How to Store Guns and Cash

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How to Store Guns and Cash

How to Store Guns and Cash

A reader mentioned to me how he’s having his first child soon (congrats) and wants to not only keep his guns away from his child, but also have a safe that protects other documents.

First, it should hopefully go without saying that if there are children in the house all of the guns should be locked up. Even the “heirlooms” that you never shoot should at the very least have a trigger lock on them to make them inoperable.

As far as the home defense guns they need to be in a rapid-access safe. Lots of companies make these types of safes and every one of my home defense handguns is locked up in one. Check out the Gunvault company and Stack-On company for some of the better rapid-access safes. Also, Hornady recently released a quick-open safe. (I would stay away from the biometric versions of these safes as I am still hearing horror stories about people having to swipe their finger numerous times before the safes open.)

The thing is, in addition to having a handgun safe, I also believe you need a safe to store money and other valuables and I don’t think you should mix them. The fact is, my rapid-access safes are small and can fit only one or two full size handguns.

I don’t want to also store money in them because when I reach in the safe for my gun in a life or death situation, I only want to grab my gun and not something else. This is the same reason you never carry anything in your pants pocket when you are carrying a gun in your pocket. The hand only goes in the pocket (or your safe) when your life depends on it or when you’re actively training for that situation.

The safe that can be used to store money and important documents needs to be fireproof and can be one of the inexpensive Sentry brand of safes. I would have a least $1,000 cash stored in this safe and I would add more if you have the means.

Several years back a family member of mine was arrested in Washington, DC. Apparently, he and his business partner were in DC for a meeting and when they came back to his business partner’s car there was a boot on the car from unpaid parking tickets.

The only way this relative could get out of jail that Friday night (and not have to wait until Monday) was if someone showed up with $1,400 cash. Thankfully, we had some rich Italian friends who kept money in their home and they loaned us the $1,400 and the relative was able to get out of jail that night.

This story shows that life is unpredictable, which is why you need to always be prepared to protect yourself, and also have some extra cash on hand.

Image via GunVault
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  • Rich Italian friends, eh? 🙂

  • MrWilkinson

    I bought a Ft. Knox Pistol Box. Built like a tank, mountable, and quick access. Not fireproof.

    • Eric

      I also have the Ft. Knox box, mounted to the floor under my bed. Absolute tank! I researched this subject for many months before purchasing. Heard too many stories of the electronic locks either failing or the actual locking mechanism not being very secure.
      One very important part to add to this is that my kids know the safe is there and we have regular talks about gun safety. I don’t want them to decide they need to try and “Look” at the guns when I’m not there.

  • Dick

    Which of these safes are accessible in the event of an EMP? I have tried to get an answer from the manufacturer of my safe, but their customer service department doesn’t answer emails. Since it is battery powered, I don’t know if I could open it. Any info would be appreciated.

    • Joe

      All of the safes i’ve seen with electronic locks also have a key. In the event the battery dies or the electronid keypad is damaged or removed, the key can be used to open the safe. I would imagine the key would also open the safe after an EMP. I have seen this on cheap and expensive safes, both small and large.
      Hope this helps.

      • Sir TuberKopf

        Regarding an EMP disabling electronic safes. If an EMP hit, I imagine most people would get their gun out using the key, and then carry it 24/7 because the S-just-HTF in the worst way imaginable. In fact all the guns would come out, every family member would be carrying 24/7 with a long gun in tow. The safe would still work off the key that you’d now carry as well.

        Do you have enough concealed carry holsters for everyone, and slings for rifles and shotguns? How about a means to carry extra ammo?

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  • jar1807

    Living in MA, the law requires guns be “secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device,” so the safe you have pictured has been a convenient way to do that. Like Mr. Lagnese, I chuckled at the rich Italian description because, although my Grandfather wasn’t rich, he always had lots if cash hidden at home. One of his favorite hiding places was buried in his tomato garden but, after a few New England winters, he realized a more hospitable and reachable space was in order. Hiding cash from tax collectors is almost required learning growing up in Italy. No self respecting tax collector would even remotely consider disturbing a tomato garden just to do his job!!!

  • EC

    I have a Barska Biometric Safe and I love it! You can put up to i think about 30 different finger prints in it. So my wife and I have several of our fingers stored in it. It also has a manual key that you can use in case the batteries die or an EMP disables the electronics in the safe. It is also very reliable about reading our fingerprints. Plus it is very economical!

  • Eric Jackson

    Two points of caution. Biometric tech sucks. It gets better if you reprogram your fingerprint several times and program a few other fingers as backup, but it is horribly unreliable not to mention expensive. I have the GV biometric model, and it is fine for people that want to leave it open at night and close it in the morning, but it is pretty normal to have to fuss with it to get it open. The four button models are almost idiot proof.

    The stack-on and a few other off brand safes I tried were trash. Like open when you bump them, have crappy buttons, sticky key cylinders, etc type crappy. Stick to V-line or gun vault (with the slight caveat below).

    As far as I know the Gun Vault Deluxe models still reset to the default code if they get shocked while plugged in unless they are static grounded. The manufacturer seemed to be working on a fix, but I don’t know if it ever got implemented. This could result in your safe getting randomly reset to 1234 on dry windy days. You can fix this by installing on, against, or grounded to anything statically conductive(stone, marble, drywall, concrete, etc. work in addition to normal conductors like metal) or by not using an AC adapter.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    Thoughts:
    For documents look for a safe rated for two hours of fire protection. A two hour safe will also protect digital data (thumb drives, hard drives and CDs). All those passwords to retirement accounts, bank accounts etc. must be recorded and kept safe. The insanity of having all that info just sitting under a keyboard is inexcusable.

    I like the idea of several small safes, it will make a bad guy spend lots of time, and make lots of noise, both of these are their enemies. It increases their chances of getting caught.

    I like biometric safes, scan a couple fingers from each hand. When you come in from mowing the lawn, scan those dirty fingers again. When you finished. The dishes, scan them again. Change a tire, work in the garden, scan them again. Let the system learn what your fingers look like across the range, clean to filthy.

    In a small kitchen safe, mount a holster inside at the top for a handgun. Then you can toss keys and wallet into the bottom and the firearm is always easy to get.

    Just finished making a handgun holder for inside the gun safe, to hang on the pegboard holes on the door. The gun barrel fits a padded peg. The guns trigger guard is sandwiched by thin wood panels, but there is a cutout that guides your trigger finger to is proper safe place. I can grab the gun in total darkness with no chance of accidental discharge and it guides by hand to a proper and perfect grip. I’m surprised I don’t see something like this for sale? It looks a bit like a wooden napkin holder.

  • James Van Valkenburg

    Liberty Safes still have the option of a combination dial – I have a Fat-Boy jr. At 700lb empty it holds long guns, hand guns and all the important papers I have collected in my long life. Little small ones are okay, but for real protection, go big.

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