Although gun locks may prevent unintentional firing, they are not effective in preventing unauthorized access to your gun on their own. A dedicated thief can also break into a safe, (or at least try to), with the right tools and expertise. A better way would be to secure your firearm in a place that is out of sight. After all, children and unauthorized users cannot access it if they are unaware of its existence or location.
So, what are the best places to store guns without a safe? The top hiding spots are secure, unusual, camouflaged and concealed to prying eyes but readily accessible by the gun owner.
We have featured several gun storage solutions that you can incorporate into everyday objects to increase the security of your firearms.
Although Federal law requires licensed firearm dealers to have secure gun storage wherever firearms are sold, it does not require the same from gun owners.
However, there are State and local secure storage laws that vary according to where you live.
So far, 29 states have adopted Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws that impose penalties on gun owners who allow unauthorized firearm access to children. Massachusetts and California have the strictest penalties whereas Utah is among the states with the least stringent laws that only consider criminal liability if an adult directly provides a minor with a gun.
San Francisco and New York have local ordinances relating to secure firearm storage in certain circumstances. For instance, they require safe storage when the gun is not in the owner’s possession.
With a bit of creativity, you can find secret and secure places where you can store a gun in the absence of a safe. We have listed interesting gun storage ideas that are inexpensive, easy to implement and discreet to children and prying eyes but within your easy reach. Check them out to see the ones that would be suitable for your space, house layout, weaponry and individual preferences.
Lock boxes and locking gun cases provide the best affordable, compact and portable way of storing a gun without using a safe. They usually feature waterproof, dustproof and impact-resistant polymer construction, rubber gasket seals, interior padding, an ergonomic handle, snap latches, and sufficient room for small firearms such as a revolver or semi-automatic pistol.
CASEMATIX Hard Gun Case comes with 3 layer-lining of of dense shock-absorbing foam, an airtight and waterproof seal, a latching system and dual padlock rings for extra security.
Many lock boxes are fireproof and resistant to moisture. You can also add silica gel packets to the gun case or lock box to mitigate rust and condensation.
A lock box can easily fit in the glove box or you can bolt or cable it underneath a car seat for extra protection during transport. Although many gun cases and boxes are designed for convenient transport and storage of handguns, there are larger models that can fit shotguns and rifles.
Locked containers will deter your little ones from accessing the gun but it is advisable to keep the gun case in a hidden location where it will not draw the attention of an intruder. Since it is difficult to mount lock boxes without customization, consider using a steel cable as an additional preventative measure to secure the lock box to an immobile or heavy item.
There is a wide range of concealment furniture options with a variety of sizes, designs, finishes, quick-access systems and concealed storage to hide your rifle or shotgun in plain sight. Concealment furniture may be in form of coffee tables, cabinets, shelves, dressers, nightstands, bookcases, or storage benches.
These ingenious solutions provide a discreet way to quickly access your firearm by disguising its location as ordinary furniture. The best concealment furniture includes a secure locking system like RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and protective lining of padded inserts such as polyurethane foam. Some models are available with motion activated lighting for low visibility purposes.
Furniture serves as the best way to store guns without a safe when they blend seamlessly with your existing furniture and décor. Some shelves come with a trap door. When using shelves with concealed storage, you can increase invisibility by having your home defense weapon behind pantry items such as cereal boxes or canned food.
Although a gun safe provides additional security, a lockable gun rack may be more convenient when you need immediate access to your gun, especially if you have an assortment of firearms.
The racks provide modular storage that you can expand to fit extra sections for more guns. They are available in vertical or horizontal configurations, and the latter can accommodate several long guns while using minimal space.
The racks typically installed to a cabinet or closet wall stud feature sturdy steel construction with rubber wrapped edges to protect your gun against scratches and damage. The mounting hardware may include butterfly expansion screws for plaster walls.
Racks usually have a high weight capacity that can accommodate multiple guns, magazines and accessories. Coat racks feature a space-saving design, hidden storage and a magnetic safety lock.
The second best way to store guns without a safe and to prevent rust is to keep them in a heavy-steel gauge cabinet with high-quality locking mechanism in a place that is resistant to humidity and constant fluctuations in temperature.
Gun cabinets are generally cheaper and smaller than safes. They are also more lightweight which helps if you move the cabinet regularly. However, we recommend bolting your gun cabinet to surfaces, racks and mounts in more discreet locations for greater security.
Some of the features that make a high-quality gun cabinet include a thick door that is designed to be resistant to prying or grinding.
Display cabinets are made from beautiful tempered glass or wood designs that are more suitable for showing off your firearms rather than storing them safely.
A gun vault provides an impenetrable way to store your guns without a safe, especially if you have a large collection. It has a higher storage capacity that accommodates multiple sizes and orientations of firearms.
Gun vaults feature a tamper-resistant profile of several layers of heavy gauge steel, a hidden vault door and a reliable locking mechanism consisting of algorithm pattern recognition and biometrics
You can convert an existing space into a vault with reinforced walls or build one from scratch and customize the size according to the available space. Alternatively, you may prefer purchasing a vault kit that you can install to any wall in your house. The kits can fit above cabinets, in drawers, on closet shelves or underneath beds, among other camouflaged locations.
Decorations provide the perfect disguise to hide your gun right out in the open without a safe. They can range from artworks such as wall posters and paintings to colorful vases and holiday decorations like Christmas trees. Other items include large clocks, vines and picture frames.
The first step is to identify a convenient and accessible spot that provides sufficient space for your firearm while remaining out of sight from prying eyes. You can create one by using drywall and framing lumber and then drilling evenly spaced holes where you will attach the mounting screws to the stud framing. Alternatively, you can use a false tile in the wall.
The size of the gun compartment will depend on the number of firearms and also their overall shape and size. It could be located within the walls, between the curtains and the above wall, or behind an inconspicuous object like a clock, artwork, mirror, plant pot, or a decorative rug.
A gun room is dual-use; it is ideal for firearm owners who would like to display as well as secure their gun collections in a dedicated space.
A gun room includes advanced safety features such as reinforced walls, fire protection, high-security panels, biometric locking system, and forced entry resistance. The walls may be made from concrete with ballistic steel or bullet resistant fiberglass panels, and the doors usually meet the forced entry SD-STD-01.01 standard Trusted Source Department of State Forced Entry Testing, ASTM Forced entry testing is conducted on building envelope and system components such as doors, windows, wall panels and escape hatches as an attempt to penetrate or distort an edge in order to disengage a fitting or device from its mountings and allow access. nts.com set by the US Department of State to protect your weaponry against break-ins.
When choosing the location of a gun room, choose a discreet space with few access points and obstructions such as ductwork. It should have enough space to mount all your firearms.
Pick a door clad that blends well with your home décor to obscure the gun room entrance.
You can increase the fire resistance of your gun room by caulking cracks with flame retardant foams and using type x drywall and flame retardant sprays.
The mounted display should have your guns displayed in a way that does not limit their visibility. You may consider vertical storage if you have several guns and limited space.
A gun room can be quite expensive depending on the size, design and technology but it is superior to a safe in securing your gun.
We have already explained the best way to store guns without a safe and prevent rusting from moisture on the floor. Sometimes, you may have a tiled floor or slab foundation, or have restrictions on floor drilling if you are renting the house.
In this case, you should look for a solid stationary structure to attach to your firearm to keep it safe from theft or even tipping over.
Gun cables are usually made of steel and are available in various lengths and locking mechanisms. Some of the objects that are popular for tethering a locked box with guns include a desk or car seat.
When anchoring your gun case to a fixed object, place the case on a rubber mat to protect the flooring surface.
You can place your guns in a gun case or locking box and then place it under the floorboard to keep it out of sight. This is particularly easy if you have a wooden floor with boards that you can conveniently loosen and replace with simple woodworking to fit an integrated floor compartment. Take advantage of your furniture and carpets to cover and conceal the location of your weapon.
If you have a concrete floor, you can consider bolting down the box to the floor instead of beneath it. Choose a moisture-controlled place with little traffic.
A basement can be a good hiding location but it would be unsuitable for gun storage because it tends to have poor heat and air conditioning Trusted Source The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality | US EPA While pollutant levels from individual sources may not pose a significant health risk by themselves, most homes have more than one source that contributes to indoor air pollution. www.epa.gov which can cause rust due to high humidity levels. Basements with poor drainage systems are also the most likely places to be affected if there is flooding.
If you have multiple guns that you wish to install under the floorboard of an upper room, you should first ensure that you have fortified floors that can sustain the weight of your firearm collection.
You can convert a pile of clothes, toys and boxes to an unobtrusive hiding spot for a firearm. Tether the strong box with your gun collection to the floor and then cover it with stacks of old or banal items. No intruder would immediately think of looking for valuables in a cluttered mess.
The disadvantage of this method is that it can be time-consuming; you will have to clear the items whenever you need to access your gun and also replace them after putting the gun back in storage.
Below are more ways to secure your firearm and accessories for more options.
Hidden furniture, cabinets and vaults are some of the places where you can store a gun without a safe. You can take additional security measures by using a gun lock to disable your weapon and prevent it from accidental discharge.
A steel cable lock secures your gun. After unloading your firearm, you feed the cable lock through the magazine slot in pistols or the barrel on a revolver or the loading port in long guns. Next, you lock the cable with a combination or a key.
Trigger locks are more popular because they are more compact and compatible with a variety of firearms such as shotguns, revolvers, BB guns, rifles, and semi-automatic handguns. They work by locking the sides of the trigger so the gun cannot fire but you should not use them on loaded guns because you might hit the trigger by chance when installing the lock. Trigger locks are secured with biometrics as well as a combination or a key.
Both gun locks are compact, inexpensive and easy to install. Models that use biometric recognition might cost you a bit more. You can use these locks to secure your gun without using a safe or pair them with your gun storage such as lock boxes or hidden racks for extra security against theft or unauthorized use.
Before investing in a gun lock, confirm that the size can fit your firearm.
A report released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in 2020 and 2021, firearm injuries Trusted Source Summary of Initial Findings from CDC-Funded Firearm Injury Prevention Research |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC Violence is a significant problem in the United States. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 1992, CDC established the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) as the lead federal organization for violence prevention. CDC is committed to stopping violence before it begins. www.cdc.gov as the leading cause of mortality in children aged 1-19 years. You can safeguard children from accessing and operating your firearm by employing authorized use technology such as biometrics and passcodes.
Using a firearm with magazine safety disconnect feature and loaded chamber indicators prevents unintentional firing.
Other suggestions include securing your gun with locks that make the firearm inoperable, unloading your gun before storage and storing ammunition and lock keys in a different location that will not be accessed by children.
Magnets allow you to mount your firearm on any surface in hidden storage that is readily available to you, if need be, when you do not have a gun safe.
Magnets from companies such as Tactical Walls give you greater flexibility and modularity by allowing you to mount your firearm to your desired surface, including walls. These magnets are also compatible with polymer grip firearms.
We consider biometric locks safer than combination locks because they use fingerprint recognition and each of us has unique fingerprints that are rare to forge. Fingerprint scanner technology also eliminates the need for keys that we could lose or combinations that we can forget.
Some locks come with a secondary backup that you can unlock with a key to override the system and many of them allow you to create up to 10 user profiles. MYPIN Biometric Lock goes a step further with a capacity for 20 fingerprints and 3 unlocking modes; Bluetooth App, fingerprint and a backup USB key in case the battery is drained.
Apart from unloading your gun before storing it in a vault, locked cabinet or storage case, you can choose to disassemble it for additional security. Once disassembled, you should secure the parts separately.
As a gun owner, the last thing you want is for your firearm to fall into the wrong hands. These could be your little ones, burglars or nosy visitors. You can secure your gun case to an immovable structure, mount it on walls or store it in an unremarkable object with a hidden compartment. Biometric and trigger locks provide extra security for your gun storage and they are compatible with a wide variety of firearms.
We are sure that you will find ingenious solutions you can apply from our list of the best ways to store guns without a safe. We have also included storage tips that will protect your weaponry from rust, moisture and impact damage. Remember to store your gun unloaded and the ammunition in a separate location.