The lead will release to the air if it gets above the melting point of the lead. As I recall, it's about 600 degrees, and it is possible to get that hot with a heat gun. Liquid strippers, including the gel ones like Peel Away, keep the lead in suspension so it can be removed relatively safely.
You should check with your local authorities, but I do believe that many jurisdictions reversed earlier positions and now allow homeowners to strip old paint in theirown houses. That is a different situation than that of a professional who was working with it for years on a daily basis and the amount of leachent in trash dumps was also shown to be less than what alternatives cost. Each state and municipality does have it's own rules, though, so check yours.
In any case, do wear appropriate gloves and eye protection. I buy "organic solvent resistant" gloves for $2-3 per pair from industrial supply houses and the same ones cost $6/pr. from hardware stores and home centers. The price difference on eye protection is similar.
One tip is to buy the gloves with the long arms and fold the arms up to catch drips and runs. You can get a bit of a burn from most stripping chemicals and the glove arms tend to catch the drips before they find your arms.