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“The NRA recommends that gun owners should always keep their gun unloaded until it is ready to use. This is particularly important when you are storing your gun at home. Keeping your firearm unloaded at all times will help prevent accidents and injuries, even if it does accidentally fall into the wrong hands.” – How to store guns safely at home,

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  1. My EDC is always loaded because its always ready to use and we teach our students the same thing. That statement causes a lot of confusion for people when they read it in the Basic Pistol handbook.

  2. The NRA does consider a loaded defensive firearm as being used/”ready to use” even when holstered or stored in a quick access safe and doesn’t advocate that it’s always unloaded except when shooting it. This is explicitly stated in a number of their course materials.

    That Fox article doesn’t properly convey the concept.

    • A major news outlet with reporters who don’t care enough to get facts correct? I’m shocked.

  3. To be honest the rest of us with vast knowledge can debate this to no end, how ever I think they were simply trying to convey to folks not to leave your guns laying around loaded on the coffee table, under your pillow etc.
    Yes I know things sound contradictory, and are confusing but oh well.. We get the idea…

  4. Keep in mind that anything you read or see in any major media outlet on using firearms will be a “lawyer approved” version. They do not want to be sued by some idiot who leaves his loaded gun out where a 6-year old can get it. “Hey, ABC/NBC/Fox News said it was OK to have your gun handy in case you need it.” That is why Ruger puts those “read the effing manual” warnings on the barrels of their guns. America is lawsuit happy.

    I liked the safety warning I saw in a Thompson/Center muzzleloading rifle manual about 20 years ago. Apparently Warren Center was a bit tired of catering to the lawyers of idiots, so he had the following warning [wording approximate, but pretty close] in his manual:

    “If you are too lazy or too stupid to read this manual and learn how to properly handle this gun, take the gun back to your dealer and get your money back. You should not own a firearm.”

    “If you make something idiot-proof, they will just invent a better idiot.”

    • The problem with gun manuals is that they’re full of legalese, they’re twice as long as they need to be, and with half as many pictures as they should have.

      In all seriousness, I was on my third gun before I even tried to read the manual, and that was only to figure out how to field strip and reassemble it. I flipped through the manual, saw how utterly USELESS it was, and found a video on Youtube that explained the process quickly and in detail.

      To be honest, I’ve briefly looked through the manuals for a few of my guns that actually came with manuals, and almost universally they didn’t show anything that wasn’t either painfully obvious on it’s own, or couldn’t be explained by the clerk at the store in the five minutes he’s waiting on hold to do the NICS check.

  5. If you are going to own a weapon then it should be ready to be used as is, not unloaded, with the safety on, with a trigger lock, sealed away in your gun safe.

    Are you gonna ask the bad guy real nice to hold on a sec while I go through circus gyrations to ready my gun so I can kill him?

    If your handgun or shotgun or rifle is not loaded and ready to fire and is NOT on your person then all you are doing is making the bad guys life easier and putting your life and the lives of people who are counting on you in danger of being hurt and or killed.

    If you cannot keep your gun in a safe and ready condition then you should not own one, period.

    • The only reason I can think of is the possibility of an AD when removing the gun from the safe.

      • I suppose. I can also pick up a gun without breaking one of the cardinal rules of keeping my finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and I’d like to think you can too lol.

        @Totenglocke bahahaha well played sir. I did like the homeowner’s selection as I also have an M&P. I’m thinking about picking up the new baby brother, the shield.

        • Not to argue with your choice of words, but I believe the correct phrase is: keep your booger hook off the boom switch.

  6. I’ve had antis quote the NRA’s recommendations back at me, saying “see, the NRA says you need to keep guns locked up and unloaded, and you’d never be use them to defend yourself. So having guns is pointless.”

    Yeah, they really need to word that better.

    • Just do what I do; tell them you don’t support the NRA. It is incomprehensible to them. Actually had my sister-in-law say, “I thought all you guys were members?” “Nope.”

  7. The NRA’s rule states: ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. Your self-defense gun(s) had better be ready to use or they’re not going to be of much help. Guns that are stored in a safe, or that are trigger-locked, or that are being transported, are not ready to use and should be stored or transported unloaded. The rule sems pretty clear to me.

    Why would the MSM and antis ignore the “ready to use” part of the rule? Gee, I don’t know.

    • Then they should clarify what “ready to use” means. A lot of people, especially those without experience with guns, think that means right before you need to fire it. They’re thinking that a gun sitting in a safe, even a fast access safe, isn’t “ready to use”. If they added a line like “guns intended for defense of self or the home should always be kept ready for use”, that would alleviate a lot of confusion.

      • CarlosT, this is from the NRA publication “NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting:”

        “Unless the firearm is being kept in a state of readiness for personal protection, it should be unloaded.”

        • Great. Now let’s get that language into the other places they have “until ready to use.” Like their version of the safety rules. People unfamiliar with guns read language like that and think that the NRA agrees with them that guns should be kept unloaded until the very last second.

  8. Living alone I do not store then “unloaded”. They do have a loaded magazine in them, just not a round in a chamber. However that is the bachelor life for me.

  9. At our house all stored firearms are kept unloaded. I keep active DA revolvers fully loaded. I keep active semiautomatic pistols in C-3. I’ve been in more than my fair share of armed confrontations. Despite prevailing, ‘internet wisdom’ C-3 has never slowed me down to the point where my life, instead of the other guy’s, was in danger. (Not even for a moment)

    There ARE loaded firearms inside my gunsafe; but, we have no children or old people with us in the house; and my wife is very, ‘gun savvy’. I try hard to never take unnecessary chances with firearms; and, as for that often repeated internet wisecrack about keeping your, ‘booger hook off the bang switch’ let me be perfectly candid: I’ve spent a good part of my long life on active firing lines; and THAT WITTICISM, catchy though it might be, simply isn’t true. Firearms ND for many different reasons; although, few of those reasons ever seem to be publicly admitted to or even recognized on the Internet.

    All it takes is seeing one person get accidentally shot in order to change your mind, forever, about conventional internet gun forum wisdom. Professional gun carry, and civilian gun carry are NOT the same thing.

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