Gun Storage Requirements

Updated January 17, 2018

Many people enjoy collecting firearms. Some people inherit pistols and rifles from ancestors and take great pride in their value. Others enjoy recreational hunting sports which require firearms. Whether you are a collector, investor or active hunter, most states do not regulate legally owned gun storage with any laws. A working knowledge of firearms and their dangers afford gun owners a good start on understanding how to safely store guns.

Gun and Ammunition Storage

One of the strongest safety messages regarding gun storage is explained by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California: Although guns should always be stored unloaded, treat them as if they are loaded. When preparing your guns for storage, make sure all ammunition is removed. Clean and prepare your guns as you normally would, and set ammunition aside. After securing your guns, store ammunition in a separate location. This is a preventive measure that protects you and others in your home. If an inquisitive child gains access to your firearms, they are safer if the ammunition is stored elsewhere. Teach children that any gun they may accidentally encounter should be respected as if it is loaded, even if they are certain it is not. Fatal accidents have happened when a person incorrectly thought a gun was not loaded.

Gun Safe

The most secure way to store guns is a gun safe. Although there are many decorative gun cabinets with glass front doors for viewing, safety and prevention of theft should be the highest concerns. Large or small, gun safes are sturdy, and many are secured to the floor for a further measure of theft prevention and unauthorised access, explains Although large gun safes provide the most protection, small safes have the added benefit of being easier to keep hidden from minors and intruders.


Although there is no federal regulation for gun storage, some states have adopted laws. Disassembling your guns makes them impossible to fire, as noted on the American Hunters & Shooters Association website. To enhance the security, store gun parts in different locations. Although this might sound extreme, in homes where small children live or when children visit, this will render your guns impossible to fire even if the parts are found.

Gun-Locking Devices

If disassembly is not feasible for your situation, consider adding locking devices to your guns, recommends the National Rifle Association. All ammunition should be removed first because some locks could cause a gun to fire accidentally. Some locking devices prevent a gun from being loaded, and others prevent it from being fired. Make sure the locks you choose are appropriate for your firearm and not a one-size-fits-all option.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.