Security

Dear Sir:

I am writing to seek your advise and that of your readers. I live in a metropolitan area, in a nice “safe” suburb where “nothing ever happens”. I have recently become more active in preparing for crisis situations. I have also reevaluated my home security needs. I want to have immediate access to my handgun at night. At this point, if we had an intruder, I would have to get into my closet, open my safe, get my handgun and then try to successfully confront a threat. I have several small children, so leaving a loaded firearm in the nightstand is not an option. I believe that a Gunvault product may be my best bet for a handgun. Although it is not “instant” access, the time needed to enter the code is very short.

My question concerns shotguns. I would like to have instant access to my shotgun, but have the same speed and safety concerns. The gun safe is too slow, and the idea of having a loaded shotgun along the side of the bed just won’t work either. I would like to mount it to the wall with a safety mount that covers the trigger. The only product I can find that would appear to fit the bill is called the Shotlock Solo Vault. I have never seen this product, or this type of product, evaluated or discussed on Survivalblog. Do any of your readers have experience with this product? I would appreciate any evaluations, thoughts, or recommendations that you could make that would help me find a product that can meet my needs. – M.C.

HJL Replies: I refuse to give in to political correctness on this issue. Gun safes, vaults and locks are for keeping the weapons that you are not using safe when you are not around. They are not for “working” weapons. Working weapons should be loaded and ready to go at all times, whether it is a shotgun leaned in a corner behind the front door or a pistol under your pillow, or anything in between. The only effective way of making a working weapon safe is to make sure that all who come into contact with it are educated and trained. That may mean that you have to be careful about who is in your house. It may also mean that, at times, you have no working weapon available. Small children are also capable of being trained. I have memories, from when I was only four or five years old, of working weapons in our household. I also trained my children. Before they could handle a weapon safely, they knew of the danger and had their curiosity satisfied by spending time with me and the weapon in use. Your weapon may be scary to your young child, but they can learn to respect it and stear clear of it until they are trained to become comfortable properly using one themselves. Any product that attempts to render a working weapon safe merely gives you a false sense of security and hinders your ability to access that weapon when you need it. As an EMT, I will attest to the reluctance of the mind to function well when you have been rudely awakened at 3:00AM. You owe it to yourself to simplify what you have to think about in a time of severe stress. I want ALL of my thinking to be toward the shoot/no shoot situation rather than fumbling with a combination that I may or may not remember under stress thus shrinking the time available to deal with the shoot/no shoot decision. Making the decision to have a working weapon for self defense is making a decision to change your lifestyle. I don’t believe you can merely purchase a product that will allow you to live life as you did before you made the decision and expect to have the safety and security of a working weapon. As much as I hate to say this, you should also check with your local laws. They may attempt to regulate what you do in the confines of your own home and only you can make the decision to allow them to do that or not.