The top gifts for responsible gun owners aren’t always the latest new guns. While some accessories aren’t as exciting as a shiny new gun, they are just as important. And who knows, maybe that responsibly armed American doesn’t have everything … yet.
One of the most responsible things a gun owner can do is to protect his or her firearms from unauthorized handling or theft. A full-sized, stand-up gun safe might be the ultimate gift for a gun owner who doesn’t yet have locking or storage devices. But those can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, there are more affordable alternatives.
Life Jacket Locking Firearms Safety Cases
I have used Life Jacket Safety Cases for several years now. Unlike the standard locking box, the Life Jacket is a minimalist design that takes up less room.
Available in four different models, the LJ1 through LJ4 accommodate a variety of handguns and long guns by enclosing the actions in a contoured clamshell-style case, secured with a key locking mechanism. Depending on the gun type, portions of the barrel and grip frame are left partially protruding from the Life Jacket case, making the cases readily portable. They are also bolt mountable, and the LJ2 has a ring for mounting with a cable. Cases are constructed out of hardened polycarbonate or heavyweight steel and are TSA compliant. Prices range from $34.99 to $64.99.
The Gun Box Smart Safe
I have been using a Gun Box 2.0 Smart Safe as a bedside gun locker since I reviewed one in January 2017. The Gun Box system utilizes sleek and stylish contoured electronic lockers to hold handguns and long guns in plain sight. They are the only Smart Safes that I know of that are designed to fit in with modern, upscale home/office décor.
The Gun Box safes are manufactured with fingerprint, RFID and more recently, keypad unlocking technology. This allows the owner to select the unlocking method that best suits him or her. The RFID unlocking devices are available as key fobs, rings, keycards or sticker labels. I prefer the RFID key fob even though I have programmed my fingerprint in. The Gun Box 2.0 utilizes hydraulics to open the lid when the lock is triggered, and an interior LED provides illumination.
Gun Box Smart safes are rechargeable, and the battery has a VERY long life. I’ve only had mine on the charger three times in three years. The Gun Box 2.0 is also equipped with a USB charging port for recharging personal devices. It is priced at $299.
The slightly smaller Echo model has fewer features but is priced at only $199. Both feature audible motion and tampering alarms and can be cable tethered to fixed objects. Mobile phone alerts are available. The SK-1 Tactical has the appearance of an electronic tower air cleaner, yet can hold a tactical rifle, shotgun or multiple handguns. It includes built-in Bluetooth speakers and uses fingerprint or RFID unlocking. MSRP is $699. My 2.0 has operated flawlessly through hundreds and hundreds of openings and closings.
The Ultimate Protection for Responsible Gun Owners
Some of you might not be members of the USCCA yet or may be seeking a special holiday gift for others. I can make no better recommendation than the gift of a Gold, Platinum or Elite USCCA Membership. I’m currently a Platinum member. Any of the three levels of membership provide increasing amounts of personal liability and legal protection if you are involved in a lawful use of force.
The Legal Protection services include money for criminal defense, bail bonding and attorney retainer, and 24/7/365 Critical Response Team access. Membership also includes training and educational benefits such as the award-winning Concealed Carry Magazine. Annual membership fees — which can be deducted in payments — are $247 for Gold, $347 for Platinum and $497 for Elite. If you choose to defend yourself or family with a firearm, don’t depend on the police or courts to do the right thing.
Looking for more great holiday gift ideas? Check out the USCCA’s latest resource, Holiday Gift-Giving Guide!
About Scott W. Wagner
After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.