Gun expert describes which gun locks will keep you safe - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gun expert describes which gun locks will keep you safe

Cable gun lock (Source: WMC Action News 5) Cable gun lock (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Accidental death by firearm is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of five and 10; it's the ninth leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and four.

It's a wake-up call for responsible gun owners.

One Mid-South father will forever live with unimaginable pain. His son, just strong enough to pull the trigger, got his hands on his father's gun and accidentally killed himself.

"We see this all the time: small children, grown folks being shot," Top Brass owner Chris Fowler said. "Some people think if they put a gun on a high shelf, that's the answer to the riddle. They no longer have to worry about the gun, but you know what kids know about? Chairs."

Fowler said gun locks are the real answer.

One of the most common free gun locks are cable locks, but Fowler said they are not his favorite.

"You'd want to put this in a position where you could move real quickly to get it out of there," Fowler said. "It ain't the simplest one on the planet."

It took Fowler 15 seconds to manually remove the cable lock. Time you don't have if you need your gun for protection.

Some guns come with built-in locks.

"You put the key in, you turn it, and it locks the internal part of the gun so it cannot be fired," Fowler said.

But again there's a problem. Fowler said you could forget you locked the gun, or worse, you could lose the key.

The most commonly purchased gun lock is a trigger lock.

"It goes over the entire trigger guard. You lock it, and nobody can get a finger inside the trigger guard here. The gun is disabled."

But again, that lock has a key you need to have handy when you want to use the gun.

Fowler said biometric locks are the fastest to open. They are locks that read your fingerprint and unlock at the touch of a reader.

The problem: they are often expensive.

Chief Consumer Investigator Andy Wise found The GunBox to be a Wise Buy. It's a biometric lock that costs up to $300.

Fowler's preferred gun lock is one that doesn't cost much and is easy to use. They're simple padlocks with a combination dial.

That removes the key from the equation. You only have to remember your combination.

"With this type of lock, your gun can stay loaded," Fowler said. "You'd be ready to fight instantly."

However, padlocks don't work with semi-automatic pistols because there is no space between the back of the trigger and the grip.

If you're worried you will panic when you need to use the gun, Fowler suggests practicing as much as possible.

"Just time it. See how many seconds it literally takes you as slow as you can to get it off; not as fast as you can--as slow as you can. Then, you have a realistic expectation."

Beyond gun locks, you should also keep your gun on your hip inside your home. That way it's there when you need it and nobody else can get their hands on it without you knowing.

For more gun safety tips click here.

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