Is stashing a gun a good idea?

It would probably be fair to say that I have a bit of an obsession with the security of my family. Perhaps it is born from the fear that someone who is sick and twisted could come after my family. It could also be that we live in a rural area and if I were a burglar, I would look for houses like mine to rob. Either way, I don’t feel comfortable being ignorant like so many people seem to be ok with. Admittedly, the chances of one of these things happening to myself or one of my family members is relatively low but I can’t help but think that it is when I am least aware that something could happen. So what can be done about this?

The term situational awareness is something that is commonplace in the preparedness community. Situational awareness, or SA for short, means to remain aware of one’s surroundings while also being oriented to the time and location, understanding the implications of these elements, and comprehending any changes that occur in the environment and what these changes mean. True situational awareness also allows for projecting potential courses of action as events unfold and developing responses to these courses of action simultaneously. Remaining situationally aware of one’s circumstances is likely the most important thing that can be done to maintain personal security.

Due to the fact that we typically feel most at ease in our home, it remains important to be capable of reacting quickly to a threat around the home. Enter the idea of having a gun stashed for easy and quick access. There are potential arguments for and against this practice so the decision to do so is dependent on everyone’s particular circumstances. For me, I have three boys that are always into everything so it is not wise to have loose firearms around the house. My solution to this is to have a gun in a biometric safe that can be accessed quicker than a regular gun safe. Were it not for my children, I would definitely have some guns stashed in the house.

The decision to keep a gun stashed around the house certainly can be driven by factors like children in the home but also should be dependent upon an individual security assessment of where you live, your ability to employ the gun effectively if the need arises, having a good place to stash it, and the likelihood that your own weapon could be turned against you during a confrontation.

There are a number of potential hiding spots in a residence where a firearm can be hidden. If your intent is to hide a firearm in your residence, I would recommend that it be a handgun of some type so that it is easily concealed and not cumbersome to employ if the need were to arise. Some potential hiding places for a gun in the home include:

  1. Inside a cereal box in the pantry.
  2. Under a false bottom in a drawer (nightstand, bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
  3. Inside a fake electrical outlet. There are a number of different sized boxes that can be installed to provide room for a firearm, extra magazines, ammunition, etc.
  4. In a wall clock safe.
  5. Inside a cut out book.
  6. An old scanner can have the internals removed and a gun placed inside. Lifting the lid on the scanner reveals access to the gun.
  7. Hanging from a hook by the trigger guard under a sink.
  8. Underneath a piece of furniture. Many chairs and couches have a great deal of space underneath where a gun can be concealed.
  9. There are a number of concealment shelves on the market that can even hide an AR style rifle in addition to a handgun.
  10. In general, a gun could be hidden in a trash bag or inside a clothes hamper covered in dirty clothes without much concern.
  11. Behind a picture or blanket hanging on the wall. Some picture canvases have a great deal of space behind them. You can always create your own picture on a canvas to have a wall hanging with the needed space behind it.
  12. If you have a storm door, a gun in a holster can be mounted behind the actual door within inches of the doorknob. If you invite the person inside, the door can be left open concealing the gun against the wall while the storm door remains closed.
  13. Hidden in a stack of towels in the bathroom or linen in the linen closet.
  14. Between window curtains and the wall.
  15. Sealed in a freezer bag in the freezer, under some other items of course.
  16. Inside of a shoe box under the bed or in the closet.
  17. Break the bottom portion of a plastic hanger and run it through the trigger guard of a pistol, covering it with a button up shirt.
  18. There are several pieces of furniture on the market that are designed to conceal several firearms like coffee tables or curio cabinets.
  19. Inside of a couch bunker or bed bunker.
  20. Behind the toe kick, underneath your kitchen cabinets.
  21. Inside of a floor vent or air return.
  22. If you have a large piece of pottery on display, a gun can be concealed inside.
  23. There are headboards made to conceal firearms.
  24. A strong magnet can be mounted to the underside of a desk or behind a piece of furniture that will securely hold a pistol in place.
  25. A pair of large work boots in a closet can be an ideal place to keep a gun out of sight.
  26. An old CD storage wallet has plenty of room for a small firearm.
  27. Inside of a jacket pocket in the coat closet.
  28. In the side pocket of a gym bag on the closet floor.
  29. Hang a small pistol bag from a wall hook in the closet and cover it with a bathrobe.
  30. If you are handy around the house, a wood or tile floor presents an opportunity to create a hidden storage compartment underneath a piece of furniture or in the corner of a room.

*Safety Note: For any concealment option that involves hanging a gun by the trigger guard, serious consideration should be given to storing these firearms without a round in the chamber.

If access control is a concern, many of these locations can be used in concert with a small biometric gun safe.

On top of the security implications of having a gun stashed away, there are those who have concerns over the government coming to confiscate firearms if certain conditions were met or events were to occur. The differences in stashing guns between these two sets of circumstances may be minimal, at best. If the intent is to hide guns from the government, there might be more serious consideration for hiding a gun in the walls or even burying one in the ground outside. This will of course be driven by individual concerns and should be addressed accordingly. If the government were to come looking for guns, many think that partial compliance is a good idea where some guns would be willingly surrendered and those that are stashed remain hidden. This is a viable option that should be considered.

— Thomas Miller

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