As of the year 2017 over 42% of American households own one or more guns. The number of guns manufactured per year in the U.S. is over 9 million.
According to the Congressional Research Service 2017 April report there are 300 million firearms available for possession, and transfer to, by people in the United States.
This is almost 1 gun for every US citizen, as our population is 327 million plus. There is also a direct correlation between the increase in the amount of guns legally owned, and the decrease in violent crime.
Perhaps you are a hunter that owns hunting rifles, and accessories. You may be a sport shooter that has guns for shooting skeet, or for other competitive or leisure shooting sports or activities. Or you may be a homeowner that simply wants to protect your family, and your possessions.
Or you may be a combination or all three. Whatever the reason you own guns, you know it is imperative that these guns should be protected, kept from the curious hands of youngsters, and available to you in a moments notice should you need them to shield yourself, your family, and your home in a crisis.
The best way to accomplish this, is with gun safes. I will also tell you the different types of gun safes, what makes one gun safe superior to another, and the different locks that are available on gun safes. I will also make recommendations to you for the best quality gun safes that provide the best value.
The two primary gun safe types are gun safes, and gun cabinets for rifles or long guns, and handgun safes. Within these two types are many different variations.
The rifle or long gun safes, and gun cabinets are larger for obvious reasons. There are different interior configurations. Depending on how many guns you want to store, you can find a gun safe to accommodate them.
Many long gun safe interiors, in addition, have shelves for storage of ammunition, accessories, and other valuables. Also, some of these safes offer the ability to store more items on the inside of the safe door.
As these safes can take up a good deal of space, they may need to be placed in a basement, garage, or other area that offers plenty of room.
The new ‘front of the bed’ or ‘under bed’ gun safe that sits on the floor and extends the width of the bed has become a popular model in recent years. This convenient position allows for quick access to your long guns in the event of a home invasion, or other crisis.
Handgun safes or gun boxes are a different animal altogether. These much smaller safes are designed for storage of handguns or pistols, and for quick access. Most handgun safes only offer enough space to store one or two handguns, and perhaps some ammunition, along with very limited space for accessories.
Handgun safes can be bolted to the inside of a drawer, bolted on a floor (under a bed within close reach is a popular spot), or really anywhere there is a little room, clear access, and ideally the ability to secure it to a surface.
What Makes a Good Gun Safe
Gun safes come in many shapes, sizes, types, interiors, and with various types of locks. Your main considerations for a gun safe is fire protection, burglary protection, and locks that control the exterior door.
Generally speaking, the better the fire protection, burglary protection, interior climate control, and lock, the better the safe.
Buying a safe that includes fire protection is a very real, smart, and important decision. In the United States alone, fires cause over $6 billion dollars worth of property damage every year. A home structure fire occurs every 85 seconds.
Ideally, you want a fire rated safe that has the UL listing or designation, or the Intertek ETL Gun Safe Fire Label. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratory.
UL 1 Hour and 2 Hour Fire Labels.
U.L. Label/Class 350°F-one hour, and UL Label/Class 350°F-two hour. For the One Hour designation, the safe will maintain an interior temperature less than 350°F when exposed to fire for a period of one hour at 1700°F.
For the Two Hour designation, the safe will maintain an interior temperature less than 350°F for a period of two hours when exposed to fire at 1850°F.
The safe must also pass all requirements for the Fire Endurance Test, the Fire/Impact Test, and the Explosion Hazard Test.
Intertek ETL Gun Safe Fire Labels
Intertek ETL is the safe industry’s leading independent testing laboratory for fire ratings of gun safes. They have a stringent 45 minute, 90 minute, and 2 hour fire rating.
If you don’t see either the UL label or the ETL label on the ‘fire’ safe, you can not be certain that any fire testing was done reliably, and it could well mean inferior fire protection.
A burglary safe is designed to resist and deter a break in of the safe. There are also safes that are built with both fire protection and burglary protection.
A fire rating on a safe is a test classification, as opposed to a burglary rating on a safe which is a construction classification. These different ratings were established by the insurance industry to provide a standard of protection.
The various typical Burglary Protection Classes are:
B Rate: 1/4″ thick steel body, 1/2″ thick steel door
C Rate: 1/2″ thick steel body, 1″ thick steel door
TL-15: The requirements for a TL-15 are a UL listed Group ll combination lock, or type 1 electronic lock. Body walls of at least 12 gauge open hearth steel or material equivalent to it. Door at least 3/16″ open hearth steel or material equivalent to it. These safes also have fire protection.
TL-30: The requirements for a TL 30 are U.L. listed Group 2M, 1,1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock. Safe body walls of at least 1″ open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I. Safe weight must be 750 pounds minimum, or comes with instructions for anchoring in a larger safe, concrete blocks, or on the premises where used.
The TL-15, and TL-30 designation safes are primarily utilized in a commercial application.
Gun safe interiors are designed to accommodate a certain number of long guns, so that they can be stored upright. There is often, depending on the size of the safe, additional shelving, and interior compartments along with the long gun storage configurations.
The inside of the exterior door can be ordered to contain more storage capability such as for handguns, and accessories. There are also interior climate control options.
Using a dehumidifier to keep the moisture away from your guns is a popular choice. In addition to gun storage, gun safes are also often used to store and protect other valuable such as cash, coins, and jewelry.
There are many different types of locks that control the exterior door of your gun safe, as well as different locks for any interior compartments you may want to include, although most interior compartments are controlled by a single key lock.
The old stand by combination lock is still used on many safes, but the electronic key pad lock has overtaken it as the lock of choice.
The electronic key pad lock allows for quicker access, and offers additional features that the simple combination lock doesn’t.
The electronic key pad lock can either be a basic lock with a single input code capability, or it can have multiple functions such as multiple user, time delay, dual custody, and armored car override. Most electronic key pad locks come with a battery power source.
Some electronic key pad locks are available with External A/C Power: Provides power for unlimited use with battery power as backup.
Another popular lock with gun safes is the biometric lock. The biometric lock can be opened by simply inserting your hand into an opening. It works by being programmed to identify fingerprints, and allows for quick entry into the safe.
This will limit entry only to those preprogrammed for it, and can be very valuable when you need to get to your guns right away, such as during a break in at night, or other crisis situation when remembering your code, or fumbling around for your keys can be difficult, noisey, and time consuming.
These biometric locks normally can be programmed to allow for multiple users to access the safe, so that you can permit family members admittance to your safe, if you so choose.
Gun Safe Recommendations
There are many fine gun safe manufacturers, and many very good quality gun safes on the market today. By making a recommendation I am by no means attempting to downgrade the other makers of gun safes. Two of the best known gun safe companies are Browning, and Fort Knox.
However, from my 20 some years in the safe business, I have been able to experience many of these gun safes, and one brand in particular stands out to me as far as quality of workmanship both on their safes, and their locks. Many safe manufacturers don’t make their own locks.
They must add the lock from a different company, which makes you, the consumer, have the added hassle of dealing with two separate companies, one for the safe, and one for the lock, for warranties, and support.
The company I recommend does make their own locks. This company also has an 800 phone number on the safe direct to the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, and 365 day a year service department to support both their safes and their locks.
The other great feature to this company is they build their safes right here in the good ole US of A. They have a huge factory, and have been in business for many years. They are one of the oldest and most respected safe manufacturers not just in the US, but the entire world.
They also have a great selection of safes and locks, and accessories. The name of this phenomenal safe company is Amsec, which is short for American Security. So, whether you are looking for a gun safe, a gun cabinet, a handgun safe, or any other type of safe, You won’t do better than Amsec.
American households own more guns than ever before. It is a documented fact that the proliferation of legal gun ownership has a correlation to the decrease in violent crime. Gun owners may be hunters, sport shooters, or keep their guns for protection of their family, and home, or a combination of all three.
Your guns should be protected, kept from the curious hands of youngsters, and available to you in a moments notice in the event of a crisis situation.
There are rifle or long gun safes, gun cabinets, and handgun safes. The long gun or rifle gun safes have different interior configurations which are based on the amount of guns that need to be stored. Based on their large size, and weight, these safes need a good bit or room to be placed in like a basement or garage.
Handgun or pistol safes or gun boxes are much smaller, and generally can only hold one or two handguns, and a small amount of ammunition, and accessories. These safes take up little room, and can be placed, and bolted to a drawer, or to the floor.
A good gun safe will have UL listed or ETL listed fire protection, and B rate, C rate, TL-15, or TL-30 burglary protection. The various locks available on gun safes include combination locks, key locks, electronic key pad locks, and biometric locks.
Gun safes are available with various interiors. These interiors can be ordered to accommodate a certain number of long guns. They can also have shelving, and interior compartments for storage of accessories, and other valuables. A dehumidifier is also an option.
There are many great gun safe companies out there. Two of the best known are Browning, and Fort Knox. My highest recommendation for quality, and value goes to Amsec, or American Security Products Company, a US company. Amsec has a complete line of quality gun safes for sale, handgun safes, home safes, commercial safes, and accessories.
Gun safes for sale