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GloPro's avatar

Suggestions for a sleepwalking gun owner?

Asked by GloPro (8205 points ) January 27th, 2014 from iPhone

OK, so I don’t own the gun yet. I would like to own a Sig SP 2022 for home defense. I live alone in an exposed area and have had trouble in the past with a stalking situation.
My issue is that I have a history of sleepwalking. I have eaten, painted my nails, made phone calls, and woken up in completely different rooms before. I’d say I sleepwalk two or three times a year. Up until around 6 months ago I had a boyfriend that would tell me about my sleepwalking, so that’s where I get the 3 times a year guess.
My question is: are there gun cases that have audible buzzers? Because it’s for home defense and no children around I have no issue with having a magazine near the gun and wanting to access it quickly. I just want to make sure I am awake…
I’m serious, please. No anti-gun preaching, as I have no problem with guns. I just want to store it safely and make sure there is some account for my sleepwalking. I can’t be the only NRA member that sleepwalks.

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41 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I don’t know if any of the conventional ways to store guns safely would work in your case. When you are sleepwalking, you can get out keys, unlock things, open safes, turn off alarms.

Judi's avatar

I doubt there are any gun cases with alarms because if you needed to access it quickly you would not want to alert an intruder.
Do you take ambien or other sleep aides? I know a guy went to prison for shooting his wife while under the influence of ambien.
I’m not necessarily anti gun. We own a few but I never owned them when I had children in the house and my bipolar son has no idea I own them now.
If I had your issue I would not own one period. It’s to risky.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Scary situation and I’m pro-gun. When you sleepwalk what happens?

Pachy's avatar

Sleepwalking and guns. Yikes! If ever two words didn’t belong in the same sentence, let alone same household, those are it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

How about a buzzer that will vibrate when you pull out the magazine from its storage spot in your undies drawer? Silence is better than an alarm. If you plan to use the gun you do not want to announce that you are doing it. Maybe you can do something with a gas grill ignitor and a couple of resistors so it will give you a mild shock when you touch it. You can dial in the shock to make it gentle all the way to so hard it will wake the dead.

Are you taking any meds like Ambien or Sonata?

GloPro's avatar

@judi Oh, ambien. I have taken it in the past when I was in a traction leg brace. I am definitely NEVER taking that again. Anyone already prone to sleepwalking is in for some scary or funny stories, for sure.
I honestly don’t mind if an intruder hears a really loud alarm, even a smoke alarm type wail. If they are that far into my home I’m not trying to sneak up on them. I would fully announce I have a gun and intend to protect myself.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Do you live alone? You could lock the gun and give the key to someone else in the house, so that you don’t know where it is.

Coloma's avatar

Seriously! What do YOU think?
Unconsciousness and guns are not a match,WHY would you even entertain this at all, insane!

GloPro's avatar

@LuckyGuy a shock system sounds plausible and worth exploring. Is that just an idea or you have seen something like it?
Yes, people, I agree that sleepwalking and guns don’t mix. That’s why I’m asking and why I haven’t purchased one yet. As stated, I can’t be the only one with this issue. I am willing to concede that living alone with a gun as a sleepwalker may not be a good idea.

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma When you have a friend that was brutally murdered in her own home while living alone you consider all options for your safety. I’m asking you for advice BECAUSE safety is my #1 concern

creative1's avatar

I would get an alarm system before getting a gun especially if you do all that when sleepwalking, whats to say you wouldn’t punch the code in to unlock a gun box correctly while sleep walking. Who wants to accidentally shoot themselves or worse someone else while sleep walking.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is just an idea but I have used those ignition systems for other applications. You can attach a tilt switch that keeps the shocker off when the gun is on its side and have it turn on when held in position. The ignitor can even attach to the accessory rail under the barrel unless you are going to put a laser sight or light there.
A strip of metal foil on the front and back of the grip can be the shock pads.

Ooooo!!! You can have the magazine insertion be what shuts it off!
So, you would get hit hard in the hand if you picked the gun up casually but in a real emergency you would not care. Slap the magazine in and the shocker turns off . Sounds like a new product. Look up electronic gas grill ignitors at Lowe’s. You will see the size I’m talking about. .

Judi's avatar

Keep in mind that @LuckyGuy is a freakin McGyver. :-)

GloPro's avatar

@LuckyGuy OK, McGyver, is there any danger to having an electrical shock near ammunition?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Another idea. How about a low voltage vibrator like on a cell phone? Use a magnetic reed switch to turn it off. The gun can be held in place with a pair of strong samarium cobalt magnets. When you pick it and away from the magnets it begins to vibrate. You can keep a small s-c magnet attached to the bottom of the magazine to put it in place near the reed switch to turn it off.

As for the spark I setting off a round I say no it is safe. The round is all metal. It’s like a faraday cage. The charge will run around the outside but not inside. A shotgun shell might be a worry but not a 9mm. I will try that experiment when I get a chance.

ragingloli's avatar

Do not be a gun owner.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Maybe you should construct a sleeve gun like Travis Bickle

Coloma's avatar

@GloPro If safety is your #1 priority why would you risk being the murderer?
Sorry, get a taser or a security system installed but sleep walking and guns are not a good choice. Also, get some therapy, just because you know someone who was murdered does not mean it will happen to you. Paranoia and sleep walking is a ticking time bomb in my opinion. There are other alternatives seek them out.

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma Oh, I’m not paranoid. I’m obviously heartbroken, but that doesn’t mean I think my chances of survival have changed.
Every house I have ever lived in has had multiple guns in it. The main thing that has changed is that I live alone now.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m liking the cell phone vibrator with the magnetic reed switch better than the shocker. The whole thing can be made smaller. The magnets look like this. Three volt CR123A battery to power it for 10 years.
3D print a holder to attach it to the picatinny rail, paint it black and it will look like something from Star War wars. Nice.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@GloPro “Suggestions for a sleepwalking gun owner?” Yeah. Don’t own a gun.

Juels's avatar

Unless a certain stimuli brings you out of a sleepwalking episode, I doubt an alarmed gun case would help. My husband sleepwalks and until he is ready to wake up, there is very little to bring him out of it. He walks, talks, eats, uses the bathroom, watches tv, reads, goes outside, etc all while sleeping. We’re lucky that he doesn’t try to use the car. My husband has to have a gun for work, so it is a concern that he may get it in the middle of the night. It helps that his gun safe is a combination lock. He has to be very on-task to get it correct – hard to do while sleepwalking. The more inconvenient the gun is to access, the better. Other than that, it helps to live with someone that is a lighter sleeper and will help redirect a sleepwalker into a different action.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Juels If the gun vibrated forcefully like a cell phone do you think it would wake him up? .

Cruiser's avatar

I just did a pretty thorough search for possible solutions to your dilemma and could not find any good suggestions for gun owners that sleep walk and if anything found all sorts of stories of close calls and even a story of a guy who was sleepwalking found his gun and shot himself in the knee.

Number one rule of gun ownership is keeping your firearm safe and secure at all times and again I cannot see how one who sleepwalks can do this without multiple methods of locking down the firearm and ammunition.

I would suggest investing in a taser or pepper spray instead.

Juels's avatar

@LuckyGuy Not likely. His environment just becomes part of his dreamscape. How it is interpreted depends on the dream. I’ve tried to wake him but it rarely works. Usually the most effective means of dealing with his sleepwalking is to tell him to back to bed. He usually responds ok and then lays back down.

As a child, his parents tried to prevent him from sleepwalking outside by putting extra locks high up on the front door. In his sleep, he got a chair, opened the locks and went outside.

I’ve had him wake me up insisting that we had a meeting downstairs. I kept telling him we didn’t have a meeting but he wouldn’t believe me. Finally, I told him the meeting didn’t start for another hour and I would wake him when it was time. He believed it and went back to sleep. The next day, he didn’t have any memory it.

Once he broke a votive by knocking it off the wall. He stepped on glass and didn’t even know it. Luckily, he wasn’t cut too bad and I found the glass before anyone else walked on it.

On the bright side, although he leaves the cereal on the counter, he almost always puts the milk back in the refrigerator.

The funniest episode was when he jumped up screaming that there were snakes and spiders in the bed. He was jumping around trying to get the imaginary creatures off of him. Took a while to get him back in bed that night.

keobooks's avatar

If you are going to go through all the trouble of waking yourself up if you touch the gun, why not rig up something that vibrates or makes a sound whenever you get out of bed? There are all kinds of dangerous things that you could do in this state that have nothing to do with guns.

GloPro's avatar

@juels He sounds pretty entertaining, to say the least. How often does he become active, have you noticed any triggers? Most importantly, have any of his episodes related to his job and/or has he made an attempt to access the safe?
I appreciate those of you making helpful suggestions and relating. Again, I have lived with guns my whole life, most of the time with NO safety measure other than separating ammo from gun, and have never had any issues. It is because I live alone that I am exploring these options. I may decide not to own a gun while alone. This is helpful, though!

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Coloma's avatar

@GloPro I’m a single, divorced woman who has lived alone on rural properties for years, never needed a gun yet. I’ve had a neighbor shoot a couple rattlesnakes over the years but honestly, very few people need to keep guns in their home. I encourage you to look at all the alternatives given your situation. Best wishes and I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Juels's avatar

@GloPro For the most part, his sleepwalking seems to be triggered by stress or abnormal sleeping patterns (such as working midnights for a week or not getting enough rest). Using the bathroom and getting a snack seem to be an almost nightly ritual. Acting out work scenarios or other dreams is probably about once every couple months.

We do like to tease him about the funnier episodes. He freaked out his boot camp buddies by standing at attention in the middle of the night. I guess he didn’t warn them before hand. Wish I could have been there.

A lot depends on the type of sleepwalker that you are. While sleepwalking, my husband is pretty docile and easily led to another activity. He has never tried to get his gun. If it was an issue, I would be the only person with the combination to the safe. If you had a roommate, this could be an option.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Please watch the movie Sleepwalk with Me (2012) by Mike Birbiglia. It is on netflix instant streaming.
It will show you what sleepwalkers can do – and how to prevent it.

talljasperman's avatar

Buy a tazer that when you shoot someone in your sleep that you don’t kill them.

antimatter's avatar

One – Sell the gun
Two – Bay a water gun
That should clear it up a bit.
Three – If you want a gun load blanks in it or remove the firing pin.

Silence04's avatar

Maybe for your situation you should forget a gun and just get a really good alarm system.

gorillapaws's avatar

Buy a big dog and an alarm. People who sleepwalk should not own guns, period. People with epilepsy shouldn’t drive for the same fucking reason: its putting everyone else at risk.

WestRiverrat's avatar

They do make alarms for gun safes. They are intended to let you know if your kids or anyone else has been tampering with the safe. I imagine they would work for you unless you turned them off before opening the safe.

Smitha's avatar

The alarm is a good idea. You can also keep the gun unloaded and lock it away in another location or give it to the person whom you are staying with. You can also lock it in safes. Also try to talking to your doctor about sleepwalking. If sleepwalking is caused by some medical conditions it could be treated.

snowberry's avatar

Would it help to keep keys to a gun safe in a combination safe? Do sleepwalkers have enough smarts or whatever to open a combination safe?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@snowberry Yes, they do have the “smarts”! It is just done when they are not conscious of their actions nor do they remember the actions.

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