Staging your firearm

When you put your loaded firearm in a safe for the night - or store it in the nightstand drawer - do you have one in the chamber? If so, are you using a trigger guard? Check out this video from Beth:

How do you stage your firearm at night?

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Every weapon in my house has one in the chamber. If they’re in the gun room they’re behind a keypad locked door. In the bedroom I have a holstered pistol a flashlight and spare mag staged


With 4 very curious, toddler grandchildren with prying little hands all between 2 and 4, every staged handgun we have in the house are in the drawers with an empty chamber and trigger guard covers, and will remain so until they are old enough to absorb the concepts of gun safety every time. We can rack a slide in about a second flat, and that 1 second of additional risk to us is a risk we are willing o take rather than a potential preventable tragedy!


My hunting/home defense revolver and my carry gun are holstered in a keypad quick safe next to my bed. My 12 gauge, is locked in a gun cabinet that looks like a typical wardrobe, with a fully loaded magazine of alternating shells. 00 buck/slug/00/slug/00. There’s even a loaded mag for my 22 plinking rifle. I know that the likelihood of ever needing any of them is near impossible, but, if I ever do, I could arm every person in my house from the safety of our designated point of retreat. We’d look like the family from the old Western Auto gun ads.


I am fortunate in this situation that I don’t have any children in the house and no grandchildren that come over for visits. Because of that I’m more lenient on how I store my handgun.

I carry even when I’m in my home. It goes on as soon as I’m dressed in the morning. When it comes off at the end of the day it stays next to my bed, in its holster, with a round in the chamber.



All firearms in my house are loaded with a full magazine, as well as a round in the chamber. I have a Hornady rapid access safe next to the bed, and it is key code protected. Inside is a handgun loaded as stated above, as well as a spare magazine. I will add that these firearms are either locked in a safe, or they are on my person in a quality holster.

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Always ready to go period. An unloaded, or unchambered gun is just a very expensive blunt object.

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I have a magnet mount for a firearm that has one in the tube in the home. No trigger guard. So far, my finger has had no problem staying off the trigger. I’m not worried about that one. The magnet mount in the truck, however. that’s the one that could potentially be an issue.

There are some vehicle mounts that have a flange coming off at the bottom at 90 degrees with a short staub coming up that slides into your barrel to help keep it secure.

You can also buy some small, thin magnets online that have 30lbs hold each. You can put them end to end and double that gripping strength holding even a heavy full sized high capacity auto very securely.

EDTA: here you go.

Add a couple of heavy duty magnets and you have a rock solid vehicle lock.

These can be mounted to a door panel, console, dash panel etc very easily but I would suggest having a backup plate behind the plastic for extra grip.

My bedside safe is a Vaultek PRO MXi

In my bedside safe my carry firearm is kept in a holster on the slide out drawer in condition 1.

I also have two other firearms in the same safe in condition 1 that are kept in place with the Vaultek pistol racks.

I would never store a firearm in condition 0.

For those of you who store your firearms with rounds in the chamber in a safe, do you use a trigger guard or hostler at all?

A few years ago, I was OK with storing it that way. However, I’ve learned from more than one expert that accidents happen in the heat and adrenaline of a self-defense situation so I no longer store it with a round in the chamber if it’s not in a holster / doesn’t have a trigger guard.

True, however, a loaded firearm that is not secured can be an accident waiting to happen.

Here’s what Kevin Michalowski suggests:

This was a followup USCCA comment on this topic: We’ve had a lot of questions about storing the gun unloaded! We love a good conversation surrounding safety and firearm handling. The main concern Kevin has in storing a loaded gun would be if you are trying to access your firearm in the heat of the moment, you may accidentally place your finger on the trigger, especially if there is no external safety. This would be especially concerning if your judgment is still clouded by sleep. HOWEVER, it really does come down to personal preference!

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No argument from me. How we stage them and where is going to depend on each person’s situation, location, family, traffic through the home etc.

Not to be overly blunt or cold here but if someone makes it into my home you’re either someone I don’t need to worry about at all or you are there with ill intent and I’m going to reach for the nearest weapon to stop them.

On average you have about 5-15 seconds to arm yourself and prepare to stop a home invasion. I’m counting on being ready to deal with a threat on the lower end of that scale.

We certainly don’t leave firearms laying about where they are an invitation to burglars but having no kids, grand kids of our own our needs differ quite a bit from the average family’s. We also have crazy unpredictable schedules with one of us home at nearly all times which also significantly changes the equation.

Our “hidaguns” are very well placed and well hidden.


That in itself will be somewhat of a deterrent for criminals. They want an easy target and it sounds like you’re crazy schedule and someone at home nearly all of the time will make you a high risk target, @WildRose.

Yep, they as a rule don’t want a fight but even home invaders who aren’t afraid of one will generally look for softer targets when possible.

We’re also somewhat fortunate as unless you know me well enough to have ever been a guest in our home you wouldn’t really think just looking at it from the outside that we’d have enough high value items in the home to make it worth the risk.