How Do You Secure Your Guns? A Safe? Cabinet? What Methods?

I need a new and improved gun storage method. Right now mine are stored in various locations in the house with standard locks, the combination style trigger lock and the cable gun locks. Those types of locks work fine if your objective is to keep little kids from pulling them out of storage, then finding the correct ammunition for them and then figuring out how to load them. That’s why I have the locks on, though in reality, my kids are not old enough to figure all of that out.

Photo by julishannon

So why do I even put the locks on? Well … I don’t know. I guess because, for my long guns anyway, it’s the only locking system I have. I could theoretically leave them unlocked, but most new guns come with locks by default and I’ve acquired a few free ones over the years, so why not put them on? That being said, when I was a kid gun locks were a foreign concept. I remember as a kid finding my father’s loaded snub nose .38 in his nightstand. I was probably looking for a Playboy or something, but I was familiar with guns at such an early stage that the loaded .38 held no curiosity value for me and I knew not to fiddle with it. I likely thought “that’s not what I’m looking for” and moved on.

Side note: sorry you had to read that, Mom. Yes, I know Dad had a few Playboys. Did you really think I wouldn’t find them?

Time ticks on and while I’ll teach my kids about guns and gun safety, today’s world is different. Even if I am able to trust my kids, I won’t be able to trust the friends they’ll bring over. The problem with trigger and cable gun locks is they don’t secure the gun in one location. You can still pick it up and walk out the door with it. The other problem is that the guns are not centrally located. This, for me, isn’t any type of SHTF “gotta get my guns quick” concern, but more of a house tidiness concern.

So what do I do now?

The obvious answer is – get a safe. That’s a fine answer, but a good safe is expensive. I’m not exactly swimming in cash. I’m looking for a lower cost alternative – if I can find one. I’ve read details about how some people build a concrete block “gun room” in their basement to store their guns and that seems like it’d be cool idea, but I don’t have enough guns to fill a room. I have enough to cover my bases. I’m not a collector.

The lower cost alternative is a standard gun cabinet, a sheet metal style safe wannabe. While these don’t offer fire protection, and a motivated thief can bust through one fairly easily, they do offer a locked layer of protection.

Should I really be concerned about fire protection, though? I’m not that far from the fire department, so there is very little likelihood my house would ever burn to the ground, and what if I did lose my guns in a fire, well – I lose my guns in a fire. If I had a pile of cash (ha!) and precious documents, I could just put those in a small, low-cost fireproof safe. Fire doesn’t concern me that much, it’s more the idea of a thief rushing through the house trying to steal something or my kids’ future friends that come visit that concern me more. Losing your guns in a fire is one thing. Losing a life at the hands of your gun is something else.

Right now I’m debating between a low-cost metal locking cabinet or making my own locking closet and running a 6′ gun vault cable through the rifles as a 2nd layer of defense. I’d want whatever I end up deciding on to accept a gun safe dehumidifier. I could build the locking closet to have a vapor barrier which would facilitate the dehumidifying action, but does a cheap gun cabinet have the same vapor barrier effect?

One disadvantage to a gun cabinet (and a safe for that matter) is that if someone sees it – they know where your guns are. So even if I had a gun cabinet, I’d want to conceal it somehow. Maybe I’m better off building my own locking closet? Maybe I’m better off just saving up and buying a real safe? Ugh – decisions!

– Ranger Man

BTW: I just want to thank to the person(s) that dropped a SHTF Blog link on their Facebook page. I don’t know who you are, but I appreciate the referrals. I also want to thank those of you that have been using the Amazon search bar in the sidebar to do your online shopping. The spare change adds up and helps defray the cost of maintaining this site.