One of the steps that every new gun owner must take is to invest in proper gun storage. Without it, you open the door to harmful, and sometimes fatal, accidents. For gun owners with children in their homes, it’s all the more important to invest in the right gun safe.
In this guide, you’ll pick up helpful tips that will help you to choose a secure gun safe. Whether you own a pistol, multiple pistols, or a combination of pistols & long guns, these tips will help you land on the right model.
Step #1 – Know Your Local Laws
For California residents, it’s imperative to choose a CA DOJ-certified gun safe. For everyone else, it’s not a bad idea to follow in California’s footsteps since you’re getting a DOJ-approved model. Beyond that, it’s wise to take the time to get acquainted with your state’s laws.
By getting up to speed, you’ll know without a doubt that you’re properly storing your firearm(s) to avoid any legal issues. And this doesn’t have to be a huge research project. Rather, it’s more so taking the time to get a good understanding of how your state handles firearm storage.
Step #2 – Identify Your Preferred Entry Methods
In the gun storage realm, there are several routes to take when choosing your entry methods. Most safes offer more than one entry method, such as a digital keypad with a backup key. In most instances, any model that offers backup key access will inherently be easier to crack. All it takes is a quick search online to see how easy it can be to pick a safe lock.
For this reason, gun owners with children should choose more carefully. For instance, firearm storage with a single entry method is usually the preferred route. An example of a secure entry method is a Simplex lock. A Simplex lock is a programmable mechanical pushbutton lock that does not rely on battery power.
Hence, why it’s a good choice for both quick and reliable access. In this department, there are plenty of good pistol boxes to choose from that feature pushbutton access. Finally, there are biometric and RFID access methods.
Should you choose biometric fingerprint access, stick with a reliable brand. This way, you get a more reliable reader that won’t fail you when you need it the most. As for RFID, always keep track of your key fob and other related items. Because if they fall into the wrong hands, you essentially have a useless safe.
Step #3 – Avoid Cheap Knockoff Brands
As a continuation of the point above, it’s best to steer clear of cheap knockoff brands when choosing a gun storage option. For instance, if you try to save some bucks by choosing a cheap biometric pistol box, you could easily end up with a lemon.
A lemon could equal unreliable access or the ability to gain access with the wrong fingerprint. Clearly, this is not something that you would want in a home with children. Beyond unreliable access, you’re also more likely to find cheaper materials, such as flimsy steel.
Overall, the point here is to stick with reliable brands that have been in the business and know how to build a safe. As a result, you’re more likely to choose a model that doesn’t fail you.
Step #4 – Consider the Type of Safe
If your goal is to purchase a safe to house your pistol for home security purposes, then a quick-access model is the preferred choice. Typically, quick-access models are made to mount to a nightstand or below your bed. Furthermore, they feature quick access methods, such as RFID, biometric, and digital keypad.
However, with a bit of practice, a pushbutton lock is also made for quick access. The only drawback is that there’s no backlit keypad with a pushbutton model should you need to access your firearm in the dark.
Additionally, there are under-bed gun boxes that allow for quick access if you plan to use a long gun for home security. Instead of mounting one of these to your nightstand, you’ll anchor it to your floor to ensure that no one can move it.
Next, there’s always the option to invest in a large gun safe for both pistols and long guns. Usually, this type provides an internal long gun rack, a door organizer, and places to store ammunition & accessories. When choosing this type, it’s also wise to consider heavy-duty materials.
To install a large gun safe, you’ll want to anchor it to your floor or wall. In some cases, you might even want to anchor it to both. Lastly, you may want to consider a fireproof gun safe for added assurance. Should you choose this route, be sure to add a desiccant to keep the interior dry.
Step #5 – Measure Twice and Buy Once
One problem that some people run into is choosing a safe that’s too short. In these cases, your long guns may not fit neatly into the internal storage rack. To avoid this problem, always take the time to get a clear idea of both the external and internal dimensions.
Additionally, you’ll want to get accurate measurements of your firearms with accessories. By taking this step, you’ll avoid having to remove accessories each time you store your firearms. In addition to those details, the exterior dimensions will give you a clear picture of where you’ll be able to install.
Depending on your taste, you might want to choose a spot that’s stealthier than say a closet. Also, if you’re taking the quick-access route, you’ll get a clear idea of where the safe will fit in or on your nightstand. And this is particularly important if you want to mount it inside your drawer.
Those are the basic steps to choosing a secure gun safe. By following these steps, you’re more likely to be in accordance with your state’s laws and to choose a model that gets the job done without worry. Ultimately, the final decision comes down to your taste and storage needs.