For any responsible gun owner, the first step in the process of deciding to purchase a firearm is ensuring that you have adequate and secure storage for that firearm prior to purchase.
In many countries and jurisdictions, you cannot obtain a permit to own a gun without either proving the existence of a secure method of storage or undergoing safety training on firearm ownership.
So what do you need to know in order to purchase the best gun safe for your purposes and budget? Well, there are several considerations to make and many options on the market to meet your needs.
First, we will look at method of storage and why you will likely need two safes, or at least one main safe with two additional lock boxes.
How to Secure Your Firearm
Whatever your reason for possessing a firearm may be, whether for hunting, animal control, target practice, private collection, employment, or personal protection, you must ensure that the firearm cannot be misappropriated for the wrong purposes. Unless you are a collector of antique guns that have been rendered non-functional, this entails locking the firearms up tight.
And merely locking them up is not the final word. The safest way to store any firearm is also a taxing process of exercising an abundance of caution. Ideally, the gun should be disassembled and stored in two separately secured locations.
All ammunition should be stored away from the firearms and also kept in a fortified hiding place. This is not to say that you need three different gun safes, but ammunition should at very least be kept in an industry-standard lock box.
Do not under any circumstances store gunpowder or other combustible materials in your safe. Responsible storage of all ammunition is as important as securing the firearm itself.
Two gun safes is an ideal amount, as you can store separate parts of the dismantled firearm or firearms in each.
If two gun safes are beyond your budget, consider removing just the stock or firing pins and placing these in a lock box, with ammo in an additional lock box. If you only need to store handguns, all the secure pistol storage and ammo storage you need can likely be had for under $500 if money is a concern.
Planning for the Future
Unless purchasing a gun safe for a specific purpose (like speed and ease of access to a handgun kept for protection) it is wise to choose a larger gun safe that you presently need. You may be likely to purchase more firearms in the future, and a quality gun safe can store any valuables securely.
A gun can be one of the more valuable things you own, so it makes sense to lock it up along with important documents and expensive jewelry. The ideal safe design should be one that can secure both large and small firearms, as well as other valuables.
A stacked safe of roughly 60 inches will be able to accommodate most shotguns and rifles, and many feature a top shelf for handguns. Inset drawers of shelves can help optimize storage space.
Though it may seem like an unnecessary expense today, investing the extra money to get a fireproof safe can be a wise decision. You are likely to own this safe for decades and it will contain both valuable and dangerous materials. If a fire sweeps through your home or business, fireproofing would come in mighty handy.
A really good safe to store long guns will cost over $1000. This is a hefty expense, but a necessary one for any responsible gun owner. That said, much smaller safes and those to just store one or two handguns can cost much less and offer everything needed to secure small arms.
Keypads can help with easy access to the safe, but rotary dials tend to be more reliable over time.
The heavier, the better, although be reasonable. Buying a safe that weighs 1,000 pounds can bring a lot of other costly issues with it in terms of installation. Plus, that would be very expensive due to the high cost of steel.
Decide for Yourself
You need to consider all the factors that will guide your gun safe purchase, and then ensure that this investment will be able to accommodate your needs for decades to come. This safe will likely be around long after you’re gone, so this is not a time to skimp.
Do you need a large, heavy safe for numerous hunting rifles and shotguns for target rifles? Or do you need quick access to a single handgun kept for protection? Only you can decide what best fits your needs.
Look for a high gauge steel (eight or lower will provide strong resistance to any saw or blowtorch) and opt for fire protection as well if you can afford it. If you’ve already spent money on one or more guns, the gun safe should not be the purchase you make with saving money in mind.
Security of the firearm itself is the primary consideration in owning any gun.
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