Securing a Firearm in a Dormroom.


April 28, 2007, 01:39 AM
I'm just putting this out there as a hypothetical and not an actual scenario. If you were allowed to keep a firearm on campus in your dorm room what would be the best way to secure it? Obviously you can't drill into anything to secure a safe to the wall and leaving it in the corner isn't good either!

There is a small group of people on campus that I am a part of that is trying to get conceal and carry and allow guns on campus. (St. Cloud State University Minnesota.)

Just wondering what the best way to secure a firearm is without damaging the walls/floors!

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Nomad, 2nd
April 28, 2007, 01:41 AM
$40 fireproof lockbox from wallmart.

Some come with locking cables that will allow you to secure it to things.

Like the old heater which was in my Dorm at Ole Miss.... I'd like to see someone make off with that!

Echo Tango
April 28, 2007, 01:44 AM
Problem with locking cables is, they can be cut. I would just lag bolt the thing to the closet floor

April 28, 2007, 01:44 AM
The problem with lagbolting it to the floor is that the floor is damaged.

Colleges are a royal pain in the butt about charging you too.

April 28, 2007, 02:10 AM
If you were a gun owner and wanted to take your guns with you, WHY live in a dorm in the first place? There is NO way I'd feel comfortable keeping a gun with me in a dorm.

If your university requires that you live in a dorm as a freshmen, and you want to take your gun with you, find another school.

April 28, 2007, 07:56 AM
FIrst of all, I think this is only realy possible if you have a single. Roomates, especially if they are chosen for you, could be a liability, and make the next few suggestions moot.

Don't tell ANYONE that you have it. Move it in and out of your building as discretely as possible, and literally don't tell a soul. I think that even keeping it in the back of your closet, locked and hidden, and your closet closed, would go a long way. No one who comes over to hang out in my room has any business in my closet, and wouldn't go in.

I work as a painter for my college's Buildings and Grounds department, and I think you'd be surprised at your ability to bolt into things. For instance, in my room, the closet is a unit set into the wall. If you bolted a lockbox onto the unit, or even through it into the wall, all I would see (if I did at all) was a few holes in the wood. I certainly wouldn't charge you for that. If it was directly into the sheetrock in the middle of the room and I had to patch and repaint it, then you'd be charged, but discrete holes in the wood I probably wouldn't even notice.


April 28, 2007, 08:40 AM
If you are planning on carrying concealed, it should only be in your room when you're there. I always have mine unless I'm sleeping or showering. It's a lot easier to keep people from "finding" your gun if it's always on your person.

I can imagine though that there are times that you can't or won't carry. Like going to the shower down the hall, or traveling somewhere else that's a victim-rich environment(gun free zone). In that case I'd have a small safe that I could put it in. For attaching it to things you could go with the cable(easier) or bolt it to the floor(worry about your deposit). I think I'd get
some heavy U-bolts, drill some holes in the safe and then u-bolt it to pipe, the bed frame or anything else to heavy or large to get through the door. You're in a dorm. They can't spend too much time or make too much noise to get it out. Too many people.

Keep in mind that you have to be reasonable. I see a lot of people on here saying that you have to be one step below Fort Knox to keep your gun from being stolen or you are an irresponsible gun owner. I think that's a little over the top. Even a fairly decent criminal can get around pretty much any anti theft precaution. If he wants it bad enough, he's going to get it. Make sure no one knows you have it, get a decent small safe and secure it in a way that you feel is best for your situation. For the most part, you're trying to prevent casual discoveries, not preplanned theft.

It's not irresponsible to not have your gun in a 3" steel, radiation hardened, 2000lb safe that could withstand the fires of hell for at least half an hour. It IS irresponsible to leave it under your pillow. Most anywhere in between in ok.

April 28, 2007, 09:21 AM
Providing your campus administration ok's this they will have the means of storage covered. Their policy probably will address such issues as safe storage and damage resulted when you move out and take your safe with you.

Have you had any opposition to this? I highly doubt it will become a reality. In the end if administration ok's this they have taken the brunt of any legal responsibility ie. accidentally discharge and forbid someone gets shot. Even the men and women of our armed forces cannot store a personal firearm in their residence in most cases. Once again I doubt it will happen.

If you chose to have a weapon in your dorm room without authorization then you are breaking the rules. Sorry but no sympathy here. After the VT incident and talk of increased back ground checks for enrolling students I'm afraid once your booted off campus you may not get a chance of enrolling at another school. Your college aspirations are down the drain.

El Tejon
April 28, 2007, 09:23 AM
I was a hider.:D

Carried long guns in a guitar case. My dorm was full of music majors. Carrying it around when I went shooting was easy.

Our dorm rooms had a hollow space at the end of the sliding door closets. I used a crowbar to pull out the frame, and stored guns in the hollow space. It was so to get to but at least I had access to stuff.

However, most of my guns were left at my uncle's farm or my dad's house.

Nomad, 2nd
April 28, 2007, 11:45 AM
Check with the school. It might also help you convince your school:

April 28, 2007, 11:54 AM
Well hidden push button release gun vault up underneath a desk or bed head board.
Make damned sure you can legally have it first though.:banghead:

April 28, 2007, 01:22 PM
I guess I see two catagories of laws, those dealing with moral/immoral and those that are beaurocratic. Truthfuly, I believe people should follow the beaurocratic laws as much as possible, up until they conflict with morals. Example, in WW2 germany, it was illegal to hide jews. Or, if a person was drowning in a 'no swimming allowed' area, i would still dive in and swim out close enough to throw a foatation device to them, etc

Yes, having a single room helps, but a gunny roomate works too. When I was in college it turned out my roomate was into guns too. He chose to be armed in the dorm. The method employed was an old clock radio, rigged so it could be popped open, and the internals were spacious enough that a .25 beretta could be placed inside.

April 28, 2007, 01:27 PM
This will work and it is cheap. Unless your roommates are more than just curious.

Two Cold Soakers
April 29, 2007, 01:59 AM
If you were allowed to keep a firearm on campus in your dorm room what would be the best way to secure it? .... Just wondering what the best way to secure a firearm is without damaging the walls/floors!

Kept mine in a zip up soft case in the closet behind the hung up clothes, the closet door closed, and the room locked when we were gone.

April 29, 2007, 02:27 AM

Cheap insurance

Randy in Arizona
April 29, 2007, 06:17 AM
Long, long ago, in a far distant galaxy, oops - - (well it was about 40 years ago at UNM.) I would stuff my 03-A3 muzzle down into my golf club bag and zip the cover over the clubs, buttstock and all and put it into the closet. Never got caught with it but then the dorm gunroom (storage closet) was only 3 doors down from my room anyway.

Between me and my roommate and the guy next door we had more guns than the rest of the dorm inmates combined.:D

April 29, 2007, 06:37 PM
My father kept about 6 guns or so in his closet. Of course, back then, guns were not looked down upon as they are now.

I am lucky enough to go to a nice Southern conservatice university where a whole lot of people carry, even against the university rules.

I don't live on campus, but I keep an 870 in the car. I'd keep it in a golf bag (pick one up at a yardsale, along with some clubs)...

April 29, 2007, 08:42 PM
Hollow out a large, dull, obsolete text book that no one is likely to disturb...fasten the page borders solid, put pistol inside, using one cover as a lid. Put other books on top.:cool:

Most important: NEVER tell anyone you have a gun!!! The word gets around...:uhoh:

May 7, 2007, 02:07 PM
I realize that this is an old thread, but...I've been gone a while. I think I can chime in here.

I am a resident of the dorms at the University of Utah. I own a gun vault which is bolted to my dresser (I own the dresser). It is not a fool-proof security system, but it would require going through three locked doors, a slide-key entry, and a either a chainsaw to remove the safe or a dolly to remove the whole dresser from the building.

I've found it to be adequate.

What is not adequate is that I was recently threatened with expulsion if my firearm was ever visible (open carry is legal in Utah, as is carrying a firearm on campus). The will be a challenge to this on my part, but my attorney has yet to decide when that should happen.

Nomad, 2nd
May 7, 2007, 02:10 PM
Get a fanny pack (Or one of the other holsters that don't show the gun.)

Me being me, I'd get a full flap holster that also covered the gunbut, and wear it openly LOL!

May 7, 2007, 03:37 PM
As Avenger29 said, many long years ago we just kept them in the closet. It wasn't a big deal and about 1/2 of us did have guns. Mostly we had hunting guns, but there were a few pistols. There never was a problem!

Why have people become so dishonest and untrustworthy?

May 7, 2007, 03:55 PM
Why have people become so dishonest and untrustworthy?

Answered your own question. :D People are untrustworthy because others are dishonest.

May 7, 2007, 06:16 PM
Had 2 rifles & a shotgun in my dorm room closet for 4 years, back in the Dark Times (aka the Clinton Administration). Several people knew about it, no problems. Of course, this was a private, Christian university, so I didn't have to worry about anyone stealing anything or ratting me out, right? :rolleyes: And the most amazing thing is, in all that time not one of them climbed out of my closet and went on a killing spree! 3 guns + 300 or so people = ~500% increased chance of being killed, if I'm punching the numbers into this Brady calculator correctly......must just be lucky, I guess.

May 7, 2007, 06:40 PM
we made plenty of modifications to my dormroom, and subsequent apartments, without being charged. haven't you ever heard of toothpaste? you don't necessarily need to bolt to the floor if you want something light, just find some studs in the wall. drywall is easy to patch. unless your RA/RD is an incredible jerk - which you have the power to overcome by being sociable - or unless you are a really foul handyman - again, totally up to you - there shouldn't be a problem. at least no problem greater than hanging posters with duct tape instead of sticky tacks, which everyone does. little putty, little paint, good to go. try rebuilding a wall after 8 months of a dartboard with no backing, then it starts to get more frustrating. remember, you can move furniture around too. if you do want to drill the floor, do it close to the beds, fill with some compound, and just shift things slightly on your way out. i see nothing wrong with that because as long as you patch, there is only minimal aesthetic damage, which you've covered with something, so it's pretty much a nonexistant harm. weigh that against your inalienable rights, i'd say rights win out. million ways to handle this - i am by far one of the most "creative" (read: destructive to the natural state of things) people i know and i've always gotten my security deposits back.
if you don't like that, you could always get a safe that's too cumbersome to move, or bolt something lighter into something that's too cumbersome to move (bring some cinderblocks in, or some metal piping that you build into your closet that wouldn't fit through the door without disassembly). if you're doing something heavy, though, be aware of the limitations of your building if you're on a floor a little way's up.
if none of this is appealing, you could always just store disassembled. people might cut a cable for a whole gun, probably won't just for the frame. and the nice thing is, every part of a gun is cable-able. run one through the barrel through one drawer to a desk. another through the frame in your closet maybe. one through the slide somewhere else. you're toast if the zombies are at your door, but you've made it tremendously impracticable to locate and steal the whole gun, and provided a level of security that would give you a similar amount of time to most lightweight security units.
there are lots of other ways to handle this but i need to stop procrastinating now :P

May 7, 2007, 07:16 PM
I think you answered your own question. The best place to conceal/secure a gun in a dorm room is on your person, short of a 1,000lb+ safe (which is probably going to be too large and too heavy to be supported by the building's spec anyway, I'd imagine).

Anything which could be cut open or cut out within 10 or so minutes is going to be vulnerable to theft in an environment where people are coming and going all day and where there is a shared space of authority (ie between you and roommates). An angle grinder could make quick work of bolts and other 'heavy' safe prevention. Heck, most smaller safes (under-the-bed electronic types) could be cut open in a short period of time with a dremel reinforced cutting wheel, I imagine.

That said, I'd imagine a larger part of the security would be the culture within the dorm - just like you'd safer in Anytown, US without a gun than you would be in Iraq with a protection team. Your best option in the event of getting CCW on campus allowed (not going to happen, bub - not unless you've got a sizable group and the campus has a negligible population) would be to move off-campus into a house with those fellow CCWers and do as you please. And that'd go for whether or not you get their dangerous rules changed. It's cheaper off-campus anyway.

May 7, 2007, 09:26 PM
drywall is easy to patch

Drywall? Eh? None of the dorms I've lived in or have visited have, IIRC, had drywall - they were cinder block cells, basically, and made very solidly. Though all the dorms I've been in have also been made since 1960 or so, so it's possible that older dorms with different construction methods might exist - I jus don't think they're the majority any longer.

ETA: Not that I did anything illegal, but it was cmmon at one of my schools to hide things above the ceiling or between the rooms over the walls. Supposedly a few people had lock boxes chained up there to the (hot water heat) pipes that went to the room radiators.

Shadow Shock
May 7, 2007, 09:48 PM
I have never been to coledge, but here are some things me and my freinds do when we need to take our airstoft guns to a public place before going to a game. Often we got to a local church on Sunday, then afterwards go to a freind's house to play. Obviously, we don't want people knowing about or seeing our airsoft guns as they could easily be mistaken for real steel.

The most effective tequniqe we've used is to put them in guitar cases. We've found that you can fit a full size rifle (M16, AK47, Bolt-action sniper rifle) and a submachinegun, or short shotgun with no stock or a folding stock in the main compartment (along with some ammo), and 2-3 pistols (depending on size) in the small pocket. the cases can be locked easily and you can buy hard cases that are difficult to cut through. We keep these with us though, which would be difficult for you. Perhaps you could screw a hardcase to the bottom of a box-spring matress from the inside (bring your own so you can still sleep comforatably on top of one without a hole in it). Or simply stuff a soft case in one.

Also a metal breifcase hidden in the same manner would be very difficult to cut through without a torch. And I think somone would notice a torch burning in a dorm, or hear a saw cutting the wooden bottom out of a matress.
Hope I was a little helpfull (though I doubt it)

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