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Keeping Your Pistol Safe, Secure, and Accessible at Home

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Revolver on Black Bag

Gun safety has become an increasingly controversial topic in the United States. Guns are used to kill hundreds of people every year, yet they are also used in critical self-defense. That being said, this article doesn’t take a stance on the political opinions surrounding gun usage in the United States. Instead (and we’re sure all political parties will agree), we hope to help gun owners find more secure locations to keep their guns. Having a gun in your home can help your family to feel safer during home invasions. However, it’s crucial that firearms are kept in safe, secure, yet accessible locations. In this article, we will help gun owners learn how to store their guns in more secure locations.

Pistol Bathed in Bullets

Why Is It Important to Keep Your Gun Hidden?

There are many reasons to keep your gun hidden. If you chose to store your gun at home, it’s important that you know where and how to store the weapon. Safe gun storage can make your family safer and more protected. It’s important that gun owners hide any firearms that they have in the house and avoid leaving guns out in the open. If you’re unsure why you should keep your guns hidden, we’ve collected data and studies to help clarify why it is important to use gun safes instead of a nightstand drawer.

Hiding Guns Will Protect Your Children

According to gun safety specialist, Amy W. Anzilotti, MD, guns should be locked up in gun safes, gun vaults, or locked storage cases. The bullets to the gun should be hidden in a different location or in a portable gun safe. By splitting the firearm and ammunition, you make it less likely that a child will find the weapon and use it unsafely. Children are curious and will often open drawers and look into cabinets out of curiosity. If they see a gun, they’re likely to become curious about it. The child might pick up the gun and play with it. If the gun is loaded and left in the open, children can seriously harm themselves or others.

Additionally, teens in the home may be experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental concerns that may lead them to act rashly. If a troubled teen is able to access the gun in your home, they could use it to harm themselves or others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers. And, nearly 60% of teen suicides are done using a gun. Since teenagers cannot buy guns on their own, most gun-related deaths are done using a gun owned by a family member in the home. When the weapon is within reach, a troubled teen may use it to end their life. To prevent accidental or suicidal death, please lock your guns in secure gun safes.

Pistol With Leather and bullets

Protect Yourself From Home Intruders

Often, when it comes to home intruders, homeowners want easy and quick access to their firearms. They want to be able to reach under the pillow and pull out their gun. However, this can be incredibly dangerous. If a home intruder is in your home, they might find your gun before you are able to get to it. If the home intruder finds your firearms first, it could put you and your entire family in danger.

Intruders will enter a home and begin looking in drawers and cabinets. Studies have shown that burglars move straight for the bedroom (which is where a majority of guns are kept). If a burglar finds a gun in the home and has access to the bullets, the lives of you and your family will be put in danger. Since guns are not loyal to one person, they can be easily turned against you if you do not keep them in a secure location. Instead, you want to place your guns in a vault that a burglar cannot pry open or gain access to.

Protect Others From Accessing the Gun

When you have a gun in the home but leave the gun out in the open, you could be putting others in danger. When your children invite their friends over, you expose them to possible harm. Children often find odd ways to impress their friends. Because the mind of a child is not yet developed, children are not able to rationally think through a series of decisions.

When a teenager sees a gun or knows how to access the gun in the house, they may be tempted to show it off to their friends. This can lead to obvious danger because the children are not trained in gun safety. They might load the gun and attempt to shoot it in the backyard, injuring or killing someone in the process. Guns should never be made readily available to teenagers or children. Guns should be locked in gun safes to prevent teens and children from gaining access to the firearm for any reason.

Where are the Best Locations to Hide a Gun?

Hiding a gun may be stressful because you don’t want to put it somewhere visible, yet you still want quick access to it in the case of an emergency. Placing the gun somewhere safe, yet accessible can improve the security of your home and help you to feel safer. Here are the best locations to hide your gun.

Rifle and Pistol Safe

In Gun Safes

The first and best place to hide your gun is in a gun safe. Gun safes are specially built to hold weapons and are created to be secure. There are several types of gun safes, each with their benefits and disadvantages. Later in this article, we will discuss examples of gun safes in more detail; however, first, let’s find out why gun safes are the best way to store a gun at home.

If you need to store your home in your home, it needs to be safe. The best way to keep a gun safe is by locking it up when it is not being used. This applies to guns used for hunting, target practice, and security. Most gun safes are made from solid steel to prevent tampering. The steel vault will have a thickness of either 10 gauge or 12 gauge steel, though some safes will be made even thicker. The heavy-duty steel prevents anyone from getting inside the vault without the key or passcode, making the safe the best place to store a gun. A gun safe can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit the needs of anyone looking to hide a handgun, pistol, or shotgun. Gun safes are created for firearms, meaning that they are able to keep moisture and dampness from entering the vault. Most cases have foam padding meant to cradle the gun and keep the metal shining. Gun safes are not only the best place for locking guns away; they are the best place to keep firearms in their best condition.

In a Lock Box

If you’re unable to buy a safe, consider using a lockbox. The most important feature that is needed when locking away a gun is the lock. A lockbox can be efficient as long as the box isn’t left out in the open. Since the lockbox won’t have the same gauge steel as a gun safe, it will need to be hidden well. The compact size of a lockbox makes it ideal for storing and hiding and works perfectly as a pistol safe. You can hide the pistol box in the closet, in the wall, or in a suitcase to keep the box safe from curious hands. This gives you quick access to your gun while also protecting it from those who shouldn’t have access to it. Pistol safes are the most common type of handgun vault because of their small size and versatility.

Behind the Air Vent

Before we talk about hiding the gun in the air vent, it’s important to note that, even when hidden, guns should still be held in a lockbox or small steel case. When hiding a firearm, the weapon itself should be kept encased in steel to prevent the gun from oxidizing and growing old. The bullets should also be hidden separately from the gun.

When hiding a portable gun vault, you want to hide it in places where people won’t usually look. Often, one of the best places to hide the weapon is in an air vent. Air vents are found in every home, but they are rarely noticed, making it an ideal place to hide the gun in plain sight. When trying to decide where to hide your gun box, ensure that you’re placing it in a location where it will be overlooked.

Gun safe that can be used as a floor safe if installed correctly.

Where are the Worst Places to Hide a Gun?

Now that we know the three best places to hide a gun, let’s talk about the worst places you can hide a firearm. The worst areas are in plain sight where people can easily recognize the gun. Here are the worst places to hide a gun:

Bedside Nightstand

Sadly, this is one of the most common places where homeowners will “hide” their weapons. They think that by placing it out of sight, people won't think to look in the bedside nightstand. However, since this is the most common place for people to hide guns, this is also the first place an intruder will look for a weapon. Additionally, most people will put the bullets in the drawer next to the gun, making this one of the most dangerous and ill-thought-out locations to hide a weapon. A bedside gun is dangerous so homeowners should keep their hand gun in a safer location. Firearm safety is important to keep in mind, especially when living in a home with others who may accidentally harm themselves if they found the gun.

Under Your Pillow

For those who don’t place the gun in the nightstand, they will place it under the pillow. Whether the firearm is unloaded or it has the safety on, placing a gun under your pillow at night is not only dangerous, but it can be lethal. On February 10th, 2020, a three-year-old child was killed when a shotgun went off under her father’s pillow at night. According to the news report, “Pritchard told police he kept the gun under his pillow because people were out to get him.” The man believed that keeping the loaded gun under his pillow would help to protect him and his children. However, by keeping his gun under the pillow, his child was tragically killed.

Guns are dangerous and should not be stored out in the open. Storing a gun under a pillow can be one of the worst decisions you ever make. Instead, store your gun in a safe location where it will not endanger the lives of those you love.

Glock Pistol

In Your Closet

Again, many people chose to store their guns in obvious locations, hoping that this will help them access the gun faster. However, this simply makes the gun dangerous to the family. One of the obvious places where people might choose to store the gun is in the closet. The closet is an obvious place to store a gun because it is in your bedroom. If a teenager is looking in your room for a gun, one of the first places they will look is in the bedroom closet.

Mounted on the Wall

For many people, guns are more than a tool used for security. Guns can be prized possessions passed down from one generation to another. They can be relics from the past. However, no matter how prized your gun is, do not mount it on your wall. By mounting the gun on the wall with mounting hardware, you put the gun in plain sight. Your children and their friends will have easy access to the gun, putting your children in danger. Instead, store the gun safely in a steel gun safe to protect your family and friends.

This isn’t to say that guns shouldn’t be passed down from one generation to another as a family relic. Instead, we are simply warning against mounting the gun in plain sight. Your gun should be kept safe from those who may want to use it for ill purposes.

In a Glass Container

Another bad place to hide a gun is in a glass container. Many homeowners place their guns behind glass containers and leave the container in the open. Although this may look aesthetic, it’s not the safest location to hide a gun. A person can easily break the glass of the container and grab the gun. Even if your glass container uses break-proof glass, it’s still not the best idea to show off the gun in the glass container.

Pistol With Round in the Chamber

Best Gun Safes for Gun Owners

There are three main types of gun safes: mechanical, biometric, and electronic.

The first type has a mechanical lock. To access the contents of the safe, you will need to use a manual key lock and a key to open the safe. These can take longer to open if you forget where you hid the key (since we don’t recommend putting the key near the safe). Using a key can help protect the safe since there is no way to access the safe without a key. However, if you’re prone to losing items, one of the other gun safes might be a better choice.

Another type of gun safe uses a biometric lock. A biometric lock reads your unique fingerprints and memorizes the pattern on your fingertips by using a biometric fingerprint scanner. When you need to open the safe, all you need to do is press your fingers to the keypad. The safe biometric reader will recognize the fingerprint and open the safe. If the scanner doesn’t recognize the fingerprint, the locking mechanism will remain shut. This is the fastest way to gain fast access to the biometric gun safe and also one of the most secure ways to access your guns. However, make sure to wipe the biometric scanner after opening the safe so no one is able to replicate your fingerprint.

The last type of security gun safe is a digital lock with an electronic keypad. This type of lock uses a keypad with buttons. Because the safe is electronic, it uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to power the keypad. The lithium-ion battery is long-lasting and helps to protect the safe. If the battery runs out, the safe will remain locked until the battery can be replaced. Some electronic safes can also be opened using a key fob instead of a keypad. This type of safe is faster to access than a mechanical key safe, but it is slower to access than the biometric reader.

To help you find the best gun safe to protect your valuable equipment, we have found the three best gun safe brands in 2022. Here are our top five picks:

Liberty Fatboy Gun Safe

Liberty Fatboy Gun Safe

The Liberty company was founded in Utah by Jay Crosby in 1988. The company specializes in building gun safes for both residential and commercial buildings. The Liberty company is known as the number one gun safe brand in America. The Fatboy series specializes in protecting a wide variety of guns from long guns to pistols. The Fatboy comes in two sizes: one that can hold 48 guns, and the other can hold 64 guns. The interior of the safe is spacious and lined with foam. The size of the vault allows you to hold guns, ammo, and other valuables without feeling cramped for space.

The gun safe is also fireproof (for 75 minutes) and water-tight. It also has an 11 gauge steel safe body, and it can be used as a long gun safe. The safe is meant to protect your guns and to protect your family. It is also made to blend in with the aesthetic of your home, meaning that you can completely customize the safe and make it fit what you’re looking for. You can customize the color and material of the interior, choose between a mechanical lock and an electronic lock, and choose whether you would like smart features for the safe. For the features available to you with the Liberty safe, the price is incredibly reasonable, starting at $2,449.

Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe

The Barska Quick Access Safe is a long vault that can hold up to 12 rifles. It is a biometric safe that can remember up to 120 different fingerprints. The guns inside the safe are kept secure with a five-deadbolt locking system. The interior of the safe includes cushioned foam pads and storage space for bullets. The safe is built tall, meaning that some gun owners might be worried about the safe falling over. To prevent the safe from falling over, the safe comes with the ability to be mounted to a floor.

The main benefit of having this safe is the biometric feature. The biometric reader allows you to access the guns inside the safe in just a few seconds. You don’t have to remember passwords or safe codes. Instead, all you will need is your fingerprint. However, with biometric readers, you will need to remember to wipe the fingerprints from the safe after you use the biometric feature. Fingerprints leave residue on the biometric reader; the residue can be used to hack into the safe. If you remember to wipe the biometric pad clean after opening the safe, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Liberty Lincoln Gun Safe

Liberty Lincoln Gun Safe

The third safe that we have been impressed with (in terms of gun security and quick access) is the Liberty Lincoln gun safe. This safe also comes from the Utah brand Liberty and is fully customizable, like the Fatboy from Liberty. The safe has 24 color options that you can choose from to make sure that the safe fits perfectly in your home. You can fully customize the interior design of the safe as well as the type of lock on the safe. You can also choose to add smart features for added security, making it nearly impossible for a stranger to break into the safe.

The Liberty Lincoln gun safe guarantees that the safe can withstand 90 minutes of fire heat, ensuring that the safe is more than fireproof. It has an 11 gauge steel body with a sleek 5-point handle. The design of this heavy duty safe gives you easy access to your guns while preventing anyone else from gaining access to them.

Amsec BF7240 Gun Safe

Another popular gun safe is the Amsec gun safe. This acts as a security safe that is also fireproof for up to 90 minutes. This safe is separated into compartments to make organization easy. For the organized gun owner, the Amsec safe is a great option. The safe has a variety of varying compartments for standing, long guns as well as small handguns. This safe makes it easy to arrange ammo, guns, and equipment in a non-cluttered way. This safe will hold every type of firearm.

The safe has been installed with dual fire silicone seals on the door jam to ensure that the safe can withstand temperatures up to 1,275 degrees Fahrenheit. The interior of the safe is made with soft cushions to keep your equipment from scratching and scuffing while inside the safe. The outside is drill and pry proof to prevent any outside tampering on the safe. However, the only downside to this safe is that it is nearly twice the cost of other gun safes that offer the same features at over $7,000.

Paragon Lock & Safe

The final safe that is in our top five best safes for secure gun storage is the Paragon. The Paragon is a different breed of gun safe than some of the others on our list. This small gun safe is for the simple and casual gun owner. While the other safes on the list can hold dozens of guns, the Paragon can hold eight. It is a tall safe that cannot be bolted to the ground, making tipping a risk (even if the risk is low). The Paragon can work as either a pistol safe, a handgun safe, or a long gun safe. Since the Paragon has limitations, it isn’t recommended for a professional gun owner. The Paragon has made it on our list because of the price.

For a gun safe that offers secure protection, the price is surprisingly low. The cost of the Paragon gun safe is only $375. The safe does sacrifice many of the key features that make the other safes on the list luxurious. Rather than having an entirely padded interior, the Paragon offers padding only on the bottom of the safe. However, the safe does lack many of the more complicated features offered in more expensive safes, making it the perfect safe for gun owners looking for a simple gun safe. Small gun safes are often overlooked; however, this small gun safe is perfect for gun owners who are looking for a less extreme gun safe but who still want secure storage.

Pistol With Targets and Ammo

Gun Safety Laws at Home

Part of owning a gun is knowing the laws about using and storing a gun in your home. In some states, it is mandatory that the guns are locked and stored out of sight. In other states, guns can be left in the open as long as the firearm is not loaded. Gun laws vary, depending on the state where you live. However, some gun laws are very similar from state to state. To help you better learn what is okay (or not okay) in your state, we’ve gathered important gun safety laws that apply to gun safety at home.

Out of the 50 states, 11 have laws concerning firearm locking devices. The 11 states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island

Even with these 11 states, the gun laws vary, depending on the situation and the type of gun involved. Massachusetts is the only state that requires all firearms to be locked up in every situation. Other states, like California, Connecticut, and New York, require all guns to be locked up, but only in certain circumstances. All states require guns to be locked when they are being transported or sold.

In 2010, an important decision was made in the Supreme Court. McDonald v. Chicago confirmed that U.S. citizens have a constitutional right to possess firearms. However, that case did not define rules about carrying guns in public, and, instead, left each state to set specific rules about carrying concealed weapons. One distinction that was made was that homeowners could own a gun in their home without having a gun permit. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, homeowners may own and store a firearm in their own homes without legal repercussions. The Supreme Court recognized the importance of protecting a person’s personal property. However, the law does not allow someone else to carry a weapon onto another person's property.

Even when allowed to own a gun in your home, some laws prohibit certain people from owning guns at all, even in their own homes. These gun restriction laws vary from state to state, meaning that one person who cannot buy a gun in your state may be able to cross to another state and purchase the weapon. However, most states agree that convicted felons have lost gun privileges and can be apprehended if found in possession of a gun. According to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, the following people are not allowed to buy or own firearms:

Person Holding Pistol
  • Any person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by one year in prison
  • Any person who is a fugitive
  • Any person who uses controlled substances illegally (oxycodone, morphine, opium, etc.)
  • Any person who is underage (varies by state)
  • Any person who has been committed to a mental institution
  • Any person who has not lawfully entered the United States
  • Any person who has been restricted by a restraining order
  • Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor

Gun laws do their best to restrict access to guns by limiting the usage of firearms by unfit individuals. Firearms can be a dangerous weapon that can be used for good or evil. Abiding by gun safety laws (both national gun laws and state gun laws) can help to protect Americans from gun abuse.

No matter the gun laws in your state, you should always lock up your gun while in your home, even if it is not required in your state. Locking your rifle in a gun safe can protect your family more than it would if the gun was left out in the open. And if you're looking for additional ways to protect your family, check out Cove's effective and affordable security products such as cameras, sensors, and alarms.

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