View Full Version : child safe shotgun storage

November 2, 2011, 03:12 PM
So I have my new shotgun all picked out (Beretta 3901). I have never owned a firearm before; I have only used loaners. I have two young kids at home and a wife who is very uncomfortable with the idea of keeping a firearm in the house. So I need to work out the issue of storage.

I obviously want to be exceptionally safe in how I choose to store it, and I also want to convince my wife that it is unreachable and completely unfireable. I'd like for her to have peace of mind about this and not have it be a point of contention. She wants me to keep it at my friend's house, which I'm willing to do, but is pretty impractical. So I need to make her comfortable with it.

So here's what I'm thinking. When in the house the shotgun would be stored in a heavy-duty travel-type case. It would be double locked on the outside. The shotgun would have the barrel removed. Trigger lock. Is it practical to remove the firing pin? (Beretta 3901) Keep in mind I have never taken apart or cleaned a shotgun.

Now I've done some reading that case storage isn't the best; the gun should be stored in a safe for proper air flow etc. But it seems impractical to me to purchase a safe for just one gun. What do you think?

And given that I will probably be using the gun only once or twice a month, is it practical to store it disassembled in some way, or at least with the firing pin removed?

Oh, also no ammo in the house.

It's too bad there aren't storage facilities that would take a firearm, as a close-by facility would be ideal for me and put my wife's mind at ease.

Please give me any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks.

November 2, 2011, 03:27 PM
edit: it seems if I stored at my friend's place it could be construed as the illegal transfer of a firearm, so that's a no-go obviously. Particularly in NJ.

November 2, 2011, 03:41 PM
How old are the kids? Kids are curious. NRA has the Eddie the Eagle program that teaches kids about guns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIEBrb_wRYc I wouldn't hide the gun from them. Just teach them that it isn't a toy. What do you do with your kitchen knives? I would put on a cable or trigger lock and put it in a silicone gun sock. Then store it in a relative inaccessable place, parent's bedroom closet? Or in a locked closet? You could take the barrel off, but it isn't really practical to remove the firing pin. A gun is just a tool, like a power saw. Treat it with respect and nobody will get hurt. Mark

November 2, 2011, 03:55 PM
I agree that I should let them know that it is there and it is a dangerous thing, not a toy. My kids are 5 and 8. My wife won't be satisfied with it being in a soft case, and frankly, I'm not sure I would either. Is storage in a hard case a bad idea? Will the gun rust? I will be keeping it right by a large dehumidifier. Or is a safe my only good option?

November 2, 2011, 03:57 PM
They have cable gun locks and trigger locks - one or the other will prevent the gun from being fired

November 2, 2011, 05:18 PM
Saw a metal gun cabinet with a lock over at Big5. It was in the realm of $125. Between that and a trigger lock maybe they would that work?

November 2, 2011, 05:44 PM
And given that I will probably be using the gun only once or twice a month, is it practical to store it disassembled in some way, or at least with the firing pin removed?

Oh, also no ammo in the house.

A little over the top unless your state's legal requirements are such.

Storing in a plastic case is not harmful - you could always place the two parts in silicone socks.

With the gun disassembled and a trigger lock, you could also lock the gun case with a padlock

November 2, 2011, 06:01 PM
It sounds like you are dealing with someone who only knows that guns are dangerous without understanding real, proven safety measures. If that be true, it will take something way over the top to get everyone comfortable.

Part of my duties in a manufacturing environment is to understand the potiential dangers and prevent injuries from happening. Redundancy is a good tool to use and it has been discussed here.

a trigger lock
a gun safe
gun disassembled

Any one of these is a near 100% guarantee that it cannot be a danger to anyone. Using any 2 of these should make anyone confident in the safety plan.
If your wife is still unhappy, she is simply saying no to the gun not the plan.

November 2, 2011, 07:42 PM
Removing the barrel and putting a cable lock (you keep the key) through the action would render the shotgun completely inoperable, meaning it can not be loaded or fired even if you wanted it to. Then put both parts of your shotgun (cleaned & oiled) into silicone socks and place them in a locked hard shell case that only you have the key to and place the locked hard shell case into your bedroom closet or other place in your home where your children know that Dad & Mom doesn't allow them to be in. There will be no damage to your shotgun by keeping it in a hard shell locked case as long as you do your gun up keep (oil & remove any active rust that may occur) every 2 or 3 months as everyone should do. If your wife doesn't feel or believe that the shotgun is safe like this, make her a deal, tell her to try to just get to the shotgun and load it with just 1 shell. If she can accomplish that, tell her you will remove the shotgun from the house and/or sale it and give her the $$$ from the sale of the shotgun to please her. You can do this with complete confidence because she won't be capable of doing either with the shotgun with those safety measures in place. I appreciate your concerns about children's safety as well as others (non-gun knowledgeable adults) but, honestly as others have already said, safe gun education is the best way to protect your children and others that may reside in your home when it comes to any firearm. The gun education you teach your children (and non-gun knowledgeable adults) will work not only at your home but at any one of your children's friends home if that scenario was to ever arise later on. No one will believe any firearm is safe unless they are educated on gun safety. It's only then that they will realize that firearms can be safely kept in any home and that no firearm just jumps up all by it's self and starts firing at humans. Short of that, your wife simply does not want to except the truth about the safe keeping of firearms and does not want to learn firearm safety. In that case you will never win and your only choice then, if you still want to keep the shotgun, is to invest in a quality gun safe, which isn't a bad ideal it's self to protect your shotgun from thieves and not only those residing in your home, or having it locked away and kept at Ft. Knox. I wish you luck.

bailey bud
November 2, 2011, 10:37 PM
My strategy - for what it's worth (I own a Beretta 302 semi-auto --- the precedent for the 3901)

I take logistical, as well as instructional measures.

First - My shotgun is stored in a relatively inconvenient place (it's not very easy to reach).

Second - I always store my shotgun separate from my ammo. (ammo is stored in a lock box).

Second - I indoctrinate all kids with the following:
"guns are tools, not toys....."

Third - all of my kids have completed hunting safety (including my 10 yr old daughter).

Fourth - each of my kids - at a young age - tried to fire my shotgun just once (and got knocked over).

Sure - you can get a safe (and so could I). I think physical measures and instructional measures are adequate.

November 2, 2011, 10:42 PM
....make her a deal, tell her to try to just get to the shotgun and load it with just 1 shell. If she can accomplish that, tell her you will remove the shotgun from the house and/or sale it and give her the $$$ from the sale of the shotgun to please her.

Yeah, and watch her pull out a bolt cutter.....bye, bye shotgun. :eek:

November 2, 2011, 10:56 PM
In my opinion I would just use a Snap Cap and trigger the snap cap on purpose that way nothing can be loaded or fired out of it until you reset the snap cap and remove it.

Snap Cap (http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=741263#productChart)

They come in packs of 2 and they are only $9.99. So with the 2 you can have one chambered that is already tripped and one in the mag tube just in case.

November 3, 2011, 08:52 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of taking the barrel off and running one of those metal band locks through the action - as long as that's not bad for the gun. Not sure I like the snap cap idea because wouldn't that mean the action is closed? I'm really anal about the action being open unless there's a live round in the gun.

I will go the hard case route with the silicone sock, and the lock through the action. I saw you can even make some of those little dessicant packs which will help absorb any moisture in the case. I think that should satisfy her. A little safety overkill never hurt anyone, and yes I will be sure to be open with my kids about it. I agree having it be a intriguing mystery to them is the worst thing for kids. They have a pretty healthy respect and fear for guns already anyway.

Anybody have good suggestions for hard cases? Some of them look like crapola.

November 3, 2011, 09:20 AM
without ammo, a gun is quite safe. Lock away the ammo and you don't have to bury the shotgun in layers of safe wall!

November 3, 2011, 12:39 PM
Anybody have good suggestions for hard cases? Some of them look like crapola.

If your gun did not come with one, Beretta sells a molded case that will work

November 3, 2011, 01:37 PM
There is one on sale on the Beretta website. http://www.berettausa.com/products/beretta-and-nra-abs-costum-deluxe-case-for-390-shotgun/

November 3, 2011, 05:19 PM
dude amen for u bein able 2 put up with them kinda rules:confused::eek::D:D

November 4, 2011, 07:07 AM
Fourth - each of my kids - at a young age - tried to fire my shotgun just once (and got knocked over).

At 8 and 6 I gathered my daughters in the kitchen and pulled out my 357 revolver.

I explained how it worked and let them handle it. I asked them if it was loaded, they said I dunno and I said exactly.

We loaded up and went to a friend's farm and they stood there while I shot six down range, killing a gallon of milk.

So they saw it, touched it, heard it, smelled the powder and witnessed the recoil and destruction.

I removed the curiosity. Never had a problem.

Attached is my oldest daughter ... I'm so proud ... :D

November 4, 2011, 07:40 AM
ha! proud papa!!!

Dave McC
November 4, 2011, 08:19 AM
That pic made my morning better. Thanks....

November 4, 2011, 08:33 AM
Peace of mind can come at a price but it would be worth it.


BTW - Congrats on a fine shotgun. Love mine.

And yes, educate everyone in the house about gun safety.

Bubba in c.a.
November 4, 2011, 05:23 PM
If you have only 1 gun it will come in handy to store cameras, etc. A gun that is partially disasembled is pretty useless for HD. With a gun safe, you are only one key and a twist of the wrist from your gun in whatever state of readiness you prefer.

Educating your kids, not to mind your wife, is a good idea, but what about every other person in the world who might be in your house for whatever reason under whatever circumstance? A safe leaves your gun reasonably safe and out of sight.

November 4, 2011, 05:59 PM
My first thought was a cable lock. Here in CA you can't but a firearm without a cable lock. A lot of the firearms sold here come with a lock in the box. Also, as mentioned above, you can get a fairly cheap gun safe for $150 or so and it would be sufficient. That's what my parents have now and have used for as long as I've been alive.

November 9, 2011, 04:53 PM
I ended up buying a Beretta 391 URIKA2. Took it up a notch from my original plan of a 3901. I will be receiving it in a few days. I'm going to buy a cable lock, trigger lock and locking case. And that's that.

November 9, 2011, 05:50 PM
Education is the best safety feature you can "buy". I tought my wife to shoot my handguns, bought my girls (12-10-7) their own .22 they all have shot. My oldest is handling/loading/shooting my .22 now. All my kids learned at a young agtoue guns are tools and not to touch them. Educate everyone.

November 9, 2011, 11:58 PM
A 8 gun security cabinet would be useful. Keeps the kids out of it.

A another thought would one of the in wall two gun security cabinets. I would recommend in wall installation unless you feel pretty comfortable doing home repairs ect. Because it does require finding an open stud bay and cutting through the wall board without hitting wires plumping or other bad things.