The biggest issue with gun storage is gun safety, the safety of all the people that have access to it.
We hear stories every day of kids getting ahold of guns when they shouldn’t and they think they’re just toys.
Recent statistics show that 1.7 million children live in a home with an unlocked loaded gun that is one out of every three homes with kids.
In 2015 over 2,500 children under-19 died of gunshot wounds with lots of news being completely accidental.
On the other side of this issue is if a criminal could get access to the gun during a home invasion. Basically giving the intruder a weapon for use right then or for later.
So definitely a gun needs to be stored securely. But, it also needs to be accessible to the authorized user. You do not want any unauthorized user or random family member to get access to the gun.
Typically this is done with a quick access gun safe.
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But what is the best way to store guns without a safe?
There is a debate on if where the gun is should be in plain sight or if it should be hidden. Some hidden options would be in an air vent, under a bed, under a couch, behind a couch, or behind a cabinet.
The other option is to be in a container in plain sight or in plain sight with some type of trigger lock.
The idea of storing a gun without a safe is a little deceiving. If you have a bag with a lock on it does that count as a safe?
I guess you need to consider what your definition of a safe is.
For this article, we will consider any hard container with a lock a safe. For this reason, things like security cases, gun cabinets, a lock box, a strong box, or any other locked container will be considered as safes.
Before we get into the article one other thing we are going to consider is wherever we choose to store the gun it needs to be in a place where the gun is not harmed. Like it won’t rust or jam up or anything else that can happen in a bad environment.
For us we believe no matter how you store the gun it should have some sort of a trigger lock that is difficult for a child to open or that will buy you time if a criminal gets it.
Lets go through the following options on storing your gun without a safe
A gun storage bag
The good thing about a storage bag like a duffel bag or something bigger or a backpack is that it’s easy to move around and easy to put in small places.
The thing to look for is a way to lock the bag shut, this could be with small locks on zipper holes or other ways.
Aside from the gun market there’s also a big travelers market that has bags that are really hard to access that are designed to prevent pickpocketing. One of these might be a good option also.
Also, you can get small bags that prevent moisture from building up in the container similar to what you find and some vitamin containers.
A trigger lock
Simple trigger lock is one of our favorite things to use.
If the trigger can’t be pulled back the gun can not fire, these simple trigger locks block the ability to pull the trigger. These are cost-effective and some models are pretty quick to remove.
We think most guns inside of a house regardless if they are in a safe or in a bag should have a trigger lock on it because kids are smart and so are criminals. They may be able to still find your hidden weapons.
Trigger locks can be in the form of either a padlock or as a cable lock. There are also overall trigger guards.
A gun case
Gun cases basically the same idea as a gun storage bag aside from that it is a case specifically made to hold that gun.
The good thing about that is that they usually have spots for you to put other things inn a well-organized way and for quick access the more organized it is easier you can get to things as opposed to having a big duffle bag with things just jumping around.
A false wall or floor
This is a tricky one, the idea of using a false wall or floor is something you see in the movies. personally, we don’t want to cut holes in our wall or in our floor to do one of these but it could be effective.
The big downside to this is that kids and criminals are pretty smart and curious so it’s likely that they will be able to find this hidden spot anyway.
Still, if you choose one of these we highly recommend still having a small trigger lock to buy some extra time or completely stop access.
The ventilation system
In the ventilation system is similar to using a false wall or floor.
The biggest issue we find with the ventilation system is depending on whether or not you’re cooling the house or heating the house there could be moisture issues with the ventilation system. Usually, cooling and heating dry out the air which would be good but if it’s too dry then it might dry out your lubricants or anything else.
Also getting access behind a ventilation vent isn’t the quickest thing to do.
Secret compartment furniture
This is a great idea to be to start off but wherever your secret compartment is it needs to be in a piece of furniture that is bigger and harder to mess with.
A hidden container in an ottoman, footstool, a chair, or anything else that is kind of small can just create extra problems because if the small things are knocked over your hidden compartment might open up.
The benefit of a hidden compartment is it is quick to access and probably you can have multiple around the house. It is also not as expensive as a false wall or floor. You’d still want to have some sort of a trigger lock on your weapons.
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Steps to take to secure a gun without a safe
- Find a secure place to use as a storage area. It should be a safe hiding place that is not completely open so small children or criminals could easily see it. It should also be a place you can easily access if in a home defense situation.
- Get a high-quality trigger lock or trigger guard that you know how to quickly open but most people or kids would not be able to do.
- Get something that will help control the humidity wherever you’re storing the gun to prevent physical damage from happening to the gun.
- Get some kind of container to hold the weapon in preferably one that can be locked with an electronic lock like a keypad or biometric or with a complex locking mechanism like a spin dial or code. Then somehow Mount this container in the secure spot you found.
Bottom line with storing a gun without a safe
The most important thing is the safety of the people around the gun. This could be your kids or it could be you if there was a home invasion. Also, you would never want a gun to be stolen.
Personally, we would always use some sort of safe. The brand that we really like is SecureIt because they’re safes are light and easy to move but super safe. These aren’t big fireproof safes but they are easy to access and really secure. The whole idea of the fireproof safe is a little of a misnomer anyway.