Rule 5: Lock it Up

gun safe
Dan Z. for SNW

I come from an era when people left their houses unlocked, as they did their cars, often leaving the keys in the ashtray or under the floor mat. Dad did that and I asked what prevented someone from taking his car.

“Why would they do that?” was his response.

Because people steal things…routinely and historically. Imagine how much mischief has resulted, as well as human injury, from “No one will steal my car.”

It’s the same with firearms. I recall with some fondness when people displayed their long guns in exposed cabinets and racks. I remember seeing shotguns and .22 rifles in the rear widow racks of old pickup trucks … in high school parking lots.

That was then. We no longer live in that world. Today, Rule 5 rules. You know (or should) the Four Rules. Rule 5 is maintain control of your firearms at all times.

Now firearm and ammunition manufacturers are into firearm security, too. (courtesy
Arising from the early days of the development of the “shall issue” permit system in Arizona, Rule 5 is meant to keep people safe, as well as shortstopping legislative efforts to mandate locking up guns.

Too often, we see tragic stories of a child getting ahold of a gun causing self-injury or injury to others. We also see too many cases of guns taken from cars (your car is not a holster). passing through various hands before being recovered in a criminal case.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has Project ChildSafe that’s been wildly successful. Their position is, “secure gun storage can prevent access by children, theft or unauthorized use by a person who may pose a danger to themselves or others.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

courtesy Hornady Security

So what about having guns “stashed” around the house in case of an emergency? Let’s keep it simple. If you’re like me, your memory is such that a gun or two will get left behind…stashed and forgotten.

Not having a gun quickly accessible at home can certainly be a problem. I’m not sure of data proving that home invasions are increasing, but one is too many and they’re occurring far more often than that. So wear the gun. Home carry. A holster is a holster and it’s not difficult to carry at home.

If the gun is not in a lockbox or safe, carry it.

How about the electronic and biometric lockboxes? I still use those that are combination locks or lock with a key. Some people close to me use the newer types of lock boxes and they seem to work out quite well. Whatever your preference, use something to keep your guns secure.

The Streamlight SpeedLocker

The cost of tragedy far exceeds any criminal penalty or civil judgement. It’s something you have to live with for the remainder of your life. Don’t take the chance.

The following list is by no means comprehensive. There are dozens of providers of good safes, lock boxes, and gun locks. Whatever you do, keep them locked up and keep them away from kids and idiots.


Hornady Security

Streamlight SpeedLocker

Console Vault

The Headrest Safe

StopBox USA


Steelhead Outdoors

4 Responses

  1. Sorry but Rule # 5 is never try to catch a falling gun that has been dropped. let it hit the ground first then pick it up.

    1. I thought #5 was don’t remove your gun from the holster unless you intend to use it (e.g., don’t brandish or bluff)? 😉

  2. “I remember seeing shotguns and .22 rifles in the rear widow racks of old pickup trucks … in high school parking lots.”

    Southwest Oklahoma, mid 1970s –

    Typical high school parking lot pickup truck rear window loadout, a rifle, a lever-action, and a shottie.

    Most of the time, windows down…

    1. Same in Missouri when I was in high school (70s). We always had loaded rifles and shotguns hanging the rear window of our pickups. That also included teachers and administrators. Parked on school property. If someone had a new or differnt firearm we would all gather around and check it out on lunch break or after school. Teachers included. Many of us hunted either before school or right after school depending on the season. Ironically not once was there ever an incident of violence involving a firearm or even an accident.

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