16 Reasons to Own a Gun Safe (and 12 Reasons Not To)

More than just gun safety, there are many reasons to buy a gun safe.  Some are unexpected, like Homeowners Insurance Coverage Limitations and “Protection from Lawyers” (discussed below).

There are also many reasons not to get a gun safe.  The gun safe industry doesn’t like to talk about this, so don’t expect to see these anywhere else.  But these drawbacks are also summarized in this article.

This is the first article in the series What You Need to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe.

16 Reasons to Own a Gun Safe

1. Gun Safety

Controlling who has access to your guns is fundamental to gun safety.  Burglars are first and foremost, but also anyone else who may be in your home: children, visitors, babysitters, house-sitters, friends with spare keys, etc.

Different types of protection are required depending on who you’re trying to block access to.  A glass-front cabinet offers little protection from burglars, who are usually happy to break glass to get your guns.  Children are generally less inclined to permanently damage a gun cabinet to gain access.  However, children often have lots of time.  Even 10 minutes a day after school before a parent comes home over time could allow a smart child to try thousands of combinations on your lock.

2. Protect Your Rights

The message of most anti-gun political groups is that guns are dangerous in anyone’s hands.  They say that guns are a threat to public safety.  Therefore, their proposed solution to eliminate that threat is to eliminate all guns.  These groups often attempt to characterize law-abiding gun owners as irresponsible at best, and evil at worst.

Tragedies and accidents involving guns are exploited by anti-gun groups to push their messages.  Even non-fatal gun accidents attract national and local legislative attention, especially those involving children.  Regardless of how rare these accidents are, when guns are involved there will be media coverage.

Locking up your guns is a way to protect your 2nd Amendment rights by demonstrating responsible gun ownership.

3. Child Access Prevention Laws

While there is no federal legal requirement, 25 states and the District of Columbia have requirements that guns be locked up to prevent access to children, in some cases even if you don’t have children yourself.  The penalties for allowing a child access to a gun vary in these states, but you may face criminal liability for negligent storage whether or not the child gains access to a firearm or uses it to cause injury.  Check your local laws.

Remember that you may not have children at home, but from time to time may have young visitors like grandchildren, guests, exchange students, etc..

4. Firearm Locking Device Laws

Even in cases where there are no children present in your home, many states require locking up your guns. Eleven states and the District of Columbia require some sort of locking device at some point between purchase and storage.  One state and the District of Columbia require that all firearms are stored with a lock in place.  California even has gun safe regulatory standards which must be met for the safe to be considered a California Department of Justice-approved firearms safety device.  Check your local laws.

5. Protection from Burglars

What are your guns worth to you?

Some of mine could easily be replaced or upgraded.  On the hand, my grandfather’s WWII pistol has sentimental value that is irreplaceable.  The first pistol I bought was a 1911 with an uncommon factory chambering.  I bought a couple books and taught myself some gunsmithing, finally getting the trigger “perfect.”  I would hate to have to replace it.

Many AR owners do a lot of customization over the years which would be time consuming and expensive to duplicate.  Maybe you’ve built a precision rifle that shoots 1/2″ MOA and you finally have it perfectly doped after countless hours at the range and loading bench.  How much is that worth to you?

6. Insurance Coverage Limitations

Think your insurance covers your guns?  Here are some things to look into.

A. Insurance Firearms Coverage Limits

Have you read your homeowners insurance (or renter’s insurance)?  Years ago I got my insurance renewal in the mail and saw that the firearms coverage limit was only $3,000.  Most policies cover even less.  Many only cover fire damage, not theft!

With today’s prices, it’s not very hard to reach even modest limits in firearms value. I added up the cost of my guns and realized I was close to the coverage limit — depending on whether or not optics counted.

So, I called my insurance to see if the Leopold scope I had just bought counted towards the firearms limit.  Of course they said, “Once it’s bolted to the gun, its value is part of the gun.”  The floating forend, trigger kit, forward grip, and bipod I had installed would also count towards my firearms coverage limit.

I was able to buy an insurance rider to double my firearms coverage (at a significant additional expense).  To get more coverage I would have to actually change companies.

On some policies you may have to get your guns appraised before they’re covered at all.  Some will require you itemize your collection (serial number, etc.) after a certain total value.  Check your insurance policy and call your company to find out.

B. Insurance Market Value Reimbursement

Even if the full value of your guns is covered, your policy will probably pay out less than you need to replace those guns.  E.g. if you spent $3,000 on your guns, and your insurance covers $3,000 worth of firearms, they’re probably not going to actually pay out the full $3,000 for your guns.

This is because most policies will pay you for “market value” or “actual cash value” of an item.  Of course, this usually is not enough to actually replace what you’ve lost.

For example, you may have had a gun which sells for $1,000 today.  Yours was used and a generation 1.0 version though, so the “book value” is around $550.  Despite what the book says, you’ve seen them actually sell for $650 used, if you can find one.  An actual cash value insurance claim will pay you $550 for the loss of your gun.  This leaves you to find the $100 to $450 difference, not including sales tax, to replace it.

Many companies offer “replacement value” riders, which will reimburse you for what it would cost to replace the item.  This is rarely the standard option, you’ll have to specify it.

C. Insurance Covers Less Than It’s Worth to You

Even if you do have “replacement value” coverage, what your gun is worth to them may not be close to what it’s worth to you. Some companies are better to deal with than others.  If you’ve ever filed an insurance claim you can anticipate potential questions:

  • Do you have receipts for the gun?
  • Do you have receipts for your accessories?
  • Do you have receipts for all gunsmithing?
  • Do you have receipts for ammunition which was lost?
  • Do you have proof that the Colt Python you bought as a new-in-box investment has never been fired and is worth the new in original box price?
  • If you did the gunsmithing yourself, did you have your guns appraised afterwards so the value of your work is reimbursed?
  • If you’re making an insurance claim because of a house fire, were your receipts in a place that was burned up by the fire?
  • If your records are destroyed in the case of a “total loss” house fire, how does your insurance determine the value of what you owned?

These are all things to think about before it’s an emergency.

7. Required by Insurance Coverage

Depending on the number and type of guns you have, you may need an additional rider or whole separate policy to be fully covered.  Once your collection grows to a certain value, your insurance company may require you to keep your guns in a certain specification of gun safe, often with a monitored alarm.

You need to find this out before you buy your safe, because any safe certification that your insurance requires will probably be more than your average “gun safe” (more on this later).  Your insurance may also require you to split up your collection in multiple safes and reduce the likelihood of it all getting stolen.  This may apply to you Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders who carry enough inventory to get your insurance company’s attention. 

8. Insurance Discount

Check with your insurance agent if discounts are available for having a gun safe.  Discounts can be given for a gun safe, fire-rated safe, true safe, and other security measures.  

You should check before you buy your gun safe because again the requirements will probably exceed your average gun safe.  You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a gun safe which doesn’t get you a discount, when a better gun safe would have saved you money from insurance premiums in the long run.  The discount could “pay for” the new gun safe, as it did for a reader who commented below.

9. Protection from Lawyers

The title is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and not anti-lawyer, but those with experience in legal issues will appreciate it.  A gun safe offers some protection in legal circumstances and insurance claim disputes.  If your guns are stolen, it helps to be able to demonstrate that you took measures to safely and securely store them.

There are many ordinary circumstances where someone might have access to your house:  you forget to lock you front door and your neighbor comes in, your little cousin comes over to feed the dog while you’re on vacation, your friend has an emergency copy of your house keys but leaves them where her drug-addict brother-in-law finds them.

Let’s say someone steals your guns and then uses them in a liquor store holdup.  The robbery goes bad and the guy behind the cash register is shot and killed.  His family finds out you were “improperly storing your firearms” and file a lawsuit against you.  If you live in an anti-gun state you’re probably in a lot of trouble.  Even if the storage of your guns was totally legal, you might have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend yourself from this frivolous lawsuit.  Do you think those legal fees are covered by your homeowner’s insurance?  Think again.

I’m not a lawyer and this isn’t intended to be legal advice, but in a legal situation lawyers look to assign blame.   The chances of a lawsuit are mitigated by owning some sort of gun safe.

In about 1 out of 13 forced entry burglaries (sources), someone breaks into your home without leaving damage (e.g. using a credit card on a door latch or picking a lock).  Without any proof of forced entry, in these cases the police generally classify it as an unlawful entry, the same classification as if you hadn’t locked it at all. Depending on the laws in your state, the fact that there’s no proof you had your guns locked may make you an easier legal target.  This is especially true if someone commits a crime with your gun, and especially if it’s someone you know.  Around 20% of burglaries are carried out by people who are known to the victim.

Many people who’ve had to make an insurance claim will agree that some insurance companies seem like they’ll do anything to get out of paying a claim.  Being able to demonstrate that you were taking steps to protect your valuables makes your life easier and faster in getting paid back for your loss.

10. Protection from Fires

In most homes, everything would be lost if there was a significant fire.  A gun safe with fire protection provides some protection for your guns and other valuables from fire.

Caveat:  The realistic protection provided by most gun safes is debatable.  There is much more detail on fire protection in a following article.

11. Protect Other Valuables

You probably have many other valuables which you want protected from fire and theft and pass on to the next generation.  Because of its size, many things can be accommodated in a gun safe. 

Caveat:   A gun safe may not be the best place for some these valuables; more on this below.

12. Your Children will be Fighting Over It

In a time when the lifetime of a new smartphone or electronic device can be measured in months, precious few things these days will last long enough that you could pass them on to your children.

It took dozens of devices to do what one mobile phones can today.  Tablet computers are already replacing most laptops and desktop computers.  Who knows what the world will look like in 30 years?  But one thing is for sure, the value of your guns will probably outlast you, and with your guns your children will need a place to put them.

A quality gun safe from a reputable manufacture should be here long after you are gone.  It’s something you can pass on to the next generation.

13. Quick Access

Gun Safes Look Good while providing Gun Safety

Gun Safes Look Cool

If you have a gun for home protection, you’re aware how important quick access to your firearm is.  Many manufactures make small and large gun safes with locks which can be opened in seconds to keep your home protection gun secure until you need it.

If you’re keeping your guns in different cases with different locks right now, a gun safe will be easier than having to find the right key every time.

14. They Look Good

It’s hard to deny that gun safes look cool. Painted in deep glistening lacquer and accented with shiny plated hardware, the size and heft of a gun safe is really attractive.

Caveat:  Gun safes are more secure when you hide them as discussed below.

15. Concealed Carry

If you carry a concealed weapon, you have a whole other set of legal requirements in your state to deal with.  You’ll also want a place to put your carry gun at the end of the day.

When you get to your place of work or a gun-free zone, where do you put your gun? Different states have various laws regarding if and how a firearm can be left in a vehicle — whose property you can park on with a gun in your car, where in the vehicle a gun can be, if it has to be locked up, if it must be unloaded, and what is specifically meant by “unloaded”.

A vehicle or portable gun safe for your car or truck can keep you compliant with all the laws.  It’s often preferable to having to pop your truck to secure your gun, which can alert anyone watching that there’s a gun in your trunk.

16. Tax Deduction / Rebate

A couple states offer a tax credit if you purchase a gun safe.

In a number of states like Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Washington, and Massachusetts, gun safes are exempt from sales tax.  You may have to remind them of this in big box stores.  A bill has been considered in Congress for a federal tax credit for a gun safe.

Some cities offer incentives for buying a gun safe, like Northglenn, CO’s rebate. To be eligible for the tax credit the safe may have to have a test rating of UL 1037 Residential Security Container, so check before you buy.

You might be able to get a write-off if you keep your tax documents and business papers in a fire-rated safe.  A gun safe for a FFL will probably also be a write-off.  Check with your accountant before buying a safe.

12 Reasons NOT to Own a Gun Safe

That’s all very nice.  Now that we looked at the reasons to buy a gun safe, it’s only fair to go over their many drawbacks.  The series of articles covers these points in more detail.

1. You Probably Won’t Be As Protected As You Think

Pried Open Gun Safe

Pried Open Gun Safe

You go out and buy a beautiful gun safe.  You sleep a lot more soundly knowing that your guns are secure.  Then a few months later you come back from a holiday barbecue to find the door is broken.  In your bedroom, the safe is lying on the floor, pried open.  All of the contents are gone.  They used a pry bar and curb pin from your own garage.

Or one winter night you wake to a fire and rush your children outside.  After the fire is out you make it through the rubble to open the safe.  But the charcoal and steel inside bears no resemblance to the beautiful checkered walnut and blued steel that was there the day before.

These scenarios are unfortunately very real.

Safes have been around for over a hundred years.  Most commercial-quality safes are traditionally not very big.  They were designed to hold money, jewelry, and other smaller valuables.  Storing a long gun in them would have been impossible, so larger gun safes were created.

Even a modest “24 gun safe” has about 30-times larger volume than a common B-Rate home “jewelry” safe.  If you construct a gun safe using the same steel thickness and concrete-based fire lining as a true safe, the weight and cost quickly scale out of hand for most gun owners. 

Most gun owners just wanted a locked place to put their guns, even if it was less secure than a true safe.  The gun safe companies responded by cutting the steel thicknesses in half and using lighter fireproofing.  Everyone was happy for a while.

Then the gun safe industry got more competitive.  Some companies realized that if they made their gun safe look more like a high security safe than their competition’s thinned out true safe, they could sell more.  They made a number of changes outlined in this series of articles, which actually made them much less secure.

This site is dedicated to making sure you know what you’re getting before you spend all that money on a gun safe.

2. Centralizing Portable Wealth

Once you’ve bought a gun safe and put all of your guns in for protection, the missus will probably want to put some things in, maybe her grandmothers’ jewelry.  You also put all of your bonds, your great grandfather’s gold pocketwatch, your collection of silver coins, spare cash, some gold, and all of your other valuables in it.  If a thief breaks in you’ve just put all of your portable wealth in one single and potentially large, easy to find location!  One reader commented below that this is what happened to him.

If you intend to put all of your valuables inside your gun safe, and a burglar is able to steal or break into your gun safe, they will usually get everything of value that you own.  Keep this in mind when you’re planning your security strategy, and/or figuring out how much you need to spend on a safe.

Remember that gun safes were invented because making a true safe large enough for guns would cost more than most gun owners wanted to spend.   So compromises were made in both theft and fire protection.  Also, a gun safe is designed to protect guns; even if your guns survive a fire in a gun safe, many of your other valuables couldn’t withstand the same conditions.

If you can accommodate the cost and weight of commercial-quality safe large enough to fit your guns, by all means do so.  If not, it will probably be cheaper to get:  a secure fire-rated safe for your small valuables; a fire-rated media safe for your deeds, titles, bonds, photos, and electronic media; and a gun safe.  All three of those usually cost less than a gun safe with the same security and fire rating as the small safes.  Since you’re dividing your valuables, they may also be more secure.

3. Gun Safes are Expensive

There are lots of ways to overpay for a gun safe, but even the best gun safes for the money still cost a pretty penny.

We all have bills to pay and many of us have families to support.  Saving up hundreds or thousands of dollars these days isn’t always easy.  Compared to spending your spare cash on a rifle, scope, boat, dirt bike, ATV, trailer, stroker engine, or other large purchase, gun safes are not very exciting.  It’s no contest comparing a gun safe to my $500 truck.  After a couple repairs it served me for years of tailgating, moving stuff, shooting, riding in the woods, and sliding around in fresh snow just for fun.

Despite the large sticker price, for the money, gun safes are low in excitement per dollar.  Aside from looking cool and protecting your stuff, the gun safe just sits there.  That is until you have to move the thing, when it will be the opposite of fun.

On top of that, gun safes often don’t offer the best bang for the buck protection-wise.  Many people who come to this site looking for a gun safe decide they’d be better off first spending less money in other ways.

For example, before spending hundreds or thousands on a gun safe, many gun owners would be better off hardening their exterior doors.  Likewise a fireproof gun safe is lower priority than ABC fire extinguishers for the kitchen, garage, furnace room, and any room with a fireplace or candles.  A later article in this series has over a hundred different ideas for saving money protecting your guns.

4. Difficult and Expensive to Move

Gun safes are big and heavy.  A minimum level of protection from hand tools starts at around 800 lbs. Commercial-quality gun-sized true safes that can protect against power tools weigh well into the ton(s).

The location of a gun safe is one of the most important factors on how secure your valuables are.  Smaller, lighter models and modular gun safes can be delivered and installed by you and a couple friends, but the weight of a gun safe quickly becomes prohibitive.

If the path to where you want to put it includes stairs and corners, it’s going to make it that more difficult to get there.  The price of delivery will reflect this.  If the installation crosses a fragile tile floor, you’re going to have to make sure you hire a skilled delivery team.

Delivery is a double-digit percentage of the cost of a new gun safe.  When you move you’ll have to pay that again and again, or find a way to do it yourself.

5. You Move a Lot

The things you own wind up owning you. – Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Anyone that moves regularly understands that statement.  A gun safe just adds to that burden.

Your new gun safes may fit perfectly in your current house, but it may be a little too big (or small) for the perfect spot in your next one.

There are some types of gun safes are easier to move, such as modular take-down safes, which may be disassembled and moved in pieces.  Also the door on most models with external hinges can be removed to take it up or down stairs.

But, a gun safe isn’t something you’re going to be excited to drag from place to place.

6. You Can’t/Don’t Want to Make Modifications to your House

To properly install a gun safe, it must be securely bolted down to the floor or otherwise anchored.  If you’re renting and can’t make modifications to your place like drilling holes in the floor or wall, this is going to restrict you.

In many cases, inexpensive modifications like building a short wall to enclose the exposed side of your gun safe will offer protection similar to spending another thousand dollars for thicker steel.  But if making modifications to your home is out of the question, you’re going to have to pay more for the same protection.

7. Gun Safes “Shrink”

Gun collections grow over time.  The perfect gun safe now will probably be annoyingly overcrowded in a few years if you don’t plan ahead.

If the price tag of a gun safe is hard to stomach, imagine the frustration a few years from now of having to sell it at a loss and buy a bigger, more expensive one.  And then you’ll have to pay for shipping and delivery all over again and probably find a different spot for the bigger model.

Steel and other material prices are getting higher every year.  Like ammunition, gun safes are only going to get more expensive (or the steel gets thinner to keep the same price point).

8. More Difficult to Access

If you’re used to having your guns in the corner of your bedroom closet, putting them in a safe is going to make them more difficult to access.  The safe may be located in a different room or floor of your house other than the bedroom.

If you decide to use a dial combination lock, it’s going to take you an additional 20 seconds to get in each time even if you don’t make a mistake.  Most guys will need good light to see the dial, and you won’t be able to get in in the dark.  Electronic keypad locks are faster to dial, but have problems more often causing other types of access problems.

All of these things are important to consider when buying a gun safe. Many people wind up with a large gun safe somewhere in the house, and a small quick-access bedside gun safe for home protection.

9. Lack of Flexibility for Placement

A gun safe is generally a big rectangular box with a door that swings open to the right.  There are some specialty left-hinged, corner, double-door, and round gun safes, but in general that’s what you’re dealing with.

Because the location of a gun safe is so important for protection, you’re not going to have many options for which room to put it in.  Once you have a room picked out, you then have to deal with the size of the safe and its large right-swinging door.

10. Ammo Is Valuable Too

If you’re on this site, no one has to tell you that the cost of ammo has been soaring.  Demand and raw material costs has risen, as well as political factors.  A couple cases of ammo can be more valuable than the gun that fires it.

Putting ammo in a gun safe though is not a good idea if you’re at all worried about fire protection.  With your ammo outside of your gun safe, the fact remains that you’ve spent a lot of money to protect your guns, but haven’t bought any protection for your expensive ammunition.

11.  Another Thing to Deal With

Like most large purchases, your gun safe will be one more thing to deal with and keep track of.  Even though top quality safes are built to last for decades, they still need regular maintenance.

Graffunder for example recommends having a locksmith do an initial service on their safes after the first year of ownership, and every 5 years after that for residential owners (annually for commercial owners).  This is a good idea to prevent issues with your bolt work in the long term.  Your door may require adjustment during this service as well.

Dial locks can last forever with proper lubrication and adjustment, but skipping maintenance will void most warranties.  Even if maintenance wasn’t required you may need to call a professional.  To change a combination, many dial locks require a locksmith.

Expect an electronic keypad to wear out and need replacement once or twice a decade.  People often forget their new electronic lock combination right after changing it and need a safe technician to open the safe.  Over time the connections in your electronic lock may get corroded from heat and humidity in your Florida home. Your child might hang on the handle of your budget safe and break the shear pins, requiring it to be drilled open.

A safe is one more thing to keep track of.

12. You Should Hide It

Your gun safe has beautiful paint and chrome and you want to put it on display.  Unfortunately, having a safe on display means more people will see it, talk about it, and makes it more likely a burglar will hear about it.

Your safe offers the most protection when no one knows it’s there.  Because of this, many of the safest locations are tucked away out of sight where you don’t get to enjoy all the paint and chrome.

Now let’s look at the limitations of gun safe theft protection in 11 Myths about Gun Safe Theft Protection, the next article in this series.

What do you think? Leave a comment below, your thoughts are welcome.


  1. I don’t think it is a good idea to hide a safe, I put my safe close to the front door. I want the burglar to see it immediately and than he knows where all my valuables are, he do not have do destroy my house looking for them. I also have a code lock so that the burglar do not need to try to find a key to the safe in my house and in that looking destroying and overturning everything. My safe is of course anchored properly and has a good TLTR raring so the burglar will give up without destroying principally anything. The safe I did by used and it did cost less than most new gun-safes.

  2. Definitely some good points made here. I think one factor that is important is where you live. Is it a rural area where they will have unlimited time to access your safe or a more populated area with neighbors? Most burglaries are smash and grab, in and out in less than 5 minutes or so. The average thief looking for something to pawn for a few bucks isn’t interested in dealing with that 1000lb+ safe sitting in the corner.

    Another good tip is to lock up tools that could be used to break into your safe (Crowbar, prybars, etc). These usually don’t take up an awful lot of space and it is more peace of mind.

  3. One more reason not to have one: If the gov’t wants to identify gun owners, delivery records from the seller of the safe will tell them who and where you are. A little paranoid, I guess, but with the present gov’t anything is possible. Depending on how many you have, sometimes it’s better just to hide them behind a false wall or in the false bottom of a drawer.

    • Frank Mohrbutter says

      Jack I understand what your saying but even buying ammo on line will leave a trail buy ammo with a debit card at a store. I’d be more worried about theft of my firearms.

    • Gun safes can be used for a variety of items, not necessarily only guns. I find one other fantastic use for them as you see I am a numismatist as well as an NRA Life Endowment Member. And there are many, many, other reasons. Anyway, the governmet would need a warrant to search. Just imagine, the government goes through the trouble of obtaining a warrant to open my safe only to find my invaluable collection of marbles! Nough said!,

  4. @Paul B,
    I wouldn’t count on having a giant TLTR rated safe sparing your house from being trashed. After a few minutes of prying at that thing, how do you know the now VERY frustrated burglar isn’t going to smash the heck out of your house just because he’s PO’ed?

  5. Rose Henderson says

    I agree that gun safes look pretty cool. My grandpa had one and I always thought he had those large blocks of gold in there or something. It reminded me of what bank vaults look like so that’s where that silly thought came from. If you own a gun though I really think getting a safe is a must. Especially with kids around!


  6. Wild Hare says

    The problem I see is when someone is home. If a burglar puts a gun to your wife or child’s head and says “open the safe” then what?

    • That is an excellent point. In that situation you’re going to be forced to open it. This scenario demonstrates the importance of hiding the fact that you have a safe and valuables worth stealing.

      I could see a conspicuous Decoy Safe working in a home invasion situation. The burglar (or technically in this case, the robber) finds the decoy and forces you to open it. As long as the contents seem believably valuable, you may be off the hook. The real safe needs to be well enough hidden that there’s no chance of finding it.

      Another option is an Electronic Keypad with a duress code which opens the safe, but also silently calls the police. The robber will get your stuff, but hopefully get caught red handed or you’ll get it back quicker.

      An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure here. Taking steps to harden your home and keep a low profile may be your only line of defense against robbery/home invasion.

      By the way, a Decoy Gun Safe could also be an advantage if you’re worried about your safety in a Katrina-style confiscation. Decentralizing the location of your guns and valuables helps with both flexibility and security.

  7. Don’t forget that another VERY important part of making a safe work well for you is having a 24/7 monitored security system in your home. If there’s an alarm siren going off the moment the burglar enters, they have a lot less time to spend thinking about how to open your safe. There are more options than ever for electronic security these days, a true security minded approach would do well to consider these types of systems along with the best quality safe you can afford for your needs. Also, this site here is one of the best I have found for gun safe thoughts and options, thanks for your work, good sir!

    • Excellent point. A burglar isn’t going to hang around contemplating how to pry open your safe with an alarm
      sounding and the police on their way.

  8. I have been building and hiding gun safes since 1978. Family business that pretty much pioneered the idea. Our speciality, the walk in sized gun vault in an existing home. Not cheap! And yes, a decoy safe is a must!!!! Hiddensafes.com

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks for the comment. Your site and Discovery Channel video have some great ideas in them. I’ll add some links and video.

  9. Colin Skelding says

    Just a side…

    How many gun owners, having a safe or not, forget to keep serial numbers and physical descriptions (blemishes on weapons etc.) in a safe place? Also along with the paperwork, keep both a fired shell and bullet. Most handguns supply a shell when you buy them new. Just saying.
    -Colin from NH.

  10. someone in mich says

    The biggest burglery stats, outside the inner city, are druggies looking for quick items to take to local pawn shops. They only get pennies on the dollar for our valuables, but they dont care. As long as they can get a daily ‘fix’. Most are our local neighbors’ kids. My $700 Remington 12 gun safe has saved me every time. However, have lost all my tools, generator, saws and such. But jewlery, coins, handguns and rifles have stayed at home, safe & sound.

  11. I really wish I had found and applied the information on this site last year. My home was robbed in january. All of our guns, cash, heirloom jewelry, and important documents (including reciepts for value) vehicle titles, etc, were in the gun cabinet. As an added twist of stupidity, the cash and documents were stored in a smaller locked box in the cabinet that the robber took with them. Had I decentralized the locations of the valuables and not kept the documents in the small box, I am positive they would bypassed all of that, as the whole event was a smash and grab. They even left a lot of the guns, only taking the black rifles and other tactical looking guns. Tools the same way. High value, hand held only. The biggest headache has been the red tape to secure our identifies and documents. On top of that, they used my own tools to break in to my house and safe.

    Since then, I’ve heavily reinforced the garage entries and purchased a new safe. It’s not as high security as I would like, but price dictated I not go crazy. However, I am a home fabricator, so I am bolstering the new safe with added plate steel and heavy framing – If the robbers return they will wish they’d taken the welder instead. I know my modifications will void the warranty on the safe, but for less than $800 I’ve got security from about everything but a torch and a few hours, and a lot of noise.

    One of the other hard lessons was that I had very few serial numbers recorded. Living way out in the country where everyone looks out for everyone gave me a false sense of security. But things aren’t like when I was a kid either. I’ve now recorded the numbers and pictures of everything of value I own. And as soon as I can get some range time I will save the shells of all remaining arms as well. Using the safe locations chart here was an eye opener as well. Of course I had mine in the highest risk spot…

    So, all of that, and learning that the best defense is in layers of protection. I’ve still got a lot to do, but much better equipped if it ever happens again. Thanks for a great website!

    • Hi Ethan,
      I’m sorry about that ordeal and the loss of your heirlooms and hard-earned property. I hope you get back on track and you can put it behind you.

      Thanks for posting your experience and what you learned from it. Hopefully it will help someone else to avoid some of the same frustration.

  12. Moses Rivera says

    Thank you for sharing.

  13. This will sound suspicious but I have dozens of way to prove my story. My husband who I has a touch of Alzheimer’s tried to change the code on our large safe. He failed to complete th task and now locked out. He will have the door sux all the way around. Safe company only keeps code 1 yr or so. Locksmith says he cannot help. Is there a less damaging way

  14. Safe sales says

    this 16 reason to safe a gun is very important.i searcing some tips to safe gun now i found here.thanks for valuable tips Economy Safes Idaho

  15. 1/2 way into research on a ” gun safe”. Realized early there is no such thing. there is a real safe, or a locked box. I only have 4 rifles and assorted hand guns, but have valuables. There are no real 10 gun ” safes”, just steel closets??….Make me a 60″x36″x36″ 2 hr fire rated at 1600 deg, anchored safe, with corner bolts…10+ gauge side/ back/top/bottom walls with a 7 gauge steel plate door…Keep the door gap to 1/4 “..with the best fire door seal available…Not going to use this as my quick access home defense so manual dial is preferred. Power, lights and dehumidifier would be nice…Make it for +/- $1200.00ish and I am in…..I have a tornado shelter…don’t need a walk in safe…I might just use my in ground 3/4 ‘ plate steel storm shelter for a safe….just need a better lock…..

  16. I ended up purchasing a large gun safe that fit within some requirements of my insurance company and ended up getting a discount. So, #8 on your list totally worked for me but it depends on your insurance company I’m sure…

    Either way, it basically made the safe “free”. So that was a win-win for me.

  17. I am 100% pro 2A. With that heing said, I keep.all my firearms secure in a safe when not in use. I have s biometric safe attached to my nightstand for quick access, my wife and I both brill getting into the safe quickly. I know that nothing is 100% safe from theifs, but At least I am practicing responsible gun ownership.if my safe is broken into; which is possible, at least I know I did everthing I could within reason to keep them secure. I wish they would offer a tax credit for the purchase of a quality safe so that more people would secure them. Remember most gun crimes are committed with stolen guns

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