Firearm securement, Absent homeowner.


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DaltonSpringfield
December 16, 2006, 08:32 AM
How much security is reasonably enough when I am not there?

For those of you who don't know me I drive an 18 wheeler, that means I spend a great deal of time away from my house. Having more guns than one can reasonably cram into the cab of a freightliner I have to secure them somewhere else. After Dec 31, I can no longer secure them in the vault where I have for the last 10+ years. My new house has a security system and motion lights, I have deadbolts on the entry doors and another deadbolt on the inside door to the room containing the browning gunsafe. Inside the safe, I will have action locks on all the guns. Is that enough to prevent my firearms from falling into the wrong hands in the event someone does get in? Or should I look into some other method since I am never home? I am not worried about money as my homeowners insurance would pay for anything stolen and most are not family heirlooms. But I look at the house and think how easy it would be to break in. This house is a temporary arrangement while our "dream house" is being built. The community is nice with virturaly no crime, but that doesn't mean much to me. What steps can I take above and beyond what I already have? I am aware of the "vacation tips" such as lights/tv on random timers, and having a PO box so mail doesn't pile up and the like. The only indicator that the house is empty is the long periods of nobody home and no vehicle in the driveway, which can't be helped. If there are other options for securement I would like to know about them. I asked my bank about renting several safe deposit boxes for my firearms and was told it wasn't allowed. Is there anything else I can do?
Thanks, Dalton

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Hardware
December 16, 2006, 09:17 AM
Disassemble the guns. Take the bolts with you in a locked container. Any firearm that has to be substantially disassembled to remove the bolt store the loose parts in a ziploc baggie secured to the firearm. For automatics disassemble and take the barrel. For wheelguns get a bore lock. It's a locking cylinder you place down the bore and lock into the cylinder of the pistol. Can't open the cylinder to load and sure can't fire it.

Thieves are looking for the quick score. Most are too lazy to work hard to remove seomthing like a bore lock. For a double layer of protection I'd lock any guns that remain functional (revolvers, derringers, lever guns, falling or rolling block) in a hard sided lockable container. Metal, not plastic.

Good luck.

Kingcreek
December 17, 2006, 09:57 AM
Sometimes hidden is better than locked. They can't steal 'em if they can't find 'em.
I have security systems and safe similar to you, but the best set up I have seen is a friends. He has a basement rec room with a barn board wall and a hidden 6x22 room behind it with his gun safes and guns on racks. hundreds of them. He also has all the best home security hardware for the whole house.
Sounds like you've put some thought into your current abode but a determined or gutsy thief can still get at your possessions. Anything to make him work harder or slow him down and allow time for someone to respond to the alarm helps. If you have a neighbor or friend you can trust, have them park in your drive sometimes or move a vehicle around, etc. My neighbor drives a truck and I move his farm tractor or a utility trailer every other day or so. I'm over there working my retrievers in his pond anyway, and it makes it look there is regular activity. BTW, the dogs are also one layer of my home security.

tepin
December 17, 2006, 10:33 AM
Sometimes hidden is better than locked. They can't steal 'em if they can't find 'em.
+1

ZeSpectre
December 17, 2006, 12:08 PM
Another possibility is if you have a friend you trust who will let you keep an RSC in their basement or something. You go on a trip, lock 'em up at his place but you keep your keys. (just brainstorming).

WeedWhacker
December 17, 2006, 12:41 PM
Secrecy is one of the best security measures to take. Why bother with the effort of a break-in if there's no loud stereo, no big flat-panel TV visible from the street, and no big, fat gun "vault" sitting in the living room?

None of the options you listed are enough to stop a burglar with a dremel, insulated bolt cutters, and a dolly. Non-reinforced doors and frames are a *joke* when it comes to actual security - they just let you know when someone's been where they shouldn't and/or make noise when they're broken down. Your alarm system goes down with one snip of the cutters - the power could, too, but that usually involves getting on the roof. The dremel dispenses with the gun "vault" if it's too big to cart away on the hand truck.

... however, all that involves work and planning, and almost any one item has a decent chance of scaring off a random smash-and-grab burglar. Unless you advertize your belongings, you're better off than most of us.

BullfrogKen
December 17, 2006, 04:59 PM
If you are gone for extended trips often, can you store your vaulables with a family member or friend?

If not, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye of your place. Telling a neighbor such things involves a lot of trust, and I wouldn't do it unless you could trust them. There is always a risk that in casual conversation your neighbor tells a friend you own guns, and he tells someone else, until someone who would steal from you finds that out and takes advantage.


That's a tough situation.

Sean Dempsey
December 17, 2006, 05:06 PM
I am sure if you went to a gun shop with cool, reasonable people, they could hold on to them. Just explain your situation, and buy some ammo at the same time.

I mean really, why would someone refuse?

pedaldude
December 17, 2006, 05:14 PM
there are also newer lojack style tracking devices that use gps, that way if they do walk away you have a btterchance of finding who did it.

that and removing key parts should work, also look around to find "high value" broken stuff like TVs and stereos, power tools and such and pose them around the house, that way whoever does get in leaves with a bunch of crap.

Nio
December 17, 2006, 08:35 PM
Get a great big gun safe, with really thick walls. Bolt it to the floor in a prominent place in the house.

Then...hide the guns somewhere else. The bad guys will spend a lot of time on the safe...

Nio

DaltonSpringfield
December 18, 2006, 07:58 AM
Up to now they have been in a friend's vault, his little brother will be getting out of prison in January, hence the reason I have to move them. My new gunsafe should not be easily defeated. You can see one like it here (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/safes/detail.asp?cat_id=160&type_id=42741&value=001F#center) It is currently mounted to the floor joists and wall studs in a closet, I have toyed with the idea of making a false wall in front of it but so far haven't done it. If someone were to get into the house, they still have 2 deadbolts to defeat to get to the safe.


If not, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye of your place. Telling a neighbor such things involves a lot of trust, and I wouldn't do it unless you could trust them. There is always a risk that in casual conversation your neighbor tells a friend you own guns, and he tells someone else, until someone who would steal from you finds that out and takes advantage.
I have a good neighbor who watches the property when I am gone. In exchange he gets to use my "back 40", but I haven't know him long. As such he has no idea what is inside my house for that exact reason.

I am sure if you went to a gun shop with cool, reasonable people, they could hold on to them. Just explain your situation, and buy some ammo at the same time.

I mean really, why would someone refuse?
Thanks for the idea, but... I guess my new state sucks, I was told by the 2 gunshops I have frequented since moving "per state law, if they are in possesion of an ffl I have to have a new purchase permit to pick them back up each time". My only hope for something like that comes from my SASS club, I would be allowed to keep my cowboy guns at another members shop without a new permit, but he didn't like the idea of housing all of my firearms.

I can take some comfort in the fact that my new house shoud be done by mid fall 07. Call me crazy, my new house will have a concrete room in the basement just for this purpose.


Thanks for the input, Dalton

mikeb3185
December 18, 2006, 08:31 AM
not in all cases, but many. your typical burglars are smash and grab and would not know what wire to cut on your system if you showed them. if they are "professional" then they will take what they want. you could get http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/safes/detail.asp?cat_id=160&type_id=39581&value=003F for the room

hide the safe as best you can... out of sight out of mind

clt46910
December 18, 2006, 08:52 AM
Not sure if it is still available, but years back I had a security company that had monitors in my house and listened to them. Was a local company with a real person listening to the monitors in my house. If they hear something, they would first call and if no answer would sent someone out and summon police at the same time. Back in the 80's it was something like 60 bucks a month but was worth it at the time to me. Was the next best thing to having a real person in the house. This was along with a normal alarm system that came with the house. Cut lines gave them a alarm something was wrong and they sent someone out also.

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