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The NRA-approved Steve West video above does not specifically tell gun owners to store their firearms in an unloaded condition. The inconvenient truth: most gun owners stash at least one loaded firearm for emergencies. More to the point, relying on safe storage protocols is dangerous; they can be easily defeated by intelligent children and determined thieves. Store guns safely, sure, but remember that educating family members on gun safety is job one. (Unless your children are too young to grasp the concept.) It’s a message that Stack-On seems to have missed by a country mile. Check out the logo for their “Keep ‘Em Safe” campaign . . .

Keep 'Em Safe logo (courtesy

Of course, Stack-On’s going to emphasize gun safes. It’s what they make. And who can argue against gun safes? Not me. But I can decry the fact that their Keep ‘Em Safe pledge is nothing but a data grab.

Taking the pledge confirms that you currently keep your firearms in a secure, locked environment.  (You don’t need to own a Stack-On Safe or Cabinet to participate in the pledge – just confirm you store your firearms in a locked environment.)

For every household that signs up for the Keep ‘Em Safe pledge, Stack-On will donate $1 to Shoot for a Cure, up to $20,000 annually.

There’s no pledge about it. No “I agree to keep my firearms stored safely at all times, and to educate all members of my family in gun safety so that they understand the importance and practice of responsible firearms ownership.” It’s just a consumer survey where your name, address and phone number are mandatory fields and you have to opt out of future emails.

If we want to maintain the moral high ground in the ongoing battle for firearms freedom, we need to tell the truth about guns. And gun storage. And pledge to do the right thing, above the politically expedient and/or profitable thing. IMHO.

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  1. The Glock is always loaded with one in the chamber and by my side if not at work. The AR is in the safe with a loaded mag but not chambered.

    Rule #1 The gun is ALWAYS loaded

    • I kept the AR loaded for a while, but I noticed the first cartridge in the magazine deforming after a much shorter time, a month or so, as opposed to my pistols, which don’t seem to deform cartridges until they’ve been in there a year or so.

      My shotgun is my loaded long gun since I noticed this.

      • What did the cartridge look like? I’ve never heard of this happening, and since I keep my AR loaded I feel it would be wise to keep an eye on this.

        • It had like a green line running lengthwise. I guess I don’t know if it was actually deformed or just reacting with the metal of the bolt carrier, but either way it left me with a sinking feeling when it came to perceived reliability.

      • Seems like if you want to store a loaded AR the solution, if this is round deformation is really a problem, is to put one in the chamber, drop the mag, fill it to capacity, and keep it in the safe next to the rifle. Takes how many tenths of a second to slip that mag into the well?

        • We practiced reloads for rifle qual and the time to fire a last round, drop the spent mag, load the new mag and fire an aimed headshot had to be less than 10 seconds, which meant you had maybe 3-4 seconds for a full on reload. I would not keep a round in the chamber if the mag was NOT in the magwell, The time to slingshot the charging handle on an AR isn’t much more than the time to insert a loaded mag.

          The green line mentioned sounds to me like some sort of oxidation from contact. Perhaps the cleaning product used may be at fault?

    • 2 adults in our house. 2 loaded revolvers and 2 loaded shotguns. Magazine springs and deformed bullets are not so much a worry with these. I’ve been using pump shotguns since they were taller than me and I’ve never had a mag spring failure with one.

      The last 870 my son bought had a plastic follower on his mag spring and it broke. Got a replacement metal one and it’s good.

  2. I’m a little confused. If their message (and a correct one) is store your weapons not on your person safely, why does that have to include a message about firearms handling? I’m relatively confident that there are other PSAs out there that deal solely with safe firearms practices.

    p.s. I get your reference about the data grab. That kind of stuff doesn’t concern me because participation is voluntary, and I ain’t volunteering.

  3. I want to hack that database, name, address, and a list of what they store in their easily circumventable safes? (just a quick check of youtube shows a number of easy ways to crack stack-on models).

  4. I’ve certainly taken all this to heart.

    I store my gasoline separate from my truck and tractor. I store my oven separate from the gas. I keep all my lights away from outlets unless needed. In fact I flip the breaker to the off position until I need electricity for something then I flip it right back to off when I’m done. The water is shut off at the house until I need to drink, bathe or flush and when I do it’s always with supervision lest I drown.

    It’s just too scary out there for me.

  5. I think we all agree with the concept of safe storage, which will be different for different households. What we are responding to is the institutionalized finger wagging the NRA and others are giving us. But let’s not oppose safe storage just because someone tell us to do it. Sometimes chamber locks and unloaded guns make sense, depending on your situation.

  6. Datagrabbers can shove it. I’ll give up my data when they pry them from my cold, dead computer.

  7. My Sig is always loaded and with me and the street howitzer is filled to capacity but no rd. is chambered.

    All other firearms are unloaded and safed.

  8. I realized early in life that the most dangerous thing out there is an unloaded gun as evidenced by the plaintive cry of, “I didn’t know it was loaded” after the damage is done. I then decided that ALL of my guns would remian loaded at all times. I’ve since had to modify that rule to satisfy the wife and kids that I later added, the seldom used guns are unloaded and locked up. The “might need these” guns are worn or locked away loaded in quick access boxes in our bedroom and central kitchen.

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