For many people, keeping a gun at home for personal protection is common sense. At the same time, you want to be safe and keep firearms away from small and curious hands or from others who should not have access. If your interest is in self-defense, keeping a gun stored so securely that you cannot easily or quickly access it is self-defeating. It is indeed rare for trouble to announce itself in advance.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to find the right solution for fast and easy access to your firearm while sacrificing nothing in terms of safety or secure storage. Manufacturers continue to develop new and innovative safes and hideaways that provide the gun owner reliable peace of mind. Most intruders often come at night, however, when decent people are in bed. Fortunately, nightstand and under-the-bed quick-access safes are plentiful and there is something to suit everyone.

Safety Within Reach

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GunVault SpeedVault

GunVault makes a full line of fast-access gun safes for home, office or travel and has just added a new item to its line, the SpeedVault. This is a small, upright, single-handgun safe that includes mounting hardware to secure it to a wall or furniture, to prevent theft and keep it discreetly out of sight.

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Two models are available; one that uses an electronic push-button combination lock and one that uses the latest in biometric technology. The biometric safe can store up to 120 fingerprints and is as fast, secure and reliable as the push-button model. Both run on an internal battery and feature a low-battery warning signal and a tamper signal to let you know if someone has been trying to access the safe’s contents.

Slightly larger are GunVault’s MiniVault and MultiVault safes, which are made of 16-gauge steel, feature foam linings and provide a lot of room for safeguarding guns and valuables. These designs feature front-opening, spring-loaded doors for fast access. They can be mounted on any flat surface and an optional security cable is available as well. I like the four-finger, push-button combination system on these safes, which is instinctive and easy to use in the dark. The MiniVault and MultiVault safes also offer biometric fingerprint recognition scanners as an option, giving you rapid access without having to worry about combinations or keys.

Rapid Defense

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Hornady RAPiD Safe

Biometric locking safes are indeed becoming increasingly popular as the technology improves and becomes more affordable. These types of safes are extremely convenient and fast. There is no combination to try and recall in a half-asleep panic or keys to fumble with. Another pistol safe that uses this type of convenient, fast-access lock is the Bulldog Biometric Fingerprint Pistol Vault. It features heavy gauge steel construction, a padded interior lining and a key override. The Bulldog safe has 14.5-by-16.5-by-8-inch dimensions and the storage capacity for 25 fingerprints.

The Hornady RAPiD safe uses a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system. The RFID tag is embedded in a wearable bracelet, a convenient key fob or inside a plastic card you can store in your wallet. Just wave the RFID in front of the reader and the safe opens. The front of the safe also has a simple, four-button, programmable code that can be entered to access the safe as a backup. The safe also allows for key-operated opening. The safe itself is made from 16-gauge steel and is very solidly built, weighing over 15 pounds. For additional safety, a 1,500-pound-rated steel cable is included, which allows the user to secure the entire safe and its contents to a solid object so that it cannot be removed by an unauthorized person. The exterior dimensions, while not diminutive at 15 inches long, 9 inches wide and 3 inches tall, will still fit inside most dresser drawers.

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The GunBox probably uses the most technology of any safe on the market. The basic GunBox opens instantly with the use of an RFID tag that is embedded in the included bracelet or ring. The next model adds a biometric fingerprint scanner that can also be used to open the safe. This scanner can store up to 200 individual fingerprints and will read them properly in any orientation; no need to place your finger perfectly on the scanner.

Finally, you can get the top-of-the-line GunBox that adds to the above design a GPS tracker that will notify you if the box is opened, tampered with or moved. If the box were to be stolen, it will also notify you of its location. The GunBox is built from die cast aluminum alloy for superior strength and the interior dimensions will accommodate almost any handgun with room for spare magazines or other accessories.

Lock It Up

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V-Line Industries Hide-Away

A low-profile safe can allow you to store guns in a larger variety of locations around your home. The V-Line Industries’ Hide-Away front-opening safe offers sizeable storage space and is perfect for mounting under a desk or shelf with its enclosed mounting bracket. It also features a pull-out drawer for much easier access to guns or valuables.

There are also mountable storage solutions that can fit inside a drawer. The RAC made by U.S. RAC is a solid, tempered-steel bracket that resembles a bicycle lock but can withstand up to 4,700 pounds of pressure. The main components of this system are a long locking arm with a 360-degree swivel for ease of use and a central post that goes through the triggerguard on any firearm. A secondary post, available for several varieties of pistols, rifles and shotguns, fits behind the trigger to help prevent accidental discharges.

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Users have the choice between two sizes of the RAC, a 3-inch version suitable for securing a single firearm and a 5-inch model that allows for several firearms to be secured in one unit. The RAC includes a hidden mount system that allows the unit to be firmly installed in a closet, against a wall, a solid piece of furniture or inside a vehicle, either in the trunk or in the passenger cabin. The hidden lock for the mount makes it tamper proof.

Another fast, mountable gun-storage solution is the Magna Arm Gun Magnet from N82 Tactical. This compact and extremely powerful rare earth magnet can be easily mounted on any flat surface and will hold up to 15 pounds. It is coated with a rubberized surface to prevent any damage or scratches to your firearm’s finish. This coating also eliminates any noise from mounting a firearm or removing it from the magnet. Two magnets can also be combined to securely hold a long gun in place.

The possibilities for hiding a firearm with the Gun Magnet are limited only by the user’s imagination. The unit can be installed under bed frames, behind doors, under desks or inside a vehicle, and provides lightning-fast access while keeping your firearms out of sight. One good use for this is to keep a firearm close by when you sleep, as long as you remember to secure it during the day. The magnet can also be used to add extra firearms storage space inside a safe or a secure gunroom.

Hardware Hideouts

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The Pistol Pad

For reliable access in an emergency situation, SentrySafe’s Quick Access Pistol Safe combines an easy, push-button combination lock with a biometric feature that instantly opens the safe with just a scan of your fingertip. The buttons are lit so they are easy to see in the dark and the top-opening lid is pry resistant and features a compression gas strut opening for hands-free, whisper-quiet entry. It is large enough for most any handgun and fits easily in most drawers. The interior is padded to protect your gun and the safe is made from tamper-resistant, 12-gauge steel for security.

The Pistol Pad is a very innovative device for home firearms storage that is really outside the box. Like a home security system that sounds an alarm and immediately notifies a monitoring company, the Pistol Pad is easily integrated into an existing home security setup by using a wired or wireless remote transmitter (such as a window sensor). The pad itself uses a sensor loop through the gun’s triggerguard that easily detaches when the gun is moved, breaking the circuit and setting off the home’s alarm system.

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In case of a home invasion, the gun owner simply reaches for his or her firearm, which prepares them to deal with a threat, sets off the alarm system to alert an intruder that they have been discovered and notifies the monitoring security company to contact law enforcement. The Pistol Pad will also set off the alarm system if someone tries to tamper with or move the unit. The Pistol Pad does not, however, lock or physically secure a firearm, and it will not prevent unauthorized access or use. Caution should always be exercised when storing loaded firearms in such a way.

The Pistol Pad can be deactivated via a special code in your alarm system or with the provided key, and it is small enough to fit in a drawer. Even non-gun owners may benefit from the ease of use of this system and could combine it with flashlights, pepper sprays or other defense tools for enhanced home security.


Bulldog Cases & Vaults; 800-843-3483

GunBox; 800-331-8655

GunVault; 800-242-1055

Hornady; 800-338-3220

N82 Tactical; 336-237-1943

SentrySafe; 800-828-1438

The Pistol Pad; 800-847-6195

U.S. RAC; 888-722-7033

V-Line Industries; 805-520-4987

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