By Ron LaPedis
According to the FBI and Centers for Disease Control, American preschoolers are dying in increasing numbers from guns, and most of those incidents involve children finding their parents’ guns.
In 2010, a police officer’s 3-year-old child was killed after shooting himself with his father’s off-duty firearm. In another tragic incident late last year, a 2-year-old killed himself with a family handgun that was left on a bed when the boy's father stepped away.
The safest route to take to prevent tragedies like this is to leave your firearms unloaded and keep the ammunition somewhere else. But what if you need near-immediate access your firearm? How can you keep your guns handy, yet inaccessible to children?
One way of accomplishing this is with the ArmsReach Defender. According to the manufacturer, this is not a handgun safe but a “responsible handgun storage product.”
The clamshell design is mounted on a bracket that can be slipped between your mattress and box spring to fit discretely, yet accessibly, along the side of your bed. An optional wall mount is available. Your handgun’s barrel fits over a switchable plastic pin sized from .22 to .45, allowing for a fast draw. The inside dimensions are 9.5” height by 8.25” width and can hold up to a 1911 or similarly sized handgun.
Up to 10 authorized persons can use the biometric fingerprint sensor to gain immediate access to a means of protection. And for those of us with dodgy fingerprints, 4 combination buttons or a key can also be used for access.
A unique feature of the ArmsReach Defender is its tattle-tale function. In addition to authorized persons, you can also program the fingerprint sensor to recognize unauthorized persons. The LCD readout can tell you which of your children has been trying to open it, giving you the opportunity for a teaching moment. The LCD also walks you through set up and displays the past 15 attempts to access the case.
Powered by a wall plug and four AA backup batteries, USA-made plastic and metal versions are available starting at $199. For more information, visit the company's website.