Safe firearm storage is an important part of being a responsible gun owner. Every year, a number of incidents occur due to improper storage. While these incidents are always unfortunate, many of them may be preventable. Whether you keep guns at home or have them with you on the go, here are tips to maximize safety and minimize the risk of an accident.

Storing Firearms at Home Safely

The exercise of Second Amendment rights looks to be growing, with more than half of households now keeping firearms in the home. When storing firearms at home, it’s always important to do so safely. These tips are recommended:

  • Unload each firearm before storing it away. By choosing to keep them unloaded, gun owners can help protect themselves, loved ones, and others from misuse, theft and loss.
  • Store unloaded firearms in a locked location. Good secure storage options include locked cabinets, safes, gun vaults and storage cases that are inaccessible to children.
  • Store disassembled firearm parts separately. In some cases, it may be necessary or preferable to disassemble items before storage. Multiple storage locations for parts are recommended.
  • Keep ammunition separately in a locked location. Ammunition should not be stored alongside firearms, even if the location is locked. Store it separately in its own locked location.
  • Take extra care when storing loaded firearms. Many accidents involve the accidental discovery of a loaded firearm. Use trigger locks, cable locks or other additional safety precautions.
  • Verify items are still unloaded when taken out of storage. Accidents can happen when a gun has been loaned or borrowed and returned to storage loaded. Always re-check it every time.
  • Familiarize yourself with the applicable laws. Be aware that additional state and local laws pertaining to firearm storage may also apply in your jurisdiction. Be sure to research them.

Storing Firearms in Homes With Children

Responsible gun owners should ensure that children do not have unsupervised access to firearms and that kids are taught safe practices if they do come into contact with a firearm. Here’s what tips are recommended:

  • Make absolutely sure firearms are inaccessible. Many children are extremely curious and might find a gun in the home that the owner thought was safely inaccessible or hidden away.
  • Use different safeguards in combination. Accidents are less likely when multiple safeguards are in place. Use trigger or cable locks, lock up items and store the keys and combinations separately.
  • Discuss safe storage in your community. Check with neighbors, friends, relatives and adults in other homes that children may visit to make sure safe storage practices are being followed.
  • Talk to children about firearm safety. Education is key. Teach kids the recommended procedures, including to stop, don’t touch, and leave the area to tell an adult if a gun is found.

Storing Firearms in Your Vehicle

Firearms often need to be transported in a personal vehicle. Where allowed, some gun owners also choose to store a firearm in their vehicle regularly. However, residential vehicle theft is now a top source for stolen guns, so extra care is needed. These tips are recommended.

  • Keep firearms unloaded in vehicles. A loaded firearm in a vehicle is an added risk. Always check and then re-check that items are unloaded before placing them in a car or truck.
  • Think about other vehicle occupants. Never place a firearm in an area of the vehicle where it will be accessible to children or pets that may ride in the vehicle.
  • Understand what qualifies as secure storage. Not all locked storage is secure storage. Locked car doors, glove boxes and center consoles are  not considered secure enough to count.
  • Follow recommendations for secure temporary storage. Store firearms in a vehicle out of sight using a secure storage device, minimize time away from the vehicle and remove the item after returning home.
  • Consider installing a firearm lock box. Lockable gun cases or installed lock boxes offer some good options, including custom compartments and quick, secure access.


While no system is foolproof, the right safeguards can minimize your risk as a gun owner. Insurance protection can help protect you from the risk that remains. Lockton Affinity Outdoor offers Firearm Insurance to protect against property theft, and Personal Firearm Liability Insurance to protect against the liability that can result from a firearm being stolen. Learn more about your options by calling or visiting us online.