If you own a handgun, you should (and probably do) understand the enormous responsibility that comes with that ownership.
You have a responsibility to using that handgun in way that is consistent with the laws where you live. In some states, this may give you the ability to defend yourself while carrying your handgun outside of you home. Often you are required to have a conceal carry permit to do this, but in some states, anyone can carry a hand gun who is over the age 18 and does not pose a threat to others around them. This responsibility extends to how you defend yourself both in and out of your home.
In most jurisdictions, they require you to use the utmost restraint in using your firearm in public to defend yourself only when you feel that your life or serious bodily harm is being threatened and there are no other options such as avoidance. You also must not rush into a fight and often defending another (such as being a good Samaritan) may not automatically authorize deadly force. Many states are more lenient if the violence happens in your home. These jurisdictions have something known as the Castle Doctrine, which allows you to defend your home, the occupants, and contents with whatever force is necessary in the event it is threatened. Being able to quickly access your handgun safe to get your gun is critical to your defense.
An additional responsibility is to prevent children and untrained adults access to your handgun. Every year there are tragic stories of children that find loaded guns in the parents night stand or closet and that encounter ends with a death or serious injury. You need to purchase a handgun safe to secure your weapons. This is a simple box that can lock the guns away from children, but still give you access to them in the event of an emergency. Don’t rely on box in the closet, in your sock drawer, or under your bed to hide that gun from a child. Only a handgun safe can secure it and keep them safe.
There are many different designs including fingerprint handgun safes that can open in the dark by just touching your finger to the reader and within seconds it will open. I have read that in a crisis, you can lose up to 80% of your fine motor skills. If there was an emergency at my home, like I heard someone breaking in, my adrenaline is pumping and I worry that I would be able to open a typical safe. With biometrics, I am confident I could open it every time, even in the dark. I don’t have to remember a code or dial the combination lock. Plus, I have programmed my wife’s fingerprints into the safe so that she could open it if necessary.
Lastly, your responsibility extends to keep that pistol out of the hands of a criminal. Unfortunately, that same unsecured handgun that a child can access will also be found by a burglar. They are professionals and know all the typical hiding places that gun owners keep their weapons. While a pistol safe is not a silver bullet at protecting your gun, it will deter all but the most sophisticated thief if you have secured the safe to the floor or another immovable object. They will have to think about how much they really want that safe and how much time they want to waste trying to get it unsecured. Valuable minutes that allow them to get caught. Handgun storage is critical to keep that gun off the street and from committing more crimes.
I bought my handgun safe the same day I bought my new Glock. I felt like it was important for me to protect my children from accidentally finding it. I couldn’t imagine living with that guilt that my inaction caused a tragedy. Also, I wanted to protect my $600 purchase against theft. I bought a biometric handgun safe. I love it because it opens in about 5 seconds within me putting my fingerprint on it.
If you own a handgun, you need to own a handgun safe. It is your responsibility to not only use your hand gun properly, but store it where only authorized people can get to it.