Do you really need a gun safe? - no kids


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wacki
January 16, 2009, 03:13 AM
I have no kids and live in a low crime area. I use trigger locks and I'm in the process of building a wooden gun cabinet. How much benefit is there for someone like me to get a gun safe for my long guns? Handguns I can see since they are more likely to be the target of burglars.

I'm asking because someone unfamiliar with guns recently tried to convince me to get a safe.

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ZombieKiller
January 16, 2009, 03:23 AM
I think its a smart idea, low crime area or not, to get a safe. Like good ol' momma always said, "Better safe than sorry."

J.R.W.
January 16, 2009, 03:23 AM
I use one of the Stack-On locking cabinets from Dick's Sporting Goods bolted to the floor in a closet. Remember, locks only keep the honest people honest.

Valkman
January 16, 2009, 03:24 AM
I think it's a good idea - low crime area or not I'd still have a safe. You don't want to lose guns like I did (long ago) to get convinced.

mljdeckard
January 16, 2009, 03:37 AM
I will say that the main reason I do keep them in a hard safe is because I have kids around. If I suddenly didn't have kids, I would still keep the safe.

Old Guy
January 16, 2009, 04:37 AM
A safe, good one, keeps objects that are worth some good money out of the hands of thieves, can also store passports etc.

The one in your holster, and on the night stand (no children) is a exception to the rule.

WardenWolf
January 16, 2009, 04:47 AM
That depends. If it's a simple wooden cabinet, I'd say no. All that does is place all your guns in central location for a thief to find and steal all at once. A person who broke into your HOUSE when you are away is not likely to be deterred by a simple cabinet door. He'll simply crowbar that, too, or smash the glass (if it's a locking display cabinet) and take them.

If you're wanting a safe, make it a proper safe. One they cannot simply pry open or carry away.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
January 16, 2009, 05:13 AM
Check your home owners insurance. If you've got more than a few guns of any sort, they aren't covered in most cases. Low crime areas are prime targets for theives. All it take is the wrong person seeing you transport your selection for the day to the range. All it takes is once. I have a friend that didn't have a safe. We live in a community of extremely low crime. In fact, I'll bet that half the people in our town don't lock the home doors daily. He lost all of his prize shotguns in the blink of any eye. $500ish for a safe, keeps your guns out of the hands of drug dealers and just maybe a kid.

-Steve

Rembrandt
January 16, 2009, 06:32 AM
1 - Are you prepared to accept the financial loss of the collection?
2 - Are you prepared to accept the liability if they fall into the wrong hands?
3 - Could you live with yourself if someone lost their life because you didn't have a safe?

Starship1st
January 16, 2009, 07:09 AM
Ever watch the show on Discovery Channel, "It Takes A Thief" ? They prove that low crime does not mean no crime. Buy a safe for the peace of mind. :cool:

flaminjo
January 16, 2009, 07:18 AM
it is always advisable to keep the guns in the safe...
i dont believe in low crime or high crime areas, it can happen to anyone anytime, so its better to be safe!

SteelyNirvana
January 16, 2009, 07:23 AM
Everyone should have a safe. Until about three weeks ago I always said I didn't need one because I didn't have any kids and the area where I live is very low crime. I sold some furniture on Craigslist and the guy who bought it made several comments about my guns (Had a few on the gun rack) and "This sure is a good place to get broke into" ,although I'm surrounded by houses and a business across the street. Anyway, I got a bad vibe from him and after he left I carried all my guns but one to a trusted friends house until I can buy a safe. Never wanted a safe, never thought I needed one until now, but the times have changed I guess, everyone should have there guns locked away good and tight in a safe.

4Freedom
January 16, 2009, 08:32 AM
Good lesson not to keep your guns out when strangers come into your house. My guns are a secret from all.

Nautilus
January 16, 2009, 08:59 AM
I live in a very low crime area... no kids. But I still keep all of my guns (except my carry piece) locked up in a safe. My house being robbed my be one in a million, but thats enough for me to make a safe worth the $$$$.

ravonaf
January 16, 2009, 09:09 AM
I'm curious on why the trigger locks if there are no kids in the house (state law maybe?). They aren't going to stop a thief and will only slow you down if you need to use the weapons.

wacki
January 16, 2009, 09:49 AM
I'm curious on why the trigger locks if there are no kids in the house (state law maybe?). They aren't going to stop a thief and will only slow you down if you need to use the weapons.

Protects against the off chance that a toddler visits and gets a little too nosy.

expvideo
January 16, 2009, 10:03 AM
There's nothing wrong with having a safe, and if it is an easy expense for you, I would recommend it. However, since you don't have kids, this is something that you will have to decide if you need. I personally don't have kids and I don't have a safe. I am comfortable with that and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. If someone wanted to give me a safe, I would probably use it to lock up my more expensive firearms, but I would still keep my home defense guns at the ready. I don't want to spend money on a safe. If I have kids it will be one of my first expenses, but until then, I don't feel that I need one.

Realize that if you don't have kids a gun safe is only a guard against theft. It is as necessary or as unnecessary as an alarm system on your home. What I mean by that is that you need to decide what you feel is a necessary level of precaution against theft. If you feel that locking the deadbolt on your house is secure enough, then you probably don't need a gun safe. If you take your home security very seriously, it wouldn't be a bad investment. There really is no right or wrong answer here.

I do want to stress two points, however unrelated they may be from the actual question:

1. First of all, if you have kids you owe it to your family to invest in even the cheapest of gun safes. Not having a gun safe in a household with small children is irresponsible. Now I'm not arguing that it should be law, because I don't like the idea of being forced to do things by the government, but I do think that it is a personal responsibility and as a responsible parent, you should be limiting anyone who is not proficient with firearms from having access to them. If your kids are trained, then that may not be an issue. Personally I think that a good all around way to prevent any accidents is to teach younger children gun safety and to limit their access when unsupervised. Just my opinion.

2. A locked up and loaded home defense gun is useless. I would recommend finding a different solution that promotes safety, but also gives you quick access. Also just my opinion.

2nd 41
January 16, 2009, 11:06 AM
Safe needed? Absolutely a good idea. Bolt it to the floor and conceal it if possible. No kids on my end.

Norinco982lover
January 16, 2009, 11:17 AM
I have 2 handguns and a shotgun. Total value: $1200

I keep the shotgun in the closet and the handguns in the nightstand (one for me..one for the wife).

If I had a safe I would keep my guns in it when I am away from the house and can't carry.

No kids. (yet:P)

~Norinco

regal
January 16, 2009, 11:24 AM
I recently bought a cheap Stack-On "safe." Around here we get break-ins by inexperienced punk kids. The cheap safe along with motion alarms and dogs give me a little piece of mind. I also have the NRA insurance. If I was hit by a pro, I figure they would be able to get into any safe so I am fine with the $115 Stack-On.

Plus a good safe is expensive, not only the purchase price but delivery and setup is not cheap. I honestly don't know how someone would get a 800 lb safe setup into my house.

Titan6
January 16, 2009, 11:30 AM
I have no kids and live in a low crime area.

Is the area low crime because there are no assaults and murders or is it low crime because there are no break-ins and burglaries? There is a difference.

I use trigger locks and I'm in the process of building a wooden gun cabinet.

So long as it is not your self defense weapons this really isn't an issue. Neither will help protect your gun from theft though.

How much benefit is there for someone like me to get a gun safe for my long guns?

That is pretty hard to judge since I don't know much about you. If your gun collection has a value over say $10,000 a $800 safe is fairly cheap insurance. Your home owners policy (if you have one) might have limitations that would prevent you from collecting the full amount on your guns if they were stolen.

Handguns I can see since they are more likely to be the target of burglars.

This is really strange. How many burglars know that you have guns? handguns? If the burglar sees a gun he will make off with it if he can. I am not so sure the type matters if he sees anything of value. Handguns do get stolen more but there are more handguns than either shotguns or rifles.

Bula
January 16, 2009, 11:31 AM
I say absolutely get the nicest safe you can afford. If it prevents the theft of just one 'nice' 1911 of mine, it's more than served its purpose. Low crime doesn't mean No crime. I bought a big, 24 gun safe just about a year ago, and now I'm thinkig about where I'll sit my next safe. Just be careful, somehow guns multiply when left in the confines of a nicely carpeted fire proof safe!

Yosemite Sam
January 16, 2009, 11:35 AM
Just be careful, somehow guns multiply when left in the confines of a nicely carpeted fire proof safe!

That's why I keep my male guns in one safe and female guns in another safe.

Duke of Doubt
January 16, 2009, 01:33 PM
I guess I'm the contrarian. I think that in the vast majority of cases a gun safe is a waste of money and space.

Nothing wrong with safes and strongboxes as a general thing, for stuff you can't or won't put in the safe deposit box. But a cabinet safe for long arms? Why? Unless you have a collection of uber-valuable guns known to the world, what's the point? I got a lot of military rifles eight years ago for $50 or less per gun. Turk Mausers, Russian Mosins, Carcanos, Arisakas, Enfields, you name it. I've traded way down in the years since, but for awhile I had a houseful of big, cheap guns. Safes would have cost many times the value of the guns inside each one.

A couple of years back, my home was broken into by a career burglar, and a few things of very little value were taken. The burglar (who was caught the next day) walked right past a whole bunch of guns I had left out in the den, without touching them. That scored a lot of points.

dbarile
January 16, 2009, 01:55 PM
I think it depends on how many guns you have.

If you have 3 or less (and no kids) then you can probably put them someplace that would keep them out of the way of the simple thief. Most guys don't spend that much time in the house; they are just looking for a quick payoff. I have an friend who lost three of his handguns simply because he put his range bag on the kitchen table. The local hop head busted in while he was gone for 1 hour to pick up someone at the airport.

With more guns, it becomes a problem.

I have young children so a locked storage area is a must. Even a closet will do if you have the key (a real key).

There's no way I can afford a safe right now, so I picked up a metal cabinet with a good sold locking system. Two fold protection. It keeps the kiddies out, and any smash and grab artist is unlikely to invest the time. With SKS's going for 350, I'd hate to lose any weapons to some coke fiend.

Of course, if you are never 'burgled' then you've wasted your money.

7.62X25mm
January 16, 2009, 01:56 PM
Fire protection. And you may get a discount from your insurance company.

bearmgc
January 16, 2009, 01:58 PM
Uh, yeah. All the reasons already cited.

expvideo
January 16, 2009, 02:34 PM
A couple of years back, my home was broken into by a career burglar, and a few things of very little value were taken. The burglar (who was caught the next day) walked right past a whole bunch of guns I had left out in the den, without touching them. That scored a lot of points.
He probably was looking for small valuable items he could fit in his pockets or at most a briefcase. A bunch of $50 rifle aren't very appealing to a burglar who knows what they are. Big, heavy, not too valuable... He probably thought your wife's jewelry was a lot more tempting.

It kind of goes to show that if you do have a burglar who is not just a crack addict or a gang banger, he's probably not interested in your guns.

12131
January 16, 2009, 03:56 PM
I have no kids and live in a low crime area. I use trigger locks and I'm in the process of building a wooden gun cabinet. How much benefit is there for someone like me to get a gun safe for my long guns? Handguns I can see since they are more likely to be the target of burglars.
Low crime does not equal no crime. It only take one break-in, then you'll be kicking yourself. Btw, where do you get the idea that long guns are less likely to be the target of burglars? "Hey, guys, leave those long guns be. We're here for the handguns. Just get them and let's get out of here.":confused:

Duke of Doubt
January 16, 2009, 04:18 PM
Long guns are heavier and bulkier (thus harder to transport without observation), tend to be less expensive and harder to fence, and are seldom used in crimes. Oh, and the really expensive ones are pretty distinctive, and thus also harder to fence.

I mean, think about it; your coffeemaker is worth money, too -- but who ever stole a coffeemaker?

coloradokevin
January 16, 2009, 04:28 PM
Sigh... There's always a balance between security and cost.

I've owned a locking gun "cabinet" for years now. When I bought the thing it made a lot of sense: I didn't have a very valuable collection, couldn't afford or regularly transport a true safe (apartment living), and didn't have the money for a true safe.

Now I've owned a house for a couple of years, and I have the room for a safe. My collection continues to grow, and I have a few guns that I'd really never want to part with, even beyond the financial loss. So, I guess I've also fallen into the safe shopping market.

The one "security" thing I have going for me is the household schedule we keep around here. My wife isn't currently working, and I work a swing shift that ends at 1am. My best friend is also living in my spare room, and her schedule is different than both mine and the wife's. As such, it is quite rare to find a time when there isn't someone here and awake at the house... This helps, but I still want a safe.

:end Coloradokevin safe rant:

Justin
January 16, 2009, 04:29 PM
If the value of your guns exceeds the cost of a safe, its probably time to buy one.

The gun safe I have now instantly paid for itself on the day that I left for work and forgot to lock the front door.

expvideo
January 16, 2009, 04:32 PM
Here's a cheaper solution. Take a cable lock and run it between the trigger guards of all of your guns that aren't used for home defense (unloaded of course).

This will make it very difficult to steal your guns. A thief would likely pass on the guns due to the difficulty of taking them discretely.

Walkalong
January 16, 2009, 04:32 PM
If the value of your guns exceeds the cost of a safe, its probably time to buy one.
That is when I bought my first safe. :cool:

Deanimator
January 16, 2009, 05:10 PM
I don't have kids either and I live in a relatively "low crime" area. Of course I still keep guns for self-defense. Why would I think there's a possibility of a violent criminal, but NOT a burglar?

I got tired of my dresser drawer being full of handguns. I also got concerned about what happened to my guns when I was out of town.

A safe cheap enough to keep casual thieves out is a pittance at Walmart. That's all I was concerned with and the sixteen gun safe I ordered from them over the internet does the job just fine. When I get a little extra money, I'm going to buy another to allow me to separate handguns and long guns, since it's very crowded now.

Marcus5aurelius
January 16, 2009, 05:25 PM
Definitely a great investment, not only does it help prevent theft but also prevents accidents and protects against fire and time. Just add an inexpensive dehumidifier and it does wonders to prevent aging side effects. If you have a collection its worth a little bit more to buy a safe and keep the collection in good shape.

leadcounsel
January 16, 2009, 05:32 PM
Most people of even minimal affluence have enough valuables (guns, jewelry, passport, checkbook, electronics, cash, irreplaceable documents and photos, etc.) to warrant a fire and burglary resistant safe.

A safe is a wise investment.

Duke of Doubt
January 16, 2009, 05:40 PM
leadcounsel: "Most people of even minimal affluence have enough valuables (guns, jewelry, passport, checkbook, electronics, cash, irreplaceable documents and photos, etc.) to warrant a fire and burglary resistant safe."

That's what the safe deposit box is for. Tons more security, better fire and other disaster protection, for a low annual fee. Of course, stuff you'd rather not have inventoried upon your disappearance gets stashed elsewhere.

ServiceSoon
January 16, 2009, 07:01 PM
Yes. Protect your guns or the government will do it for you :)

Rmac58
January 16, 2009, 07:18 PM
I'm pondering the same thing, and have decided a safe is in my future.
HD weapons will not be in there, but they are not collectibles, and can be replaced.
A safe deposit box is a good idea too.

twoclones
January 16, 2009, 07:22 PM
A proper gun safe is a great thing to have. I keep a lot more than just guns in mine...

ambidextrous1
January 16, 2009, 07:30 PM
Buy a safe: Make it larger than you need, preferably twice as large.

When I lived in California, my house was burglarized, with the loss of a VCR and a computer monitor (not the computer - I think I interrupted the burglary). They overlooked my range box, containing several pistols with an upper four-figure value.

Being a fast learner, I bought a gun safe at the next gun show. I got the delivery fee waived, because I convinced them that they had to load & unload the safe, whether they sold it or not.

After the safe was delivered, I felt an immediate and long-lasting sensation of relief.

My safe is currently in a basement "gun room" with my reloading gear and ammunition cache, secured by a deadbolt lock in a solid-core door.

Yes, I live in a low-crime area of a low-crime city; I sleep well at night, with a HD firearm within reach.

Kat144
January 16, 2009, 07:40 PM
I will think about getting a safe when I get a gun--no kids here, never will be. Just need to figure out how to secure it....obviously can't bolt it to the apartment floor, and don't really have any tables I want to mutilate...

I too don't see the point in trigger locks or in leaving the gun unloaded by the bed at night. A friend recommended having a trigger lock just in case a kid comes to visit, but no one with kids visits us and if they do, there's no way in hell their kid's going to be anywhere near my bedroom where the gun will live, TYVM.

rogertc1
January 16, 2009, 09:22 PM
I live in a low crime area, city, county,and state You don't need a safe. I used a lockable closet dedicated to guns and stuff. Have a good sized dog at home all the time too.

rfwobbly
January 16, 2009, 10:17 PM
We originally got our safe becasue the kids (both boys) had been in Scouts and 4H and really enjoyed shooting. More and more BB, "airsoft", and pellet guns started to appear as the kids picked up the sport. We started with a 12 rifle StackOn for about $250.

But when we got it home we discovered all SORTS OF USES for it! We put jewelry in it, we put Christmas presents, my wife's chocolates, family silver, collectible coins, all sorts of things. And it's really nice to have when you go on vacation. What piece of mind.

Now, I'm considering a second much bigger safe.

Duke of Doubt
January 16, 2009, 11:00 PM
rfw: "We started with a 12 rifle StackOn for about $250."

Respectfully, that isn't a safe. That is a tin box.

SuperNaut
January 16, 2009, 11:02 PM
How much benefit is there for someone like me to get a gun safe for my long guns?

None.

A gun safe is far too small, you need a gun room.

wildturk
January 16, 2009, 11:39 PM
I feel a safe is the only way to go, you've read all the reasons to buy one. The only thing I will add, is to buy a bigger one than you think you need or it won't be long until you need another or bigger one.

wacki
January 16, 2009, 11:39 PM
This is really strange. How many burglars know that you have guns? handguns? If the burglar sees a gun he will make off with it if he can. I am not so sure the type matters if he sees anything of value. Handguns do get stolen more but there are more handguns than either shotguns or rifles.

I've known a few shady people in my time and the three most popular things I've heard them talk about stealing are:


A collection of handguns
drug stash
money stash
car stereos


I may be dealing with a small sample set but growing up that is what I'd see the shady people get excited about.

rfwobbly
January 17, 2009, 11:35 AM
rfw: "We started with a 12 rifle StackOn for about $250."

Duke: Respectfully, that isn't a safe. That is a tin box.

No ill intent taken.

At the time we only wanted to control access to the paintball and BB guns so the boys would finish their studies before playing. We had plastic "guns", so we bought a tin box. In fact, we only bought the one we did because I insisted on a "safe" with a combination lock. (The boys had always eventually found our 'safe' key hiding spots.)

Now the boys are 24 and 21 and have some really serious guns. Now we're looking at some serious safes.

jeff-10
January 17, 2009, 11:52 AM
If the value of your guns exceeds the cost of a safe, its probably time to buy one.

Heh, I have one gun that exceeds the value of my safe. I had a $150 cabinet at one time I bought from Outdoor World. The lock failed while I had non-gun stuff in it I was storing for work. I took a crowbar to it and opened it in a couple of minutes.

Now I own a real safe. I paid aprox. $800 for it + another $250 or so for tax and installation. IMO its not very expensive and it gives you a very big piece of mind. I live in a gated townhouse community and their is virtually no crime here. I still like having a safe.

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