Home Defense Tactics to Protect Your Family


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Ken Crawford of Reno Guns & Range discusses an important home defense concept: how to move through your home with a handgun without endangering your family.

Bump in the Night

Whether you hear the proverbial bump in the night or for any reason believe you need to get your handgun because a lethal threat may be in your home, it’s critical not to endanger the people you are trying to protect when using home defense weapons.

Empirical data shows that the majority of unusual sounds heard in the middle of the night are not threats and do not require the homeowner’s going armed. There is almost never an actual need for the homeowner to use the handgun in home defense.

That being said, Ken demonstrates how to check your home for intruders while not threatening your family with your home defense weapon. He demonstrates two home defense tactics scenarios, with a barrier on the range representing a corner in a home.

Scenario 1: Ready Position

Ken’s family is behind him. He has full confidence that everyone is with him and he can move safely with his handgun in the ready position. He can go around the corner knowing that if something startles him, it’s not a family member because they are all behind him. If he needs to engage a threat, he can do so efficiently from this position.

Scenario 2: Staged Position

If Ken is separated from his family and has to go around the corner and down a hallway to reach his family, he moves in the staged position. This means his hand is firmly gripping the handgun, which is in the holster while he goes around the corner. There is much less likelihood he will shoot a family member if he is startled. However, he can still bring the home defense handgun into action quickly.

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5 Responses to “Home Defense Tactics to Protect Your Family”
  1. William

    Very thoughtful way to address the problem. I was fully expecting a lesson on how to “pie the corner” and other tactical techniques. But given that we aren’t Tier 1 Operators, how often do we get to discern the threat/no threat problem under stress? Never. THIS alternative is a great compromise.

  2. Kerry Dillenburg

    I agree with what you’re trying to say but not with the totality. If you go in to a potential conflict where you have a firearm on your person with the mindset that the statistics show you’re wasting your time then the chances of you getting wasted just went through the roof. I don’t want to be the exception to the rule. If I am concerned enough to be carrying my gun then I think the more prudent approach if I’m concerned it’s a family member that made the “noise” in the first place then a shout out from a safe or concealed place in the home asking for an voice identification may keep you and your family safe. I just think your approach to the topic was defeatist and setting yourself up.

    • dsjpdn

      Kerry, shouting out for a voice identification of family members has some drawbacks. For instance, if they are well hidden from the threat, they would be unwise to reveal their position, but a younger or more excitable family member might be tempted to speak up and reveal their position to the bad guy.

      • Eldred

        I don’t think Kerry was talking about a situation where you and your family member are both hiding from the bad guy. I think he was talking about how to determine if that noise you heard(that prompted the investigation) was a family member OR a bad guy…