Liberty Safe's 4--gun Presidential model.
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Reader Command’oh writes:

The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that about 1.4 million guns were stolen from 2005-2010, and other studies give even higher estimates. Most of these guns end up on the black market where dealers (shockingly) don’t run background checks. If we can reduce the number of stolen guns entering the black market, the black market price will rise. This could lead to a decrease in the number of crimes involving guns.

While not a perfect solution, the wide spread use of gun safes would reduce the total number of guns stolen in the US. Making it more difficult to steal firearms should result in fewer firearms stolen.

The question is, how do we encourage their use? The answer: the same way government encourages anything else…tax incentives. If the government wants you to buy an electric car or solar panels for your home, they offer a tax credit. Assuming less gun crime is the goal, offering gun owners a tax credit should result in gun owners buying more gun safes. It’s simple economics.

This is a win-win for everyone. Since there’s no requirement that you buy or use a gun safe, nobody’s rights are curtailed. Gun owners who choose to buy a safe save some cash. And the ant-gun left can claim they’ve “done something” about guns by doing what they do best — throwing a bunch of taxpayer money at the problem. Who knows? It may actually work.

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  1. There is no such thing as a safe that cannot be cracked. An enterprising criminal will just haul the whole thing out of your house and break it open at their leisure. (Or just cary the thing in the case of most home defense useful things.) You’re not going to put that safe somewhere in your house where it cannot be easily removed without major construction work.

    You know what WOULD work? Mandatory federal minimums for “felon in possession” charges. 10-20 on the first offense, 20-life on the second ought to do the trick. When felons are getting slapped on the wrist, crime goes up.

    • You’re not wrong, but there is something to be said for “target hardening”. Where there’s a will there’s a way obviously, but a heavy safe, bolted down is going to be a much tougher nut to crack for a thief than a bunch of guns stored in a closet, leaning up against the wall. Add an alarm system on top of that, and you have a situation where a crook would have to find a way to quickly get into a safe and/or rip it off the ground and cart it off.

      As for your second paragraph, I agree.

    • Even if you defined “felon” in the most restrictive way, to those who actually are violent, more people in prison will not prevent theft. There will always be a serious pool of humanity willing to steal things, and all these “possession” laws only enter the picture AFTER the fact. And guns are not the sole tool used to commit these crimes, of course.

      The most rational solution to violent crime is the death of the aggressor at the hands of the intended victim and/or their guardian, neighbor…

      No repeat offenders there.

    • My Liberty Safe is about 700lbs empty and is bolted to the floor. Not saying it can’t happen, but usually home invaders are looking for a quick score, not a prolonged safe-cracking or incredibly heavy hauling operation, even if they had preknowledge of you having a safe and what brand.

      • Buddy had a 600lb safe bolted to the floor and the thieves dropped everything they had to tear it off the floor, tip it over and push it down the stairs. Its only hard to move if you are about your stairs and walls. Not to mention almost every Residential Security container (they aren’t really “safes”) can be opened easily with a jig saw or pry bars.

  2. How about the government gives a gun to anybody who wants a gun. That way nobody would have the need to steal one. The government can pay for it by taxing dildos and abortions.

    • Gosh, BO missed another opportunity. Just like Obummer Phones we could have had Obummer AR’s and Glocks! Now there would be a governmental giveaway. Free OBammo to go along with it!


  3. Most commercial gun safes can be broken into – easily – by someone intent upon stealing their contents. And failing that (see recent TTAG story), the safes themselves can be stolen, contents and all.

    Are there good and valid reasons for using gun safes? Absolutely.

    Will more-prevalent gun safe use reduce the number of stolen firearms? I would entertain supporting data, if such data exist. But without such data, it is merely an unsubstantiated assumption.

    • “.. I would entertain supporting data, if such data exist. But without such data, it is merely an unsubstantiated assumption.”


  4. I’ve long thought this would be a good idea to incentify safer storage. Debatable if it would change crime rates

    However, the best part would be telling the gun hating liberals THEY helped pay for comfy storage of my guns.

  5. Criminals will always exist and they will always adapt. There was a time when cars were relatively easy to steal without the keys, and cars were stolen. Today, cars are very difficult to steal without the keys and cars are still stolen. Criminals adapted in one of two ways, either the high tech way or the low tech way. The high tech way is to use a special devise to hack into the vehicle’s computer. The low tech way is to walk up to someone in a parking lot, point a gun at their head and demand their keys. Perhaps we were better off when they could just rip some wires out from under the dash.

    That said, keeping your guns locked up is still a good idea, but the gubmint doesn’t need to get involved, IMHO.

    • Point of order; rarely outside of movies we’re cars ever “Hotwired like that”.

      Usually they’d just take a screwdriver put it to the lock cylinder, smack it with a hammer. Boom done.

      • No modern car can be stolen that way. I’d be surprised if many cars since the late 90’s can be even stolen that way since they had additional security measures beyond the teeth on the key. Modern cars have RFID based security in the keys so you can turn the cylinder all you want (if the car even has one) and it’s not going to start.

        • My 2000 Chevy Silverado didn’t have the chip in the key.

          Point is, carjacking just wasn’t a thing back in the 1980s. It wasn’t necessary back then to get the keys.

        • Even though theft of entire cars is down per car, proportion of theft of cars from car jacking within the car theft number has increased.

          And relevant to safes, theft from auto is up some estimates are it is triple the rate of 25 years ago.

      • “Point of order; rarely outside of movies we’re[sic] cars ever “Hotwired like that”.”

        As a matter of fact, they were. With no interlocks, it was fairly easy to learn color codes for the various car makers, go under the dash, isolate three wires, and jump two (the ignition) and touch one more (the starter), and off you went.
        Age and education beats youth and ignorance every time. 🙂

  6. Nothing to back it up but most guns used in crimes are “meh” to “junk” tier.

    Basically guns someone that doesn’t care too much about guns would get. It’s usually their only gun. And you’re not going to get a fridge sized safe (the only type that really stands a chance) for a single sub 400 dollar gun. They might get a small safe the size of an ac unit….but I mean they’ll just steal that.

    So unless they’re getting serious legit safes and bolting them down (can’t do if you don’t own the place as many dont) I don’t think it would make much of a difference.

  7. The anti-gun left never says it’s doing anything because to them, it’s never enough.

    I dont really understand the question. We already have enough gun safes, I can go to the store and order 10 of them if I wanted to. Money isn’t an object, people who own guns have money. I dont really get the thing about gun safes, if a perp is holding a .44 to your head and it’s your choice to live or die by revealing the combination, it’s not exactly a matter of choice at that point. Israeli mobster Eddie Nash’s house was broken into and even he revealed the combination to his safe. The only important thing is what’s accessible within an instant, he’s not going to wait for you to open the safe before breaking in and sticking both barrels of a shotgun into your mouth. He doesn’t give a damn about that, he wants what’s inside that safe and he’ll kill whoever he has to to get it. No amount of money/jewels/guns is worth your life when you’re unable to protect yourself because you threw your guns in the safe and now you can’t use them.

    • Well, simply keep your ‘investment’ guns in the safe and your defensive gun outside the safe!

      Happy Motoring, Mark

    • ” Money isn’t an object, people who own guns have money”
      People who buy clothes have money, too. So what? Does that mean money isn’t an object?
      You have a lot to learn.

  8. So because my neighbor is too lazy or cheap to pay for and use his own gun safe, you propose that the government extort money from me, by way of the tax code and men with guns, to pay for his safe and to hire other idiot, unemployed neighbors to administer the program? Well.

    I don’t know about win-win, but it sure sounds like a lot of unjust enrichment on the parr of a lot of other people, all funded by me.

    Your feel-good program will backfire, anyway, when people don’t even use their subsidized safes.

    By the way, where exactly in the Constitution is the government granted the authority to steal from my safe to pay for someone else’s safe? Quit trampling on the Constitution you allegedly revere by trying to socially engineer the country via the tax code. Just fund the constitutionally defined functions of government and leave us alone.

  9. No, but in time, the requirement that all guns be locked in one will result in those mass machete home invasions you read about in shitholes like Australia and South Africa

    • In Australia you have to have a gun safe or other approved container (descriptions of materials and construction are in the state firearm regulations). If the safe is under 150 kg (300+ lbs) empty wright the safe has to be secured to the premises. And the safe has to pass police inspection.

      A safe will deter the opportunistic thief and children from accessing the firearms, so this is an advantage. But criminals with information from the leaked firearms registry database have simply taken the whole safe or forced the owner to open it for them (with the owner charged for the theft).

      “Welcome to Australia. Fines apply.”

      • Firstly any <$2,500 safe, including the vast majority of safes approved in Australia, can be opened in five minutes with a $70 cordless angle grinder.

        Secondly keeping your large safe unknown is impossible for a lot of people, and if it is known your risk increases compared to simply hiding a gun or using an unapproved locking container. For example if you have yours in your basement over ten years it could have been seen by 50 people with primary knowledge . house cleaners, baby sitters (and their boyfriends), meter readers, furnace/air condition guys, plumbers, crews of house-painters using utility sink, electricians, and a myriad of your kids friends. all those people have friends and family they may remark on seeing a safe to, exponentially increasing knowledge there is one there. Knowledge a safe is in the house is going to greatly increase reward to burglar, meaning these houses/apartments would be targeted.

        I use two stack-on locking cabinets which fit in the wall and look like large electric panels. They are enough in most states that have laws on gun safes, but NOT enough for Australia looking at your laws.

        These cabinets, with the addition of stickers that make them look like electric, in my case instant hot water system panels will fool everyone with the exception of an electrician who will likely know code does not allow you to lock an electric panel. If I have an electrician or hvac guy coming I have two 2'x6' pieces of thin plywood I slip over them with mirror holders.

        • YMMV but my operational security is better than most. Only about 10 people have seen the safe, half are immediate family and the rest are close friends or the police officers who inspected (and approved) the installation. It would be a major PITA to remove the safe because it would take hours to remove the stuff in the same area and to pry the safe out (10 x 10x100mm dynabolts into rebarred concrete don’t make it easy). The inspecting officer said my installation did not move 1mm when he tried to lever the safe by using all his weight while grabbing the top of the door frame.

          I know I have not made it impossible for the guns and safe to be stolen. Just really difficult, time consuming, and noisy for anyone to try. When the safe is opened, I make sure no-one can see in from outside. When the car is loaded, the car is backed up to the side gate to hide the case being installed. There is a cover over the load area to hide the contents. And I’m careful to make sure there is no-one around when the car is loaded or unloaded. And there are no stickers on the car to indicate I’m a firearm owner.

  10. Oh great. The safes meme. The only people safes keep out are quadriplegics and drooling infants.
    I work security (cyber) as part of my job and much security theory is applicable to all aspects not just computers and encryption.

    The problem with safes will largely be with the end user being cheap and less than diligent. Those are the problems that lead to just about every security breach we’ve ever experienced. You’ll get unlocked safes, combos stuck to it with post-its, guns left out of the safes, cheap sheet metal crap that can be defeated with no tools at all.

    The answer to that is always inspections and enforcement. Essentially passing the responsibility to not be lazy and cheap off to somebody else who in turn is just as lazy and cheap but now has authority over you which inevitability stirs corruption and bias into the mix of lazy cheapness.

    It’s all just tail chasing stupidity.

  11. People who would use a safe will buy a safe regardless of incentives.

    I don’t think it will make a difference.

    • I don’t know… part of the reason I don’t have a safe is because for the price of a decent safe I could cover all my guns with insurance for the rest of my life and pay the deductible 5 times over. If .gov wants to give me a free one I would use it. (no I’m not saying its a good idea)

      As a side note I would love to see a criminal rob a bank with my assortment of cowboy guns, cap and ball antiques, and .22LR’s

      • Actually robbing a bank with that stuff would be fairly straight forward if the bank in question doesn’t have any armed security. Bank employees are usually given instructions by their employer to cooperate with anyone that is armed, or claims to be armed, that attempts to rob their business. Most bank robbers settle for taking the petty cash that is in a tellers drawer, and perhaps the wallets and other valuables that are on the people that are present. That stuff usually amounts to no more then $1,000 – $2,000 dollars, and is is in no way, shape, or form worth dying for if you are a bank employee. Robberies where a criminal, or gang of criminals, actually try to go after some, or all, of the contents of a banks’ vault are extremely rare, and are better ideas for movies then they are for real life.

      • My cowboy guns are in .45 Colt and .357 Magnum. One of my cap and ball pistols is a .44. All are quite deadly. Although the .36s are less so, I wouldn’t want to get shot with one of those either.

  12. No. It’s the same as saying less guns mean less crime. John Lott wrote a book based on the opposite.

  13. A public education campaign to “lock em up?” sure, why not? The less stolen guns, the better.
    Mandatory storage laws? I don’t support those – they’re intrusive…

  14. I would love to put it in a safe but then it would be hard to carry concealed. BTW, my gun (semi-auto pistol rendition of a very popular manufacturer) was stolen last month. The police found it exactly one month later. That was quick.

  15. The typical gun safe is a deterrent only to the quick smash and grab type burglars / robbers. Security through obscurity and some moderate hardening of your house (visible deterrents like cameras & alarm company stickers, good door locks, reinforced door frames, properly attached security film to key windows, etc.) is just as effective and protects a lot more than the contents of a safe.

  16. The last time I checked there has never been a case of a gun committing a crime in all of history.

    Crime is committed by people. Locking up people who commit crimes and making them understand there are consequences for their actions will lower crime rates.

    Yes is makes sense from a security and safety stand point. However Locking up guns to prevent crime will be as effective as locking up alcohol to prevent drunk driving.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Guns have rights too. What kind of sick individual wants to lock up innocent little guns without due process.

  17. Another thought….

    Locking guns up is theorizing that reducing the number of guns will reduce the violent crime rate. Has this theory not already been proven wrong and the number of guns owned is up by 100 million just in the past decade and Violent crime rate have continued to drop?

    • “Locking guns up is theorizing that reducing the number of guns will reduce the violent crime rate.”

      No, it’s not.
      The anti-gunners don’t want to lessen violent crime, they want to lessen “gun crime.”
      In fact, they are pushing to reduce the penalty for committing a crime that would make you a prohibited person, by advocating for restoration of (some) rights for those criminals (but not, of course, gun rights), thus lessening the ‘sting’ of punishment.
      And, of course, remember Marion Barry, re-elected Mayor of DC after convicted on drug charges. That is a typical liberal mindset; criminals should be treated not just as ordinary people, but actually be elected to the office of Mayor.
      We need to see more than just what interests us to learn more about how people operate.

  18. My guns have always been locked up! I acknowledge that safes can be cracked easily by some but most criminals will not attempt to do so because it takes more than a few seconds to do it. There is no recourse for gun owners beyond safes but they should still be used. Safes create a much harder target.

  19. I’ve always kept a complete serial number listing of everything that I have that goes bang in my wallet.

    Pictures on a thumb drive too. Police find stolen weapons faster that way and return them.

    For safe cracking, just watch youtube. Our next house I’m having a concrete safe room built.

    just my 2cents

  20. Nope. The same scumbags that do most of the gun crimes will just trade amongst themselves if times are lean.

  21. There are too many variables to answer the question with a simple yes or no.

    As serge points out placement of the safe is a key part of making it difficult to steal the whole thing. Making sure that a cable cannot be run in a straight line to a vehicle outside is part of this, especially in rural or semi-rural areas. However, as serge also points out this is only a solution for a portion of the people who might come in and try to steal the contents of your safe because all safes can be opened if the BG knows what they’re doing.

    IMHO, a safe is a good idea if you own a largish number of guns. It’s not necessary, or cost effective, if you own just a few firearms. Regardless of how many guns you may or may not own it’s my personal opinion that the best security system is owning dogs. Not Chihuahuas or Dachshunds but big ass loud dogs. Back that up with an electronic security system and a safe and you’re about as good as you’re going to get unless you built a bank vault into your house during construction.

    Of course dogs are not perfect, this can still happen…

  22. What’s wrong with safes for guns not in use? We can still home carry, conceal carry, or whatever you want when the gun is in your posession or you’re home to monitor the house.
    If you leave and your guns are locked up, a smash and grab robber is less likely to obtain your guns.
    That equates to less hassle for you. It likely won’t affect the violent crime rate. It likely will take years to affect the value of stolen guns. But, it’s still less hassle to you.

    Mandatory lock up? NEVER! Tax incentives to buy a safe? Yes, why not?

    • “Tax incentives to buy a safe? Yes, why not?”
      Because my money is my money.
      Taking my money to pay someone else to do something they can damn well do themselves is slavery. (If the little old lady down the street can’t mow her lawn, is the city able to tell you to go mow her lawn? Of course not. Is it then right to then take your money and pay someone else to mow her lawn with it? Of course not. Either way, it’s slavery.)

  23. Maybe we should throw money at securing gun stores with car proof barricades as I doubt guns left in homes without safes are anything really useful like your granddads Lee Enfield.

  24. Many handguns are stolen from automobiles. It’s time to put much bigger penalties on crooks for auto burglary and theft. Right now it is pretty much a slap on the wrist.

    Quit blaming the object and go after the perps!

    • Why not stop leaving guns in cars instead?

      What was the clearance rate for police in your area… for murder, rape and assault of all kinds? I’ll bet it was even smaller for theft from cars. No penalty will stop the guns from being stolen, of course. Not leaving them in the car would.

      But then, folks would have to change the silly “gun free zones” or ignore them…

  25. A real safe runs about $4000 plus. That’s money I do not have. And the only place I could put one is in my garage, where it would be susceptible to a winch and truck. So no, I am not in the market for a safe, even if the government were to supplement the purchase.

  26. Out of curiosity, I wonder how many of those guns were stolen or lost by government agents and replaced on our dollar…

  27. As a few have alluded, theft from cars and gun stores seem to be in the news these days. Is there any data on where guns are stolen from? Cars vs. homes vs. businesses vs directly from people?

  28. While a safe is more secure than a gun cabinet, it’s not a bad idea to keep the cutting blades of your angle grinder hidden. Heck, lock up the cutting blades in your gun safe.

  29. “If we can reduce the number of stolen guns entering the black market, the black market price will rise. This could lead to a decrease in the number of crimes involving guns.”

    Wishful thinking at its best. Or worst, depending on one’s POV.

    If the black market price of guns does rise, the price of heroin and other illegal drugs will rise to finance the additional cost of the guns. The number of crimes will then rise because users will have to steal more to buy their drugs and guns. The cost of entry for new POTG will rise because safes cost money, sometimes a lot of money, resulting in fewer new gun owners and thereafter less support for 2A.

    Cause and effect isn’t as linear as you might wish. Or as a wiser person once proclaimed: “Unintended consequences. They are a b!tch.”

    • “If we can reduce the number of stolen guns entering the black market, the black market price will rise. This could lead to a decrease in the number of crimes involving guns.”

      Let us not forget that, at this time, entire bales of pot and hundreds of kilos of hard drugs are crossing our borders every day. At even the government’s best estimate, less than a third of it is intercepted.
      Do we really think guns can’t be smuggled in? They already are being smuggled in from the Philippines. We know that.
      If you manage to shut down one supply route for something that’s wanted, another will open up. Simple supply and demand economics.

  30. I sure did get a safe. After getting my 3rd gun, and with intentions of getting more. I thought it a wise investment. After a few months of research I knew the features I wanted. Found a local gun and safe store nearby. They had a new close out model 24 gun Manuel combo for 600. Sold!
    Now I have a problem. Being a disabled vet, with hardware in my back, I can’t get it in my bedroom. I don’t have the tools to sucure it properly. So there it sits in my garage, full of guns and other assorted valuables. Waiting for some thief to find.
    So…. just one can afford a safe. Don’t mean it can or will be put in right.
    Maybe new home construction?

    • I sympathize with your predicament. Although I don’t qualify as disabled, my back prefers that I not lift anything heavier than 35 pounds. I can manage a 50 pound car battery but only with great care. Even a pistol safe would be too much. I think your only solution is to persuade a friend to anchor your safe for you or to hire a handyman.

  31. Safes can be easily defeated. It’s only a matter of how much force you bring to the safe.

    Here’s a little widget that will go through any safe:

    You can even go through concrete with a large enough burning bar.

    The solution to people who steal stuff is to deal with the people who steal stuff.

  32. Every civilized nation on earth requires gun safes. It not only cuts down on gun theft but would prevent the current 10,000 child maiming’s and deaths from loaded guns lying around the house.

    And if you are to cheap and irresponsible to buy one and use one then you should not have the right to own a gun.

    I might add if we made security alarm systems mandatory as well then tens of thousands of stolen guns would not be constantly finding their way to the streets of our major cities which result in rivers of blood on a daily basis. Only a Moron or an idiot would oppose such measures.

  33. A safe helps only if it’s so hard to open and so hard to steal that few burglars will try. A local guy lost his gun collection while he was gone on vacation. The burglars backed a truck into his garage and tipped the entire safe into it. It occurs to me that, in addition to bolting your safe to the floor, you should bolt it to the wall behind. That makes it hard to tear loose from the floor by tipping it forward.

  34. A co-worker was burgled while on vacation. Perps used a cutting torch they found in the garage to open the safe. Made off with guns, gold and cash. Smoldering safe started a fire and the house was destroyed. Thoughtful perps made sure they didn’t let the dog out. He died.

  35. Everyone is talking about the all Lewis gun store regulations on this bill
    The most objectional part was that it limited citizens to nine gun transactions per year
    Really buy or sell nine times that was it
    Even California allows 12 transactions per year
    Yet no one is talking about this infringement on private citizens

  36. First of all, no one needs to know you even have guns! I have a steel office cabinet in my upstairs office. I’m the only one who has the key. It’s on my vehicle and house key key ring.

    Main security is our 83 lbs male Golden Retriever, he likes to channel Kujo when any one comes to front door. We have very few people come to our front door! Mailman will run up to front door and scurry back to delivery truck. Becker’s territory is front porch to other side of our street.
    When husband is out of town I sleep on the sofa downstairs. One night a couple of frat rats were trying the door knob. I yelled “you have the wrong house and you don’t want me to open this door” They beat feet getting out of there.
    Becker was throwing his self against the door and barking loud enough to wake up the dead.
    A dog with “stanger danger” instinct is a wonderful thing.
    I’m his back up with a Ruger LCR 38 P+ Special in my pocket. Home carry at all times.

  37. Do it like an acquaintance who on buying a new house discovered a hollow space between the chimney, a closet, and water heater cabinet: on measuring it, he discovered it would hold his gun safe, so there is now a wall with hidden “puzzle” locks so no one even knows there’s a gun safe.

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