Keeping a gun close, but safe

By Joy Purdy, 5:30, 6:30 and 11 p.m. anchor, jpurdy@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 26 2014 07:15:05 PM EDT
Updated On: May 01 2014 06:49:33 PM EDT

VIDEO: Whether it's for personal safety or for sport, nearly 56,000 people in Duval County hold a concealed weapons permit. There are 1.5 million in the state of Florida. Local gun shop owners say safety has become even more of a priority for gun carriers in recent years. As a part of Project 4: Firearms in Florida, Channel 4's Joy Purdy takes a closer look at gun safety.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

If you're planning on buying a gun, one guarantee is that a lock will come with it -- standard.

If you already own a gun, that universal cable lock just costs about $5.

Wild West Guns and Gold  owner Victor Jubran makes it a point to show his customers how the simple lock works, and explains there are countless, inexpensive ways to keep weapons safe in your home and away from kids and crooks.

He showed us the tiny, built-in pinhole found on handguns that fits a very small key. With a turn of the key, Jubran explains, the gun is rendered useless.

Other gun locks aren't overly expensive.

The straight trigger lock, Green Acres Sporting Goods store owner Phillip Gazaleah explains, is highly recommended and TSA approved for travel. However, TSA has very specific rules about air travel with firearms. Read TSA's rules on guns and air travel.

Florida law also requires that guns be kept in a container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure from any person under 18, or it needs to be secured with a trigger lock.  Read the state statute.

"You can get it in a combination or a key access at around $15," Gazaleah said.

Gazaleah also showed a gun box that costs about $60 which you can keep in plain view; a functioning clock with a trap door allowing you to store firearms and other valuables.

As the prices increase, the bigger and more intricate the gun safety mechanisms; from a biometric safe that locks using your fingerprint, to a $10,000 fire-rated, water-proof gun safe complete with suede shelving and lighting that is able to store about 75 firearms.

When you leave your home, holsters specifically molded for your type of firearm sell for as little as $10, and the styles seem endless.

You can wear your concealed weapon high, hanging under your arm with a shoulder holster, or as low as your ankle, containing Velcro and an extra calf support so it doesn't fall underneath your clothing.

Fanny-packs starting at about $20 and purses with secret compartments starting at about $60 are also available if you want your concealed weapon close but not strapped to your body.

There are even gadgets to secure your gun in your car, and both local gun store owners say the items are gaining in popularity.

However, an even more impressive increase they say, is the number of new gun owners better aware of gun safety.

"A lot of them ask before they know the gun comes with a lock," Jubran explains, "they inquire about locking the gun before the purchase."

"Before, people just wanted to buy a gun and keep it in their home," Gazaleah tells us, "Now, they actually want to know how to use a firearm, how to clean it, and what's the safest way to conceal it."

Both gun shop owners say the No.1 reason people buy guns is for home protection, and gun buyers usually ask how keep their guns safe at home.

This Saturday, Green Acres Sporting Goods on Normandy Boulevard will give a free gun lock to anyone coming in to say they saw it on News4Jax. The locks will be available while supplies last.

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