If you are a brand new gun owner, you might be wondering where is the best place to store your new firearm. Don’t be embarrassed if you took the gun home and stuck it in the nightstand. Many of us did that the first time around, but it isn’t a secure location. There are many different opinions and options on this subject. Everyone’s situation is different and depending on your state’s laws, there are various appropriate and even possible restrictions on how you store your gun. It also depends on what type of firearm you purchased and why. If you bought a rifle exclusively used for hunting, your storage options are different from a handgun bought for self-defense. Further, if you have children in the home, it is your responsibility to store your firearm where they cannot access it. Most states even have laws against storing your firearm where children can have access to it.
Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, New York City, and Chicago have laws against any type of “negligent storage.” Meaning guns stored in the home must have a locking device attached. Trigger locks prevent the accidental discharge of a firearm.
If you do not have children, you may feel comfortable keeping a loaded gun anywhere in the home—as long as you know there will not be any unauthorized people who will have access to it. Because I have no children, I keep mine loaded on top of the nightstand when I go to bed. Blackhawk makes a holster that fits between the mattress and the box springs for those of you who want to be more discreet. I know plenty of people without children who store firearms strategically throughout the house—even in the bathroom! In the nightstand, on top of the nightstand, or in the living room next to you, are popular places. If your home defense gun is an AR-15 style rifle or a shotgun, keeping it next to the bed or behind the headboard are also popular storage places.
Many people choose to carry their self-defense handgun or revolver on their person in a holster while they are at home. This is a wise choice, as anywhere you are in the home you have access to your personal defense weapon. If you keep a loaded handgun on the coffee table in the evening while you are watching TV and get up to go to the back of the house, will you have a chance to get the gun if a home invasion were to occur?
Gun safes are an excellent way to store handguns and long guns regardless if you have children or not. Not only does it prevent children from having access, keeping your firearm in a safe while you are not at home prevents burglars from stealing them. There are different types of firearms safes. Some allow quick and easy access to your home defense gun, while others are large fireproof-safes storing many different types of firearms.
The brand new firearm you just brought home needs to be secured and accessible to you, especially if you need to use it in self-defense. Biometric and electronic safes typically only fit handguns or revolvers, not long guns. However, Barska makes one that holds both long guns and handguns. Electronic safes have a combination lock with a back-up key override if the electronics fail. Biometric safes offer quicker access, because all they need is your fingerprints to open. I like GunVault’s Deluxe Multi Vault because it holds both my handguns and has a few extra features like an internal light, motion detector, and a low-battery warning. GunVault also makes a less-expensive, traditional lock and key safe that includes a security cable.
When shopping for either type of safe, small or large, make sure the safe has hardware to bolt down the safe. Even though the large, multiple gun safes are extremely heavy, there have been incidents of burglars taking gun safes. Some of the safes can be pried open with a crow bar.
A bolted-down gun safe is the perfect solution for any firearm you chose. The best suggestion is if you do not happen to conceal carry yet, when you leave the house in the morning, lock up your firearm in the safe, and keep it out at night. This is the best and most secure way to store your firearm.
Hiding your firearm without a safe is the least secure way to keep it stored, however, there is concealment products designed to hide handguns. For example, Cheaper Than Dirt carries three products that look like typical household decorations that secretly conceal a handgun. There are books, a globe, and a working clock that all hide your handgun. Even though burglars want to get in and out of your house quickly, they know where to search for valuables. The bedroom closet, the nightstand, the bed, under sinks, furniture cushions, dressers, and bookshelves are all places burglars look for valuables. That is why it is important to bolt down your gun safe, no matter where you store it. You might think your hiding place is clever, but a determined burglar generally knows all your tricks.
To read more about children and the home and gun safety and storage, read my blog Children and Gun Safety.
To browse Cheaper Than Dirt’s gun safes, click here.
Do you have any questions about gun storage? Post them in the comment section.