Recently I dropped by my best friend Jon’s new house for dinner. He’d just built his dream home in an upscale Dallas neighborhood. But two weeks after he’d moved in, he’d heard about a spate of burglaries in the neighborhood.
“I’m thinking about a gun,” he said. “But how do I keep my kids safe while keeping the gun safe from them?”
I told him it was a complicated question that was different for every family depending on their needs, type and number of guns, the number of children if any, their ages, and whether speed of access or security was a priority.
“The kids are four and seven,” he reminded me. “They get into everything.”
“So you want something that will keep your kids’ mitts off of it, but that’s fairly quick to access?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he said.
“What type of gun are you getting?”
“I was thinking a Glock or something—but then again, I know shotguns are tough to beat.”
“Oh boy,” I mumbled, as we walked into the kitchen for a beer. I told him there are many products available, and as we sat on the couch, I described several of my favorites.
Hornady’s RAPiD SAFE (pictured above) might be the best product going for handgun owners in Jon’s situation. It’s a shoebox-sized steel safe that pops open on the authorized user’s command. It has multiple methods for entry: A huge, quick touchpad that can be operated in the dark, and one of three electronic options—a fob, a card, or a wristband–can simply be waved over the safe to open it. I told Jon is was the quickest way to access a bedside handgun while still keeping it secure.
“What happens if the power goes out?”
“It stays plugged into the wall, but it has battery backup—and a key if all else fails. It costs $275.”
“Sounds awesome,” said Jon, “if I go with a handgun.”
Next, I told him that I know some people whose kids are older and want to keep a shotgun handy. But they don’t want to prop it in a corner, and a safe is too heavy for an upstairs bedroom. So I mentioned the Gun Concealment Bench from Cabela’s.
“It looks like a piece of modern furniture, but it holds a couple shotguns,” I said. “While it’s handy, it’s not lockable, so it’s not a gun safe. But for many people, it’s the perfect concealment system. And it’s just $199.
“And, I said, “there are many options for handguns that follow this hidden-in-plain-sight philosophy.” I told him the Sportsman’s Guide sells a handgun safe that’s disguised as a picture frame—for $30.
Jon could keep a handgun safe from sticky fingers while keeping it just above his bed for easy access. The wooden-frame box utilizes drawer-type roller bearings that smoothly reveal the handgun within.
We agreed that over time, kids find hiding spots. And, I reminded Jon that he’d need several guns when he started hunting with me again. “This gorgeous new house doesn’t need an old rickety gun cabinet from the 1920s,” I said. “You need a bona-fide gun safe, and one that won’t be out of place right here in the den.”
I told Jon that Pendleton Valuables Management makes custom gun safes that are as good looking as they are practical and impenetrable. Internally these steel, fire-resistant safes are well lit, feature innovative storage solutions for many guns and valuables, and feature reinforced bolts, hinges, and locks that would give any professional safe cracker hives. “But,” I told him, “a digital keypad lets you get to your guns quickly.”
“Sounds awesome, but what does one cost?”
“Prices vary, but much less than your car.”
Finally, I told him of the simplest, least expensive product I knew that could keep a gun safe and handy—not just at night but even while on vacation. The SafePillow is a quality, $89 pillow that has a plush, zippered pocket on one end. It’s formed to hold a handgun securely, but it’ll also keep passports, cash, jewelry or other small valuables.
Jon chuckled. “Wouldn’t it be bad to keep a gun right near your head?”
“Well, I don’t think I’d keep a round in the chamber, but with a holster that covers the trigger, I don’t see a problem. I sleep easy knowing I can get to my gun, but no one else can without waking me.”
“Do you need another beer?” Jon asked, pondering all the new information. But he already knew the answer to that question.