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Buying a gun safe ranks up there as one of the more expensive and time consuming tasks. However not many think the question “Should I buy a gun safe”. It is up there with buying a car (I’m talking to you, the Mercedes that is only 3 years old and has lost 102% of its value), a house in Kansas (probably) or that coffee you can never afford to buy at Starbucks unless you have enough stars to get the free one.
However, in all the shopping you have done for this safe, did you know that there are actually downsides to buying a gun safe? Lets take a look at the upsides and downsides to buying a safe! Below I will do a quick recap, and then dive into discussing each one.
- Belongings are locked up.
- Fire protection.
- Keeping firearms away from children.
- Abiding by the laws in your state.
- Every valuable you own is in one place.
- Budget may not allow for the quality needed for valuables.
- Possible water damage in flood.
- Forgotten combination.
- Slow access to firearms when in emergency.
Upsides of buying a gun safe
1. Belongings are locked up
Alright, so this is probably the most obvious of the bunch. Locking up your belongings in a gun safe will keep them safe from smash and grab burglaries. Or if you upgrade to something with thicker steel or inner steel, you may even be able to defeat someone with the right tools.
2. Fire Protection for anything you have
Again, seems pretty obvious, however if a fire does happen, the peace of mind, knowing your most valuable or irreplaceable possessions are going to be okay is… well invaluable.
Finding the right fire protection is a big part of getting the right safe to help on this upside.
3. Keeping Firearms away from children
It is important in any home to educate children on the best way to handle a firearm. Until then (and for their friends in the future) it is best to keep them out of their hands. A gun safe is the most effective way of doing this.
4. Abiding by laws in your state
This is probably the least thought of reason to own a gun safe (especially for those that don’t have these laws). Certain states (and countries) require a firearm to be locked up in an approved container.
I’m not going to pretend I know all of these laws, so make sure to look them up yourself or go to the right authority!
Downsides of buying a gun safe
Before starting these downsides, I do want to mention that most of these can easily be overcome in multiple ways. These are mainly things I think that everyone should think about at some point before buying a gun safe.
1. Every valuable you own is in one place
This is something that I don’t think many people think about when they are buying a gun safe.
Gun safes, no matter what price range, will put everything you care about in one place. This makes it very easy for anyone with the right tools to be able to try and access it. If they succeed quickly, they can take everything quickly and not have to search throughout the house.
There are a couple ways to overcome this though.
- Purchase multiple smaller safes, and spread them throughout the house
- Buy a gun safe that can handle any attack. Inner steel liners are a great way to handle this, companies like Fort Knox are a great option.
- Hide your safe, people can’t break into it if they don’t know it is there.
2. Budget may not allow for security needed
This one follows the above issue. If your budget is smaller, you may want to get creative with your purchase to make sure you are secure. Buying a cheap full size safe may not be the best option.
3. Possible water damage in flood
Gun safes for the most part are not meant to be water proof in any way. Because of this, during a flood water can intrude into your safe and destroy everything inside.
There are a couple ways to handle this:
- Keep your safe on the top floor (make sure your floor can handle this)
- Purchase a waterproof safe. There aren’t many of them though, and you will probably have to compromise.
- Lift the safe up on a platform. If your home is only known to flood a couple inches, just raise it up on a platform.
4. Forgotten combination
This one should be pretty obvious, but it can happen! Forgetting your combo can be expensive, as you either have to get the manufacturer to open it up, or have a locksmith do this.
5. Slow access to firearms in emergency
Even with the quickest access full size gun safe, it is still slower than having a firearm next to you in bed, or anywhere else in your home you spend a lot of time in.
Gun safes are not really built to be accessed in an emergency.
Although, there are some great ways to fix this!
- Purchase something like a handgun retention device for when you are around in your home.
- Bolt down some handgun safes throughout your home, including next to your bedside for quick access.
- Use the full size gun safe primarily as storage, not for emergencies.
Having a gun safe when you have firearms in your home is an important thing to have. However don’t count on it always being perfect for every situation you may have.
Make sure to think about the above before you ever even start shopping for your gun safe. It will allow you to shop for exactly what you need, not just what you want.
I hope that this article helped you solve the question you may have of “should I buy a gun safe”.