Gun safes are essential for any gun owner, whether they own just one or two firearms or possess an extensive collection. They are fundamental for gun safety, protecting your guns against theft and fire, and compliance with specific legislation, such as child access prevention laws.

    Traditional gun safes typically take at least a minute to open and access, making them unappealing if you need a gun to protect yourself against an intruder or a home invasion.

    Fortunately, there are gun safes designed explicitly for home defense. Learning what they are and how to use them for home defense firearms can help you defend your home and loved ones without compromising on gun safety. 

    Initial Considerations

    Although there are no requirements for safe gun storage at the federal level, many states enforce child access prevention laws, imposing criminal liability if a child is allowed to access firearms due to negligent storage. Make sure you are aware of all your local and state laws regarding safe gun storage.

    The Advantages of Quick-Access Gun Safes

    Traditional gun safes are large and heavy, often requiring professional help to install and secure safely inside your house. Although they are an excellent solution for protecting your guns from theft and fire, these products’ primary focus is storage, often with little regard for access speed.

    If you want to know how to safely store a gun for home defense but with the option to retrieve it quickly when you need it the most, you should use a quick-access gun safe. This type of gun safe is intended explicitly for home defense situations, offering both safety and speed.

    Quick-access gun safes are generally lighter, smaller, and easier to conceal than traditional safes. The smaller dimensions mean they typically feature a lower capacity (1-2 long guns and 1-4 handguns, depending on the model), trading pure storage capabilities for ease of installation and speedy opening.

    Quick-access handgun safes are typically very compact, easily concealed among your personal belongings and other furniture. This type of gun safe typically holds between one and four handguns, depending on the model and whether you’re storing other items, such as spare magazines, your concealed carry license, or other valuables.

    In contrast, quick-access long gun safes are ideal for keeping your favorite home defense rifle or shotgun within reach. Most gun safes of this type can comfortably hold one or two long guns, complete with a standard-capacity magazine inserted. Some long gun safes may also possess a little extra storage space for additional magazines and other valuables.

    Where to Install Your Quick-Access Gun Safes

    If you carry a concealed firearm when you’re outside of the house, you certainly know about the importance of remaining inconspicuous and not print or give signs that you’re armed.

    When deciding where and how to store a gun for home defense, you should keep those same principles in mind.

    A traditional gun safe is difficult to hide and centralizes all your firearms in one location. All it takes to lose all of them is for an enterprising thief to take the safe away or bring enough tools to crack it open.

    Decentralize your gun collection by separating the home defense weapons from the rest.

    If you have more than one rifle or handgun, or if you want multiple family members to have quick access to a gun, installing multiple safes in different parts of the house may be the smartest choice. 

    Depending on the interior configuration of your home, the number of firearms to store, and your personal preferences, you may have access to multiple potentially suitable locations for your quick-access gun safes. These include, but are not limited to:

    • Main Bedroom

    Although it is the prime target of most burglars, it is also the best location to keep your home defense firearms at night.

    Depending on the type of gun safe you need to install, many different potential areas of your bedroom may be suitable.

    Install the long gun safes for your home defense rifles and shotguns near or under the bed, preferably anchored to the bed frame or the floor.

    Avoid wall-mounted solutions, especially if your bedroom is on the first floor. Many thieves will not hesitate to break the wall section used for mounting the safe, making it easy to steal.

    Your handgun safes are smaller, giving you access to a broader range of potential locations. Hiding your handgun safe in plain sight on the nightstand or a bookshelf is a popular option, especially if it passes as another object, such as an alarm clock.

    • Guest Bedrooms

    Burglars usually ignore these rooms, as they generally have fewer valuables than the main bedroom.

    If you can quickly retreat to the guest bedroom, hiding a gun safe inside may be a good choice. Use the same locations as you would have in the main bedroom; anchored under the bed or hidden in plain sight are the best solution.

    • Inside a Closet

    One of the best ways to hide something out of view is to use a room that typically doesn’t have windows.

    Closets and cabinets make excellent hiding spots; just make sure that your safes are adequately anchored to the floor or concealed from view. If you have hidden compartments inside your closet walls, consider installing your home defense gun safes there as they’re less likely to be found.

    • The Bathroom

    Burglaries occurring while the homeowner is taking a shower are rare, but they have happened, and they can happen to you as well. If possible, consider placing a quick-access gun safe in an easily reachable spot, perhaps from the bathtub or the shower cabin. Make sure the safe is waterproof.

    • The Basement

    If you have access to a basement, it may be an excellent location to store a large number of firearms, as very few burglars are willing to break into a basement. Basements rarely have more than one door or entry point, making them easy to defend.

    Basements also make for good emergency rooms for your family and loved ones to hunker down. With a few quick-access gun safes and other survival preparations, such as a first aid kit or a telephone for calling law enforcement, the basement can turn into the house’s safest room while dealing with a crisis.

    The Takeaway

    Although gun safety and proper storage are the responsibility of every gun owner, it doesn’t have to be impractical or put you and your loved ones in danger if you ever find yourself a victim of a home invasion. Investing in a compact quick-access gun safe and following these installation recommendations can help you keep the right balance between storage safety and efficient home protection.