Family Held Hostage: Do You Shoot?

By Handguns Mag
Posted in #Skills
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Family Held Hostage: Do You Shoot?

January 2nd, 2020

3:52 runtime

Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh part of our 12-part Armed & Ready series from Richard Nance and Handguns magazine. The series covers a range of personal defense and CCW topics. See links below for the other entries:

When it comes to protecting your family, you don’t want to cut any corners. So today in the video above, we are going to be looking at not only how you should store your home defense firearm, but also how to employ it during a home invasion.

If you’ve decided to keep a firearm for home defense, it raises the question of how you will store it. Sure, you might have that large gun safe in your basement (or even your bedroom), and it would be undeniably secure in there. But is that really the best place for a home defense firearm?

A quick-access safe, like this VT series model from Vaultek, gives you both security and accessibility.

Best Option

In my opinion, you should keep this type of firearm in some sort of quick-access storage safe. You will need something that is secure, but will give you instant access to your firearm. For example, I’m using a Vaultek VT series that has not only a biometric fingerprint reader, but also a keypad and key system.

In addition to offering security, these types of safes also allow you to store a firearm in a loaded and ready condition, while still keeping it locked up and secure. In my case, I’m working here with a Springfield Armory XD-E double-action/single-action pistol with manual safety. I am keeping it with a loaded chamber, hammer down and on safe. To access, I simply open the safe, draw the pistol and flick off the safety when needed.

Keeping a light with your firearm, such as the Springfield Armory XD-E shown here, is a sound idea.

I also keep a small light in the safe with the pistol, as most bad things happen at night and in the dark. A handy light will give you the ability to illuminate and identify potential threats in your home. I also make sure I have my cell phone nearby and handy to alert authorities should something happen. Ideally, you would want someone else to call 911 while you focus on your firearm and any potential threats.

When It Counts

Say that you hear a sound in the middle of the night. You simply draw your gun and that’s the end of it, right? Wrong. It will likely never be that simple. The best case scenario will be that you and any loved ones are in the room with you, you have your firearm and light, train it on the door to the room with yourself and family behind some form of cover, then call 911 and wait.

More likely, you will have family members spread throughout the house. If that’s the case, you will have to maneuver through the house, making sure to not expose yourself to a threat, and also ensure that you do not put your family in danger.

You might be forced to not only move through your house during a home invasion, but also engage a threat.

Ideally, you would methodically move from room to room, clearing it and keeping the muzzle away from any family members. However, what will likely happen is you will hear a sound or a call for help that will force you to quickly move to the sound. In that case, you will need to move quickly and efficiently, use your firearm and light to good effect, and engage a potential threat — including possible situations where a family member is being held hostage.


Unfortunately, it is nigh impossible to predict what you might face during a home invasion. The best bet is to ensure that you have a safely secured yet accessible firearm, light, and the skills to back up the choices with which you might be faced.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Handguns Mag

Handguns Mag

The Handguns mission, as America’s only small-arms media property, is to emphasize the proper use and selection of handguns for self-defense and sport shooting.

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