If you’re a gun owner, you probably already know how important it is to store your ammunition and guns separately so that unauthorized persons and children do not access them. If you are wondering how to keep your gun safe in your home and how to make arrangements to do so, check our essential checklist for firearm storage and maintenance at home.
When you are not using your firearm, always store it in a way that prevents unauthorized access. Also, avoid leaving it unattended unless it’s unloaded and locked. Keep reading to learn more about safe gun storage practices and maintenance tips. (Check with your state and local government for any additional safety or handling requirements.)
Keep Your Firearm in a Gun Safe
Different gun safes are available to suit your needs. They also keep kids from accessing your guns. In fact, accidental shootings among teenagers and firearm deaths from suicide can decrease by a third if 20% more homes with kids locked up their guns.
You can also anchor your gun safe and reinforce your safety by:
- Protecting your floor from damage (especially if you have hardwood flooring) when moving a heavy safe quickly without care.
- Preventing the safe from tipping forward towards you – the owner.
- Making the safe difficult to break into.
- Making it harder to steal.
If you have a large gun safe, bolt it to the floor to make it burglar-proof. For smaller pistol safes, use the mounting holes located at the bottom to fasten to the floor.
Unload Your Gun When Not in Use
Guns should only be loaded when you are ready to shoot or in the shooting area. When not in use, store your ammunition and guns separately in a safe place to prevent unauthorized access. After you finish practicing or shooting, unload your firearm before bringing it into your home or car.
When handing your gun to someone or handling it, open the action immediately. Ensure the magazine, receiver, and chamber do not contain any bullets. Also, avoid activities like climbing a tree with a loaded firearm or pulling a loaded gun towards another person or even yourself.
Point the Muzzle Towards a Safe Direction
This is the #1 safety rule that should be observed. If everyone handled a gun without pointing the muzzle at something or anyone they didn’t plan to shoot, there would be no gun accidents. This is very important especially when unloading or loading your gun.
When you are pointing the muzzle in a safe direction (a direction in which ammunition won’t hit anyone), no injury can occur in case of an accidental discharge. The direction can be down or up and not at anything or anyone that’s not intended as the target.
Firearm Maintenance at Home
Any substantial investment including the valuable firearms you keep in your safe gun deserves maintenance to extend their shelf life. Below are some cleaning materials and maintenance tools to help you take care of your guns.
Firearm Cleaning Mat
If your gun has several advanced parts that require reassembling and disassembling, invest in a firearm mat. The mat keeps firearm parts in place since it’s non-slip and offers an ideal cleaning surface.
It also provides a guide to where each part fits since it comes with a printed image of your chosen gun. Additionally, the mats are resistant to cleaning chemicals.
Cleaning solvents remove dirt from your barrel and should be used with cotton cleaning patches. Use a small amount of cleaning solvent because excess amounts can destroy the trigger.
Also, be careful while using harsher solvents as they can harm your lungs and skin if used wrongly. Biodegradable cleaning solvents are an ideal option because they safeguard your health and protect the environment.
A patch holder is an essential item of the cleaning process as it holds cotton cleaning patches. Patch holders are configured to suit different types of barrels. However, ensure the patch holder you choose is suitable for your gun caliber.
Alternatively, you can use a cleaning jag. However, you will have to look for a jag that’s designed for the barrels you want to clean. This is because jags are less wide than most barrels.
It’s also a good idea to stock up on a box of cotton patches. They are suitable for running solvent through the firearm’s barrel. Remember to use them once before throwing them away because they gather dirt.
Gun oil is also essential for cleaning your firearm as it lubricates your gun and protects it from rust. Although different gun oil types are available, the most ideal solution is usually a combination of gun oil and a cleaning solvent.
Storing your firearms safely is your responsibility. Follow the guidelines we have highlighted above to prevent injuries and deaths at home.