First-Time Gun Owner's Guide to Storing Guns

First-Time Gun Owner's Guide to Storing Guns

Posted by David Workman on Feb 24, 2021

Beginner’s Guide to Storing Guns

Thanks to the current socio-political climate, 2020 guns sales in the US almost doubled the 2019 total sales nationwide. While this is good news in many ways, it also means there are a lot more guns that need to be kept in safe places when not in use. If you are one of those new guns owners, congratulations! Welcome to the gun community! We’re glad you’re here! We hope you find gun ownership as fun and rewarding as long-time gun owners do. We also hope you will take a moment to learn about the best ways to keep your new gun – or guns – safely out of the hands of folks who shouldn’t have one.

Whether you purchased a handgun or long gun, it needs to be safely tucked away when not in use so that the wrong people don’t get a hold of it. There are both criminal and civil liabilities that go along with gun storage and keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not or cannot possess them. They could be criminals intent on doing harm or curious children who could mishandle the firearm. Either way, here are a few suggestions for the best way to safeguard your guns.

Basic Considerations

No matter what type of guns you have, there are a few universal must-haves for storing them. First, they need to be locked up when not in use. This means your safe or secure locker needs to have a lock, not just a door. Whether it’s a key lock, combination lock, or biometric/fingerprint lock, the important thing is that it locks securely.

Second, it must be quickly accessible if you need to get to your guns in a hurry. While different safes serve different purposes (see below), every safe must be easy to unlock and open in time of need.

Pistol Safes

Sometimes you don’t need a gigantic safe, just one big enough to hold a handgun or two. In this case, a smaller safe such as something from American Rebel, works great for keeping a gun handy at a moment’s notice. Many gun owners keep a gun by the bedside in a quick-to-access safe that opens via either digital combination or biometric fingerprint scanner. These are extremely useful for the times when something goes bump in the night and you might need to defend yourself or your family. The challenge with home defense is how to stage a gun in a readily accessible location with it remaining locked up until it is needed. A small safe right by the bed can handle that.

Other small safes aren’t as sophisticated but work great for other applications. If you need to keep a gun in the car or want to travel on an airplane with your firearm in a checked bag, a small key-operated safe is perfect. Pretty much every small safe out there is TSA approved. If you’re not sure if yours is, check the TSA website.

Large Gun Safes

For long-term home storage and for safely keeping long guns such as rifles and shotguns tucked away, move up to a larger model, one that will accommodate not only the guns themselves but also a host of accessories for all your firearms. Just like with a smaller safe, the larger one needs a solid locking mechanism that can be easily accessed by those authorized to do so while keeping the wrong hands off the guns. Companies such as Liberty, American Rebel, and others have a large selection of sizes and features to fit your needs.

The beauty of a big safe is it’s typically big enough to house a whole lot of guns and accessories, such as spare magazines, ammunition, optics, cleaning supplies, and anything else you might need to keep your guns operating smoothly. This is great, especially if you own multiple guns with lots of goodies. The drawback to these larger safes is they don’t always have the greatest organizational options inside, which means things might get lost in there. If you have multiple rifles, for example, it may be hard to keep them all easily accessible since they all end up leaning against the back and side walls, deep within the dark safe.

Unconventional Gun Storage

Whether you're feeling thrifty, resourceful, or wanting to disguise your storage container, some gun owners turn to unconventional gun storage methods. Check out these creative ways to conceal your firearms in something other than an official "gun safe." The following photos were submitted from customers who used Rifle Rods and Handgun Hangers to retrofit their storage space.

Vending Machine Gun Safes

Locking Closet Gun Storage

Keeping Gun Safes Organized

One quick fix to this challenge is to add a set of Rifle Rods in the large main compartment to help keep those long guns straight and organized. The Rifle Rods attach easily to a loop field affixed to the ceiling of the safe or under a shelf and slide safely down the barrel of each rifle or other long gun, allowing the rifles to stand at attention in organized rows for easy identification and access without having to, ahem, rifle through them to find the right one. (Sorry about that.)

You can organize your handguns in a similar way with the Handgun Hangers that allow you to store handguns on top or hanging underneath the smaller shelves inside the safe for easy organization and quick access. Like the Rifle rods, these too offer a single rod that effortlessly slides down each handgun barrel with a non-marketing polymer that won’t damage the rifling or chip the muzzle.

pistol hangers

Whatever safe you choose, be sure it holds your guns and accessories in a neat and orderly way so you know what you have inside the safe and can get to whatever you need when you need it.