View Full Version : Gun Safe - Thieves or Kids?

April 21, 2009, 09:59 PM
I'm curious about something -

What is the predominant rationale for getting a gun safe?

I have only one gun thus far (newb, but enthusiastic), which I keep for self-protection by my bed in a train case when I don't have it with me at the range. I don't want to put it in something that will take ages to open, unlock, or be difficult to access if the "bad guys" show up. My dad advises relocating the gun when I am not home to a more secure place, but that seems like a hassle - and my gun isn't noticeable where it is (between the wall and the bed). My place is small, and if a thief is industrious enough to find it there, I can't think of another place to keep it.

But I am curious as to whether folks have a gun safe for this reason - to securely stow their firearms when they are not home. Do most people bounce them around from one place to another in this way?

Or are safes typically just used to keep the guns out of the hands of kids or grandkids that are running around?

Willie Lowman
April 21, 2009, 10:16 PM
I bought my safe after a friend's house burnt down. He had a pair of 100 year old Winchester 30-30s. Then he had so much rusty gun shaped scrap.

a half ton steel box is also a good deterrent from some jerk making off with my collection.

It also makes a good place to hide new purchases. Put them in the back so when she looks in and says "What's that?" I say "That's my Sig. You don't remember my Sig? Had that one for a long time...":D

www.smithsecuritysafes.com/pages/drawer.html Have you looked at these? Could go under your bed.

April 21, 2009, 10:17 PM
Search function is your best friend.Here is one about safes.www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=347108

April 21, 2009, 10:48 PM
I have no kids and I'm a grumpy old fart. My friends know not to bring rug rats when they visit so I have safes for security. If you have kids I strongly recommend a safe for security and a quick access bedside pistol safe for your designated self protection pistol. Nothing should be left unlocked around kids.

Trooper Tyree
April 21, 2009, 11:10 PM
I don't have one, but I was fiddling with one of those little biometric gun safes at a store the other day, the ones with the hand print with the buttons at the fingertips. It looks like just the ticket for those high stress situations where fine motor control might be just a little lacking, not that I have that problem, I don't think my adrenals work at all anymore. :eek::o

I like the way the spring loaded front door snaps open too. :) I was pondering mounting on in the center console of my car. I don't know if I have enough metal to weld it to there though.


Unless you welded it to something though it wouldn't be much of a deterrent for a thief, and even then they could pry their way in pretty quick too I'd guess.

April 22, 2009, 05:23 AM
Currently waiting for our safe to arrive. We bought it for both fire and theft protection (no kids and no visiting kids). I'm more worried about fire since we have a wood stove, but at some point in time someone could decide our place looks like it might actually contain something of value.

April 22, 2009, 06:26 AM
I got it for both. It was to keep my kids at bay because for some reason my kids have the hard time keeping their hands off of stuff that is not theirs. My daughter also has some mental health issues that warrant me locking my guns up in a safe. As far as thieves it is there to slow them down and add another layer of protection to my firearms.

April 23, 2009, 06:34 AM
I have an 18 gun safe from cabelas, I bought it to protect my guns from a fire and good piece of mind knowing theyre safe from theives and kids. If my buddys bring their kids over, i dont have to worry they might go into a closet and find a gun(although they're all pretty smart and know about guns). No theif is gonns take my guns and kill somebody or me with that safe.

Now I have considered the small handgun safes that you unlock with your fingertips and keep by the bed. Maybe in a year or two when I have kids it would be a good idea.

I think my safe was one of the best investments I've made, except I should have bought a bigger one. Someday this one may have to go up forsale to be upgraded to a larger one.

MOST IMPORTANT RULE, If you own a gun safe, keep it locked. A guy I know has a safe, its a cheaper one, not fire rated, but I guess he left it unlocked alot. He came home from work one day and found his house broken into, and all his guns were gone. I felt bad for him, but couldnt believe that he would leave his safe unlocked....

April 23, 2009, 10:45 AM
I suppose if I had kids at home or I had a large collection, I'd buy a safe. As protection from theft, they'll keep the casual burglar from your guns, but really won't deter a serious crook.

And I'm even grumpier than sholling, so I don't have any friends. :p

April 23, 2009, 10:56 AM
Saw an interveiw once on 20-20 or something with some convicted burglars. They all said their eyes get wide when they see a safe. So...... unless it's extremely heavy or very very securely mounted to the house they always try to take it or break it. Because....... they know that's where the real good stuff like guns, cash, jewelry etc. is located.

Brian Pfleuger
April 23, 2009, 11:05 AM
Both, mostly kids.

Any safe will keep the kids out. 99.9% of all of them will keep out 99% of crooks too. Most BG are in your house for a quick score. If they can't carry the safe out or get in within a minute then they will most likely leave it alone. If the safe is bolted to the floor and locked up then very few BG are going to bother with it.

April 23, 2009, 10:05 PM
I don't have young kids in or around the house. So...I don't have a safe. But I do have 2 attack trained hampsters and a guardian gold fish. :eek::eek: Plus this grumpy old man:mad: who lives with a 1911 within arms reach at all times.

April 24, 2009, 08:22 AM
Well Safes are really great for keeping pesky kids out, fire protection and a deterrent to thieves....but only a deterrent. A guy I know who owns a gun store had his personal safe dragged from his house (I think it was a 18 gun safe that WAS bolted to the floor) via a large truck.

April 24, 2009, 08:59 AM
About a year or so ago, in Hopkinton, Rhode Island (population 8000) burglars broke into the Town Hall and stole the Town safe. This happened at about 8pm while a Town Meeting of 15 people and 2 cops was going on in the room next door. The burglars popped out an air conditioner, went in through the window and hoisted the safe out. It was found a few months later, cracked open, in the local river.

So much for safes and cops....

April 24, 2009, 09:26 AM
Also, I hear its a good idea to lock your reciprocating saw (Sawzall) in the safe.


April 24, 2009, 06:38 PM
I got my safe for thieves and kids. My grandkids are at that age 10-14 and just can't trust them. Have seen to many cases where kid brings gun to school gets caught. First thing he says is I stole it from my father or grandfather:eek: So who is in the most trouble it sure isn't the kid:mad: So I figure a safe is cheaper than a lawyer:confused:

April 24, 2009, 08:29 PM
When I was living with my brother we bought a gun safe to deter thieves, as he was hosting a lot of parties on the weekend at his place, and we were never really knew everbody there well enough to trust them. As far as children are concerned, I plan to teach mine ( If I get married and have any) the proper use and handling of a firearm like my father taught me, around my parents place there was no need for a gun safe, because all 10 of us children knew better than to mess with the guns without asking first or when Dad wasn't home. But then again in this day and age I would probably end up getting a safe just because of the rising crime rate.

April 26, 2009, 11:26 PM
BOTH! I have 3 kids ages 13to 1years old, and i do not want an accident. Yes i do teach my children about gun safety but accidents happen. a sad example is one of a 2 year old girl fatally shooting herself with her dads gun last week in Indiana. I also have a small safe on my wall next to the bed, that i can open asleep in 3 seconds! be safe, not stupid!!!

April 26, 2009, 11:40 PM
I don't have any kids, but I do live in apartment complex. The safe keeps the landlord's staff honest. It will also protect against smash-and-grabs. It takes a very, very large safe to protect against a serious burglary.

Saw an interveiw once on 20-20 or something with some convicted burglars. They all said their eyes get wide when they see a safe. So...... unless it's extremely heavy or very very securely mounted to the house they always try to take it or break it. Because....... they know that's where the real good stuff like guns, cash, jewelry etc. is located.

Their eyes go wide whenever they see guns/cash/jewelry lying around unsecured, too. The safe at least makes 'em work for it.

April 26, 2009, 11:52 PM
I bought my first safe after all of my kids were grown and moved out, so it had nothing to do with guns and kids.

My neighborhood has changed in the past 23 years I've lived here. My van has taken two 9mm rounds from a drive by this past year....dumb SOBs can't even hit what they were aiming at (which was not my van). :(

So I have a safe to keep the guns secure. I have 3 pitbull terriers and 1 chow to help keep the bad guys away from the safe. :) IMHO, they are all a good investment.....and so is the safe. ;)

April 27, 2009, 12:32 AM

Yes, a safe screams "steal me" because everyone thinks there are valuables in it EVEN IF IN REALITY IT IS EMPTY (so they would steal an empty safe, not knowing what, if anything, was in it)! But what's the alternative...NOT getting a safe because of that and letting criminals EASILY steal your guns "hidden" under the bed or "hidden" in some closet? So you're damned if you do get a safe, damned if you don't, but at least make the low-lifes work for your stuff. Besides, you may slow them down enough so you can get home while they are still trying to get into your safe...

And I agree with Regolith since I live in an apartment and you have to let maintenance men (of dubious character) in sometimes. Also, after hurricane Ike hit here, we had all kind of "imported" workers (Hispanics/Mexicans -- almost NONE of them spoke English) in all the apartments here ripping out sheetrock, replacing it, then the painters, then the carpet guys, and if you were not AT HOME while they were IN your apartment -- like MOST of the tenants who had evacuated and were not allowed to come back yet (the island was "closed" for 3 weeks) -- the guys stole people's stuff (the management was not supervising them properly...but *I* sure was when they came to MY apartment). So a safe would help at least a little. And also as Regolith says, the "gone in 60 seconds" thieves (which means MOST thieves) can't get in and out very fast as per their usual plan when they have a safe to deal with. So we just do what we can.

The TV show "It Takes a Thief" on the Discovery Channel woke a lot of people up (probably theretofore cluless or in-denial liberals) about the realities of home burglaries (and was a good advertising vehicle for Gardall Safes).

Naturally, as we all know, ANY safe, even one costing $50K (an arbitrary number thrown in) can be broken into, but a safe is better than nothing at all...AND shows you TRIED to be responsible and lock your guns up.

I guess the good news is if they steal the safe, at least you can get a new one with the insurance money (if you have Renter's insurance...but most renters do not even get that). As for the safe's contents, takes pictures of it all, write down serial numbers and try to get as much of it insured as you can also.

-- John D.

April 27, 2009, 02:04 AM
I plan to buy a cheaper safe, fill it with rocks and weld the door really carefully so its not visible... Should give a thief something to do for a few hours. I'll make sure I leave a note that says "please only put the cash and the jewelry on only the top three shelves the rest is for my guns!" :D

I figure a nice score of guns cash and jewelry should have them so tickled that they will just try to get away with it as fast as possible.

April 27, 2009, 03:05 AM
no kids here, no safe either tho :( what id really like to do is build a vault. i gotta room in my hous ethat would be perfect for that! if god willing i ever won the lotto, id definetly build a nice big vault in my house. but all dreaming and wishing aside, i plan on getting a very nice safe here in the next year or so.

April 28, 2009, 01:43 PM
That’s a pretty sensitive question you’ve put forward!

Believe it or not, there is a school of gunhandling thought which holds that “All firearms should be secure at all times.” (Yup, just like in many elite military establishments.) Radical as this thinking may seem, it is enforced in certain parts of the world (the simple rationale being that guns are dangerous tools, and shouldn’t be left lying around).

Let me cite one old example, and a fairly recent one:

In the old days, in South Africa, you were allowed to carry a weapon, with the stipulation that you kept your weapon within arm's reach at all times---that is, always under your immediate control.

Today, in the state of Victoria in Australia, you are not allowed to own a pistol until you have complied with storage requirements, which stipulate a lockable, secure steel container with walls no less than 5mm thick, with recessed hinges to make unauthorized penetration more difficult. The storage unit needs to be bolted to the floor/walls of the structure it is in. (Police actually come by to check on your storage facilities before approving your first handgun purchase, and physically try to pry the storage compartment loose from its moorings when they come to visit. If your storage facility passes the test, you get your permit to purchase a handgun.)

The standards are the same for any sort of center fire rifle, and are only slightly less rigid for airguns, .22’s, and single- or two-cartridge shotguns (!)

The same legislation stipulates that you can’t store ammunition with your guns---ammo has to locked in a separate receptacle in a different part of the storage facility(!)

I know that these sort of requirements sound positively Draconian by U.S. standards, but they do exist and are enforced in other parts of the world.

Personally, I like the old South African rule. And I also maintain several safes to secure the guns I don’t happen to be using at any given time. (I can only use two at a time on regular carry days; maybe four on a trip to the range.)

I’m not saying that this is the way to go, only that I abide by the system because I find that it works for me. Other people I know simply dismantle any guns not in current service and stash the components in different locations, in lieu of maintaining a gun safe.

So having a gun safe isn’t just protection against kids, unauthorized handlers or burglars and such. It’s also a guarantee that one of your own guns can’t be used against you in a home-invasion scenario, because apart from the one(s) you have under your immediate control, the rest of them are securely locked away.

Give it some thought as your gun collection grows!

April 28, 2009, 06:54 PM
I bought my safe because I lost a fairly nice collection when our house burned to the ground. Kept everything is a walk-in closet, locked. Fire doesn't care if it's locked or not.

Not to mention all the ammo.

What struck me was when I told the firefighters about all the ammo I had, they shrugged it off, said, "No problem", and went to work.

Volunteers. Go**am heroes.

April 28, 2009, 07:42 PM
I have 2 safes 1 in the bedroom with 3 loaded guns and one behind a locked closet with all the others and my ammo bolted to the floor and bolted in 2 walls.
Kids and thieves