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I often struggle with safe, yet effective storage places for my concealed carry weapon when I’m not carrying.  For example, I don’t wear it not while showering. So where to put it?  It seems a little silly for me to put it in the safe because I’m just going to be strapping it back on in a few minutes. So I usually choose to put the gun and holster it’s in on the top of the medicine cabinet in my bathroom.  I have two little kids and should one of them come in, the last thing I want is them grabbing mommy’s gun . . .

But what about at night? I obviously don’t sleep with my gun on, and I have a different handgun (with flashlight, more effective for nighttime defense) in a small safe next to the bed.  So where is a safe place for my carry gun? Again, with two kids (a two- and a four-year-old) ensuring they can’t get it is paramount.

At night, I prefer to leave the gun in a kitchen cabinet on the top shelf. I do this for a few reasons. I put the gun back on immediately when I get dressed in the morning. It’s a part of my standard wardrobe and keeping it in the safe is kind of a hassle to open every night and again each morning. I also am never far from this gun. Nighttime is the longest I ever go without it on me. The gun is well out of reach of children and it isn’t an obvious place to store a firearm, so I feel it’s safer from any “nighttime bandits” should one attempt to break in.

I lock up my other weapons while not in use, except my Mosin 91/30, which decorates the corner of my room. But I never leave it loaded. It definitely makes sense to put a gun in a place a child can’t reach. But my kids also know that they don’t go in my room and I have very little trouble keeping them out of my bedroom. That doesn’t mean I intend to get more reckless, it just means they know their boundaries. But like any other CCW permit holder, deciding on a place that’s safe, effective, and doesn’t make my life more difficult is a challenge, especially with the little ones around.

And that’s why I choose to not purse carry. If my purse falls off the hook, or a kid decides to go snooping, a gun in a purse is a very very bad scenario. I really don’t like parting with my concealed carry weapon. I guess I’m just so used to having it that it has become a part of my daily routine and any time spent without it feels “unsafe.” So what’s your concealed carry gun storage plan?

56 Responses to Question of the Day: Where Do You Stow Your Carry Gun?

  1. I am getting tired of irresponsible people carrying with out holsters and the “gun media” showing it off.

    • If you mean the photo at the top of the post, I believe that is a belly-band holster. Note the seams above the slide and below the trigger guard, and that the trigger is completely covered.

        • “irresponsible”–If that was a man carrying like that they must be the liberal definition for gun owning males and are lucky they only carry for “compensating”.

          Sara– First off, how is opening your safe everyday a hassle, instead of a deliberate action that takes two minutes, at most out of your day. That is the same logic that some people use when they say I’m just going to the store and it is too much of a hassle to grab the gun next to my keys. The later example is usually a “It should have been a defensive gun use”. A gun is a mechanical device, granted they are not very prone to malfunctions, except some notable companies of recent.

          Four rules come to mind, because if you bend over your muzzle is pointed at your femoral, which, trust me isn’t a pleasant way to expire, or watch someone have that befall them. If I see a man carrying in a horizontal shoulder holster out in public and his hammer is cocked backed, I have the same discussion with them, as it is irresponsible to point a loaded weapon at something you are not prepared to destroy. Shower solution is a waterproof, not resistant, map or tablet pouch, that is clear and a stainless steel revolver would love to call it home. Mine is a cheap Taurus 44magnum in a land navigation bag that clips on to the soap hanger.

          I was two years old and when my mom went to sleep from our nap, I pulled the drawers out and used them as stairs to get to the candy dish on top of the fridge, where I always saw her reach. Little kids are resourceful as you know and their innocence of reality can cause them harm. Thankfully my mom found me in a pile of wrappers on the floor, instead of if she negligently stored a firearm in my reach it could have been a puddle she found me in. The consequences for me were swift and I never did that again, but I had the option to learn.

        • @Great Plains – Ok, first off, a gun has to always be pointed somewhere. I get your point about shoulder holsters, but pretty much anywhere you carry IWB, if a round goes off in holster, chances are you’ll at least get grazed. Is 4:00 position any better because the round is going through your hip and not your leg? Are you better off having a round go though your butt when carrying small of the back? Granted, I’m not gonna appendix carry anything without a safety, but that’s more because I’m worried about member dismemberment, getting shot anywhere else would probably amount to getting shot.

          Also, I’m not bringing my gun in the bathroom when I shower. I mean, why would I? “What if someone came into your place while you were in the shower? You’d be in trouble then!” Dude you can apply “what if” to just about anything to the point that your daily carry consists of 3 guns, mags for those guns, 2 knives (what if one fails?), a flashlight, multitool, your normal cell phone, a burner phone (what if you need to make an untraceable call?), 2 weeks worth of food, and a map of Central Montana (and you don’t even live near Montana – that’s thinking ahead!). While I like to play “what if” games, I don’t actually apply them to my life.

  2. If it’s not in my hand or in my pocket, it is next to me generally. When I eat, it is on the table next to my plate or on the counter a step or two away. When I’m asleep it’s next to the head of the bed. When I’m in the shop it’s on the table next to my hand (where it is now). When I’m driving it’s on the seat next to me, covered by a jacket or a newspaper. And so on. Just me and the wife, no kids about. When grandbaby visits, it is put away unless it is in my pocket.

    • Similar here. My EDC (S&W 642) is always in my front left pocket (in a pocket holster). When in the shower, it is in a drawer in the bathroom (no kids at my house). When sleeping it is under the bed, but within instant reaching distance. Actually, it is sitting next to, or sometimes on top of the quick access pistol safe, which keeps a Glock 19 and another revolver in case I have time to get them.

  3. I’m a single guy, so leaving a loaded weapon nearby isnt a risk.

    One day that posed a problem , because I was visiting family who DO have kids. They didn’t have a safe. They also were 30 minutes away from the PD, so being unarmed was also inadvisable.

    Fortunately for that specific problem, the gun I owned had that most hated of options; a magazine disconnect safety. I popped the mag out and left the gun on the guest room nightstand. If the kids broke the lock and got in the room as I slept , they’d cause no permanent damage. No mag, loaded chamber….no functional trigger. If Trouble showed ,I’d just slap the magazine in and be ready to shoot.

    For someone without a mag disconnect safety (and good on you , as guns -despite my example-should never have such an odius imposition) , keeping the gun unloaded and putting the mag under the pillow would accompish the same goals. I never had to put the idea to the test, but its something I offer for the single gun owners who might encounter Ms. Tiptons dilemma as a guest.

    • I understand why people hate magazine disconnects, but this is one of the ways I use mine. Since I like to load one in the pipe, when I go into a “gun free zone,” I will pop the magazine out and stick it in my pocket, then secure the gun in my locked glove box.

  4. My edc is also my side of the bed gun. When I get up I pop it into a quart ziplock and take it in the shower with me. Then it’s on the sink next to me as I teethbreesh and critically analyze my face. Then it’s in my holster AIWB until I hit the sheets. ( I have been the recipient of a home invasion, fortunately I was younger and I won the fistfight. My firearm was under the headboard and he was between me and it. Won’t ever happen again.)

    • Yep. Home carry. Your scenario is exactly why having the gun on you in your home is so important.

      Plus, if the home invader decides to stay and play and they have the drop on you, they could be in your house for hours, or even days, without anyone to hear you scream.

      • This guy was a tweeker. climbed the back fence and into my apartment ( 2nd floor) thru the window. He was in my bedroom when I walked in and it was on. He tried to crush my skull with a dumbbell from the floor, I ducked and talked him out of it with a couple of punches. We went at it for a while then he made it out the front door and jumped off the balcony and cleared the security gate from the second floor. Barefoot onto concrete. Police caught him 2 hours later running around the neighborhood naked, masturbating in front of some old ladies. Next day, I saw him out around the neighborhood walking in the middle of the street. I moved 2 weeks later.

        • Surprised you didn’t “lose” control of your car and have an unfortunate accident with a masturbating naked bystanders

  5. My wife and I are anti-social, so we do not have kids or guests. We have loaded AR’s, shotguns, and handguns all thru the house. We just don’t invite anyone into our home. Period.

    I put my EDC(S) (plural) in my next days clothing at night

    • Sounds like my neighbor across the street. They always have their windows covered. Makes me think they could have meth lab in the front room.

      • That does sound creepy. I have pro gun friends, those on the fence, and anti gun friends. All who are invited are welcome. I can be rude to the people trying to invade my time who are soliciting sales of worthless junk.

  6. In your bedroom where you sleep at night, install a shelf on the wall as close to the ceiling as possible and fairly close to your bed — but not so close that your children could reach the shelf when standing on your bed. Make sure there is a lip around the edge of the shelf. Place your everyday carry handgun up there when you undress and go to bed. Make sure that the lip around the shelf is high enough so that your children cannot see your handgun when it is on the shelf. And NEVER EVER LET YOUR CHILDREN SEE YOU PUT YOUR HANDGUN UP THERE.

    This is amazingly secure and responsible for two reasons. First of all, your children will never know your handgun is on the shelf because they will never see it there. (Hence my qualification to have a lip around the shelf and never let your children see you put it there.) Children are unlikely to go after something that they have no idea exists. Second, even if your children were curious about the shelf, they cannot reach it near the ceiling. And any efforts on your children’s part to make their way to the shelf should make so much noise that it awakens you.

    In my opinion this is the ideal solution. Your children cannot access your firearm while you sleep. And yet you have near instantaneous access if you ever need it at 0’dark thirty.

  7. I also live alone. My EDC is generally near me at all times, except the bathroom. At night, it’s beside the bed.
    All other weapons are locked up and loaded.

  8. Depending on belt loops and clothing, somewhere around the four or five o’clock position, strong hand side. That has never changed over the years.

    Always in a holster whether IWB or OWB. I prefer to loop the belt OVER the holster whether IWB or OWB. I keep somewhat long belts for that reason.

    • If I’m holster carrying I carry ’til bedtime, and stow my weapon and extra mag(s) on the headboard shelf at the center of our king size bed, holster and all. If I’m hand carrying (due to a mounted tac light), I stow overnight at the same place while sleeping.

      No kids to worry about these days. If kids, grandkids, or anyone else comes to visit, I either carry, keep in safe, or at bedtime lock bedroom door with handgun ALWAYS within immediate view and reach. Same protocol every time, NO exceptions, no mistake.

      If there is any doubt (or beer), the gun goes into the safe, without fail.

    • +1. Mine is great. Though tbh I sometimes fail getting it open first try so maybe not best for bedside stowing.

  9. My bathroom is requires that you pass thru the master bedroom to get in to it. I have locks on the bedroom door and the bathroom door. No curious child is going to get thru to my gun while I’m showering.

    When we go to bed at night I usually have my j frame in the dresser next to my bed and my wife has the shotgun on her side of the bed. I have a safe in the bedroom for the j frame and shotgun and mak. The rest of my guns are in a safe in my tv room.

    Our grandaughters and their mother are at the other end of the house and we sleep with our door locked.

  10. I live alone, and no kids so I do not face the same challenges. My 4 carry guns plus reloads stay on my dresser holstered ready to grab whichever suits my fancy in the morning. My home defense pistol plus a reload and flashlight sit atop my night stand, also holstered to protect the trigger just in case. All are in condition 1.

    I do have a carbine with a full mag and empty chamber in the closet if the need arises.

  11. No “curtain climbers” in our house, so don’t have a problem with that. I have an NAA mini magnum, that I keep in my pants pocket all the time. My pants are right by the side of the bed, on the floor. The heavier artillery is kept in the safe, until I go to town.

    • Did Kyle behave? Hell no! He went into the lady’s lingerie drawer and pulled out her dildo. Kyle needs his ass whipped. Why are the adults outside with the ADHD brats running around inside the house? Having kids in the house while you can’t watch them, you’re in the shower, is one thing, but if you are awake and can walk and talk, those kids need to obey your every command and short of that they need to be reprimanded. And not just guns or sex toys. They need to stay out of the food pantry and refrigerator. They need to stay out of the home office. They need to be taught where the boundaries are. And every time they they go out of bounds, they need to be dealt with.
      If you are in the shower, you need to lock the bedroom door and when they use a butter knife to unlock it, all you have to do is walk out naked and say “what do you want?” They won’t be walking in on you again.

  12. I’ve got a cheapo mini safe in the nightstand. It’s primary function is to prevent my 2 year old Hurricane Emerson from access to a loaded firearm. It can only hold guns up to a Glock 19 or 23 in size. In the shower / crapper I just lock the door. While writing this, I’ve got my Glock 27 in my Bianchi leather OWB holster at the 4-5 O’clock position. That same holster will also hold a G19 or 23 securely. Everything I’ve got is either slung, holstered, or in a safe.

    • Did you see the youtube vids where a locksmith taught a 3 y-o how to open cheap handgun safes by lifting one side and dropping it on the floor?

      Watch the vids and make sure your safe is dropsafe.

  13. Right now, there are no kids around that house, so I leave it on my nightstand. However, when we have grandkids (soon, I hope!) I have a safe that sits on the carpet under my nightstand. It has a five button Simplex lock. I insist on that kind of lock and multiple gun safe manufacturers use them. Advantages:
    > It’s pretty rugged. I can’t see defeating easily with a pry bar. I guess it could be done, but it would take some strength and time.
    > I can open it quickly by touch in the dark. For a while after I got it, Every time I woke up during the night, I would open it as fast as I could, just for practice.
    > It is completely mechanical. No electronics or batteries.
    > No key to fumble with.
    > Most of the safes that use it are reasonably priced.

    MIne looks like this one:
    http://www.deansafe.com/vli-2912-s.html?gclid=CjwKEAjwnKCrBRCm1YuPrtWW0QMSJAC-5UYktmdsfZFh9grXGPQPVkSbOt0XrsO3WNTjOsgFZfsIdBoCpv3w_wcB

    My only caution is that a kid of a certain age might be able to try all the possible combinations. So I still would not leave a gun in there for any length of time. I think if I had to leave a gun locked up for a while, I would put it in my larger gun safe with round key locks and make sure the keys were on me.

  14. Check out tacticalwalls.Com those things are great. You can put whatever home defense weapons you want in there.

    • I can’t see the purpose of this. Who are you hiding the gun from? Kids? Co-workers? Thieves? I can’t see that solution bringing peace of mind against any of them. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not a sufficient solution for a loaded weapon. If you can afford a gun, you can afford a safe, because you definitely can’t afford the possible consequences.

  15. We have two kids (8 and 7) in the house. They know not to mess with the guns and have never shown any inclination to try to get at them, but kids are impulsive and resourceful so I don’t trust their own restraint. Our guns are ALWAYS one of three places – in the hand, in the holster, or in a safe.

    We have quick-access safes for the EDC pistols in different places in the house, so it would be difficult for someone to enter our house and trap us somewhere where we couldn’t get to at least one of them. (Except in the basement – I need to think some about how to manage that. It might involve buying a couple more guns. 🙂 )

    • Somebody else said it above, but any discharge while carrying IWB carries that risk. Gun in holster, then holster in pants. No access to trigger means no hole in leg.

  16. I bought a hotel style safe after reading thru reports on how easy it was to hack them. The one I selected had best reviews so it mounted it inside the closet on a shoe shelf at chest level. It has a digital display and is easy to open w a light inside that kicks on.

    But my kids have also been thru eddie eagle and don’t touch my guns so if I am changing clothes, I just leave it on the dresser.

  17. Kids in house = SentrySafe digital pistol safe drilled into frame of bed with a bed skirt draped over it.

  18. Sara, have you thought about getting a cheap Stack-On locking cabinet? That’s what I put my carry gun in when I’m not wearing it, such as when I go to the VA Medical center for treatment because apparently highly trained former soldiers with concealed carry permits and an active security clearance can’t be trusted to carry firearms… but I digress. It’s not a safe, it just opens and closes with the quick twist of a key so it’s not a pain to access everyday. It’s also good for temporarily storing any other items you don’t want left lying around when guests come over. Unless you bolt it down, there’s nothing to stop someone from walking out with the entire thing though.

  19. Something to consider – I was considered a *very* well behaved child, I tended not to get into any sort of trouble. I still explored everything in the house is every chance I got. It didn’t matter how high or hidden something was. I didn’t break anything, but I wanted to look. My brother got on top of a fridge when he was two my climbing various things. The point is, nothing is truly out of reach for a sufficiently motivated child. Even knowing they’ll get spanked won’t matter – didn’t to me anyway. That being said, by five years or so, I knew enough about firearms not to point them at people or pull the trigger. The only way to make things truly safe is to lock the weapons up. Of course, you’ll still want one nearby for defense while in bed, so I should think placing it somewhere easily accessible by you , but not likely to be found by a child coming in during the night. Behind the head board maybe?

  20. I am not surprised at many of the discussions here around what amounts to gun safety. Whether the authors of each comment recognized it or not, they were all articulating their risk management strategies. I am surprised though at some of the thinking and believe that the logic was ill conceived and could actually lead to a tragic ending.

    I side with, “If its not on me, its in the safe or locked.” There is a mindset issue here that I believe is really important. If you don’t make exceptions, then there will never be that situation where the exception bites. In the case of guns, those exceptions can be really heart breaking and worse. Remember Murphy’s Law? And there will be exceptions that go bad. So with guns, practice hard rules; no exceptions. Your children, neighbor’s children, and other’s who may be in your house with curious minds won’t have an accident.

    As for cars, the same applies. A small safe under the driver’s seat. Your key ring how has an extra key.

    This was a great question and I ask that all CCs, consider using the really simple rule, “Its on you or locked, period; no exceptions.”

  21. One unsolicited piece of advise, don’t leave it in plain view when showering. If someone of nefarious character enters your home while you’re showering he may grab it before you even know he’s in the bathroom with you. Throw towel or a pair of underwear (preferably a clean pair) over it so it’s concealed. You’ll know right where it’s at while the bad guy won’t have a clue it’s there.

    Also get those kids out on the range as soon as you think they can handle it (may even want to invest in a .22). Kids that shoot rarely get into trouble with guns.

  22. My wife and I invested in two Ft Knox pistol boxes – one in our bedroom and one in the study. The boxes are quick access and hold two pistols, spare clip and a 1000 lumen tactical light.

    We also invested in steel lock boxes for our vehicle consoles (http://www.lockerdown.com) for when we have to disarm outside of the house.

  23. In holster on my person, otherwise locked in pistol vault or gun cabinet. For secure sleeping, we keep attack cats.

    • I visited a home once that had a Beware of Cat sign on their backyard gate. In smaller text on the sign was handwritten “This is not a joke”. I laughed. But as it turned out, it really wasn’t a joke. Meanest cat I ever met.

  24. Am I one of the few that trust my daughter, now 11 not to touch my loaded firearms? We have rules in my home, 1) gun is always loaded, everytime you handle a gun you clear it yourself, even then it’s still considered loaded 2) keep paws off unless you have permission 3) always pointed in safe direction in my case East is safest direction (apartment) 4) index finger rides outside the trigger guard unless firing. The best way to keep kids curiosity to a minimum is let them see and handle the weapon when new. That way the taboo and the desire to touch is usually gone. Simplicity is best with little kids, locked up. My edc is out of the gun vault and on my hip as soon as I get home, but sits on the night stand in holster when I sleep, back in vault in vault before work.

  25. If kids can’t be trusted to leave your guns alone, they can’t be trusted for any reason. Therefore you can’t take a shower and leave them unattended…the kids, not the guns. If the goal is to prevent a gun accident, definitely lock up the guns. Take your chances with everything else.

  26. Sara, regarding that Mosin in the corner. You might want to pull the bolt out and store it apart from the gun, as an extra precaution. I assume you are not using it for home defense.

    That is what I use to do with my M44 before I had a gun safe. I suppose a kid could fold out the bayonet and fall on it if he really wanted to.

  27. I got my first gun for my 15th birthday. A Remington 870 Wingmaster Youth Model in 20 gauge. By the time I had it for six months and had killed many clay pigeons with it, I started keeping it on wall rack hung over my bed at night. Loaded tube with 00 Buck, empty chamber. As a teenager I moved to the basement and was pretty close to the likely point of break-in which was the windows and sliding glass door at the back of the basement. I tended to like the kind of 80’s action and horror movies that might make someone paranoid at night. Ever since then I have gotten used to having a gun within easy reach at night and don’t sleep as easy without one. I am actually more comfortable on occasions when I go out in public unarmed than I would be sleeping at night without one in reach. These days, when the guns are out of my sight/reach, they are locked up in a safe.

    One corner of the head end on my queen sized bed is in the corner against two walls (not very feng shui, I am told) and I have a basic Blackhawk nylon holster strapped and velcro’d to the bed post on that remote corner, just above the top of the mattress, out of reach of anyone but me when I am in the bed. That is where the SR9c sleeps at night.

    I don’t take my carry gun in the bathroom when I shower because it gets steamed up in there and I don’t want to to have to clean/oil them that often. I guess if somebody breaks in at that time, I’ll just have to charge them naked and yelling like a berserker and hope they decide to bug out at the sight of that. Haha.

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