Do You Need Secure Gun Storage?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of the many hot buttons that the anti-gun crowd loves to push is one about gun storage. If you listen to their narrative, we all leave loaded guns laying all around our houses, literally inviting our kids to pick them up and use them. They use the occasional child shooting as “evidence” to back up their claims, which are really blowing up rare incidents and making them sound like they happen every day.

Leaving the political rhetoric aside, I’d like to ask the question of whether or not any of us need secure gun storage. There’s really more than one answer to that question; mostly because there is more than one level of “security” that we can be talking about.

I know a lot of people who have their guns stored in wood gun cabinets with locking glass doors. Most of these people are hunters; but one, in particular, is a collector, and has a number of antique guns stored that way, allowing his guests to see them. While the cases are locked, they wouldn’t stop a criminal who might want to steal those guns. On the other hand, they keep his grandkids from getting their hands on the guns.

At the other end of the scale, I know people who have rather robust gun safes, which they spent quite a bit of money on. They’ve got their gun collection locked up, sure that no thief could ever steal them. Considering that most of those gun safes aren’t bolted down, I wonder just how secure they really are.

The real question boils down to just what… or who you’re trying to secure your guns from. Securing guns from the hands of curious children is entirely different than securing them from thieves. One just requires a closed door and a lock, while the other can require some real security.

My wife and I live alone, other than our little dog. As best I know, the dog is incapable of using a gun and my wife leaves the shooting to me. I’ve taught her gun safety and enough about shooting to use a pistol in self-defense, should she need to when I’m not home. But the times when I’m not here to defend her are rather slim, as I work from home.

Buy it’s something else entirely when the grandkids come to visit. Like all children, they are curious and tend to get into things; especially things we don’t want them to get into. Guns which I keep secured in various drawers around the house, suddenly need to be gathered up and moved to a more secure place; one they can’t get into. I can’t afford to take the chance that one of my grandkids finds a loaded gun and pulls the trigger out of curiosity.

Thieves are another thing entirely, especially if those thieves know that you own guns. Guns are valuable and therefore worth breaking in to get. There’s always a market for hot guns; one which pays a pretty penny. Those thieves can probably get more for guns, than they can for other things they steal.

So, it would seem that a gun safe is necessary… or is it? There are gun safes I’ve seen, which look large enough, heavy enough, and secure enough, that I doubt a thief can break into them with a crowbar. But that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t cart the safe away with a hand truck; even if the safe weighs 600 pounds, fully loaded. Few people I know bother to bolt their safe down, leaving it open for theft. Once stolen, the thieves can take however much time they need to break it open and get to the guns inside. It’ll be worth it for them.

There are three things that any gun safe needs, in order to be safe and secure from those thieves. The first is to be well built. There are some low-dollar gun safes out there which can be forced open with a crowbar. Unless your main purpose in buying one is to keep the kiddies out of it, I wouldn’t bother wasting the money on those.

The second thing they need is to be bolted down securely. Remember, they will have a crowbar to use, so don’t think running a couple of drywall screws through the floor of the safe and into the home’s wood floor will be enough. The last safe I installed, I put ½” bolts through the bottom and the floor, with three-inch washers on the bottom side.

Finally, any gun safe needs to be someplace the thieves won’t expect to see it. Don’t bother putting it in your master bedroom or master bedroom closet. That’s the first place they’ll look. Most people keep their valuables in the master bedroom, making it the number one target for any burglar. Instead of that, find the most obscure place, where it is hidden from view and where nobody would expect to find valuables. That will protect your guns from the thieves and your kids from getting their hands on your guns.

It’s just the old “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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