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Handgun Safe Features You Need for Ultimate Safety

Handgun Safe Features You Need for Ultimate Safety - GunSkins
Handgun Safe Features You Need for Ultimate Safety - GunSkins

There are many reasons to own a gun safe. If you think about it, the words tell you exactly the purpose of a gun safe. That is, to keep the gun safe. But safe from what?

Burglars won’t take the time to break into something they can’t easily take with them, and you certainly don’t want a burglar to gain access to one of your firearms while you are in the home.    

The greatest risk to your firearms is not burglary; it is fire. 

Most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover firearms unless you have a specific rider. A gun safe can help protect your firearms. 

The best way to ensure you and your firearms are safe is to keep your firearms in a gun safe. Full-size gun safes protect your firearms but aren’t portable or easy to carry. If you store your handgun in your home near your bed or other easily accessible location, a large gun safe just doesn’t work.

How do you keep your handgun safe from others and ensure easy access? All you have to do is make sure your handgun safe has features that not only keep it safely locked away but also allow you instant access in a time of need. 

With the right handgun safe, your firearm is accessible in mere seconds, right where you need it. You have many options for handgun storage, and it is essential to choose one that has the features that work for you.  

Understanding Gun Safety In the Home 

First, you want to keep your guns safe from anyone who does not have your permission to use them. This is particularly true for minor children or anyone who enters your home, including friends, relatives, and guests. 

The best way to avoid accidental firearm discharges is to keep your guns safe from those who should not be handing them.

Second, you want to keep your guns safe from burglars. In the unfortunate circumstance that your home is broken into, you want to make sure your guns are safely locked away. 

Our Favorite Handgun Safe Features

Choosing a safe depends on your priorities, so it is important to first understand the available features and determine what is most important to you before making a purchase.

Let’s review the features of proper firearm storage


Handgun safes range in price from less than $100 to more than $300, so there is definitely a safe within your budget. Of course, the more expensive the gun is, the more features it typically has. Choosing the features that are most important to you will determine the price of the safe.  


Are you planning to use your handgun safe for storage, quick and secure access, or all of the above? The answer to these questions will determine the size, portability, and ease of access you need in your gun safe. 

Physical Features and Strength

Obviously, you want a tamper-proof handgun safe. Features to look for include pry-resistant doors and sturdy construction. Pay attention to the gauge or thickness of the safe’s walls. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the material.  

Handgun safes come in a surprising variety of sizes, from one-gun safes to safes that will hold several handguns as well as ammunition. Some even come with small shelves built in so you can store extra materials like ammunition or important documents like your passport. 

Recall the question above about purpose? If ease of access is your primary purpose for a handgun safe, you probably don’t need one with extra storage.  

Choose the best safe to meet your needs. For example, if you have a full-size gun safe, you probably don’t need a large handgun safe. Rather keep the handgun you want easily accessible in a handgun safe and the rest of your firearms and important documents in your full-size gun safe.  

Locking Mechanism

The locking mechanism is the most important aspect of the safe when it comes to keeping your firearm away from unauthorized users. 

There are many options for locking mechanisms, from biometric scanners to lock and key systems and combination locks. Some safes also can be opened via a Bluetooth app on your smartphone. 

Biometric scanners measure biological aspects of your body, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, or retinal scans. The biometric scanner used for handgun safes is a fingerprint recognition system, and most can be programmed with more than one fingerprint. One of the advantages of this system is that the safe can easily be opened with one hand, which could be critical in certain situations. 

Many safes include more than one unlocking method. 

For example, the safe can be opened either with a touch-activated fingerprint pad or with a lock and key mechanism. This is important for any handgun safe with batteries, for instance, biometric opening mechanisms. You will need an alternate way of entry in case the batteries die before you can replace them. 

Old-school dial mechanical locks are still used on full-size safes and preferred by some because they don’t require batteries. However, this type of mechanism is not the best when users want quick access to their firearm, such as a handgun.  


Where you plan to keep your handgun safe will influence the size that you buy. Are you keeping the safe by your bed? In your vehicle? Or mounted on the wall or in a drawer in your bedroom? Depending on the size, handgun safes can hold one or two guns and ammunition. 

Ease of Access

You probably want fast and easy access to your handgun. Otherwise, you would keep it in your larger gun safe. This takes us back to the locking mechanism. Choose one that meets your needs and is easy to use. 

Handgun safes also come in wall-mounted models if you want to reduce clutter. These safes can be mounted on the wall, inside a desk, or another area. Some wall-mounted handgun safes release the gun handle first, so ensure you know how the firearm is stored in the gun safe before your purchase.  

You may want to purchase a safe that has a backlit keypad. This will help you easily open the gun safe in the dark if needed. Some handgun safes are specifically built for silent entry to access the safe without making a sound. 

LED lighting inside the case is also an option to see inside the case when it is dark.

Fire Protection

Each safe has a specific fire rating that indicates the maximum temperature and time at that temperature that the contents will be safe for. A house fire can burn at more than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, but synthetic stocks melt at around 250 degrees. A handgun safe will not provide as much protection in a fire as a full-size fire-proof safe, but they do offer some protection.    

Tamper Proofing

Make sure you purchase a safe that has a pry-resistant door. Some safes can alert you if someone has tried to get into your safe either by entering the wrong combination, using a backup key, or incorrect fingerprints.

By considering all the features above, choose a handgun safe that best fits your needs. 

Best Pistol Safes

So, what are the best pistol safes on the market? Our GunSkins’ best gun safes guide describes the best pistol safes we have found. All provide quick access to your handgun with sizes to meet your needs, from one-gun safes to safes that will hold up to three handguns. 

Some options are better for storage, and some are better for quick access, like the GunVault SpeedVault. The guide also has safes suitable for traveling in your vehicle. Before traveling with a firearm in your car, check your state’s carry laws to make sure you follow all the regulations.   

After Your Purchase

You have considered all the options and purchased a handgun safe that fits all of your needs. You’ve consulted the experts, accounted for firearm size, and your particular budget.  

You have decided where to store your handgun safe, set up the locking mechanism, and placed your safe in its designated spot with your handgun safely stored inside. You are all set for ultimate safety and security. 

You might notice that your handgun safe is basically a metal box without much visual style when you are all set up. The good news is you can use GunSkins gear skins to wrap anything you want. There are dozens of patterns to choose from. If you want to add a little style to your handgun safe (or larger firearm safe), GunSkins has what you need.  



NRA Family | How to Choose a Gun Safe

American Hunter | How to Choose a Gun Safe

What qualifies as a secure gun storage or safety device? | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


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