If anyone has any suggestions about the safe home storage of handguns I would appreciate it. I have 2 children under the age of 10, so safety is very important. Since you may be willing to use a modest safe to keep the kids out and run the risk that a serious burglar will find it, I suggest you consider one of the units that mounts in the closet wall, between the studs. These offer fair security, are cheap, easy enough to install, are easily concealed behind clothes and yet readily accessible for “bump in the night” duty.
One option is to wear the key around your neck, this keeps it handy and out of the kids hands. Don’t try hiding the key or the gun itself, remember how well that worked last Christmas? I purchased on of the “quick access” pistol safes. I cost around $100 and is is very easy to access the handgun. Access is controlled by 5 buttons you can set in any sequence to allow the door to open. It is a heavy box just big enough to store one handgun, but you can get one big enough to store two. It is 100% safe around children, yet you can access the gun inside in seconds. I have the same problem as you with a 4 year old in the house, and this setup even makes my wife happy.
If you will be using one or more guns for home defense, the best solution I’ve seen so far is called the Gun Vault (there are other names for similar devices from different manufacturers). It’s a black box with a spring-loaded door that pops open when you press a sequence of buttons on the control panel. The control panel buttons are located in indentations on the top of the box, so you can find the right buttons in the dark. Voila! Instant access to the gun in an emergency, but totally safe from the kids. I assume you are talking about a gun for defensive purposes — so you need near instant access. I have a big Browning safe for gun and ammo storage, but I wanted an instant access security system for my home defense gun.
I use a small lock box (I forget where from). It cost about $80. The 5 button system can be set to any combination you want. I really like it. I couldn’t see fumbling with rotating combinations or keys in the middle of the night. I set my combination so it’s easy to do w/o looking. If you will send me an email or something I’ll dig up the address of the company. My wife keeps one in the van for her .38 velcro ed to the carpet. We are very happy with these type safes.