Tactical Weapons Firearms

How to safely store firearms and ammo in your home

Things happen, and the last thing you want is someone breaking into your home and getting their hands on your firearms.
Brady Kirkpatrick Avatar
gun safety
Photo credit: RichLegg (Getty Images)

Sure, you can leave your firearms and ammo out in the open, but it may not be the best idea if you’re going out of town or have children running around. Things happen, and the last thing you want is someone breaking into your home and getting their hands on your firearms and you not knowing it until the feds give you a call while you’re in Cancun with the wife. It could happen. And ammo ought to be a commodity at this point. So, how do you make sure that the firearms and ammo that you’ve worked hard for doesn’t end up in the hands of your local crackhead?  Let’s talk about firearm safety. 

Leaving your firearms out when you’re home

Personally, I keep a firearm close to me when I’m home. Unfortunately, when you live in a place close to Seattle and hear gunshots every night, you gotta do what you gotta do. 

Ammo, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be left out. If it’s in boxes and stuff, you can keep that in the safe. You can if you want to, but whatever ammo you plan on using is probably going to be in the magazine with your firearm.

Unless you plan on reloading during a firefight. 

But, if you have kids too young for the talk about firearm safety, I would keep it in a safe or at least in a place where they physically cannot get the firearm. No way, no how. According to a 2023 study published in the scientific journal Injury Epidemiology, most children in the U.S. who die from an accidental shooting are playing around with guns at home or mistaking them for toys, and the research suggests that over 90% of guns used in such shooting deaths were left unlocked and loaded.

Should I keep my firearm loaded at home? 

I would recommend keeping your firearm loaded while at home. Even if you don’t want to keep one in the chamber, keeping your firearm loaded will allow you to get that gun online quicker than if didn’t. 

Multiple firearms don’t have to be loaded – just the one you’re using for home defense. 

gun safety
A .357 magnum is displayed with a gun lock. The 354th Security Forces Squadron will be giving away free gun locks during their “See Something Say Something” firearm safety campaign. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

Locking them up when you go out

If you own one firearm, then it’s probably your concealed carry pistol. So it will be on you when you go out, hopefully. 

Or maybe you own multiple firearms like myself, then you should have a safe for keeping them locked away when you aren’t home. Ideally, the safe would be bolted to the ground so the safe can’t be moved. 

And if your safe can’t be moved, neither can your firearms.

Different types of safes

There are a few different types of safes on the market, and each of them have their own uses and which one is better for one situation and which is better for another. 

They can be stored in different places, whether you put one in the wall behind a picture or standing in the garage. Whatever floats your boat. 

Since keypad and biometric safes seem to be the hottest on the market, we’ll dissect the two and I’ll give you my opinion on where they serve you best. 

What’s the difference? 

Biometric safes are the best technological advance since the creation of the phone.

Instead of using a passcode or keypad and having to remember that stuff, you simply place your finger on a finger scanner and away you go. 

Keypad safes use a combination. Usually in the form of a four-digit number that is stored on a little computer on the inside of the safe that unlocks once the right combination is entered. 

Some keypad safes require you to turn the lock yourself.

Best uses for each safe

Biometric safes are best used for storing a firearm that you would need quick access to. And I recommend them for home defense weapons whether it be a pistol, shotgun or rifle. 

Since you can store multiple fingerprints, you can also allow your spouse or anyone else you trust access to the safe. Just store their prints. And keep the batteries fresh. 

You can use them anywhere you want. Since biometric safes rely on your individual biology to operate, I recommend them over keypad safes. 

Keyed safes are best for peacetime, when you aren’t in a rush. For your Sunday guns. When you aren’t in a hurry to get out but still want to protect your firearms. 

I would keep them in a place where there are minimal eyes. If someone remembers your passcode, then they have access to your firearms. And we’re looking for the opposite here. 

If you want the ultimate security, get a heavy biometric safe from a known company and bolt it to the ground. If your safe can’t move, neither can the guns inside of them. 

Firearm safety is one of the fundamentals of being a gun owner. Keeping them away from those who shouldn’t have access to firearms is how we keep gun-grabbing politicians from imposing more infringements on the Second Amendment. And personally, I think the less we have, the better (gun laws and politicians!).