Guns and ammo - separate storage

In this current Pit thread, many people are guffawing at what seems to be the absurdity of password-protecting your ammunition (pointing out that there could be a rather undesirable delay in using such a system to defend yourself in a life or death situation).

My question (and I think it’s gotta factual answer, so I’ve put it in GQ) is to ask whether the liability of password-protected ammo as pointed out in the Pit thread, isn’t the same for (what I was told should be) the standard way to store your weapon - locked away, unloaded, and with the ammunition stored in a different location.

IOW, if an intruder confronts you, or breaks in to your home, how does having an unloaded weapn, locked away, and in a different place from your ammunition, confer protection? Won’t it take such a long time getting everything together (and all the longer, and more difficult, if it’s dark), that your friendly intruder would be on you by the time you’ve loaded your gun?

(I’m from Canada, so please forgive my ignorance and naïveté about such things - but I’d get a gun in a minute if I were able to :wink: )

I don’t understand the password protection gimmick over a trigger lock either.

People have guns for different reasons. Many people hunt and have guns associated with that. Others target shoot or simply collect guns. If one of those things is the intended purpose of the gun, then it is wise to store the ammunition away from the gun , lock the gun up, and maybe even add a trigger lock.

However, guns are also used for self-defense. In that case, it is up to the owner to do a risk assessment for different situations. If there are little kids in the house, a trigger guard at minimum on a self-defense firearm would be mandated by responsibility and probably more. However, if the person lives alone and has legitimate reason to fear for his or her safety (recent rapes in the neighborhood for instance) then it might makes sense to keep a pistol under the bed ready to go.

People move in and out of the circumstances all the time so firearm storage and safety has to take the current relevant factors into account.

If we didn’t have children, all my guns would be loaded. (An unloaded gun is useless, and often dangerous.) But we have children, so I compromise… my unloaded FAL is kept next to the bed, and a loaded 20-round magazine is on the dresser.

Shagnasty is entirely correct.
When I was growing up I learned fow to fire a wepond at the age of 5. I was taught gun safety, and when to and not to use then all my life.
In our house all weponds where kept locked up separate from the ammo,execpt for 1 pistolkept next to the ammo in my dads bedside table. All the children knew where this gun was kept and under what curcumstances in witch to use it

Because the intruder doesn’t know it’s unloaded!

Most burglars are only interested in what they can steal, and will turn & run immediately upon seeing a homeowner with a weapon. They’re not likely to wait around to see if it is loaded.

Have to disagree there.

Firearms aren’t for intimidation, they’re for shooting. I’ve heard of people who keep a pump-action shotgun in the house, with no shells, because they believe that an intruder who hears them rack it will tuck tail and run. In that circumstance, you’re just holding an expensive baseball bat.

The average citizen would back down when faced with a firearm, but a home intruder isn’t the average citizen. Unfortunately, drug use causes people to do illogical things; breaking into a home is one, but refusing to back down when faced with a gun is another. Brandishing a firearm that is incapable of being used (except as a club) is, I believe, dangerous. +80% of criminals would tuck tail, but what about the one that calls the bluff? Or worse, is armed himself. You’ve just escalated a situation that you cannot control, because you’ve already used your last option.

Granted, having children in the house means taking the appropriate safety measures. Keeping a loaded pistol in a quick-open combo safe is a much better alternative than relying on an unloaded gun, IMO.

No kids are ever in my home, now days, except with me, and that very seldom. My pistol is loaded, round chambered, hammer down, and concealed in a place I can get it easily, but a child would probably never find. I have never gotten it out except to go to the range, or to clean it.


I’m in the “Keep the gun unloaded and the ammo separate” camp on this one.

Even though it’s a legal requirement here, I’d do it even if it wasn’t a legal requirement.

Of course, I don’t own a firearm for self-defence (as that’s also illegal here), but even if you could legally own a gun for such a reason (technically you can do it in NZ, but it’s not really a good idea), I wouldn’t keep it loaded.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have the ammunition nearby, maybe in a speedloader, charger clip, or magazine (again, if it were legal to do so)- but, IMO, the second or two it takes to load the gun would be a vital second or two to identify your target and make absolutely sure it really is a Bad Guy and not your other half coming back to bed after a late night snack run.

The other thing to bear in mind is that if someone breaks into your house and attacks you when you’ve got an unloaded gun, and gets it off you… then they’ve got an unloaded gun, too.

The question any potential self-defence gunowner has to ask themselves is this: Could you really, honestly, in all truthfulness, pull the trigger on a loaded firearm pointed at another human being?

Be honest with yourself. If the answer is “No”, then you really shouldn’t have a loaded gun in the house- and If the answer is “I don’t know”, then you really need to think about how wise it is to have a loaded gun in the house.

All things considered, unless you live in a really bad part of town, I’d think a dog or a MagLite torch would be a more effective home defence tool than a Mossberg 500 shotgun, a Colt M1911 semi-auto, or a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver… but it must be remembered I’m speaking from the viewpoint of someone who lives in a country where it’s illegal to have a loaded gun in your house, and firearms must be kept locked in a gun safe when not in use, with the ammunition stored somewhere else. And like I said before, I’d probably do it that way even if I wasn’t legally required to.

I want to call for a cite. I have never, ever in my entire life met a person who would not back down from a legitimate threat. No matter how illogical, inebriated, retarded, drugged out or whatever the person is, they don’t want to truly suffer. It’s true that a lot of people won’t back down to cops, but that is a point of contrarian pride - something that simply doesn’t exist against non-institutional opponents. I mean somebody who is drunk might take their chances with a bigger individual, but no opiate or stimulant withdrawal is going to make somebody take their chances with a gun or even a baseball bat from an unknown opponent.

I am not advocating keeping unloaded firearms, the intruder might not immediately know it is unloaded, but you do know that, and you will tell them whether you want to or not. Are you willing to take a risk that the person stealing your jewelry is not a sociopath that already knows all of your worst fears, concerns, etc. the moment you make eye contact?

I’d rather have those couple seconds with a loaded gun pointed at the potential intruder than fumbling for my mag. The only thing that loading time is going to do is make you panicy and nervous.

At least in their own minds a true addict needs his drugs the way we need food, withdrawl is a very physically painful process for many. They will put the addiction above family, friends, children, employment, etc.

Then again why wouldn’t they since so many people think an unloaded gun is a good scaring tool.

The addict in the early stages of withdrawl is already suffering, given the choice of the pain you know is coming or the pain you might feel if joe homeowner actually has the stones to pull the trigger, if his gun is loaded, if he hits you.

Don’t rob the house for something to sell for drugs = gaurenteed pain and suffering

Rob the house and face possible life threatening physical danger = possible pain and suffering or possible relief of addiction pain and suffering.

So only plan B has a chance of relief

You are blissfully unable to see the mindset of a serious addict, its ok, you don’t want to understand it, its not pretty.

I knew a family when I was younger where one of the kids found a loaded pistol and shot his little sister. If someone has children, I think it is the height of irresponsibility to have a loaded gun that is not trigger-locked or locked up in some manner. Kids will do the damnest things, and they can sometimes get into places you didn’t think they were physically capable of going.

One of my best friends lost one of her 13-year-old twin boys because another kid found his uncles loaded pistol. Josh died in his twin brother’s arms, shot in the chest. When I was 13 (the age of the boy who shot Josh) I would have cut my arm off before I would have touched a gun, because I knew what would happen to me if anyone found out. But then, I was taught firearm safety starting at about age 10.

I don’t want to get into an argument about the “right to bear arms.” Yes, we have that right and it is an important one. But how it is exercised makes a big difference. My friend has never been the same emotionally since she lost her son, and the surviving twin (who is now 21) still feels as if a part of himself is missing. Because some asshat didn’t lock up his gun, and some kid had never been taught not to play with a gun.

I am with Martini the whole way on this one. Best line of defense is a good dog. Not a vicious dog, my Foxie (got her from the pound, golden retriever/border collie mix is the vet’s best guess) licks to drown, but she barks a good fight and most intruders would not want the attention. Second, many experts in the field of home defense acknowledge that you are not going to out-draw an intruder. If he is after you, he will be on you before you know it. If he is after goods, then you might well shoot an unarmed man. I like guns, and have one handy ( in a locked safe, ten seconds to open) but for home defence my front line is foxie and then my trusty nine iron. I had a home invasion a few years ago, and it was just a drunk thinking he was home. I confronted him with the nine iron and waited till police arrived. He spent the night in the drunk tank, I did not press charges and life goes on. It could have been much worse if I had confronted him with a shotgun. He would be dead and I could be in prison as a wife to Bubba forever.

Since you’re a Canuck, you can’t keep a firearm for self-defence anyway. I don’t keep a gun for self-defence anymore, but if I did, it sure in the hell wouldn’t be unloaded. It goes beyond all logic to keep gun and ammo totatally seperate for self-defence. If you have minor children that you can’t trust at your place frequently, some sort of easy access safe is reccommended. You can get into felony trouble for kids getting a hold of it and misuse it in Texas.

You’re going to do prison time for confronting an intruder at night in your house with a shotgun in the state of Wisconsin? I kind of doubt that. Just like you didn’t have to bludgeon him to death with the nine iron; you don’t have to shoot him.

Perhaps I failed to make clear that the mere presence of the weapon escalates the situation. Man facing nine iron thinks about it. Man facing shotgun goes into Fight or flight response and it is a coin toss. If the man looking at the nine iron is holding a thirty eight, no brainer there, golf club guy goes down big time. But that is not the normal case.

On the other side of the equation, the one holding the shotgun is likely to feel a little too bold, and press the issue farther than it needs to be pressed.

Make no mistake, I do not want to deny anyone thier right to have a gun for self protection, I just feel that for me it is not the best choice, and encourage others to look at other options as their situation might indicate. In light of increased crime in my area, I am seriously thinking about buying a sand wedge.

I’m from Canada too, and I know people with guns (rifles)… what’s stopping you from getting one? Or do you just mean handguns?

The mindset about long arms and pistols is just comical among the weaponless masses. That and who really in their right mind is going to pay out money for a weapon, that could on the whim of a politician listening to a soccer mom on an election cycle, could have it confiscated with no or little recompensense.

I have not seen any outright ban on the purchase of long arms, but the dog and pony show regarding ownership, transportation, storage etc, would probably stop me from buying a legal weapon, if thats what I wanted.


Can you elaborate on this? As part of the weaponless masses, I have no idea what you mean.

Umm, people who dont own guns and think all they are used for is in the commision of a crime , clear ?