Hide in Plain Sight: Hidden Gun Safe Storage Options

Hidden Gun Safe storage

Courtesy Liberty Home Concealment

I have to start this one with a short rant. ‘Hidden gun safe’ is a misnomer that annoys me much more than it should. But it does. The majority of hidden gun storage systems aren’t safes. A safe is a locked receptacle that can’t be broken into under reasonable conditions. Meaning a thief with a crowbar shouldn’t be able to gain access easily.

The average ‘hidden gun safe’ can be defeated by a steel-toe boot. Thankfully most manufacturers of these hidden storage systems label them as such. The phrase ‘hidden gun safe’ is a misnomer used by consumers to describe hidden gun storage units.

Now that that’s outta my system, is hidden gun storage better than a safe? That depends on how you look at it. In a side-by-side smash test, the safe will win. However, many modern safes can be broken into with pry bars or power saws, so they are far from perfect.

Traditional safes are obvious and scream “I’ve got valuable stuff in me!” while hidden storage options will most likely go unnoticed.

Then there’s the issue of size, weight and cost. Not everyone can afford, or accommodate a large steel safe. But most people can accommodate a coffee table that hands you your guns from a hidden compartment.

If you can afford and accommodate a top-of-the-line safe that’s difficult to break into or destroyed in a fire, it will offer superior protection for your prized possessions. Otherwise, hiding them in plain sight isn’t a bad option at all as part of your home defense plan (as long as your house doesn’t catch fire).

Despite my rant above, there are actually a few options that really do earn the name “hidden gun safe.”  Tactical Walls offers a discreet concealment safe.

It’s a steel safe that mounts inside a wall between two studs. The front is covered by your choice of a mirror, a chalkboard, a dry erase board or a custom image.

It’s relatively small and comes in only one size. At most, it will hold a few pistols and some ammo. No long guns. Like most hide-in-plain-sight options, it looks like something a guy with a crowbar could defeat…if he finds it.

As a stand-alone safe (which it isn’t), it isn’t great, but its secure mounting and concealment make up for any shortcomings.

Another option that claims to be a hidden gun safe is the SecureIt Fast Box. However, their idea of ‘hidden’ is placed in a closet or under a bed.

Courtesy SecureIt

If you open the closet, you’ll see a safe. If you look under the bed, you’ll see a safe. Not really hidden from someone with time who’s looking around for valuables.

The safe has holes in it for mounting to a wall or floor which will prevent a thief from walking off with it. And given its size, they could definitely walk off with it.

Like the Tactical Walls option, it doesn’t seem very strong. Looking at its construction, it’s basically a beefed-up locker. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking SecureIt. Just know what you’re buying and its capabilities.

In general, truly hidden gun storage options are mostly the same. They are home decor like end tables, coffee tables, picture frames, wall shelves, wall mirrors, wall clocks, and coat racks that have secret compartments.

You can definitely hide anything you want inside the storage space, but many of the following cater to firearms storage. This means their compartments usually come with foam that can be cut to match your gun(s) or magnets to hold it in place.

Most also have some type of locking system. Locks range from magnet-based to Bluetooth. These locks are intended to be simple to allow quick access in case of an emergency.

Tactical Walls

Tactical Walls offers lockable, hidden gun storage options like coffee tables, shelves and hangables like pictures or mirrors. Their products utilize magnetic or RFID locks that do their job of preventing unwanted entry (unless they smash it). Most of these products are made of wood.

Top Secret Furniture

As the name implies, Top Secret offer furniture with built-in hidden compartments. They also have shelf options and hangables.

Their locking options include magnet-actuated and RFID locks. Everything is made in-house so they offer customization options as well as various color options. Their furniture is made from solid hardwood utilizing mortise and tenon or dovetail joints. Their furniture looks pretty good and doesn’t scream “hidden gun.”

Liberty Home Concealment

These are similar to the previous options, but with a different look. Liberty’s products, like concealment clocks and hidden gun cabinets, come with a magnetic lock as the standard and have an RFID upgrade available. The price point for these products seems a little lower than some of their competitors, too.

Mirage Tactical Furniture

These products are made to order and can be customized, especially their canvas frame which will display whatever photo or image you provide. None of the products come with a locking mechanism included, but all can be upgraded. They offer locks that utilize either a wireless keypad, Bluetooth or biometrics to unlock.

Creative Home Engineering

This company doesn’t offer hidden gun storage furniture, they hide your entire safe. Honestly, this might be the truest example of a hidden gun safe.

CHE specializes in building hidden rooms. As the image above shows, some of these “rooms” are spy-level walk-in safes. No, this option doesn’t have the quick accessibility of concealment furniture. It does, however, allow you to have a full-feature safe that no one is likely to find.

This option definitely isn’t for everyone. Your living situation has to be able to accommodate it. It isn’t cheap or quickly executed either. It is freaking awesome, though.

TruckVault

Courtesy Truck Vault

TruckVault offers lockable, discrete storage options for your vehicle. Yes, technically these are true hidden guns safes as well, but since it’s car-based I count it as somewhat of an outlier.

This is a great option that prevents any kind of smash-and-grab vehicle robberies. Well, it prevents the grab part, they may still smash a window.

Since cars are usually exposed, thieves are exposed and can’t waste much time with pry bars or power tools. Again, ss with the other options on this list, that’s only if they know it’s there. Of course, TruckVaults are mounted on wheels. Steal the car and you’ve stolen everything. On that note, the car might be stolen without the thief even realizing there is a hidden cache.

Is all that too rich for your blood? Not necessarily into the whole ‘American made’ thing? Amazon has a surprisingly wide selection of affordable hidden gun storage options.

Hidden, lockable, gun storage really shines when kids are involved. It allows you to keep your weapons in a readily-accessible state, for people who are authorized. Meaning not the kids. They won’t even know it’s there unless you tell them. The wall hanging options can be out of their reach too when they’re small.

Hidden gun storage has a lot of pros. Thieves can’t take what they can’t find. It caters to gun owners who believe in decentralized storage. Multiple weapons can be hidden throughout the house increasing your odds of getting to one quickly in case of an emergency.

They lock (or should), keeping kids and opportunists out while still offering you quick access. Just rememer that they’re still not safes. You are relying primarily on concealment to protect your valuable items. Also, hidden storage may not be legal firearm storage in your state, so check your local laws.

As these products gain popularity, their effectiveness may decrease. How long until criminals start breaking shelves and mirrors as a default because goodies are sometimes hidden there? I’ll keep my traditional safe as my primary means of safe storage. But those coffee tables are pretty cool…nothing wrong with having a few guns stashed close by, right?

 

comments

  1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    TruckVault offers lockable, discrete storage options for your vehicle. Yes, technically these are true hidden guns safes as well, but since it’s car-based I count it as somewhat of an outlier.

    Some states, such as Ohio have laws against secret compartments in vehicles intended for transport of contraband. Unfortunately, the intent part is hand-waved by the Ohio justice system. You don’t actually have to have any illicit items in your hidden compartment, the fact that you have one at all is effectively intent, combined with the officer’s sworn statement that he “smelled” something or he can get a drug dog to alert on your car (easy peasy).

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Some states, such as Ohio have laws against secret compartments in vehicles intended for transport of contraband.”

      And states, with the easy money of asset forfeiture about to get cut off, may start ‘cracking down’ on things like that…

    2. avatar 334 says:

      Wrong. The Ohio law specifically exempts hidden compartments for firearms.

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.241

        “(c) Any compartment, space, box, or other closed container that is added or attached to existing compartments, spaces, boxes, or closed containers integrated or attached to a vehicle.”

        (B) No person shall knowingly design, build, construct, or fabricate a vehicle with a hidden compartment, or modify or alter any portion of a vehicle in order to create or add a hidden compartment, with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.

        (C) No person shall knowingly operate, possess, or use a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.

        “(I) This section does not apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms provided that at the time of discovery the box, safe, container, or other item added to the vehicle does not contain a controlled substance or visible residue of a controlled substance.”

        The law is self-contradictory. Any compartment that falls under (I) will also fall under (c), and how can you prove the purpose of your compartment if you are unfortunate enough to not have electronics, valuables or guns in it at the moment? Only provision (I) requires actual presence or residue of a controlled substance. If they decide to screw with you, depending on the construction of the compartment, they can simply deny that it falls under (I) and you can spend a lot of money in court proving otherwise.

        As I said, if a drug sniffing dog alerts on your car — and they are notorious for false positives — then they can assume any hidden compartment in your car, whether it contains any drugs or not, is intended to facilitate the transportation of a controlled substance.

        If you think they law won’t be twisted to screw with you because you’re an upstanding guy, you haven’t seen the police and prosecutors in operation enough.

        1. avatar NB says:

          YUou missed:
          “This section does not apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms

        2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

          NB, literally my entire post was about that.

    3. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, even if it does seem debatable. I know some states, like California, have specific regulations for homes storage, but I didn’t even think about laws or regulations regarding vehicles. Not something I’ve experienced yet.

  2. avatar Conrad says:

    The question now in States that reach into your home to define and regulate storage, is hidden in plain sight good enough? They promise to make you a felon if you don’t comply.

  3. avatar Victoriaillinois says:

    Great article. I only knew of Tactical Walls and have been frustrated trying to see their products in a store. Maybe the other companies will tell us where to actually see the stuff. Planet Optics wanted to know what the UPC or model code was of the product. How would I know? I don’t even know what I want….table, bench, shelf, wall storage? The author is right. The big safe screams ‘something valuable in me. I like to put important papers, old photos in there. Who says “Wait, don’t shoot, I have to unlock my big safe and get my gun out”.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Thanks for this article!
    I learned of a few different options for storage.

  5. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Cool , I like all of those, the room behind the book case is really neat… too bad my house is so small, I’d love to build one.

  6. avatar enuf says:

    Alfred Anaya Put Secret Compartments in Cars. So the DEA Put Him in Prison
    https://www.wired.com/2013/03/alfred-anaya/

    Great ideas for hiding guns in plain sight in homes. But be wary of getting too good at what you put into cars and trucks. The DEA can, has and will again interpret your intentions any way they like. They put Anaya in prison for twice as long as the kingpins of a cocaine, heroin and meth smuggling operation without ever showing that he knew people were smuggling drugs or that he benefited.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      That’s a fairly scary article.

  7. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Some very cool ideas there. Worth looking into.

  8. avatar Silentbrick says:

    From what I’ve seen of these options though, they are worthless if you have kids. They just aren’t secure enough when dealing with children. I KNOW my kid can’t get into the safe. And while we work with him on knowing what to do, he’s 4. His friends are the same age and I can’t control them. So until he and his oncoming sister are older, safest places are in the safe or on my hip.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Starting at 3 whenever I brought home a new handgun, I would put my daughter in my lap show her the gun, make her check that the gun was cleared and let her hold it. Every single time I’d go over the 4 rules and always remind her how dangerous guns could be. She also started sitting in the deer blind at 2.5 years old and saw first hand what a rifle does to a living thing. My daughter has had no curiosity about guns and is now a teenager.

      Her friends were never allowed in my gun area, and that was kept locked.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      I have kids, so I Israeli carry at home. But I also have a few mounted pistol lock boxes (fort knox, sentry safe quick access) that are hidden through out the house. Along with the gun is a holster, spare mags and a light. Long guns stay in the big safe.

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        I have kids, so I Israeli carry at home.

        Doesn’t carrying around an Israeli all day get tiring?

        Seriously, I personally think Israeli carry only in specific circumstances is a bad idea. Do you Israeli carry when you go out?

        When do you have a round chambered? What if it’s just at the range?

        The reason I say this is that each time you have a change in your gun’s condition, you have the opportunity for mental error — did you really remember to chamber/unchamber like you intended? If your “usual” condition is condition 3, I honestly believe that’s a more dangerous default, mentally. Here’s why:

        If you have a decent holster and don’t leave your gun just laying around, the chances of your kids getting to it in the first place are tiny. If it’s not on your person, it should be locked up. Period. Relying on an empty chamber as additional protection is pretty slipshod, and becomes more so the older your kids get.

        Most negligent discharges happen during intentional gun handling. Chambering and unchambering rounds for different carry conditions == more gun handling.

        Sooner or later, you will be wrong about what condition your gun is in. We all have “senior moments,” even those who aren’t seniors, yet. “I was sure I unchambered that last round after I got done at the range.” “I was sure I chambered a round when I left the house.” “I was sure I unchambered when I got home.” The more you chamber/unchamber, the more likely you will screw up. It’s not an if, it’s a when.

        Now, the four rules of gun safety should protect you once you’ve made that mistake. That’s what they’re there for. But somehow, people screw up on those, too.

        But, if you always carry chambered, you’ve got an extra mental reinforcement there: “I know my gun is loaded. It’s always loaded. For reals.”

        Carrying in condition three puts you in the position of “Yes, I absolutely know to treat every gun as loaded, but I know mine’s not loaded. I’m sure I unchambered a round when I got home.”

  9. avatar 76shovel says:

    Since security works best in layers, here is another layer to explore. This should work in most homes.
    https://www.libertysafe.com/safelert-demo.php

    1. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      That’s a nice little upgrade.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    I stack on boxes in closets nolted.to.the house
    The door is hard to get to and there is no room for a pry bar.

    If they get past the dog and the house alarm and still want to spend 20 minutes on the boxes more power to them. When my alarm has gone off accidentally I’ve got a deputy in front in 5 minutes.

  11. avatar joel says:

    one of these days i am going to build myself one of those coffee tables…..

  12. avatar strych9 says:

    “…thieves are exposed and can’t waste much time with pry bars or power tools.”

    Considering how fast crackheads can steal a welding truck that’s been locked down half a dozen ways, I wouldn’t want to bet on this.

  13. avatar I1uluz says:

    An interesting way to hide that most thieves would give a second look at, who wants another person’s suits? Hang it at the end by a wall, no reason to even move it while searching the closet. http://www.skinnersights.com/scabbards_20.html

  14. avatar Michael says:

    You left out NJ Concealment Furniture

    https://www.njconceal.co/

    1. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Thanks for pointing them out. Their stuff looks good too.

  15. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

    The store-bought hidden-storage coffee table would be nice to have, however, until then, I have an old upright freezer in the garage next to a refrigerator / freezer combo. The non-functional freezer has been modified to store rifles / pistols in it. The combo machine is still in use and stores sodas, butter, extra ice bags and wrapped game meats. The faux freezer stays locked with one of those integral child-safety door locks and has an inventory sheet of frozen items taped on the door as a diversion. The electric cord is plugged in to supply the 18 watt GoldenRod dehumidifier…people see what they expect…an old freezer filled with hamburger meat.

  16. avatar Anymouse says:

    Expanding on the intro, most “safes” aren’t safes either. Just about any gun safe you can buy is a UL-rated “residential security container.” That’s why you’ll see to many videos about how easy they are to break into. You can get real safes with UL ratings of TL-15 or TL-30 (tool resistant for 15 minutes or 30 minutes) from companies like AMSEC, if you’re willing to spend thousands. You need to decide what threat you are trying to prevent because any security, including vaults, can be defeated with enough time and the proper tools (check out cutting bars or explosives).
    Another hide in plain sight company is G Outdoors. They have pistol cases disguised as tissue boxes, first aid kits, and cases for jumper cables and tow straps, which can be useful for vehicles without trunks. Several companies also make guitar cases that hold rifles. You can DIY a lot of this by taking a case, container, or box and repurpose it for guns. There’s also a bunch of companies that make magnets so you can make your own by screwing them to unseen portions of furniture. These all rely on nobody wanting to bother stealing them, but they aren’t going to stop a child or unauthorized user who stumbles upon one.

  17. avatar possum says:

    That’s the beauty of a HiPoint, you can leave them anywhere and no one will take it.

    1. avatar Matt Sandy says:

      Seriously, that made me laugh. I guess the HiPioint has at least one thing going for it.

  18. avatar 334 says:

    These are a good option for some people.
    There are dozens of variables that make your choices on securing strategies and layers about considering risks.
    Among those are laws in your jurisdiction, what age and attitude of your kids, whether other people’s kids maybe present, background burglary rate in your neighborhood, how often you are at home, what your ther home security measures are, etc. Some people have very few strangers in their home while others regularly have dog walkers, cat sitters, maid service, caterers, and repair people. Some people even have prohibited persons sometime in their home.

    So there are some of us who are at less risk with a loaded gun in unsecured nightstand drawer than others with a $3,000 gun safe.
    hidden is an option to consider if you have a number of strangers since this means any stranger could have told a dozen others and in a resulting burglary where the burglar/s would come prepared to get any $1,000 safe in 10 minutes — and have time since in that case they learned your habits

  19. avatar Paul B. Henson says:

    I have some stuff from Liberty Home Concealment. It’s good stuff. I also have a Vaultek safe mounted inside the hidden compartment, so I do have a “hidden gun safe” ;)… Or security container I suppose.

  20. You forgot the one that’s been around the longest, Hidden Safes, Inc. We build and install Hidden Walk-in sized gun safes and saferooms anywhere-new or existing homes. Hiddensafes.com

  21. Hidden Safes, Inc. has been building and hiding safes since 1978. That’s when my father decided to do this for himself, along with his three sons, to protect nearly 100 long guns. He showed a few of his closest friends that might need one and that’s how we got started. We were the first! He formed his company “Custom Security” in 1980. After his retirement, I started Hidden Safes, Inc. and kept on doing what we do, designing and installing hidden safes all over the U.S. in new or existing homes. I try not to show too much on-line due to the secrecy but we have to show something. Check us out at http://www.hiddensafes.com. [email protected]

    Thanks, Dan Perkins
    Hidden Safes, Inc.
    President
    901-213-0111

    1. avatar Calvin says:

      The spinning pictures on your homepage is headache inducing and shortens the amount of time i have to look at your product. The products are nice.

  22. I conceal my weapons and valuables where I need to, but I still have a large gun safe. I keep it empty. It’s meant to distract burglars and waste their time. Lol.

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