Storing firearms safely is an important part of being a responsible gun owner, and your local gun show is a great place to find the storage systems and supplies you’re looking for. Vendors from across the country flock to Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show to get their products in front of you, and that includes gun safety and storage accessories. The best storage system in the world, however, won’t cut it on its own. You also need to know the secure gun storage tips and rules that create a safer atmosphere and help you prevent accidental discharges and unsupervised access to your weapons.
Different Kinds of Storage
What does gun storage mean to you? Every shooter has different storage ideals and different needs. Someone who owns a home defense handgun and wants to keep it close but make sure their kids can’t get to it faces very different challenges than a collector who has multiple handguns and long guns that need to be maintained to protect their value. Storing firearms safely begins with understanding your particular storage needs, the risks associated with them, and how to mitigate those risks to keep you, your loved ones, and your firearms better protected.
- Gun Safes – When it comes to secure gun storage tips for weapons you don’t need ready for rapid deployment, a large gun safe may be the way to go. They’re big, they’re heavy, they’re secure, and many are designed with fire and waterproof features to keep your weapons protected even in the event of a disaster, like a flood or a house fire.
- Gun Cabinets – While these may look similar to safes, there are a few key differences. They usually feature lighter-weight metal, less complex locking systems, and a few other features.
- Display Cabinets – Display cabinets are meant to store your weapons while also showing them off, making them popular in dens and hunters’ man caves.
- Lock Boxes – Sometimes also labeled as desk or nightstand safes, these small storage areas are meant to hold a handgun and maybe a few accessories in a convenient location.
- Travel Safes/Lock Boxes – For the traveler who takes a gun with them but doesn’t have a carry permit to keep the weapon on them, a travel safe or lock box is a must-have. These are usually handgun sized and bolted into the vehicle or secured with a steel cable or chain.
Identifying Gun Storage Needs
When deciding on your secure gun storage, consider what your needs are to make sure you’re getting an accessory to store your guns safely.
- Number of Guns – You need to make sure you have safe storage for at least as many guns as you own, but remember, you’re going to a gun show. Plan for a little extra space just in case a new firearm “follows you home”.
- Accessibility -Are you looking for long-term gun storage, or do you need to keep a self-defense weapon secure but ready for action? Determine how likely you are to need to get to a specific gun stored in your new safe, cabinet, or case quickly and have it ready to fire.
- Environmental Needs – Beyond a strong lock, what else will you need to protect your guns? Fire-resistant safes are popular in homes, but someone who lives on a mountain or in a desert may not need a safe that seals tight to prevent marine-area moisture from damaging the finish on their weapons.
- Access Risks – Understand who will have access to the area your guns are stored in and how you can prevent unsupervised access by a teen, child, or guest. Display cases look nice, but in a house with curious kids, they may not be the right choice for safety.
- Features – There are a lot of gun storage systems on the market and a lot of bells and whistles available. From dehumidification to bright LED lighting, take a look for the add-ons that help make storing your firearms securely more user-friendly.
Secure Gun Storage Tips
Once you have your storage system, it’s time to put it to use properly. With the right safety protocols, you can keep your weapons safe and limit the risk of accidental injury in your home or while you travel.
- Always Unload Your Guns Before Storage – A loaded gun left unattended–even inside a safe–is an accident waiting to happen. Remove magazines, clear the chamber, and invest in safety devices like empty chamber indicators or trigger locks that help you ensure the gun is safe. Yes, you should still check a weapon every time you pick it up, but it’s one more layer of prevention. Storing your guns unloaded also helps maintain their springs for a long service life of healthy cycling. If you do store a loaded gun, such as a home defense handgun in a bedside lock box, keep a regular maintenance schedule to relax the springs and only keep as many magazines loaded as necessary.
- Maintain Key Control – One of the top secure gun storage tips is to limit access to the key or code for your storage. Treat it like a secret. Once someone else knows, it’s not a secret anymore. Have a safe place out of the reach of kids to store keys or give your pare to a trusted friend. Likewise, combinations and codes should be in a secure location away from the safe. A sticky note on the side of your safe is an invitation to trouble.
- Manage Moisture – Commercial gun safe moisture control solutions are readily available. Even if you don’t live in a wet or coastal area, changes in temperature, pressure, and humidity can still introduce moisture that can eat at your firearm components if left unchecked.
- Keep Your Maintenance Up To Par – Don’t store dirty guns. The residue left behind by powder, primer, and projectiles can damage guns, and some put off gasses that, if trapped, can likewise have corrosive effects. Clean your weapons, lubricate them, apply protectant as warranted, and then store them, ready for your next outing.
Get Your Safe Gun Storage and Your Next Gun
When you visit one of our safe, family-friendly shows, it’s a one-of-a-kind shopping opportunity for the whole family. With so many vendors, a comfortable exhibit hall, and paid security on hand, you’ll find what you’re looking for and what you didn’t even know you needed. Circle the date on your calendar and order your tickets online to your next Eagle Shows gun show today.