When it comes to storing firearms, you need to know what you want. Concealing your guns allows for quick access during emergency response, but they will be vulnerable to theft and misuse. And if you focus on preventing anyone from having access to your weapons, it will be harder for you to access them quickly. So which is best? Concealed or secure gun storage?
Most gun owners are, of course, familiar with the concept of concealed carry and the various holster designs that make concealed carry more effective. The concept of concealment for firearm storage is a little different, but it follows a very similar logic. You are looking to place a gun so that it can be reached easily enough to respond to an emergency situation.
The biggest difference in the considerations for personal carry and concealing a stored firearm is you want to be able to leave the weapon unattended. This means you have to think about mounts that will not fail, whether the gun should be loaded, and how safe the gun will be while left alone.
- The biggest pro is that you can actually use your gun for self-defense. When you keep your gun under lock and key, it is no longer a viable means of security.
- Concealing your weapon gives you access while not leaving guns in obvious locations so that criminals and unauthorized persons cannot happen upon them.
- When it comes to concealment, all you have to worry about is which gun works best. You can take advantage of the best handguns for self-defense or any other weapon that can fit practically in a concealed location.
- If you want to protect children from firearms, concealment does not provide adequate security of the weapon. There are some workarounds for this, such as personal protection boxes. But those are not very secure and will also need some form of concealment.
- You are getting some level of security for your firearm, though it is not as comprehensive as what you could get if you focused primarily on security. The more accessible the firearm is, the less secure it is.
Security means making sure that no one can gain access to your firearms. If your chief consideration is security, you need to buy a safe. The safe should have a reliable locking mechanism, use thick steel (the same thickness for the doors and the body), and measure humidity so your firearms are not harmed by moisture.
Buy a gun safe that you can grow into. One that will fit more than the guns you have now so you can take into account the fact that you might want to store more than guns, or buy more firearms. Make sure you avoid damaging your safe so that you can always have access to your guns.
- Storing firearms securely is ideal for the weapons that are not ideal for emergency home use. For example, long-range precision firearms are not ideal for home defense in emergencies. If someone is far enough away to have a rifle be practical, you should have enough time to open a gun safe.
- If you have small children who live in your home or visit frequently, you need security for your firearms. The set it and forget it nature of concealment is not reliable for keeping curious children away from weapons.
- When you are worried about someone stealing your guns, you should invest in security. You can also protect firearms from disasters with flood or fire resistant safes.
- Safes that are worth anything are always expensive. You cannot make your own, and if you could, it would still not be cheap. And if you try to save money, you will be sacrificing the security of your guns.
- Putting aside the chances of finding you have a broken safe while you are in an emergency, the time it takes to open your safe is going to take too long.
- Even if you train to open your safe as quickly as you can, even with a digital lock, it will take too long. But a better test would be to have someone wake you up in the dark when you aren’t expecting it, then you could try to open your safe. This is to illustrate the fact that if it goes in the safe, you cannot use it in an emergency.
- When your safe opens without a combination or has a lock simple enough to open in seconds, then the security it is offering is not its primary purpose.
Ideally, you should find a way to balance concealment and security. But the important thing to consider is which is more important for a given firearm. When something is more accessible, it is less secure. The more secure a weapon is, the less accessible it is for emergencies. Do what is right for you.
Ralph Goodman is a security expert and lead writer for the Lock Blog, the #1 locksmith blog on the Internet. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about locks, safety, and security. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, homeowners, locksmiths, and security professionals. Ralph has been featured widely throughout the web on sites such as Business Insider, Zillow, Bluetooth, Apartments.com, CIO, and Safewise.