L3 – 12.7 Safe Firearm Storage

Safe Firearm Storage

I   Safe Storage Checklist

TXDPS provides the following checklist for safe firearm storage on the website


  • Firearms are stored unloaded and locked using a firearm safe, lock box, trigger lock or cable lock.
  • Ammunition is safely stored.
  • Access to stored firearms is restricted from unauthorized persons (family, friends, children, contractors, repair personnel or uninvited persons) at all times – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where the firearm is located.
  • All locking devices that use keys are in a place children and other unauthorized users are unaware of.
  • I have read and understood the laws around my responsibility and liability, as the owner of the gun, should it be used by an unauthorized person such as a child.
  • I have spoken to family members and trusted users asking them to use these safe storage steps. (Consider keeping this checklist near where you store your guns!)
  • When my firearm is taken outside of my home (e.g., in a car), it must still be stored safely. Safe storage of firearms is practiced at all times.

II    Safe Storage Devices

TXDPS also provides the following definitions for safe storage devices on the website https://safegunstoragetexas.com/.

Note: The Texas Department of Public Safety does not endorse any type or manufacturer of gun safes or locks.

Cable Lock

A cable lock blocks the barrel of the firearm from locking into position to prevent firing of the weapon. They are available with a key or combination lock.

Trigger Lock

A trigger lock clamps down around the trigger and trigger guard to prevent the trigger from being pulled. They are available with a key or combination lock.

Biometric Lock

A type of trigger lock, the biometric lock is customized for you and your firearm. It uses fingerprint technology to allow access.

Gun Case

A gun case is a portable firearm storage case that is made of plastic. An external lock can be added for extra security.

Strong Box

A strong box is a small safe designed to store a single or multiple firearms. They are accessible with key, code, or fingerprint technology. Most are designed to be mountable to a vertical surface.

Gun Cabinets

A gun cabinet can store multiple firearms. They’re more like furniture and are often crafted of wood and glass to display guns. Most will have a locking feature.

Gun Safe/Vault

The most secure option, a gun safe can store multiple firearms and ammunition. They are usually made from steel and heavy. It is recommended they be secured to prevent them from falling over. They can be opened by a key, code, or fingerprint technology

III   On-Duty Gun Safety

The following is a list of rules for the safe handling of a weapon while an officer is on duty:

  • Leave the pistol holstered unless there is a valid reason to remove it from the holster.
  • Never point a firearm at anyone unless in a deadly force encounter.
  • Do not fire warning shots.
  • Never leave a firearm unattended.

IV     At Home Gun Safety

The following is a list of rules for the safe handling of a weapon while at home:

  • Firearms should be in a safe and secure location when not being used for duty.
  • Never assume a small child cannot fire a firearm.
  • Establish strict rules about handling of firearms.
  • Never use a firearm when intoxicated.
  • Remember that a firearm is a last resort. Even a person trained in firearms use can mistake a family member or neighbor for an intruder.
  • Friends and relatives may visit

V   Range Safety

The following model range safety rules are recommended for firearms training. These rules should be enforced during this firearms training course. You will be required to read, sign, and return a separate copy of the rules prior to being allowed to participate in the practical skills training portion of the course. Failure to obey the following rules is grounds for removal from the range and expulsion from the course:

  1. Do you have any physical disability, limitation, illness, or other condition that would affect your ability to participate safely in any aspect of this program?
  2. Are you under the influence of any prescription/nonprescription drug or alcohol that would influence your safe participation in any aspect of this program?
  3. Ear protection, wrap-around eye protection and a hat with brim are required to be worn at all times while shooting on the range. This applies to shooters, instructors and observers.
  4. When you pick up a firearm, keep your finger off of the trigger, point the muzzle in a safe direction, open the action, and check both visually and physically to see that it is unloaded.
  5. Check a second time.
  6. Never give or take a firearm from anyone unless the action is open for inspection.
  7. Load/reload/unload only after position is taken at the firing point and on command.
  8. Keep the firearm pointed downrange unless instructed.
  9. Never draw a handgun from the holster on the range unless instructed.
  10. Never draw or holster the firearm with your finger in the trigger guard or on the trigger.
  11. Never holster a cocked weapon (cocked and locked weapons excluded).
  12. Always wash hands and face after leaving the range. Shower and change clothing at the end of a shooting day to reduce the possibility of lead contamination.
  13. Never go forward of the firing line unless instructed.
  14. Never step back from the firing line unless your handgun is safely holstered, and the instructor directs you to do so.
  15. While on the firing line, do not bend over to retrieve dropped articles until instructed to do so.
  16. No talking on the active firing line except by or with an instructor.
  17. No eating, chewing tobacco, or smoking on the firing line.
  18. Pay strict attention to the instructor and never anticipate a command.
  19. Never permit the muzzle of a firearm to touch the ground.
  20. Conduct a proper safety check of the weapon before and after a training session.
  21. Never dry fire on the range unless instructed to do so.
  22. All safety precautions must be adhered to and will be enforced.
  23. You are expected to use good judgment, and to refrain from attempting any exercise, which you may not be able to perform safely, based upon your own ability, equipment, prior training or physical condition. (Initials)
  24. Eye protection must be worn when cleaning any firearm.
  25. Everyone has the responsibility for range safety. Anyone can call a “cease fire” when they observe an unsafe condition.