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Weapon retention as important in home as in your holster
July 27, 2017
By Foster Mayo
Boundary County Sheriff’s Reserve

The seven-year-old had just finished watching the Lone Ranger (or maybe it was Gunsmoke) when he remembered his father’s Colt Peacemaker sitting in a bedroom drawer. Curiosity drove the young lad to open the drawer, pick up the weapon and become Matt Dillon. Sometime during the weapon handling, the boy cocked the loaded weapon.

Not knowing for certain how to decock the weapon, the boy did remember something about it requiring the trigger to be pressed. Pointing the weapon toward his face the boy could see the ends of the HUGE cigar shaped .45 Long Colt bullets in the cylinder of the weapon.

Now, fearful of pulling the trigger, the boy put the revolver back into the drawer, covered it with dad’s underwear, closed the drawer and ran to a hiding place in the barn.

Sleep was difficult for the next three months, the young man was fearful of telling his dad and at the same time fearful of the weapon being found. The boy had been taught right and wrong and he knew deep down that he had to tell his dad.

It was one of the most difficult things the young man ever had to do. In fact, he couldn’t tell him, he just led him to the drawer, opened it and pointed inside.

My dad, possessing the wisdom of Solomon, did not punish me, but instead praised me for telling him, therefore enhancing our communication.

He began a series of instruction how to safely handle firearms. We began with my toy cap guns and progressed as I got older to a Red Ryder BB gun and then a .22 rifle.

I have great memories of our hunting trips together and those afternoons when we drove out to some desolate spot for some safe plinking. Guns were part of our family culture and still are. My son and I shoot trap, skeet and pistols together as often as possible, safely.

Recently I had a 15 year old family member stay overnight at my residence along with his grandparents. It brought this whole incident from many years ago back into my reality. I knew nothing about the 15 year old’s experience, familiarity or competency with firearms.

I did know that I had grown complacent about the safe storage of some of my home protection firearms.

A recent visit to Black Sheep in Coeur d’Alene educated me to the plethora of devices available for the safe storage of firearms. Fire resistant safes, locking metal cabinets, night stand locking cases and some rather high tech devices that provide the gun owner with ready access while prohibiting or making access to the unwanted much more difficult.

I’m not here to tell anyone how to make their firearm access safer. I would like to plant a seed that will cause gun owners to survey their firearms storage and see if there aren’t ways to make their weapons less accessible to those who should not have access.

Gun ownership carries great responsibility. Weapon retention is as important at home or in a vehicle as it is when it’s being carried in your holster.
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