Recently a high school student in Indiana brought a Hi Point 380 handgun to school in his backpack. It was found by authorities and secured without incident, but this leads to the question of, just how secure is your gun when it's not in your possession?

While its not known how the student in the Indiana incident got his hands on the gun, it sets the stage for the larger question.

Gun safes

Now first of all, we aren't talking about an everyday carry piece or a nightstand gun that is loaded and ready to go at all times. We are talking about firearms that are just in the collection and arent in active use. It's best to secure these, unloaded, in a gun safe or locker that is both resistant to break in and fire. If you shop around your local big box sporting goods stores, typically after Christmas when they have excess inventory that they are likely to reduce to clearance prices, you can often get a basic safe for around $100. Understand that you can spend easily ten times this amount and still just have a safe that will resist an attack or fire for only an hour or so.

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Look for the Underwriter Laboratory fire ratings and burglar ratings detailed in the door starting with RSC (Residential Security Container) and continuing to: B Rated, U.L. TL-15 (Tool Resistant) and higher. This will keep casual kids and random visitors out but won't stop a determined thief equipped with pry bars and drills. If you have kids, its always better to go with a combination safe rather than a keyed safe, as invariably, the kids know where the keys are kept.

Hi Point has long sold a Home Security Pack pistol package that includes an 18-gauge pry-resistant lock box, locking cable, and trigger lock.

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A simple solution

For guns not in current use, one idea is to break down the firearm and store it in two separate locations. To do this, simply break the gun down into its two largest components: the frame with magazine and the slide with barrel. Then store these apart from each other. Unless random children or burglars find where you keep both pieces, and further how to reassemble them correctly, it will do them no good. To further complicate things, you can store the magazines in a third place, ammunition in a fourth, and so forth.

If you aren't sure how to field strip your Hi-Point pistol, now is the time to find out:

Trigger locks

All Hi-Point firearms come with a free gunlock. Please use it if your gun is not in use at the moment. If your gun does not have the lock, contact Mom and let them know what is going on, odds are they will send you one. If not, the National Shooting Sports Foundation runs a free safety kit program in all 50 states known as Project Child Safe that can get you a gun lock.

NSSF President Steve Sanetti asks you join in an important firearms safety effort by taking the Own It? Respect It. Secure It. pledge. To avoid firearms accidents and misuse by unauthorized users, lock up your guns when they are not in use.

Safety is everyone's job. If you have a way that you lock up your Hi Point when not in use that we didn't cover, drop it in the comments below.