5 Ways To Safely Store Your Guns

October 2, 2023
Safely store a gun

Whether you’re a single firearm owner or have an extensive collection, every gun owner’s toolkit should include a reliable gun safe to keep their weapons secure and protected. Gun storage systems do more than just secure and organize your firearms when not in use; they also provide rust prevention, fire protection, and child safety features.

Why You Need Proper Gun Storage

Gun safes and storage solutions are indispensable for gun owners, serving not just as storage but also delivering benefits such as:

Defense from Theft

The most crucial role of your gun safe is preventing unauthorized access to your firearms. A quality safe should be made of durable materials to make it resistant to tampering or brute-forcing.

It should also feature a reliable locking mechanism that thieves cannot easily bypass. Desirable features include keypad locks with long passwords, fingerprint-reading locks, anti-drill plating, and multiple redundant locking systems.

For additional security, consider selecting a gun safe you can anchor to the floor. Keep your safe out of view of any windows or easily accessed areas.

Child Safety and Legal Compliance

In many states, gun safes are also a legal requirement for child safety. In April 2023, Michigan passed Senate Bill 79, a safe storage law that will go into effect in early 2024. The law will require Michigan gun owners to use gun locking or storage devices in any home or property where a child is reasonably likely to be on the premises.

Fire Protection

Gun safes, similar to various safes and lockboxes, can be constructed using materials and designs that resist fire, safeguarding their contents. They not only protect vital documents and firearms from fire damage but also help prevent the risk of stored ammunition igniting inadvertently — a hazard known as “cooking off,” which occurs when extreme heat triggers unintentional ignition.

To verify the fire resistance of a gun safe, check for independent testing and certification by a recognized fire safety authority. In the U.S., Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a leading organization for fire safety testing. Safes that have earned an UL rating have been thoroughly tested and certified to meet established fire protection standards.

Rust Prevention

A high-quality gun safe often comes equipped with features to regulate humidity, such as built-in dehumidifiers, desiccant packs, or systems that promote air circulation, ensuring the air inside remains dry. These elements are critical for preventing rust from forming on your firearms’ metal components.

By incorporating these rust-prevention strategies, your gun safe does more than just secure your weapons; it also helps maintain their condition and operational integrity over time.

The Top Five Gun Storage Solutions

The type of gun storage you need can differ based on the number of firearms you own, your particular requirements, and the degree of security you seek. Here are some of the most dependable gun safes and storage options suitable for a variety of situations:

1. Standard Box Safes

The standard box safe is the most popular firearm storage solution, offering the broadest range of sizes and shapes. You can find everything from compact, bookshelf-friendly safes to units as large as refrigerators.

When selecting a box safe, size is a critical factor, following the security of the locking mechanism and the safe’s resistance to fire and rust. Make sure you choose a gun safe that provides ample space for your current and future firearm storage requirements, which may include:

  • All firearms currently in your collection, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns
  • Shelves and compartments for magazines, ammunition, and other accessories
  • Space for gun-related documents, such as a Michigan CPL, warranty information, firearm transfer records, or National Firearms Act (NFA) tax stamps and documentation

Opt for a gun safe that not only accommodates your existing collection but also has extra room to spare. By going one size larger, you can ensure there’s space for additional firearms, magazines, ammunition, and accessories you may acquire in the future, preventing the need to juggle items in your safe to make room for new acquisitions.

Gun Storage Solutions

2. Bedside Gun Safes

A bedside gun safe provides a secure storage solution for one or more firearms in your bedroom. Equipped with quick-access mechanisms, these safes allow for rapid retrieval of a weapon, enabling a quick response during a break-in or emergency.

While some may opt to keep an unsecured firearm close at hand for quick access, bedside gun safes offer a far safer alternative. They prevent children and unauthorized individuals from accessing firearms while not in use. Additionally, in areas with safe storage laws, having a bedside gun safe with strong locks can help ensure you adhere to legal requirements, providing both security and peace of mind.

Bedside gun safes come in various styles, each designed for specific needs and types of firearms. These include clamshell safes, which pop open when unlocked; drawer safes, which slide out for easy access; drop-down safes, which present the gun with a downward release; and under-bed safes, which tuck away neatly while still easily accessible.

  • Clamshell gun safes. This type of gun safe is the simplest and the easiest to use and install. It resembles a standard gun safe and is typically sized to accept one or two handguns, making it lightweight and convenient.
    Clamshell gun safes for bedside use typically feature a quick-release locking mechanism, trading some security for easy access during the night.
  • Drawer gun safes. A drawer gun safe is installed inside, or in place of, a nightstand’s drawer. They are typically only for handguns and feature the same locking mechanisms as a clamshell gun safe.
    A drawer gun safe adds an element of security by being inconspicuous. When shut, it doesn’t betray the presence of firearms inside, bolstering its defense against theft and unauthorized access, especially by children.
  • Drop-down gun safes. Drop-down safes, typically used to securely stow a handgun under a desk or in a vehicle, can also be adapted for nightstands or large drawers at home. These safes are generally designed to house a single handgun.
    When unlocked, the gun compartment is mounted on a hinge and designed to slide or drop downward, presenting the handgun’s grip for easy access.
  • Under-bed gun safes. An under-bed gun safe provides a secure option for keeping a shotgun, rifle, or carbine within reach but out of sight. Designed to fit discreetly under your bed, these safes offer quick slide-out access to your long gun for immediate home defense needs. While optimized for one or two long guns, they can also accommodate several smaller firearms like handguns or pistol-caliber carbines if preferred.

In-Wall Gun Safes

3. In-Wall Gun Safes

An in-wall gun safe is built to be mounted flush with your wall, functioning much like a traditional box safe but with the benefit of being concealed within the wall. These safes offer ample room for storing handguns, rifles, ammunition, magazines, and various accessories.

  • Benefits of In-Wall Gun Safes

The primary benefit of an in-wall gun safe is its space-saving design. By tucking away into a recess in your wall, it uses what would otherwise be empty space, freeing up room in your home without the footprint of a traditional safe. Unlike converting a closet or a section of your room into a storage area for your firearms, an in-wall safe is discreet. It can be easily overlooked, which is a security benefit in itself.

An in-wall gun safe maintains all the protective qualities of a freestanding safe, such as fire resistance, moisture control, and robust locking mechanisms, without allocating extra floor space. This makes it an excellent option for those looking to maintain a low profile for their firearms storage while still prioritizing accessibility and protection.

  • Drawbacks of In-Wall Gun Safes

A drawback of an in-wall gun safe is the complexity involved in its installation or removal. These safes, while optimizing space and enhancing security, demand a greater level of commitment both in terms of planning and the physical alterations to your home.

Before deciding on an in-wall safe, evaluate the structure of your walls to ensure they can accommodate the safe’s dimensions and weight, especially if the design is deep-set. Installation might necessitate specialized tools for creating a recess in the wall and securing the safe between studs. Since installing an in-wall safe often involves permanent modifications to your home’s structure, it’s critical to weigh this permanent commitment against the benefits to determine if it aligns with your gun safety and storage requirements.

4. Concealed Gun Safes

A concealed gun safe is ingeniously designed to blend into your home décor, taking on the guise of ordinary household furniture or items. Unlike other safes where concealment is a beneficial by-product, these safes are purpose-built to be discreet, often incorporating clever locking mechanisms hidden to preserve the facade of a typical piece of furniture.

While some models might favor rapid accessibility over traditional locking systems, relying solely on their camouflaged nature for security, the variety of concealed gun safes available is designed to be indistinguishable from everyday objects in your home. They come in many forms, with certain models specifically tailored to store handguns, such as:

  • Picture and photo frames with hinged or slide-out doors
  • Shelves and wall décor with hidden gun compartments
  • False books for use on bookshelves
  • False air vents with secret gun compartments

Concealed gun safes also come in larger, sturdier designs that accommodate long guns. These models often feature:

  • Bookshelves with hidden compartments or sliding panels that reveal rifle storage
  • Mirrors or artwork that swing open to unveil vertical gun racks
  • Flag cases or mantelpieces that contain a concealed storage space for rifles or shotguns
  • Furniture pieces like benches or coffee tables that have built-in long gun storage, accessible through lift-top mechanisms or false bottoms

Advanced concealed gun safes are equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology for security. These safes operate with RFID tags embedded in items such as wristbands, key fobs, or cards, allowing for keyless entry. Their sleek design excludes external locks or visible keyholes, maintaining a discreet appearance while offering quick and secure access to the contents inside.

5. Vehicle Gun Safes

A vehicle gun safe is tailored for securely keeping firearms within your automobile, providing a more secure option compared to the minimal security of glove compartments or under-seat areas.

There are two main types of vehicle gun safes:

  • Overt vehicle gun safes. These safes are similar to the drop-down variety often affixed to desks or nightstands, with many designed to attach to the side of your vehicle’s center console.
    Overt vehicle gun safes can be reached easily from either the driver’s or passenger’s seat, contingent upon where they’re installed. Typically, these safes cater to handguns and are sized to secure just a single firearm.
  • Concealed vehicle gun safes. A concealed car gun safe uses discreet or less noticeable compartments within your vehicle for installation. Options range from compact safes designed to fit within your glove box or center console to under-seat storage for quick access. Some safes are engineered to tuck away under the rear seats or in the trunk, offering ample room for transporting long guns securely.

While the convenience of vehicle-mounted gun safes is undeniable for frequent drivers, it’s essential to verify their legality in your area. Local laws may restrict leaving firearms in unoccupied vehicles unless securely locked away. Ensure you understand and comply with these regulations to avoid legal issues.

For example, in Michigan, you may not transport firearms other than pistols in your car unless they are unloaded and enclosed in a case or the trunk. If you are a Michigan CPL holder, an exemption applies to loaded handguns only.

Shop Reliable Firearms at IFA Tactical

At IFA Tactical, we are dedicated to helping lawful Michigan gun owners find the best pistols, rifles, shotguns, and ammunition for their self-defense needs. Browse our inventory today to find the ideal home defense and concealed carry weapons.

Contact us today with questions regarding firearm safety, secure storage regulations, and guidance on responsible gun ownership.

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