July 5, 2021
Securely Storing Firearms in the Home
As a firearm owner, you are responsible for knowing how to properly handle your firearms and how to secure your firearms in your home.
Secure Home Storage Options
As a gun owner, you can choose from multiple options for securely storing and protecting your firearms when they’re not in use. Use this guide to determine which mechanism best suits your lifestyle, priorities and environment.
Price Range: $10–$50
A cable lock can be used on most firearms, allows for quick access in an emergency and offers security from theft. The cable runs through the barrel or action of a firearm to prevent it from being accidentally fired, requiring either a key or combination to unlock it.
Price Range: $10–$150
For those looking to conceal, protect or legally transport a registered firearm, a gun case is an affordable solution available in a variety of materials including plastic, fabric or metal. Be sure to lock it with an external device for added security.
Price Range: $25–$350
With integrated locks, storage boxes provide reliable protection for firearms and allow gun owners to legally transport them outside of their home.
Electronic Lock Box
Price Range: $50–$350
Electronic lock boxes are an effective way to store or legally transport firearms, and they also prevent theft since only the person with the code can access the contents. Some electronic lock boxes are specially designed for quick access to stored firearms.
Full Size and Biometric Gun Safes
Price Range: $200–$2,500
A gun safe protects its contents from the elements and allows owners to securely store multiple firearms in one place. Gun safes of all sizes are now available with biometric options to ensure only certain people have access.
5 Rules for Secure Firearm Storage
- Always unload sporting firearms carefully and completely before taking them into the home, remembering to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Never load a sporting firearm in the home.
- Always make absolutely sure that firearms in your home are securely stored out of the reach of children and other unauthorized persons. Unloaded firearms can be secured with a firearm locking device to make them inoperable. Unloaded firearms also can be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, firearm vault or storage case.
- Always store ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms and out of the reach of children.
- Always clean and place firearms in their proper storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
- Always re-check firearms carefully and completely to be sure that they are still unloaded when you remove them from storage. Accidents have occurred when a family member has borrowed or loaned a firearm and returned it to storage while it was still loaded.
Remember you are responsible for making certain the firearms in your home are not casually accessible to anyone — especially curious young people.
Firearms Kept for Home Security
The decision to maintain a firearm in the home for self-protection is a serious, personal matter. Any added safety benefit gained from owning a firearm depends in large measure on the owner having appropriate training and a clear understanding of safe handling and storage rules. Factors such as individual temperament, reaction to emergency situations, specific family circumstances and support for your having a firearm in the home from other adults in the household must be considered.
If you feel the need for quick access to a loaded firearm in your home, you must take special safety measures. Keeping a firearm to defend your family makes no sense if that same firearm puts family members or visitors to your home at risk.
You must exercise full control and supervision over a loaded firearm at all times. This means the firearm must be unloaded and placed in secure storage whenever you leave your home. Secure ammunition separately. Fatal home firearm accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were securely hidden or out of reach.
Be sure to check municipal, county, state and federal law for any requirements about secure storage of firearms and ammunition, as well as requirements about having loaded firearms and the discharge of firearms in your community.