By Lisa Parsons-Wraith
Keeping firearms safely away from unauthorized access is a significant responsibility of gun ownership. Women with children are especially focused on firearm safety and want their guns secure, yet easy to access. Firearms are also a big investment: Women can have thousands of dollars worth of firearms, and they need to be safely secured. Many storage alternatives are enhanced by the additional benefit of protecting firearms from water and fire damage, so there are many factors to consider when deciding how to store a firearm. Luckily, there are several options to fit every lifestyle and budget.
The primary duty of every firearm owner is to do everything in his or her power to keep personal protection tools safe from children. Even women who don’t have children may be visited by someone with a child, and, therefore, it’s imperative they have a way to safely store a firearm.
Though a safe can secure a firearm from a child, it may not thwart a thief. Theft protection adds another level of consideration, especially if a woman is planning on storing cash, jewelry and other valuables alongside her firearms. A safe providing fire protection may be warranted in this situation and will give the owner the added benefit of potentially reducing her insurance rates. The next consideration is whether to go with a biometric safe, key lock, combination lock or a hybrid of all three. Each locking method has its pros and cons, and dealers should do their best to assess their customers’ needs and to help them make an informed purchase.
Stack-On 36-40 Gun Safe
Some Noteworthy Options
One of the more widely known makers of small handgun safes is GunVault. The outstanding features on these safes are the “No Eyes” keypad, biometric keypad option, quick access to firearms, tamper proof locks and up to 16-gauge steel construction. Some even incorporate motion detectors with audio alarms. All GunVaults fit into the small safe category, but they have recently designed one model to lock up the firing portion of MSR-style rifles: the ARVault. From their small safes designed to safely transport handguns to their larger models with dual shelves for handguns and valuables, GunVaults ensure security and quick access.
Stack-On Safes offers a wide variety of gun storage solutions popular with gun owners. Their safes run the gamut from large fire-resistant models capable of holding multiple types of firearms and valuables, to small portable cases for securely transporting firearms. They feature a variety of locking mechanisms including electronic, biometric, combination and key locks. There truly is something for everyone.
Viking Safes carries a small wall-mounted vault with a biometric keypad favored by customers. The security measure on this safe includes the ability to enter up to 32 unique fingerprints, and a pin code backup that will time out after 10 incorrect attempts. There are also backup keys in the event of battery failure. Made of steel, it sports a carpeted interior and tamper resistant locks. One thing of note: The manufacturer does not recommend this safe for firearms owners over 55 years of age as, due to thinning fingerprints, all fingerprint readers will lose accuracy with increasing age.
If your customer is looking for fire protection as well as security, she’ll generally have to move up to a larger safe of heavy steel construction. However, American Security has a small safe that is UL certified to provide 60 minutes of fire protection (model number FS712E5LP). It weighs 70 pounds and its outer dimensions are 11.75 x 16.5 x 13.75 inches. It features an electronic lock and a 15-minute time out after four incorrect entries. The lock can be programmed to beep and flash with each entry, or can be silenced in stealth mode. This reasonably priced safe offers a lot of protection.
Browning’s Pro Series line of Home Safes boast a UL Security rating as well as a 105-minute/1,200-degree Fahrenheit fire rating. They’re available in three sizes and feature an electronic lock. The smallest weighs 210 pounds and measures 20 x 18.5 x 22 inches and the largest weighs 510 pounds and measures 42 x 31 x 22 inches, making this line of safes a serious investment in protection. Several layers of anti-pry protection are built into the 12-gauge steel safes. The warranty includes damage from fire and attempted break in, insuring your customer’s investment in a quality safe.
Winchester Safes is now incorporating “smart” technology called Notion to their wide-ranging line of safes designed to accommodate small handguns to large, tactical guns, which provides customers with feedback on moisture, temperature changes and more, directly to a smart phone. The easily installed Notion sensor is attached to the outside of a safe and can also be paired with other sensors to monitor an entire home. Features on Winchester Safes include 12-gauge or thicker steel, UL RSC tamper ratings, up to 1,400 degrees and 2.5 hours of fire protection, and a free replacement guarantee if the safe is damaged by fire or burglary. Additionally, since 2012, all of their safes are made in the USA.
The Browning Pro Series Home Safes are roomy enough to store firearms and
other valuables while providing 100 minutes of fire protection.
Go For Variety
Stocking every secure storage option available is impossible. Each of your customers has unique needs based on her age, habits, budget and security concerns. The most important job you and your staff have is to educate women gun owners on their responsibilities and give them options on how to best secure their valuable firearms.
Most states have laws on the varying degrees of how secure a firearm must be when transported or stored. Have plenty of entry-level, yet high-quality options on hand for first-time gun buyers. After the initial expense of purchasing a firearm, some women might shy away from spending thousands of dollars on a large safe, and will appreciate a way to safely and inexpensively secure their firearm.
Hopefully, your new gun buyer will fall in love with the shooting sports and come to you to purchase more firearms. As her collection increases, you can continue to provide her with more safe storage options.
Dealers, have you had success in selling safes to women? Let us know: email@example.com.