I really love our made-in-the-USA Lincoln 25 model Liberty Safe. It’s solid, fire-resistant and roomy. And it holds our firearms — and other valuables — very securely. A large, traditional safe like this is a very effective option, especially if you have kids in the home. As I mentioned in a previous review of this safe, the security is top-notch, with bolts, lock guards, defensive barriers and ball-bearing hardplates to prevent drilling or side-punching (along with an 11-gauge steel door and an electronic lock for extra security and durability). So, unless your kiddos happen to have some serious experience as professional safe crackers, your guns are going to be safe and sound and completely inaccessible to them … and to other unauthorized users, of course.
Gun Safe Options
Undoubtedly, a gun safe is a practical and sensible choice, especially in homes with several guns to store. But I realize that not everyone has room for a large model or has a couple grand to spare in the budget. Plus, a large safe may not be as easily accessible to you if you need to quickly access your home-defense guns.
Luckily, gun safes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes (to fit varying space and budget needs), and they can feature some pretty cool options. Some safes utilize innovative technology. Biometric safes open with the swipe of a fingerprint. Radio frequency identification (RFID) models provide access to the interior with just the wave of a key fob, bracelet, card or sticker. So from massive, refrigerator-sized models to some smaller than a breadbox (and with everything from traditional locks to the modern bells and whistles), you can find a safe that works best for your guns, your family and your lifestyle.
Hidden in Plain Sight
You may also find products that, while not technically gun safes, effectively store guns while keeping them well-hidden. Aside from clever concealment furniture, shelves, clocks, mirrors and benches, there are also hanging garment bags designed for firearms storage and hidden compartments in bookshelves … and even books themselves.
But You’re Not Fooling Your Children
These types of concealed spaces and hollowed-out areas are handy and convenient, but they don’t — and shouldn’t — fool children. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. A gun stored in the pages of a particular book or behind an unusual mirror is likely not hidden from them at all.
Research has shown that children who live in homes where guns are kept are almost always aware of where the safes or hiding spots are located, even if the parents believe the children don’t know. For this reason, it is much better to talk about gun safety and to be open and honest about the location of firearms within the home. It’s important to teach children, upfront, about respecting guns and leaving them alone.
All Things Considered on Safe Storage & Staging
Choosing the appropriate safe to house and secure your firearms is a crucial component of being a responsible gun owner. With safety always at the forefront, no matter what kind of option you choose, here are a few tips for making sure your firearms are safely staged or stored, especially with children in your home:
- Store (and/or stage) firearms in places where they’re only accessible to you or to designated members of your family.
- Use a location that is out of reach of children and that can be secured with some kind of lock.
- Keep guns (and magazines) unloaded when in storage.
- Store ammunition in a separate location that is locked and out of reach of children.
- Make sure keys or combinations are kept in a place where children (and unauthorized users) cannot access them.
- Get into a set routine for securing your concealed carry firearm and/or your home-defense gun and go through the same motions every time.
- Use a gun-locking device (such as a cable lock) as an extra safety precaution whenever (and wherever) firearms are put away.
- Remember that some states and municipalities have very strict rules and regulations regarding how unattended firearms and ammunition can be accessed and stored in the home, business or motor vehicle.
Liberty Safe: LibertySafe.com
About Beth Alcazar
Boasting several training certifications including TWAW, SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute and I.C.E. Training, Beth Alcazar is enthusiastic about safe and responsible firearms ownership. She has nearly two decades in the firearms industry and is a Certified Training Instructor and Senior Training Counselor for the USCCA and Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer and Certified Instructor for the NRA. The associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, Beth also uses her experience and degrees in language arts, education and communication management to author the Pacifiers & Peacemakers column as well as Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals.