As gun owners, we are each responsible for gun safety, and a large part of that includes safe storage. Of course, what constitutes safe storage can vary from person to person. Someone with a large firearms collection and small children at home will have far different needs than an adult living on their own who owns one gun. The amount of space in your home and financial considerations are another factor. There are, however, plenty of choices to meet anyone’s safe storage needs, from basic lockable cases to giant fireproof gun safes.
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Many people prefer a long gun for home defense over a handgun. Certainly a shotgun or rifle is a more effective fight-stopper than any handgun. In some states and localities, it is also easier to own a long gun over a handgun. A long gun isn’t going to fit neatly in your nightstand but it will fit under your bed or in a nearby closet, and there are many storage options that offer safe long-gun storage and fast access.
American Security Products makes a back-lit electronic combination safe with a front opening door that fits neatly under most beds. The AMSEC Defense Vault is large enough to fit several long guns on its slide-out, foam-lined tray and allows for quick access. The safe can also be anchored to the floor for additional security.
Another reliable option is the TacVault from GunVault, which allows owners of ARs or other long guns to safely and securely store two fully loaded rifles or shotguns in a compact standing safe that can easily be concealed in a closet or behind a door. The safe includes a shelf for storing extra ammunition or magazines as well as other accessories.
The TacVault uses a single, long-lasting 9-volt battery and gives users a choice between a combination opening, user-selectable access code and a biometric lock that can store up to 10 fingerprints at once, providing access to multiple family members. The biometric lock opens instantly with a scan of your finger for lightning-fast access, which can be especially convenient under high-stress conditions or in the dark when codes may be hard to remember and buttons hard to see.
The whole unit is 48 inches tall and only 10 inches wide, and the steel construction is pry-proof. It can also be bolted to a wall for added security. The TacVault uses 14-gauge steel for the body and 12-gauge steel for the door, and it features a foam lining to protect the finish on your firearms.
Cannon Safes offers fireproof gun safes in several sizes, including the 48-gun Commander Series 54, which features a nearly 6-inch-thick steel and composite door with 1.5-inch locking lugs all around. If you are worried about someone stealing the 1,512-pound safe, it can also be bolted to the ground for added security. The Commander provides 90 minutes of 1,200-degree Fahrenheit fire protection to the contents and features internal light systems, power outlets and USB and ethernet connections. The interior is fully shelved and upholstered to accommodate rifles, shotguns and a lot of pistols. The door is secured by a backlit electronic combination lock with three layers of hardened steel plating.
The box spring on your bed is really just a lot of wasted space. Now, thanks to the BedBunker safe from Heracles Research, it’s space you could use to store more guns. This solid 10-gauge steel safe lets you keep guns secure and hidden under your mattress. In fact, each section will hold as many as 70 rifles and shotguns and 70 handguns on two internal shelves, and you can double the storage space by using two BedBunker units together.
I have standing gun safes and they take up a lot of space in a closet, a basement or any other room. They are also neither subtle in appearance nor very convenient to access. The BedBunker, by contrast, gives you pretty quick access at nighttime—just push the mattress to one side. The 0.25-inch-thick, 140-pound steel door has a gas piston system to help open it, and an internal security bar prevents access if the hinges have been compromised. You can also internally bolt two units together under king or queen size beds.
This is a serious, no-nonsense safe that offers up to two hours of fire protection for your guns, valuables and important documents, and it features a thick felt lining to prevent scratches or damage on the finish of your guns.
Another hidden safe is the SleepSafe, which looks like a standard nightstand and provides a top drawer (out of three) with fast-access security. This is a complete 2mm-thick steel safe encased in a custom, solid-wood frame to match your décor. It has a built-in, battery-powered biometric scanner discreetly located on one side that can store up to 10 fingerprints and which pops open instantly for fast access to a firearm. There is no need to worry about power outages given the safe’s internal battery and there is also a programmable code that can be used to gain access quickly.
Each of the three drawers is sturdy and locks securely into the steel vault so that even if the wooden cabinet exterior is destroyed, the integrity of the safe remains solid. The internal storage space is 27 inches wide by 19 inches deep and 26 inches tall, evenly divided between the three drawers, each of which can hold up to 100 pounds. To further secure the safe, it can be bolted to a wall from behind the cabinet.
Liberty Safes produces a full line of large and small high-quality gun safes for firearms storage. But the company also makes safe accessories, and one invaluable tool is the SafElert Portable Alarm. This security tool is housed in a polycarbonate body that looks like a restaurant pager and connects to your Wi-Fi network to send you an alert when whatever you have placed it on or in is tampered with.
You can protect your car, guns and other valuables from any jostling, prying, moving, opening, hitting or even overheating. The device will even alert you if the humidity in your safe gets too high and when the batteries run low. You can opt to receive the text alerts on your smartphone or via e-mail. The annual service fee through Elertus Cloud Services is very low, less than the cost of a box of ammo, and you can place up to five devices to receive the alerts so other family members can be made aware.
SafElert won’t replace a traditional safe but offers additional peace of mind when you’re away from home and is versatile enough to protect most anything. You can also identify and select what specific concerns you want to monitor, including ambient heat, humidity and/or movement. The unit runs off two easy-to-find AA batteries.
The biggest issue with gun safes is that they announce to anyone who sees them “valuables inside.” When it comes to the curious or those with ill intent, out of sight is out of mind. Hiding or disguising safes is a very old tradition, as is building intricate and elaborate hiding places for valuables. Modern firearm gun safes are no different.
Personal Security Products offers several everyday items that are actually designed to hide guns. The company’s Diversion Books are two leather-bound books that look great on your shelf. Each one is hollow and can hold either a full-sized or a compact handgun or other valuables. Personal Security Products also has two different styles of lockable mantle clocks that open easily to reveal a hidden gun-storage compartment.
Hiding a firearm in plain sight provides very fast access to you in the case of emergency. This also provides you the advantage of storing firearms almost anywhere in the home while keeping them completely hidden. Be aware, however, that some of these gun hides do not lock and only provide concealment, not security.
If you desire something a little less conspicuous TacticalWalls has developed a variety of concealment storage options over the last three years. Their products are handmade in the US with domestically sourced hardwood, and high impact ABS plastic. They have solutions for every budget and style of weapon. Whether you are looking for a hidden in wall mirror to hide a long gun and a few handguns, or a concealment shelf offered in four different sizes, to smaller table top items that do not require any installation at all.
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Another Tactical Walls product are its Concealment Shelves, which mount directly on a wall and offer a decorative touch while securing a hidden gun. The bottom of the shelf hinges downward for fast access. These shelves also feature magnetic locks for added security. The shelves are made of wood in various finishes and include a customizable foam lining for a perfect fit. Optional accessories include interior LED lights that come on when you open the hidden shelf. TacticalWalls can help you store, hide, and stage your home defense weapons in several ways throughout your home. TacticalWalls has been leading the way in fast access, concealment, storage systems that won’t break the bank, and look good in any room.
For More Information
- American Security Products: 951-685-9680; amsecusa.com
- Cannon Safe: cannonsafe.com; 800-222-1055
- GunVault: 800-242-1055; gunvault.com
- Heracles Research: bedbunker.co; 469-287-5520
- Liberty Safe: libertysafe.com; 866-537-0165
- Personal Security Products: psproducts.com; 877-374-7900
- SleepSafe: sleepsafe.com; 916-783-1160
- Tactical Walls: tacticalwalls.com; 540-298-8906
This article was published in the 2016 edition of the Complete Book of Handguns. For information on how to subscribe, please email subscriptions@