As responsible gun owners, gun safety is our top priority, and one aspect of firearm safety is knowing how to store them properly.
Correct firearm storage has many benefits. Whether you’re looking for long-term or short-term or need quick-access storage, you can benefit from learning how to safely store firearms and ammo in your home.
Let’s begin with why this is a must for firearm owners.
Why You Should Store Firearms and Ammunition Safely
While I can think of several reasons to store guns and ammo safely, I’ve rounded up a few of my top reasons below.
Protect Kids in the House
This is my most significant reason for storing my guns in a gun safe. I have a daughter with friends and cousins over to play all the time.
While I’ve taught my daughter how to handle guns responsibly, I know not all the kids who visit our home have had the same upbringing. So, to protect everyone, especially the kids, I keep my guns out of reach in a gun safe.
Keep Firearms Out of the Hands of Bad Guys
My other biggest reason to keep my guns adequately secured is to keep them where they belong, with me, and not to be used by criminals.
Once again, a safe doesn’t guarantee that your guns won’t get stolen, but it makes stealing them much more difficult.
Protect Guns From Corrosion
I own a few guns that I consider to be collector’s items that I desperately want to protect from corrosion, and using a high-quality safe is one of the best ways to protect against corrosion.
However, a safe is not a guarantee against rust, so always put your guns up clean. It’s also best to have a dehumidifier in the safe as another guard against corrosion.
Increase the Life of Your Ammo
Keeping your 308 ammo in a safe will extend its shelf life because it won’t be as exposed to humidity and crazy temperature changes, and it will be fire-resistant.
Storing ammo in a sealed ammo can is an excellent way to help extend how long ammo is good.
Dangers of Improper Gun Storage
As we all know, there are many dangers of unsafe gun storage. Here are some of the most common-
- Guns and ammo falling into the hands of unauthorized people
- Guns and ammo getting stolen
- Guns and ammo being used for criminal activity
- Guns and ammo are a part of firearm-related accident
- Guns and ammo burns in a fire, creating more of a danger for first responders
- Guns and ammo are unusable when you need them due to corrosion
Long-Term Storage of Guns and Ammo Tips
Long-term can mean several things to different people. It might mean a month to some and a year to others. Whatever it means to you, you can use the following tips to keep your guns and ammo safe and protected.
Bolt the Safe to the Floor
Always bolt the safe to the floor, whether using a giant or small safe. Otherwise, the safe can be stolen by someone determined to take your guns and ammo even when the gun safe is difficult to move.
Store Your Firearms Unloaded
If you plan not to use your gun for an extended period, do not put it away loaded.
For one, you might forget that it’s loaded and accidentally discharge the weapon. Another reason is that the ammo could corrode (yes, even when you take all the necessary steps to protect against it) and cause your weapon to be unusable or, at the very least, cost you a bunch of money at the gunsmith.
Use a Dehumidifier
Removing the humidity from the air will drastically reduce the amount of corrosion on your guns and ammo.
Vacuum Seal Them Before Storing
I only recommend this to someone who won’t need their guns for a long time, such as family heirlooms and collector’s items. Vacuum sealing guns and ammo keeps the humidity from reaching them, therefore minimizing rust.
Clean Your Firearms After Each Use
Since I hunt a lot, I have a terrible habit of putting my firearms up without thoroughly cleaning them. This only leads to problems the next time I use my gun.
This is why I strongly recommend ensuring your gun is clean before placing it in your safe.
Keep Them at a Constant Temperature
Lastly, maintaining a constant temperature also helps reduce humidity. I recommend a cool, dry temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Constantly changing temperatures can cause your wood stock to crack, water and corrosion to form, and shorten the lifespan of your ammo.
Short-Term Storage of Guns and Ammo Tips
I’m often in and out of my gun cabinet with the changing hunting seasons and my shooting habits in general. So, some of the long-term storage options don’t work for me. However, most are transferable, such as maintaining a constant storage temperature, using a dehumidifier, bolting the safe to the floor, and cleaning the firearms before storing them.
However, if I plan to use my gun in the next couple of days, I won’t clean it unless it’s so dirty that it’s affecting my shooting, which has happened a few times during duck season.
I rarely store my firearms loaded (only when I need quick access, such as my home defense weapons, which we will discuss next). So even if I plan to go hunting in a day or two, I put my gun away unloaded.
Staging Guns and Ammo with Quick Access Tips
There’s a big difference between storing and staging a firearm for home defense. Storing a weapon means you’re unloading it and locking it out of reach of anyone without the code or key.
However, storing your home defense weapon is not a great idea because it’s not easily accessible. That’s why I recommend staging a weapon or two.
Staging your 9mm means you place it in a spot that only you know about and can quickly access it. I strongly recommend it is a place where kids will not accidentally discover it, and kids are curious, so you’ll need to be creative.
This might mean it’s located in a secret drawer, the upper part of a closet, or in a quick-access biometric safe.
Biometric safes are great because they restrict access to only you or your spouse. They’re also compact and discreet, so they can fit in small spaces that other safes can’t and blend in with the decor.
However, biometric safes also have a few disadvantages. If you and your spouse are incapacitated, no one in the home can retrieve the gun to defend themselves.
Since biometric safes are small, they’re easier to steal, especially when you don’t bolt them to something heavy and bulky.
Overall, a biometric safe might be your best bet when staging firearms around the house because you can keep your gun loaded and your mind at ease if you have kids.
How to Protect Your Kids While Storing Firearms and Ammunition
One of the biggest arguments against gun owners is that kids find them and accidentally hurt themselves or others. While this is a real risk, and I don’t wish that on anyone, I believe it can be minimized.
Teach Your Kids Gun Safety
The best way to protect your kids from the dangers of firearms is to teach them all about guns and gun safety.
Kids are naturally curious, so if you tell them not to go into that closet because there’s a gun in there, they’re very likely to go into the closet to see the gun.
However, the risk has been minimized when you show them how to handle any gun, especially one they might stumble across. This is based on my experience as a kid and now as an adult.
My parents and grandparents taught me gun safety from a very young age; some would try to argue that I was too young, but whenever I found a gun in someone’s home, I knew what to do and not to do.
I’ve now taken this approach with my young daughter.
Introducing kids to firearms at a young age helps to reduce their curiosity about guns.
Keep Your Guns and Ammo Out of Reach
Storing your guns and ammo in a locked gun safe with the key or code unavailable to the kids keeps them from gaining access to your guns when you’re not around.
I place the keys in a spot my daughter or her friends can’t reach, nor do they know where the keys are located.
As an avid gun collector, hunter, and shooter, I see the importance of proper gun storage, and now that you’ve finished reading this article, you see why it’s important and know how to store your guns and ammo properly.
I strongly recommend getting a quality gun safe to protect your guns, ammo, and family.
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