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Long Term Gun Storage

Long Term Gun Storage

Long Term Gun Storage

I’ve got guns stored throughout my house. These are my “home defense” guns so they’re fully loaded with a round in the chamber. However, because I have a one-year-old that is like Godzilla and walks around my house taking things off shelves and destroying them, all of my home defense guns are locked in a rapid opening safe. (I use the GunVault and Stack-On brands.)

But I also have guns that I don’t use for home defense purposes, such as some handguns, rifles, and shotguns, and just because I don’t have them loaded with a round in the chamber, doesn’t mean they’re not locked up. The fact is, even if I didn’t have a mini-Godzilla running around my house I still believe in having every gun you own locked up in one way or another.

The simplest route to take for your “non-home defense” guns would be to put a trigger lock on them.

Master Lock and Remington are a few of the companies that make trigger locks and once the locks are on you could throw the guns in a box in your closest. (This isn’t a method I prefer, but to each their own.)

Another route to take for guns that you don’t use very often is to lock them in the plastic gun case they came in. Throw a padlock on the case and you’re all set.

A more secure option is one of the larger gun safes by Liberty, Cannon, or Browning.

If you were ever to have a break-in and you weren’t home, the thieves could easily run off with your guns with just the trigger lock or in the plastic gun case. (This happened to a friend of mine.) However, if you’re using one of the large safes and it’s bolted to the ground it would take them a heck of a long time to make off with it.

Depending on how long you’re going to store your guns in these large safes I would thoroughly clean them before I put them away and make sure to wipe off your fingerprints using a silicone gun cloth before you put them away. You may want to go as far as adding some desiccant inside the safe too.

If you’re going to put your guns in these safes and not touch them for more than a year you may also want to get a gun storage bag such as the ZCORR storage bags. And if you’re burying your guns in a PVC pipe in your back yard for the end of the world then I would definitely get a gun storage bag and throw in some desiccant.

One final note: For my own guns that I don’t use for home defense and that I store longer term, I store these unloaded – both the gun and the magazines. Guns like my Ruger Mark III are not part of my home defense plan, plus the safe takes a long time to open, so I choose to keep them unloaded. But however you choose to keep your guns stored is up to you.

Use the Facebook, Twitter or Comment sections below to discuss your preferred method of gun storage.


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  • gapatriot

    I keep a loaded 9mm in a gun safe with finger switches for easy access at night. All the rest of my guns are kept unloaded in my gun safe.

    • Bowserb

      I agree. Any gun not on your person should be locked up. If you leave the house empty, there should be no guns accessible to a burglar. A trigger lock or fast access GunVault (r) is useless in securing a gun from theft. The sheriff of Harris County Texas (Houston), was recently burglarized. He apparently had no alarm system, since he gave a range of about six hours during which it occurred. Included in the list of items stolen was his service pistol.

      Of all people who should understand the risk of stolen guns being used in future crimes, he should more than most. I guess an elected sheriff, though, is a politician more than a policeman, so he was oblivious to the fact that he just negligently put another gun on the street in the hands of a criminal. I will contribute to and campaign for his opponent in the next election. Adrian Garcia has been pretty much a dud sheriff anyway.

  • mandit

    guns placed all around the house with a 1 year old….I suggest you move if your neighborhood is that bad.

    • crmxer

      Your neighborhood has nothing to do with making sure you are prepared, if you think crime only happens in “Bad” neighborhoods you are sorely mistaken. I live in one of the safest citys in our nation (statistially) and have had friends in gated communities broken into in the middle of the night while they are asleep in there bed, only to be awaken by a drugged up stranger staring at he and his wife in thier bed. All the while passing 3 sleeping children lying on the couches down stairs. So the ignorance in thinking that “Good neighborhoods” are some how immune to crime couldnt be further from the truth. Why would a criminal want to break into a low income house with no valuables, doesnt make much sense to me.

  • SureShot

    The gun stays on my belt at all times until I’m ready to go to bed. That way it’s wherever I happen to be and is ready to be deployed immediately. No worrying about having to open a safe or having to prevent curious fingers from causing harm.

    • Chicken Little

      SureShot: If you ever go to a gun show you will have to unload at the door. It is much too dangerous to allow loaded guns where everyone is carrying.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’m a big fan of the Master trigger locks. They render the gun inoperable, are much easier to use and less cumbersome than those provided cable locks. In addition, you can get keyed alike sets or order a bunch keyed alike, as I did. The Master brand will not open with keys from some other brand, I did have a brand that would open with any key that the same brand had (though coded differently) and it even opened with other brand keys that fit in the slot! Unless I am wearing the gun or have it within my reach, my guns are trigger locked, cable locked (long guns) and stored in a double keyed vault. All weapons when not in use are kept in a Bore Stores silicone impregnated fleece style gun sock. Also keep a Remington moisture guard shell in all shotguns.

  • Rick

    Good article!

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  • Tony D/Oswego, NY

    I keep my guns loaded at all times. Does this affect the condition of the guns over time?