Can’t Afford a Gun Safe? Consider These Alternatives

Not everybody can afford a gun safe, which is the best way to secure your firearms. A high-quality safe that's been properly installed can protect your guns from unauthorized access (children, thieves, and irresponsible adults) and disasters.

While you're saving up to make that investment, consider these alternatives:

Miniature Safes/Vaults

These small safes are ideal for handguns. Some are designed to slide underneath your car seat, with a cable lock to secure the box to the seat post. Others are larger and ideal for storing handguns under your bed, in a closet, and many other places. Types of locks include biometric, key, electronic, and combination.

Few models offer protection from the elements; they're mostly for preventing unwanted access. You should also check the batteries, if applicable, on a regular basis.

Trigger Locks

Some guns have built-in trigger locks, other models come with separate locks from the gun shop or sporting-goods store. You can also check your local police station, as some give away these locks for free.

A trigger lock prevents the gun from firing but doesn't keep a thief from removing it from your home or vehicle. Make sure that whichever lock you select goes behind the trigger as, if it installs in front, somebody might be able to fire the weapon. You should also note that, for safety reasons, you should unload the gun before you engage the lock.

Cable Lock

This is another kind of lock that might come home with you from the store. To install, you unload the firearm and open the chamber. Next, run the cable through and secure it. This prevents anybody from loading or firing the gun, though thieves can still take it.

Locking Racks

A locking rack keeps your firearms away from your children as well as thieves. Some models require you to add your own padlock; if that's the case, select a sturdy one that can't be easily picked or cut. Manufacturers offer a variety of styles and locking mechanisms, you can even buy solid-wood racks, which can be attractive ways to secure your collection.

The Gun Case

Most handguns come in sturdy, plastic cases. Long guns might not ship from factories with these boxes, but you can buy them separately. Some of the aftermarket models offer various levels of protection against the elements, which is a good idea.

Gun Cabinets

These storage cabinets offer some protection from theft and children, but not disasters. They're good, medium-range investments, as some can be bolted to wall studs or floors for added security. There are lots of different models and designs; your best option is to look online or check a sporting-goods store.

Other Storage Solutions

Sometimes, repurposing something is your best solution. Forty to sixty dollars can get you a small, fireproof box from the big-box store, for example. Originally designed for documents, this box can store one or two handguns along with a small amount of ammunition.

These solutions will help you keep your firearms safe until you can invest in a high-quality safe. Your specific needs will determine which option is best, so look at several ideas before you make a decision.


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