How Does a Biometric Gun Safe Work?
How Does a Biometric Gun Safe Work?

It's common knowledge that there are more guns than people in the United States. In 2018, there were roughly 120.5 guns for every 100 American residents. That's more than double the ratio of the second-placed country of Yemen (52.8 guns per 100 residents).

Despite already leading the world in virtually every gun ownership category, the rate of new gun purchases increased during the pandemic.

If you're the owner of a gun, then you should already know that safety is an essential factor above all else. There are tons of safety rules when it comes to handling a gun, but that's not your only responsibility.

You'll also need to safely store your gun to prevent any potential accidents from occurring inside your home. The easiest way to do that is to use a biometric gun safe.

What Are Biometric Gun Safes?

The word biometric probably sounds like something from the latest science fiction TV series. While it might sound like a bunch of Hollywood mumbo jumbo, it's a legitimate security option for a safe. Biometric safes might be the most accurate and secure option currently available.

The goal of every safe is to limit access to everyone except for authorized users. There are several different ways to achieve this goal.

For most of history, a specific combination was the most effective way to do this. You spun the dial, stopped at the correct numbers, and turned the handle to unlock the safe.

The problem is that these numbers weren't exclusive. Once someone else had them, they could be passed around to countless people. The same is true for numerical pads and other coded options.

There are a few different ways that a professional safecracker can manipulate the safe and find the correct combination.

Many people opt for using a safe with a key-based entry system for these very concerns. Protecting a physical key is much easier than a "code" that could be spread or guessed. However, physical keys risk being lost, stolen, and copied, so they're far from being a perfect option.

The scariest thing about a combination or key being leaked is that you wouldn't know until it's too late. The breach in security would only be evident once you've had your valuables swiped.

The only way to ensure this doesn't happen is to have a "key" that you can't lose or have fallen into the wrong hands. That's where the concept of biometrics comes in.

How Biometric Gun Safes Work

Biometrics are various body measurements that are related to the human body. There are many different types of biometrics, including eye scans, DNA samples, gaits, voice recordings, retina scans, and DNA samples.

Each of these characteristics is unique for each individual, which makes them perfect for identification.

The preferred identification method is the fingerprint for the vast majority of biometric safes. You've probably heard before that every fingerprint is different. It's almost impossible to distinguish between fingerprints with the naked eye.

However, skin ridges (known medically as dermatoglyphics) are unique to each person and can be used as biometric recognition options.

The process of a biometric safe is straightforward. All you'll have to do is press your finger against the biometric mechanism of the safe. A camera or scanner will record your unique fingerprint and store it as an authorized user.

All you need to do to open the safe is to press your finger against the exact mechanism. The camera or scanner will read your fingerprint, and the safe will be unlocked.

Advantages of Biometric Gun Safes

Plenty of unique advantages come with owning a biometric gun safe. After learning about each, it should be evident that it's the best option for safely storing your firearms.

These are the specific benefits that you can experience with a biometric safe:

  • Ease of access
  • No need for keys
  • No password

Ease of Access

Arguably, the essential factor you should be looking for in a safe gun is how quickly you can access it. If there's ever an emergency where you need to access your weapon, the last thing you want is for it to take a long time.

A combination dial is easily the worst option available. Trying to spin the dial accurately while your heart is racing in the middle of the night could take a dozen attempts.

A numerical pad is much better, but you'll still need to think of the correct combination and press several numbers to type it in.

A biometric safe will blow both of these options out of the water. You merely press your finger against the pad, and the safe will be unlocked. You'll have access to your firearm within a few seconds at the very most. There are no options that will be faster than that.

No Need for Keys

Keys have been used as a locking/unlocking mechanism for roughly 4,000 years. The key is slid into the lock, and the various points push pins to their correct location. The lock can be turned and opened when they are all lined up correctly.

Everything has several keys they use multiple times in their everyday lives. Car and house keys are relatively universal, so it makes sense to include safe keys on your ring. The problem is that it's not very difficult to misplace these keys.

Being late to work because you can't find your keys is frustrating and embarrassing. Not being able to open your gun safe because you can't find your keys can have much more severe consequences.

It's implausible that you'll ever misplace your finger, so you'll always have your "key" with you in an emergency.

No Password

Using a numerical keypad is one of the most common locking mechanisms for a gun safe. These keypads are generally opened by a customized 4-digit key code that you choose.

All you'd have to do to unlock the safe is enter the key code, and you'll gain entry. The problem with having a specific number combination is that non-authorized users can access it.

Chances are that you have an active checking account with a bank. You need to use a personal identification number (PIN) to access the money in your account. The 4-digit number is significant to keep the contents of your bank account safe. However, roughly 10% of all PINs can be correctly guessed with just one attempt.

Fortunately, for 10% of the population, your PIN is only one piece of the puzzle for accessing your bank account. However, a similar number combination is the only thing that's preventing a thief from accessing your gun safe.

How confident are you that you'll be able to keep your necessary code secure when there are so many people that can't even project the PIN for their bank account? Using a biometric safe will eliminate the risk of anyone ever guessing or finding out your key code.

The safe will not open unless you make direct contact with your finger.

Drawbacks of Biometric Gun Safes

There are a lot of unique benefits that come with using a biometric safe to store your gun. Unfortunately, it's not all blue skies and rainbows. There are a few drawbacks that you'll need to think about before you purchase your biometric safe:

  • Battery life
  • High price
  • Mistaken scans

Battery Life

Biometric safes aren't plugged into the electrical outlet of your wall. That means that the power source for the biometric reading pad will require a battery.

Some batteries can last thousands of years without a charge. However, the ones powering biometric safes won't last that long. Experts recommend that you change out the battery of your biometric safe once a year. It's no different than changing the batteries of your remote control.

High Price

You probably think that the technology required to scan, record, and recognize multiple fingerprints would be state-of-the-art. You would be correct. A biometric safe will need much more tech than a simple combination dial or numerical keypad.

In most cases, more technology will immediately translate to more costs, but not in every case. The price tag will technically be a little bit higher for a biometric safe. However, the price is small compared to the lifetime of gun safety and security it guarantees.

Is saving a few dollars worth missing out on all the mentioned benefits?

Mistaken Scans

No system is perfect. There are bound to be a few mistakes here or there. Biometric scanners are no different as they can occasionally have a mistaken scan.

The good news is that a mistake won't lead to the safe being unlocked. The bad news is that you'll have to try again and hope the reader is functioning correctly the second time. There's no denying that encountering such an obstacle will be frustrating.

However, it's a much less common experience than you might think. According to research studies performed in 2004, biometric fingerprints are accurate 98.6% of the time with single-finger tests.

In the nearly 20 years since this study was conducted, do you think the technology used to read fingerprints has worsened? Absolutely not.

Places To Set Up a Biometric Gun Safe

Having a gun safe is the number one priority for proper gun safety. Once you've decided on the perfect safe for you, the next step will be figuring out where to put it. There are a lot of different options available, and you'll need to consider each one carefully:

  • Nightstand safes
  • Bedside safes
  • Closet safes
  • Under-bed safes

Nightstand Safes

Keeping a gun inside your nightstand safe is an excellent way to stay within arm's reach of your weapon while you're vulnerable. Pull the drawer, press your fingerprint on the keypad, and you'll have your gun in hand within seconds.

The proximity could be reassuring or frightening, depending on how comfortable you are with guns. Only you will know how it makes you feel.

Bedside Safes

A bedside safe will prevent you from traveling too far to reach your gun. You can quickly hop out of bed and get safe within a few steps. The only downside is that it can be difficult to disguise.

The most secure gun safes are the ones that you can't easily spot. Having a safe resting beside your bed could invite a challenge from intruders or household members.

Closet Safes

A closet safe is the best way to utilize another layer of security to keep your gun safe from falling into the wrong hands. The person looking to find your gun must enter the closet and search for a little while before seeing it.

The only issue is that you'll have to do the same in an emergency. Remember that ease of access is one of the primary features to think about when getting a gun safe.

Under-bed Safes

An under-the-bed safe includes the best features of all three of the other options. You'll have the reassurance of a nightstand safe, the proximity of a bedside safe, and the camouflage of a closet safe.

All you'll need to do is roll out of bed, hit the floor, and use your finger to unlock the safe. It's not exactly convenient. You'll have to make sure there's nothing in the way of your hand and the keypad.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing about owning a gun is that you do so as safely as possible. That means keeping your weapon locked properly in a safe whenever you aren't using it.

There are tons of options out there for a gun safe, but none of them offer the unique benefits of biometrics.

It should be apparent by now that your search for the perfect way to store your gun starts and ends with a biometric safe - and a great place to begin is with our Biocube Professional.


NIST Study Shows Computerized Fingerprint Matching Is Highly Accurate | NIST

Diamond Nuclear Battery That Lasts Forever? U.S. Startup Promises Battery That Could Last Up To 28,000 Years | Tech Times

One in Ten PINs can be Correctly Guessed First Time | Daily Mail Online

A Brief History of the Key | Brown University

"No Two Finger Prints Are Alike" – Fingerprinting in the Modern World | Rutgers University

Types of Biometrics | Biometrics Institute

How to Crack a Safe | The New York Times

Firearm Safety - 10 Rules of Safe Gun Handling | NSSF

U.S. Gun Sales Have Been Surging, Study Finds | News @ Northeastern

There are More Guns than People in the United States | The Washington Post