Be it from prying eyes, fingers or leaders, hiding your weapons is an integral part of safely owning firearms, and never more than when it comes to your handguns. Tips and tricks for keeping pistols undercover and accessible in the home has been a deep and long running theme in our comment box, and though we’d never endorse rashness, here’s the dirty to keeping your handguns out of sight (but never out of mind).
Editor’s note: This is number one in a series on basic techniques and methods to keeping your handguns concealed and safe in any environment. Stay tuned for more solutions on hiding your handgun at work, underground and on your person.
In the home
Make no mistake, stashing guns around your house is serious business–the safety of others is at stake so there is no room for error. For this reason, an honest and informed (and even professional) assessment of your living space and conditions is crucial. Where as a couple living alone in the woods with few visitors may get away with storing their frequently carried 1911 in an old boot in their shoe closet, a family of five has a lot more to consider.
The first decision is between long and short term storage while the paradox here is between security and access. A corollary consideration is who are you really hiding your guns from: Kids? Thieves? Jackboots?
Short term solutions are ideal for every-day-carriers. Storage styles fall on a spectrum between two categories, “go-to guns” (primary weapons that can/will be accessed at a moments notice) and “backup guns” (guns that are better hidden and harder to access, but may hold some specific strategic value). These back-up guns toe into the arena of long term solutions which apply more to BBQ guns and survival treasures (more on these in future installments).
When children are a part of the equation, look for high spaces and unfrequented (not “forbidden”) places–on the top shelf of Dad’s closet of mystery may not your best option (but then again, depending on your brood, it might). Also realize that education is the only real long term solution to keeping your children safe around guns.
Inevitably, someone is going to call out this article for divulging tactics and they will be right–adopting what is readily known is at odds with the philosophy you’ll need to abide by when keeping your handgun out of sight. Take the information here as inspiration and seek out creative and adaptive solutions on your own for full effect (custom solutions are often the best solutions).
The best place for your handgun may be on your person and in a gun safe at all other times.
Small rapid access safes utilize a variety of technologies and can be stored discretely (and some quite creatively) in any room of the house, but they are all cost prohibitive. To be sure, these are superior options for any gun owner looking to sidestep the access/security paradox, but for the other half, situation and terrain should, as always, determine tactics.
Protip: On many guns with metallic components, magnetic latches can make great, cheap fast access mounting mechanisms.
- Check out any linen closets or bathroom cabinets for space to hang a small gun just above the door on the wall/panel closest to you (so that the gun would be directly over the head of someone rummaging through the space). Most closets are “shallow” and have molding around the door frame for cursory concealment. While a burglar might go through your bedroom closet more carefully, in the bathroom they likely will not. Note, this method is not suitable for walk-in closets.
- The tank of the toilet is a viable (though not ideal) back-up option for storage–just make sure the handgun is double (or triple) wrapped to avoid any moisture coming into contact with your gun or ammo.
- Under the “beach towels” or “dog sheets” (just not under the bath towels you use regularly) on a high shelf is an extra thrifty, low-tech fix for the washroom.