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Home defense with a firearm tends to be less complex than using your gun in a public space.
However, that doesn’t mean that the only thing you need is a gun on your nightstand.
The primary context of home defense with a firearm is obviously much different than the context of concealed carry, so you’ll need the right tools to go along with your gun.
In the most likely home invasion scenario, you won’t be wearing your everyday clothes. While this might seem like a non-factor, it’s surprising how much of an asset things like pockets and purses are when we need to use both hands.
So you should keep some items with your home defense gun to help you account for the circumstances of this scenario. This will help you use your gun more efficiently and more safely within the context of a home invasion.
We’ll cover each of these items and offer a suggestion or two for those who want some immediate answers for buying home defense gear.
First, the most obvious tool:
Flashlight with a Lanyard
If you’re home when a home invasion occurs, it will most likely be at night. You’ll probably be asleep. And the lights will most likely be off.
This means that you could be in nearly total darkness. You can’t shoot in total darkness, especially in your home. You might have children, other family members, or a dog who could make noise and startle you.
So you need some light to illuminate your target and make sure there’s actually a threat in your home.
Obviously, turning the lights on works. But, chances are, you’ll need to walk to the lightswitch, which could be a challenge in the dark. It’s also possible that it’s unsafe to move to the lightswitch.
So get a flashlight and keep it with your gun. That way you can arm yourself, identify anybody in your house, and find the nearest light switch without tripping over stuff.
The additional piece of gear is a lanyard for your flashlight. Since you might not have pockets on your pajamas, you may need somewhere to put your flashlight while you fish for your phone or reload your gun.
With a lanyard, you can just hang your flashlight on your wrist.
Many flashlights come with lanyards. Or you can buy one for about $5.
You can get a perfectly viable flashlight for home use for about $30. The Anker Tactical Flashlight is a good option, and it comes with a lanyard.
No matter where you keep your home defense gun staged, you need to have the trigger covered. Especially if you stage your gun in a chambered condition.
In the dark, it’s super easy to get your finger inside the trigger guard when you pick up your gun. It’s bad if you blast a hole in your nightstand or gun safe. Especially if it turns out to be a false alarm.
There are two ways to cover the trigger for staging. You can stage your gun in your holster, if you use the same gun for concealed carry as you use for home defense.
If that’s not an option, there are trigger covers that are designed for home defense use.
The trigger cover just clips on to the trigger guard so you can’t get your finger on the trigger until you remove the cover.
Most of these covers come with a lanyard. You can anchor the trigger cover to the inside of your quick access gun safe or wherever you keep your gun staged. This way the lanyard will pull the trigger cover off once you’ve got your gun closer to your chest and are less likely to squeeze the trigger.
You can get a trigger guard for between $15 and $30 for almost any model of handgun.
UM Tactical makes trigger guards at the lower end of the price spectrum for most handgun types.
If your primary home defense gun is a rifle, a trigger guard isn’t necessary so long as you stage your rifle with the safety on.
This can be a cell phone or a cordless phone. Either way, you need to have a phone near your gun.
Reason being: if someone is in your house, it’s best not to move around your house too much. If the intruder is in the living room and you have to go to the living room to get your phone to call 911, that’s a dangerous situation.
Now, you may have to move through your house for other reasons, like checking on your children. But if you can avoid it, you should.
If you use a handgun for home defense, it’s best to have the largest frame size you can get. This way you have better recoil management and more bullets in the magazine.
Even with a large-frame handgun, you may still need to reload. Either because you’re out of ammunition or to clear a malfunction.
In both cases, you’ll need that spare magazine.
So keep a spare magazine with your gun. Also make a habit of grabbing the spare magazine when you grab your gun. Just remember to set it down if you need to use both hands.
If your home defense gun is a rifle, a spare magazine is still a good idea. The nice thing with a rifle is that you have more options for carrying your spare magazine.
The easiest option is a magazine pouch that affixes to the stock of your rifle.
You can get one for less than $20. It gives you access to your spare magazine without having to hold it in your free hand until you need it.
The Voodoo Tactical Buttstock Magazine Pouch is an affordable option that will fit most rifles.
Since you don’t have to carry everything on your person, you can keep a much better stash of medical supplies near your gun at home.
This medical kit is not the same as your bathroom boo boo box. It should only have things that you’d need to treat trauma following a home defense incident.
Your home defense medical kit should at least include a tourniquet. A CAT tourniquet is an effective and affordable option.
These are also good things to have in your kit:
There are several organizations that offer free training on using all of these pieces of gear. You can find free classes in your state through Stop the Bleed.
Your home defense gun is what you’ll use to stop a potential threat. But your home defense kit is what enables you to do it safely with greater chances of survival for you and your family.
You can purchase almost everything in a good home defense kit for about $100.
Remember to stage your firearm safely, in a locked container, if possible. With responsible safety practices, you can stage and use your gun for home defense with the lowest risk of injury or accident.