When considering purchasing a handgun safe you will need to strike a balance between security and convenience. A handgun safe should be secure enough so that only authorized users can get access to its contents, but also convenient enough so that it can be easily accessed in an emergency. There are a variety of handgun safes available on the market from a plethora of manufacturers. I will attempt to give you the information needed to find the right one for you.
Table of Contents
Level Of Security
Your first consideration when shopping for a gun safe should be the level of security it offers. Many gun safes available offer little protection and are no more than a visual deterrent. This is particularly dangerous if there is the possibility of children being around as there are certain gun safes that can be easily opened with a hammer or a screwdriver.
High-Density Solid Steel
When purchasing a handgun safe ensure it is made from high-density (low-gauge) solid steel. There are a small number of handgun safes on the market that are made from low-density steel or (even worse) plastic. These safes can be easily broken into with a hammer or pried open with a screwdriver. Also ensure that there are no external screws used in the construction of the safe. Some handgun safes have a base that is attached with screws, meaning that once the screws are removed the safe’s contents can be accessed.
Type Of Lock
After ensuring the safe is of a solid design you may wish to investigate the type of lock it has. There are various types of locking mechanism available for a handgun safe, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The least secure type of lock used in handgun safe construction is a key-lock; these locks can be easily picked by an experienced criminal and in some cases can be opened with a screwdriver by an amateur.
Keypad locks offer much more security, as they can only be accessed by a person who has the code, however as they are electronically-powered they will need regular maintenance (replacing the batteries every six months on average) to ensure they are in working order. Remember, if the batteries are dead the safe will be inaccessible.
Biometric locks offer great security. They can only be accessed by a person with an authorized fingerprint; increasing the speed with which a registered user can access the safe. However, they lack the same maintenance issue as any electronic lock.
Mechanical Combination Locks
Mechanical combination locks are incredibly secure and require no maintenance as they require no power, so are the most reliable type of lock available, however they cannot be opened as quickly as a biometric lock.
So when investigating which safe is right for you consider whether you would prefer a low-maintenance safe, which may not be as quick to access or a high-maintenance safe which can offer you instant access in an emergency. Also remember that information is your greatest ally. Always fully research a handgun safe before purchasing, check reviews and contact a number of different dealers, as some of the most popular models on the market, can be the most flawed.