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How to Store Your Firearms Safely

by Paul-Martin Foss

If you own guns, you probably understand that you need to store them safely. Whether it’s to keep them out of the hands of thieves, prevent little hands from harming themselves by getting to your guns, or just getting them out of the way, proper gun storage is vitally important.

But not everyone can afford a super duper one-ton gun safe with fire protection, nor will such safes necessarily keep your guns from being stolen. After all, with enough tools and enough time any safe can be broken. Still, some storage is better than nothing. Here are a few ways that you can store your guns to keep them safe.

Gun Safe

Gun safes come in all different shapes and sizes, with different thicknesses of steel, different levels of fire protection, and different capacities. Remember that no matter the capacity of the safe, whether it’s 12-gun, 18-gun, 36-gun, etc., that capacity will be greatly reduced if you’re storing scoped hunting rifles or modern sporting rifles with optics.

You also have to remember that bigger and more expensive safes aren’t necessarily better. Fireproofing generally isn’t going to protect your guns until you get into the really expensive safes. And remember too that even the thickest steel can be broken into if you’re on vacation for two weeks and a motivated thief with time and tools gets to your safe.

Gun Cabinet

If you don’t have the money for a safe, or the space, or if you can’t physically move a safe, a gun cabinet may be the right choice for you. An 18-gun cabinet can often be found for around $160 on sale, with smaller cabinets coming in around $80-100.

These cabinets can be bolted to floors and walls, deterring the average snatch-and-grab thief as well as keeping your guns away from children. For most people, especially those without large firearms collections, these cabinets are the best choice for firearms storage.

Gun Case

You could also store your firearms in a case, whether soft-sided or hard-sided. It won’t offer protection against thieves, nor will it deter children if they find the case, unless it’s lockable, but if you store the case high enough in a room or closet it’s better than nothing.

Storage Cabinet

A non-gun storage cabinet is another option for firearms storage, particularly if you’re storing handguns or firearms that can be broken down, such as most modern shotguns, AR-15 and FAL rifles, etc. Many of these cabinets are lockable, and they don’t draw attention because they’re normally intended for office supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.

Trigger or Action Lock

Finally, if you just have to store your firearms openly, a trigger or action lock can be beneficial. Trigger locks attach to the trigger of a firearm to keep it from being fired, while action locks fit through the ejection port of a firearm, keeping it from being able to be loaded and fired. While a thief won’t be deterred by them, they can be useful for keeping children from harming themselves with your firearms.

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