Safe gun storage is of paramount importance for every homeowner or renter. Perhaps your mind went directly to the giant, thick walled safe so big that it has its own room in your house, right below the heads of two stuffed deer. That’s an option, but it’s not the only one.
Let’s explore some easier options for gun safes that won’t break the bank:
- A locked drawer with an alarm
- A keyed lock box that holds one gun and stays in your nightstand
- A touch combination box
- A shelf that includes a secret compartment for your guns
- A biometric safe that opens with your fingerprints
- A combination safe that is too heavy to move easily
- A skinny safe that tucks away in a closet or corner
- Multiple smaller safes that stand alone in various locations
Factors to Consider
Start with your budget. If you can’t afford a $3000 top-of-the-line safe, you don’t have to get that one. You can spend $20 on a lock for your desk drawer.
If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, find a smaller option. One or more safes that fit in a nightstand might do the trick.
Whether You Own or Rent
You don’t want to anchor a giant safe to the floor of your rented apartment. You won’t get your deposit back when you leave, and you might have to leave the safe behind because it is now part of the apartment.
Rather than built-ins and shelves that must anchor to the wall, choose a safe that can move easily when you leave.
The Structure of Your Home
A really heavy safe should be in the basement or on the ground floor. Eight hundred pounds on a second floor may weaken a structure, especially if it already has issues that you might not even know about.
Choose an option that won’t stress ancient floor boards.
A safe that takes too long to open won’t do you much good when someone is knocking down your door in the middle of the night. Ditto for a safe that is all the way across the house when the thief is crawling in your bedroom window.
Consider a multiple location approach, with smaller safes hidden in several rooms.
I’m sorry, guys, but that big, shiny safe with the gold handle and the name written in cursive on the metal door does not qualify as a designer accessory for your living room.
Make your beloved happy with a gunsafe that doesn’t scream, “Here is my arsenal!” A nice shelf with a hidden safe will improve your popularity with the more design-conscious residents of your home.
The Presence of Minors
With children living in the home or grandchildren visiting frequently, the gun stationed on the top of the nightstand won’t work. You need a lock that a bright and industrious seven-year-old will not be able to hack.
I went searching for options and I found some really cool ideas for storing your gun within reach but out of sight.
A Locked Drawer With an Alarm
Lockdown makes a really neat option called The Puck. You mount it in a drawer or closet and connect it to your home wi-fi. Then you can control it with your phone. It monitors temperature, humidity, and movement. It notifies you when your desired thresholds are exceeded.
The Puck is more than just a drawer monitor, though. You can mount it on your door and use it to be notified when someone enters your home. For only a little over a hundred dollars, this is one to explore.
You do need a strong wi-fi signal. You don’t need a monitoring plan because you are monitoring it yourself.
A Keyed Lock Box
Sometimes low tech is the best option. You can just buy a box with a lock on it and keep it out of sight in a drawer. This will be relatively easy for a thief to remove, but first the thief will have to identify it.
Optics Planet has a two pack of keyed boxes from Snap Safe by Hornady. They are just the size for a gun and around $50 for the pair depending on the model you choose.
A Touch Control Combination Safe
This GunVault Handgun Safe works with a key or by touching buttons in a specified order. It fits several handguns on two shelves and is around $200 right now. My husband loves his GunVault Safe.
A Biometric Safe
Expect to pay $300 or more for a biometric safe. Optics Planet sells the GunVault Biometric Safe. It works with your fingerprints and can recognize up to thirty separate fingerprints.
A Hidden Compartment
Lockdown makes a twenty four inch shelf that can be mounted on your wall for a little over a hundred dollars. This is a magnetic lock, so don’t choose this one if you need a child proof lock. It will be effective at hiding your gun stash from a thief or casual observer.
A Heavy Combination Safe
You can get a smaller version of the heavy safe. This Liberty Safe from Cabela’s weighs 245 pounds. It holds up to twelve guns and retails for around $500.
A Safe in Your Closet
Cabela’s has an 18-gun cabinet for about $250 that you could stand in your closet with its back to the side wall. It is 55” x 21” x 18” and locks with a key.
I stumbled upon a company called SecureIt that has a different philosophy: instead of a central large safe for all your guns, have multiple lightweight safes all over the house. This serves several purposes.
- It makes sure you have quick access to your gun wherever you are, not just in the room with the safe.
- A thief who breaks in will find the first safe and think he has seen everything you have
- You will be able to install the safe without drilling holes in the floor
- You won’t weigh down the structure of your house
- If you move you can easily take your lightweight safes with you
- You can buy your safes one at a time, rather than saving up thousands for a big one
That method makes sense to me, so here are a few of their offerings:
You can get a Fast Box to go under your bed. It comes with pre-drilled holes so you can mount it under your bed or vertically in a closet. It can hold two long guns and can be opened with a key or a punch code.
The less expensive safes are knockdowns, meaning that you assemble them in your home. The higher priced version comes fully welded with extra accessories like organizers in the door.
Organizing Your Safe
If you buy a small box to keep your gun in, just nestle your gun in there with a few accessories like extra magazines and a light. Look for the nicer boxes to be lined in egg crate foam to cradle your gun.
If you go for a multi-gun safe, organizing it will help you store more guns in a smaller amount of space. Since the average gun guy is always on the search for the next great gun, you need to have the flexibility to add more guns without buying more space.
To help you organize your storage, I found a company called Gun Storage Solutions. They make inserts to maximize your, uh, safe space.
They have rifle rods to extend the length of the barrel to fit the partitions in your safe. They have hangers to suspend handguns under a shelf. They have Mag Minders to hang the magazines from the shelves.
You can buy these accessories as you need them or get the EXTREME Package for under $300 with enough accessories to make your gun safe the envy of all your gun toting friends.
Your Next Step
Measure the space you have, evaluate your situation, click the links above to see the products, and then buy the option that makes sense for you.
If you live in the Upstate of South Carolina, contact Double Eagle Gunworks LLC to make an appointment with Chris for lessons on any gun topic that suits you. We might be able to work out an online consultation if you are too far away.
We are a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer and can help you with the purchase or transfer of a firearm.
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