Questions for those with handguns in the nightstand

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by U235, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. U235

    U235 Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    As of late, I've been having an internal debate as to what to do with my loaded firearms that reside in the nightstand. Originally we bought handguns for a couple reasons, mainly that I travel a lot and want my girlfriend to have something besides our 30LB dog to protect her. Also, I didn't like the feeling of being defenseless in our own home. I think this is a very standard rationale for the home defense model.

    However, recently I've been concerned about them being there., and not for any standard reasons; we don't have kids, nor do we ver have kids in the house. The concern stems from the thought of a traditional burglar hitting your house during the day while we're out. Perhaps it's the high school kids trying to score an Xbox or maybe just someone looking for stuff to pawn for their drug fix. Regardless, while they're looting your place they come across two loaded firearms. Chances are they'll take them and you'll come home to your valuables and firearms gone, but in the rare event that you come home while they're still in your house, have you just invited your own firearms to used against you?

    Maybe I'm more sensitive to the matter because as a child, my mom and I came home to our house and surprised some burglars. Fortunately, they got scared and all we heard was a window break in the back of the house. Apparently, they heard us open the garage and enter the house, threw a chair through the master bedroom window and fled. However, if they found loaded firearms in the house, their fight or flight impulse my be altered some degree, especially if they're in an area of the house that doesn't have an exit without confrontation.

    If a burglar already has a firearm prior to entering your house, they've gone in with the mindset of having a firearm and there's not much you can do in that situation. Having additional guns in the house isn't going to change the probability of them using the guns against you. This argument isn't really for the already armed burglar. For the burglars who don't have one and are presented one in the course of looting your place, there are many unknowns.

    I've thought about locking the guns and/or keeping the ammo separate from the guns, but I struggle to find something that doesn't create a huge time constraint of unlocking and finding the pieces. I won't be able to just grab them and be ready to go.

    I'm sure I'm over thinking this, but the thought of my own firearms being used against me in a surprise attack when I come home is really bothering me. What do you guys think?

  2. bonehead1185

    bonehead1185 Member

    I understand what you are saying about the fear of it because I have actually thought the same thing. What I did is I have a small lockbox that my gun stays in when I can't carry it otherwise it stays in the drawer in my nightstand. Before I had my CHL it stayed in the lockbox all day but now it comes out when I get home from school and stays on me or within reach at all times. The lockbox I have is one that can be mounted to a secure object so there is no worry of someone taking off with it easily and the door is resessed into it so it would be very hard to pry the door open. Its not the biggest thing in the world but it holds a box of ammo, the gun, and a spare mag with no problem. Plus its pretty fast access. Thats my situation, hope it will help you.
  3. U235

    U235 Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Yeah I'm not particularly worried about a gunsafe itself walking off with a burglar so long as it doesn't get opened at my house and used against us.

    I guess I need to look at what my lockbox options are. Biometric would be a pretty decent idea.
  4. bonehead1185

    bonehead1185 Member

    Biometric would be nice. I wish I could afford one! But since my funds were limited I bought the one I have at same time I got my gun. I can't find it on Academy's website but that is where I got it. It was not the cheapest but it was cheaper than some. Its just a 5 digit code and the door pops open on the front. Its about the size of a shoebox maybe a little bigger. I like it because it has a backup battery system if the batteries inside fail. All it takes is a 9 volt touching the pegs on the outside. Not sure if this helps but if you don't have a fortune to spend like me then this could be an option.
  5. Madhouse

    Madhouse Active Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Here's my siuation: There's only a handgun in my nightstand while I'm sleeping, because it's my carry gun. Carry it all day, put it in the nightstand at bedtime and put it back on in the morning. I can't carry all the time (my office), so I take it from the nightstand to the safe then. Don't leave a gun in the sightstand if you're not within reach of it.

    Just my $0.02
  6. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Brian, judging what I've heard from several knowledgeable people, those biometric safes (the relatively small ones) are something to be avoided. Apparently they aren't very good quality, aren't very reliable, and are easily broken into if someone really wants to, and apparently without much effort (IE - a crowbar lol). Apparently they are more intended to provide some sort of added safety against children's idle hands getting a hold of them.

    Personally, I've come to the conclusion myself that having a handgun, at home for self defense, there is no acceptable place except next to the bed and within arms reach as well as NO trigger lock or other miniscule device to have to mess with in an urgent situation. Time and time again it has been proven that under extreme stress, your fine motor skills will decrease substantially and even operating what many think is a simple object (trigger lock) could turn in to almost an insurmountable task with some people. I've moved mine to various places around my bedroom trying to determine what's "safe", but still readily accessible in a pinch. The best option I can think of is to keep the gun near you while you're both there, and if both of you are gone to put it up in the safe if you have one or at least hide it somewhere in a closet or something with a good quality (steel) trigger lock on it. This of course would change a bit if there were kids present in the house or if you had kids, as they always seem to be able to find what's "hidden" somehow. ;)
  7. RKirby

    RKirby New Member

    May 2, 2008
    DFW area
    The best solution, in my opinion, is to get your Concealed Handgun License and carry your gun everywhere the law allows. The safest place for your handgun is in a holster on your hip.

    Crime happens everywhere, not just in your home.
  8. Shorts

    Shorts TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Mar 28, 2008
    We always kept a gun in each nightstand. A great mod I saw done in another forum was to add a locking mechanism to the drawers.

    At night, take out the gun and leave it on top for easy access. In the morning, put it away before you head to work, or take it for carry.

    If you have to leave it at home, lock it up.
  9. U235

    U235 Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    This was my original rationale. I want access to the firearm in 2 seconds and it needs to be ready to fire for a home invasion; both of our firearms are safety off, DA. Initially, I didn't even think about the firearms being used against me, but now I see my firearm being used against me as a higher probability than me using against someone in a night home invasion (a rarer event I think).

    Unfortunately, neither of us are concealed and our jobs don't permit us carrying into the office. Even if we were concealed, it's unlikely we'd carry on a daily basis. My girlfriend's brother is CHL and he doesn't. I can barely remember to brush my teeth on my way out in the morning let alone equip.

    Additionally, there's no way my girlfriend or myself would be diligent enough to lock them during the day, unlock them at night.

    HK_Fiend, to your earlier comment on biometric boxes. The likelihood of a burglar breaking open the safe at your property must be low, right? Like I said, if the firearms are stolen with the entire safe, that's fine. It's the running into a burglar in our house and he has access to the firearms in the master bedroom. Our master bedroom and in fact the nightstand that they're in is the furthest from the entry point of the house.

    I've contemplating the under the matress scenario but I'm not sure that would prevent the my initial concern.

    I read on THR that people recommend combo locks where you have the first three dials pre-dialed on a daily basis so you only need to dial the fourth dial (or pick any of the four dials). When you leave for long period of times you can set it to 0-0-0-0. With training/muscle memory one should be able to click it however many times and get it opened in no time.

    However, I'm days away from purchasing a 12ga Benelli Supernova for ultimate home defense and my dilemma with this firearm can't be solved by a nightstand safe. My original idea was to hand it off the back of our bed sleigh, but it'd still be pretty obvious to any burglar.

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Let's continue the discussion.
  10. lonewolf23c

    lonewolf23c Active Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    You could always modify the night stand to have a secret compartment which could include installing a concealable holster in the space above the top drawer under the top. Most burglars most likely would never think to feel around the underside of the top of a night stand or dresser for anything. They just normally look in the drawers themselves.

    Just my 2 cents.

    I have thought of that issue myself. And if I think of it myself its probably because it can and does happen.


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