When it comes to storage options for personal firearms, the how and where part of the equation is open to liberal interpretation, both by the law of some areas and of the gun owner's own choice. For me, I chose to keep a loaded G22 in the sock drawer. Your mileage may vary and you can choose to agree or disagree with me-- its America-- but here is why I do what I do...
Overall firearms safety concerns
Every gun owner needs first to assess their home and make their own choices. If you have a home where small children, unreconciled adults, or transient individuals frequently either live or pass through unsupervised, it is probably the best bet to keep your firearms not in use both unloaded and locked up, with the ammunition locked in a separate area from the firearms.
In fact, for most of my gun collection, that is what occurs. I run a three safe set up. In the first safe, I have my pistol lowers (minus the upper slide/barrel assy) my semi-auto rifle lowers (minus the upper barrel/bolt assy), shotguns (sans barrels), and bolt action rifles (sans bolts). In my second safe are all of the items in parentheses mentioned above. A third safe has ammunition and magazines.
Sure, it takes me 15 minutes longer to get ready for a range day, but it also gives me the peace of mind that if someone enters my home without me there, they have to penetrate three UL-rated safes to come up with a working firearm while the alarm is going off and my German shepherd is asking them questions about who they have accepted as their lord and savior.
Every gun owner should be as responsible as possible with stored guns. Listen to this brief message from the National Shooting Sports Foundation on firearms storage
Now of course, the above are for guns not in use. Let's talk about home defense guns and personal carry pieces
In my role as a firearms trainer for both civilians and law enforcement, I tend to have to take a lot of guns "on the road" which I carry in a locked case that is secured inside my vehicle and otherwise under my control.
Further, whether teaching or not, I also carry every day. Yes, sometimes I am the most heavily armed man in the produce section, and when you walk into a restaurant, look to the corner for the goofy guy with his back to the wall watching the entrance and you'll see me, but hey, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
My EDC changes with the weather and my travels but I carry inside my ability and safely, in a holster. When I come home, the EDC and any training guns go back into the safe(s) -- although I must admit that I often keep my carry gun on me until time for bed/shower.
Here is where your mileage may vary and is up to your personal choice. Also keep in mind that some parts of the country (San Francisco) have
laws against storing unlocked firearms which are likely
As I do not live in California and since I live in a home without small children, typically entertain away from the home, and therefore have few people come over, and insist that I am home whenever contractors (pest control, lawn care etc.) come by, has loaded readily accessible firearms inside of it.
Besides a NFA-compliant short-barreled shotgun located in a central location with a full magazine and empty chamber, I have two handguns loaded and ready to go should they (hopefully never) be needed. One is a stainless Smith 642 in a kitchen cabinet with the first chamber in rotation empty, the other is a Glock 22 in my sock drawer about three feet from my bed with a full mag and empty chamber. On the nightstand is a Streamlight ProTac light.
I can speak from personal experience from unexpected and inebriated visitors coming by at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday that I can access the G22 and make ready in very short time from a sound sleep.
If I leave home on extended trips, all of the accessible guns in my house get the long-term unload-field strip-safe treatment.
Its just how I roll. If you have small kids, irresponsible adults, or any reason why you wouldn't feel safe doing the above then please follow your own path and be as responsible as possible.
And don't make fun of my socks.