30% of Americans own a personal gun, and 40% live in a household with at least one gun. Reasons for gun ownership vary amongst the population; people use firearms for hunting, other gun sports, and home defense. Others prefer to collect rare or antique weapons, like the incredibly popular M1 Garand from World War II.
No matter the reason for ownership, there will likely be a point where gun owners need to store their firearms for an extended period. Proper storage protects the firearm itself and, even more importantly, the people in our homes.
Laws around gun and ammo storage are subject to change on a state and federal level, so staying up to date with storage laws is vital. In January of 2022, San José, California, became the first state to require gun owners to pay an annual fee and obtain liability insurance. San José's new gun laws standardize other elements of gun ownership, including residential gun safe specifics.
It's never been more important to brush up on the latest safe gun storage measures. Each preventative step you take decreases your liability.
This post will outline tips for protecting both your firearm and the people who live in and visit your home.
Understanding Storage of a Firearm
Most gun owners are aware of the inherent risk of introducing a firearm to the home; when guns are not stored correctly, the risk of injury or death increases. The same is true in the inverse. Securely locking up firearms decreases the risk of accidents; some estimates claim critical safety measures prevent as many as one-third of unintentional discharges.
Gun storage isn't only about safety; it's also about gun care. Storing guns improperly for long periods increases the risk of corrosion, rust, and pitting.
7 Tips for First-Time Gun Owners on Safe Storage
These tips can help protect the safety of the people living in a house with a firearm and, secondarily, maintain the integrity of the gun.
These recommendations are a checklist, not a menu. The more steps you take, the more secure your home and residents are. A combination of preventative measures is always better than one.
Tip #1: Invest in a Quality At-Home Safe With Advanced Locking Technology
Before bringing home a firearm, secure an at-home safe equipped with advanced and sophisticated locking technology.
When investing in firearm storage options, a high-quality, professional product is essential.
You have a number of options to consider when selecting a safe. Each residential safe is geared to the owner's specific needs. Some people will want an at-home safe with fire protection. Frequent travelers might prefer a safe with smartphone-enabled remote access like the iCube.
When looking to store firearms, either in the long or short term, we recommend the Biocube Professional. With an interior height of 57 inches, this safe is ideal for longer firearms. This top-of-the-line offering can hold up to 6 rifles at once and is an equally good place to secure shotguns and scopes.
First and foremost, a gun safe should provide expedient access to qualified gun users while making it difficult for outsiders to enter.
The Biocube Professional has 12 tamper-proof bolts, auto-locking doors, and walls ⅛ inch thick. With 6 pre-drilled bolt holes, this safe is difficult to remove but easy to install.
The Biocube Professional has a biometric locking mechanism that allows one-touch access for 10 unique fingerprints. This safe also features an internal light that allows you to quickly find what you need. Multiple people might need access to this safe's contents depending on their particular living situation.
Biometric locking technology ensures that those who need immediate access have it and bars all others. Besides burglars, the Biocube Professional stops children from accessing the contents; 34% of United States children reside in a home with at least one firearm. The biometric lock and auto-locking doors keep vulnerable parties away from stored firearms.
Style Meets Substance
Guns are inherently practical, but at the same time, they can be works of art. Like rifles with glossy walnut wood stocks or handguns with environmental-specific camo wraps, there's something deeply pleasing about the seamless integration of style and substance.
Mimicking the goods it was designed to protect, the Biocube Professional combines the best in technology with the best in design. Available in 2 colorways, Graphite Grey and Black, the neutral tones of the Biocube Professional mold to any home design.
This at-home safe supplements your decor instead of detracting from it. With its evergreen design, the Biocube Professional is at-home safe for the long haul.
Tip #2: Unload and Break Down Your Gun Before Storing It
When storing your gun, unload and break down the weapon as much as possible, and always keep it unloaded. Breaking down firearms makes it more complicated for an untrained person to use a gun if they manage to access it.
Even if your firearm doesn't see much use at the range, cleaning your weapons regularly is vital. Guns in long-term storage need cleaning less often than guns fired more frequently (which should be cleaned about once a week).
Seldomly used firearms should be introduced to a bit of gun grease or gun oil about once every 6 months, although more frequent cleanings are ideal. A well-cleaned gun is less likely to jam or deteriorate. After cleaning, wait for your gun to dry completely before returning it to your at-home safe.
You may have guns in your collection that you prefer not to break down. Some firearms might be challenging to break down, and others you might want to be able to access immediately.
The Biocube Professional is our largest gun safe, at 57 inches high. It is big enough to store larger firearms, including rifles and shotguns. Despite its notable storage capacity, it fits well in most bedrooms, allowing for easy access if needed.
Tip #3: Keep Firearm Away From Humidity
The risk of rust and build-up within a firearm increases over time, especially if it is not stored correctly. If guns are kept outside in a woodshed or indoors in a basement, they are more vulnerable to the elements.
Optimal firearm storage climate conditions range between 50 to 55 percent relative humidity around a temperate 70 degrees. Dehumidifiers can be helpful, but can quickly dry out and damage wooden stocks, so proceed with caution.
Tip #4: Have a Conversation About Gun Safety
22 million children in the United States live in a home with a firearm. Educating the next generation is one of the best ways to prevent accidents and raise responsible gun owners.
Explain the difference between the guns they see in movies and on television and guns in real life. Teach your children never to go near a weapon and always to tell an adult if they come across one.
Reinforce that behavior regularly. By taking gun safety seriously and leading by example, you demonstrate the importance of vigilance around firearms. Children learn by example; if they see you display critical gun safety protocol, they will prioritize safety when they come of age.
Tip #5: Store Your Ammunition Away From Your Gun
Treat the storage of ammunition with the same amount of vigilance as you would a gun. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Shooting Sports Foundation recommend that ammunition be stored in a different place than the weapon itself.
Similar to a firearm, you don't want ammunition to be kept around the house without any secure storage. That would ostensibly nullify the purpose of storing ammunition away from a weapon. A second safe can ensure that there are multiple checkpoints between a person and a loaded weapon.
If you are looking for an ammo safe, consider the Biocube or the Biocube Mini. Slender, sleek, and reliable, the Biocube has internal dimensions of 10" H x 19" W x 10 ¼ D, making it perfect for small ammo cans. Besides ammo, it's an ideal size for Glocks, handguns, and revolvers.
Tip #6: Consider a Trigger Lock
You can also take steps to further secure your firearm, like using a trigger or cable lock. Trigger locks wrap around the trigger and prevent it from being pulled. They often require a key to open.
Trigger locks on their own are not sufficient enough security. Still, when paired with a quality safe and separate, secure ammunition, trigger locks provide an additional layer of safety that can help preserve peace of mind for gun owners.
Tip #7: Increase Surveillance Security Around Firearm Storage
Keeping an at-home safe out of the way and protected is of the utmost importance, especially if it contains a firearm. When the goods you are storing are this important, consider adding a form of surveillance around the safe.
The video surveillance technology industry has made impressive strides over the last decade. A small, motion-triggered camera can alert you when there's been any movement around the safe, sending a live video feed straight to your smartphone. After reviewing the footage, you can determine if there is a threat to the people in your home or your firearm collection.
You don't want to find out your safe has been stolen or broken into by coming home to an empty space. A surveillance camera can alert you to a break-in so that you can call the authorities as soon as possible.
Smart Technology and At-Home Safes
The iCube is the world's most intelligent at-home safe. With your smartphone, you can access and control this safe from almost anywhere.
With Mycube's unique end-to-end cloud security platform, you will receive tamper alerts, check the safe's contents, and lock and unlock the safe remotely. Even when you are worlds away, you will know that everything is safe at home.
Last Thoughts on Long Term Gun Storage
Protecting yourself from accidents and legal liability is part of gun ownership. The steps above can help ensure your home stays safe, your guns stay within your possession, and your firearms maintain their quality over long periods.
We're passionate about intentional and thoughtful at-home safe design. Our professional expertise, backed by over 100 years of tradition, is why Mycube is the most sophisticated option on the market for gun owners. If you're new to gun ownership, we look forward to helping you guard what matters most.
Gun Harm Reduction | City of San Jose
Preventing Firearm-Related Death and Injury | Annals of Internal Medicine
Safe Storage | Giffords Law Center
Frequently Asked Questions About Firearm Safe Storage | Center for American Progress
Key facts about Americans and guns | Pew Research Center
Guns in the Family: Firearm Storage Patterns in US Homes with Children | RAND
Firearm Safety | State of California - Department of Justice | Office of the Attorney General