Scott Michaels of Get Gun Safe writes:
Statistics indicate that you’re most likely to need a self-defense gun at night. So where’s the best place to store your home defense firearm? Home carry, of course! When you’re asleep, unwilling or unable to carry around the house, putting your heater in a gun safe is best practice.
That said, a traditional gun safe — one that requires a combination — may not be the best option. Ever tried to enter your smart phone password under stress? By the same token, turning the lights to see what you’re doing takes time and could alert the culprit or culprits to your situational awareness and whereabouts.
RFID chip-activated gun safes are becoming increasingly popular. The safes open when an RFID chip-implanted object (e.g., a ring, watch, key fob or key card) comes within predetermined proximity to the lock. Most of these safes have a combination, key or biometric-activated back-up. Speaking of which, biometric gun safes have also taken the market by storm.
Biometric gun safes recognize authorized users by a biological marker. While biometric safes may one day depend on a user’s iris or voice pattern, today’s models rely on fingerprint recognition. Once a fingerprint is entered into the safe’s memory (via a built-in scanner), the safe reads and recognizes the authorized users’ fingerprints and opens automatically. You can program a biometric safe to recognize multiple fingerprints: family, friends, whoever you designate.
Biometric safes eliminate the threat of someone figuring out/stealing a combination safe’s passcode and saves users the trouble of remembering their entry code. Depending on the model, biometric safes are powered by an AC cord and/or a battery. While biometric safes come with a set of keys as a backup, they probably won’t do you much good in an emergency. It’s best to operate the safe at least once a month and swap out the batteries at least every six months.
Biometric safes aren’t perfect. The scanner may not recognize authorized fingerprints if the user’s hands are sweaty. Or bloody. Or dirty. While the technology is constantly improving, even the fastest recognition time can seem like an eternity in an emergency. Not to mention the fact that many small biometric are easily breached by clever hackers or brute force.
Like most things gun, biometric safes are a trade-off. Specifically, ease-of-use vs. the possibility of failure (of one sort or another). As they say, you pays your money, you takes your chances.