Part of being a responsible gun owner is understanding how to properly store guns and ammunition. The top three reasons for safely storing firearms are: to prevent a gun from firing, protect a gun from physical damage, and to prevent theft. Failing to safely secure your guns can result in legal liability if an accident or theft were to occur as well as significant danger to yourself or others.
Leaving guns lying around or casually stowed away in drawers, even if the ammo is elsewhere, is both irresponsible and potentially deadly. Here are some of the most popular and responsible ways to store your guns. These methods range in effectiveness and cost, but should be evaluated on the basis of individual needs and home environment.
These are the minimum in gun storage and are designed to merely keep the gun from firing or being loaded. Trigger locks clamp and lock around the housing of the trigger to prevent the trigger from being pressed. Most guns come with this kind of safety mechanism from the manufacturer. Cable locks can be run through the barrel to block the action of the gun from being closed, This, in turn, prevents the gun from being loaded or fired.
These combine the portability of plastic or fabric gun cases with the security of a gun cabinet, While not meant to be serious security containers to guard against theft, these containers do offer a decent amount of protection for your gun. Most boxes come with a variety of locks from key to combination to biometric, and they often come with mounting capabilities. The main benefit to these is that they are portable, secure, and inexpensive. Gun cases are often the only legal way to transport a firearm in a vehicle as well.
A step up above gun cases but not quite to the level of gun safes, gun cabinets are often lighter and more simplified than gun safes, but don’t offer the portability of cases. These are often used in apartments or in upper story rooms. Cabinets are typically made out of steel and feature basic locking mechanisms and a variety of configuration methods that allow for mounting to the wall or bolting to the floor. The higher end cabinets offer more features but their price tag may make you just want a less expensive safe.
Gun safes are the most secure of all the storage options, but are fixed in place. If your gun collection is worth more than the price of the cheapest safe, it’s probably time to think about keeping your guns here. Gun safes come in many models with many configurations and features, so knowing what level of safe you need will make the buying decision easier. Gun safes are big, heavy, expensive, and difficult to install, so weigh your storage options and needs carefully. The benefits of a gun safe, however, can outweigh the costs as a theft deterrent, safety protocol, and way to protect the finish of your guns.
Since safe gun storage depends so much on the environment in which you’re keeping guns, it is very important to make this your primary focus when deciding how to store guns. Basic storage in a gun case or cabinet may be perfectly fine for some while others may require the added security and space of a large gun safe. The answer to the question ‘where have all the guns gone?’ should inevitably be ‘in gun storage’.
Ben Vaughn writes regularly on home safes, safe gun storage, and the technology behind biometric safes. He believes that keeping your guns safe is extremely important and strongly recommends a safe for anyone with a gun.