Firearm Storage Recomendations

General discussions regarding topics that aren't covered in one of the other sub-forums. NO DISCUSSION OF POLITICS!

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Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by PistolPete » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:01 pm

FIREARM STORAGE INTRO:

Safely storing your firearm is one of the most important aspects of owning a gun. Every gun forum and class I've ever been apart of, the debate always comes up as to what's "secure enough" AND how do you balance between secure from others yet still easy enough for you to access if you need it quickly. Defining "secure enough" and "ready for use" is something you need to decide on for yourself by weighing your situation against local and federal laws.

Before we get started, I also want to note that there is no perfect system. There are pluses and minuses to everything we're going to talk about. For example, some of the more expensive units protect against fire (up to a certain temp and time of course) while some of the more economical units will not. You have you find the balance for your particular situation on your own. No one can do that for you.


THE LAW:

Depending on your state and local laws you may be held responsible (legally, civilly, or sometimes both) for your firearm falling into the wrong hands. Some states have very specific laws on storage and carry while others leave it up to counties and cities to determine. You need to be familiar with your local laws as far as storage and liability is concerned. Some states only say that firearms need to be "secured" in the home or vehicle - figure out what "secured" looks like to your local law enforcement.


This is the NRA's site that shows state level guns laws-

http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/

and this is the ATF's list of state gun laws-

http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/state ... dition.htm


REASONS FOR SAFE STORAGE:

1) To protect people from harm. Keeping your firearms from falling into the wrong hands is why most people invest in good firearm storage devices. In my opinion, and for the sake of keeping things simple, there is only one type of person you're trying to keep your firearms locked up from: Anyone you don't want to have access to your guns.

Pretty simple, eh? That person could be a thief or someone who would harm your family with your guns. That person could be your curious inexperienced nephew who's spending the night at your house. Malicious intent or not, you and those you trust (like a spouse or maybe a parent) need to be the only ones with direct access to your firearms.

2) To protect your firearms from harm. For a lot of us, guns are our hobby and it's an expensive one at that. You've got to protect your investment and since it's illegal to store firearms in a bank's safety deposit box, you gotta come up with something else. Whether it's a burgler, a house fire, or whatever - protect the investment.

Along these same lines, you might want to call your insurance agent to find out how your firearms are covered...and if they're covered at all.


STORAGE OPTIONS:

1.) Locks. While it's not some kind of housing for your guns, I still think they're important to talk about. For some people this is enough. Others will use a combination of trigger/cable locks and a safe.

Trigger Locks (found here http://www.triggerlock.com/ )
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Cable Locks (found here http://www.triggerlock.com/ )
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Pros: They're dirt cheap and if you go to your police department, you can get cable locks for free. Considering the $0 price tag, there's no reason you shouldn't have one for all your guns.

Cons: They do nothing to prevent theft unless you loop the cable lock around something bolted down.



2.) Small Key Safes. These are good for handguns and other paperwork and can be found at a wide range of stores.

Small Key Safe (found here http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... _id=882239 )
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Pros: Cheap and provide some fire resistance.

Cons: Not really that easy to fumble around with if you're in a hurry. Obviously you don't want to keep the key stuck in it so finding some place safe to store the key where a child couldn't find it may mean that it takes you that much longer to get the case open. Also, unless you bolt it down, it doesn't do much to prevent theft.



3.) Small Digital Safes - keypad. Basically the same as the key safe but you use a small keypad to type in a code.

Digital Safe (found here http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... id=5127163 )
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Pros: Cheap and provide some fire resistance.

Cons: Will you remember your code in a high stress situation? Like the others, unless you bolt it down it could easily be snatched from your home in a robbery.



4.) Small Digital Safes - finger combo. Same as the above digital safes, but instead of using a keypad, you slide your hand into grooves and press your fingers down in a certain sequence that you program in.

Finger Combination Safe (found here http://www.cabelas.com )
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Pros: One of the most popular handgun storage systems on the market. Fairly affordable and effective.

Cons: Like the other safes, in a high stress situation will you remember the finger combo? After 5 wrong attempts, the unit will lock down and you have to use a key to open it up. And once again, if this isn't bolted down, someone can slip away with it.



5.) Small Digital Safes - Biometric. These seem to be really hot right now. Very cool design where you simply put your finger on a finger print reader and the safe pops open.

Biometric Safe (found here http://www.gunsafestore.com/biometricgunsafe.htm )
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Pros: Very secure, but I'm honestly not sure about fire protection. Probably one of the easiest for the owner to get into in a hurry.

Cons: I have no experience with them, but I've heard the argument that if your finger is dirty or sweaty, it can mess with the print reading.



6.) Metal Gun Cabinets. Very popular and very affordable option for storing multiple guns - handguns, rifles, and shotguns alike. Construction seems very similar to tool boxes as far as the thickness of the metal, etc. You can get them with key locks, digital keypads, or even biometric.

Metal Gun Cabinet (found here http://www.dickssportinggoods.com )
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Pros: Affordable and effective. You can get them in may different configurations and sizes. Also gonna be tough for a robber to get it out of your house.

Cons: As far as home defense goes, they're probably not something you're going to have sitting next to your bed...unless your single or have the coolest spouse on earth. Most of them don't offer a lot in the way of fire protection.



7.) Wood/Glass Gun Cabinets. Popular amoung those who want to have their firearms on display. They sure look a lot nicer than the metal boxes, espeically if you're trying to talk your wife into letting you have it in the living room.

Wood Gun Cabinet (found here www.walmart.com )
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Pros: Nice looking and a cool way to safely display your guns.

Cons: The front is made of glass...pretty obvious.



8.) Heavy Duty Gun Vaults/Safes. These really are the safest thing for firearm storage on the market as far as keeping people from getting to them. They also provide some of the best fire protection on the market. They can be extremely expensive, but for those who have tens of thousands of dollars, it's well worth the investment. These usually come with a turn dial, keypad, or biometric system.

Gun Vault (found here www.cabelas.com )
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Pros: IMO, they're the most secure option on the market for storing multiple firearms - usually the best fire protection and harder than hell for someone to break into.

Cons: The biggest draw back is the cost and size. Not everyone can afford or have space for them.



CLOSING:

Take your time and weigh all your options. Keep in mind that this is by no mean an exhaustive list of things out there. Do some research and ask questions.

Here's a link to a cool thread about what other ZSers use for storage
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... sc&start=0

Have fun and stay safe!

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Post by TheFreakinBear » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:23 pm

If you live on a military post you must have your firearm(s) double locked. You must either have a lock on the firearm itself and then locked in a case/safe OR you must have a lock on the firearm/locked case and in a locked closet/safe. This stuff is also good for people in general because I know a few people personally who don't have any of their firearms locked up. All it would take is for some lucky burglar to break in looking for some electronics and valuables, and then they get some nice firearms and ammunition as well which could be used against the home owner. My point is that if you are going to leave them out then be home and have them near you. Other will disagree which is fine but please don't clutter up this thread, PM me or something.
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Post by kaiservontexas » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:26 pm

I think a gun safe is the best option, but that is my own personal opinion. It protects my battery from fire and theft better then a cabinet or locker. I also like how it organizes the collection, but a cabinet or locker is just as capable for organization.

I would not recommend it though if you are moving around often. If you are not moving around very often it is a worthy investment.

As for the self-defense argument. I leave my cheap snubby out of the safe at the ready. I do not have children as of yet, but when I do the question of safety will arise. Anybody store a weapon on hand with children about? I am curious as to solutions for when that day comes.
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Post by decoyalterego » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:56 am

kaiservontexas wrote:Anybody store a weapon on hand with children about? I am curious as to solutions for when that day comes.
I have a couple of these...

http://www.center-of-mass.com/Store_InCarGunSafe.htm

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I keep one in my car. The other is in the house out of child reach and stays locked. The key is hidden but accessible quick enough. Kind of a compromise between quick access and the safety element. If it's in a locked case, and mags aren't loaded but close, it's going to be hard for my younger child to get at it. Plus it's still quick to get it into a ready state if needed.

I think a big part of this is educating the child from early on. Show them the basics while cleaning it and also explain the whole difference between a toy and this one. I think it takes some of the mystery out of it, so they are less likely to try to play with a gun because they are curious. I think the kitchen knives are a good analogy.

Just my take on it.

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Post by kaiservontexas » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:15 am

decoyalterego wrote:
kaiservontexas wrote:Anybody store a weapon on hand with children about? I am curious as to solutions for when that day comes.
I have a couple of these...

http://www.center-of-mass.com/Store_InCarGunSafe.htm

Image

I keep one in my car. The other is in the house out of child reach and stays locked. The key is hidden but accessible quick enough. Kind of a compromise between quick access and the safety element. If it's in a locked case, and mags aren't loaded but close, it's going to be hard for my younger child to get at it. Plus it's still quick to get it into a ready state if needed.

I think a big part of this is educating the child from early on. Show them the basics while cleaning it and also explain the whole difference between a toy and this one. I think it takes some of the mystery out of it, so they are less likely to try to play with a gun because they are curious. I think the kitchen knives are a good analogy.

Just my take on it.
Nice set up +1.
Thanks for the tip.
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Post by inclinebench » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:19 pm

Hi, this is my first ZS post.
I had to ask, if anyone knows the best mailorder place to get a stackon locking gun cabinet? I just went to Dick's today to buy one and could not get anyone to help me. There was no one in the gun area, so I asked for a manager, thinking he could go back and help me, or find somone who should be manning the counter, and he was a total A-hole and incompetent to boot. So now I figure mail order is my best bet, as no one in my area other than Dicks has stackons in stock right now.

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Post by Broken1 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:05 am

Like THIS?

Cabela's CS rocks.
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Post by wester » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:25 am

Unless I unconsciously skipped over it in your post about the digital keypad safes, you could also add battery operated to the cons. I have one and once forgot to check the batteries for an extended period of time, only to find them dead. But of course I have the key back up. Just my $0.02.

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Post by inclinebench » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:02 pm

Broken1 wrote:Like THIS?

Cabela's CS rocks.[/quot

Yes, like the Cabela's ones you have shown. However, the 16 gun double door that Cabelas has for $499 was $309 at Dick's so I am not sure if I want to take a $200 bath because the manager at Dick's was...well a dick.

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Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:07 pm

I got a 14 long gun single door at Academy in a Christmas sale for about $100.

"14 Gun" is the official rating. I have 10 in it and its stuffed.
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Post by Broken1 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:08 pm

Maybe THIS will help.

Do your research though it is easy to get hosed on a deal across the interweb...
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Post by inclinebench » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:17 pm

Thanks I will check these out. I just got an email from Dick's, because I sent them one telling about my bad experience. In the email they offered to send me some coupons...my moral stand may falter if the coupons amount to much.

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(F)locked?

Post by TheRelicHunter » Sun May 11, 2008 6:43 pm

Gents:


Had a friend some years back that had a break-in (no

safe/apt/no ins; they made off with the electronics,

tools, and also all his firearms except for a field-

stripped Weatherby on the coffee table. The idiots

probably didn't know which end was up.


Anyways, my take on this would be to strip your

upper/bolt/slide/etc & stash them apart from the

frame/receiver which can then be cable-locked to

immobilize. Humping a safe up to the 2nd/3rd floor

would give all your neighbors notice that you got

something worth stealing.


</RH>

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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by MrAcheson » Tue May 20, 2008 1:06 pm

I have an 8 or 10 gun Stack-on cabinet for long guns with a small/moderate sentry "safe" on top to hold handguns. It works. The package is transportable with the proper preparation, but it isn't generally easy to move otherwise. The handgun safe has a combination lock and I keep the key for the cabinet inside so I still have quick access. The complete package is small enough to sit in the corner of an office or in a closet. The only problem is that the setup isn't especially fire safe.

The other thing you need to mention with true gun safes is that they're really heavy, especially once you've loaded them up. You need to treat them like major appliances (at least) and plan accordingly. Otherwise you can get mangled framing. A lot of people put them straight onto concrete slabs.

Lastly, invest in some decent desiccants. A cabinet, case, or safe can hold in moisture after you close it. If the temperature drops, that moisture is going to want to leave the air. You don't want it leaving onto your guns. There are many options, but even a sack of rice can work.

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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by fishbone » Tue May 20, 2008 3:49 pm

kaiservontexas
I do not have children as of yet, but when I do the question of safety will arise. Anybody store a weapon on hand with children about? I am curious as to solutions for when that day comes.
There are so many ways to mess this up it is not even funny. With children in the house there are always "Bumps" in the night. It could be Jr wants to sleep in your bed because of a bad dream, or little Suzie needs a glass of water. So what do you do? You look long and hard at your situation and determine what is more likely to occur. A bad guy breaking in to your house and rolling in to your room in the middle of the night where you grab you 'snubbie" and flashlight(You do have a bright flashlight right?)? Or are you going to have your 5 year old pushing on your head telling you they can't sleep? Is home defence a wash once you have kids? NO! Not by a long shot.
You may have to augment what and how you manage it. Get an alarm system. It does not have to be fancy or expensive just as long as it comes with a sticker. If you have a fence get some "Beware of Dog" signs and hang them up. Get a dog. I prefer the big black kind. They are always at your local shelter. BBDs are usually hard to adopt and for this reason the shelters give them a little extra care. What this means to you is it will be a people dog and will have extra time put in it for training. With small kids be sure that it is a good fit for your family. The studies show that alarm systems and dogs (Or just the hint of them) are the top deterrents. Get a "Tactical" light, one that is bright and easy to operate. Keep it next to your bed along with a bat or baton. Will these things prevent a home invasion? Not from someone who truly wants to do it. But some one who trips the alarm, fights and or kills your dog and still makes it to your bed room will have given you enough time to call 911, unlock your gun, filed strip it, clean it, reassemble it, load it with hydro shock ammo and be waiting for him with a clear and steady aim. :D A gun should be your last defence not your only defence. Just my .02.
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by MTechnik » Thu May 22, 2008 9:50 am

Something to add... Kids can find keys.

I have a locking cabinet for 5 rifles that works off of keys. I now have a little one at home. Granted, he isn't crawling yet, but I plan on getting a handgun safe for the bedroom with a combination, then keep a loaded pistol there, and the keys to the larger rifle safe. Then Jr. can't just grab the keys and open the safe...
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by Napalm{WmD} » Sat May 24, 2008 1:00 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only one that carries while @ home. If my gun is not on me it's locked away. I hate to need a gun and it be too far away. I found a simple two shelf key lock safe @ wally world for about 20 bucks. Gonna bolt it to my night stand.
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by Hatch » Thu May 29, 2008 7:56 pm

Regarding gun safes, I would hardly classify them as "extremely expensive" unless you are talking about a very large, or very fancy, safe. You just have to shop around a little.

I bought a 17-gun, 22 cubic foot gun safe, rated to 1500F for 45 minutes. I got the safe, a drying rod, delivery and installation (including lag bolts into the floor), for less than $1,000. Around what you would pay for one base model AR-15. The thing is, I didn't buy it from my local Bass Pro Shop or neighborhood firearms emporium. I went to a small-town safe dealer, who had lots of options in many price ranges. He gave me a lot of good information, and I got a great deal on my safe.

Yes, you can go to Bass Pro and drop several grand on a Liberty safe. But you can also shop around and find just as good (or better) security for half the price or less.

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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by ais4122 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:17 pm

I have a GunVault for my bedroom where I keep a Glock26. My other firearms are secured in a separate gun room which is secured with a steel exterior door and dead bolt. Within the room is another gun safe/cabinet if needed. Nothing says cool like a gun room :D
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by fcoy2 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:56 am

I have 3 of the small lockboxes Kaiser described. One in the car, one bolted to the bottom of a desk drawer at work, and one for the bedroom (which I also use if I need check a firearm in my luggage when I fly on business trips). I have one of the mid-sized Stack-on safes as well, bolted to the wall in the basement. Not as fireproof as I'd like, but will have to do the trick for now. I also have a small keypad safe for two pistols, which can be fastened to the floor/furniture but currently isn't).

I've taken both kids (9 & 11) to the target range before, and they are very well aware of safety (no touch) rules. My 11 year old son helps me clean the 22 after shooting, and treats them with a lot of respect.

So when not on me, they are locked up but pretty quickly accessible.

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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by Abacus » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:28 am

My tendency is to just sorta leave them lying around the house. My wife prefers a more centralized location, so other than the nightstand, the car and my book bag pistols, everything lives inside a closet.
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by mr.trooper » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:13 pm

Im the youngest in the household...and I'm 22. most of the guns are mine anyway.

I have a metal gun cabinet that i lock them up in when I'm gone. It sits in a corner, and its bolted to both walls and the floor.

The guns that get used sit close to the door, the ones that dot get shot much get a heavy oiling, and are bagged up in silicone gun socks.
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by Jonas » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:34 pm

I just picked up a Honeywell security box. They are only $23.00 at Biglots, $24.97 at Walmart. It's got a keypad with a user programmable pin code that unlocks it. It can also be unlocked with a key if the 4 AA batteries go dead. It doesn't do much in the realm of theft prevention but my main concern is unauthorized access.
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Re: Firearm Storage Recomendations

Post by Jonas » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:10 pm

lock&lock boxes and a silica gel packet make a great shower gun option. They are great long term storage boxes for ammo as well.
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