Periodically, in times of societal unease caused by media coverage of mass killings and murders that is more akin to a sustained artillery bombardment, there will be plenty of saber-rattling and pearl-clutching over the subject of civilian gun ownership.
This is often a result of pressure from anti-gun groups but the reality is that, even in the event of mass bans and confiscation, guns are widely available on the black market and will continue to be in the hands of civilians of any class.
Table of Contents
Why Have a Gun in the First Place?
The guns you have at home are oftentimes your best bet for dealing with the threat posed by a home invasion in normal times or for dealing with the rapacious marauders that always seem to follow in the wake of a societal upset stemming from some major SHTF event.
Should you give up your guns to confiscation, to some jackbooted brownshirts going door to door taking them? No way!
The target of these bans is often rifles and semi-automatic weapons because these are seen as the most deadly. A semi-automatic weapon can injure or kill many people in virtually no time.
But, a good rife with the right scope can kill many without the shooter being seen. You can find out more about the best scope for your needs by visiting gungods.net.
And neither should you let your guns be set about waiting to be pilfered by some crook that breaks in when you aren’t around in order to take the fruit of your hard labors. The solution is to stash your guns, to hide them so well that only the most meticulous or time-consuming search will turn anything up.
About 1.4 million firearms were stolen during household burglaries and other property crimes over the six-year period from 2005 through 2010, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). This number represents an estimated average of 232,400 firearms stolen each year— about 172,000 stolen during burglaries and 60,300 stolen during other property crimes.
Disclaimer: we do NOT advocate hiding guns from authorities.
Why Stash Your Guns?
Gun owners hide their guns for all kinds of reasons, not just as a last ditch resistance to a tyrannical regime bent on disarming them. Maybe you don’t own a safe, or if you do you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.
You might want to set a gun nearby in your home where you can access it quickly, but it runs almost no risk of being seen or discovered by a casual glance from a visitor.
Even if your home is the latter day equivalent to Fort Knox, you can make use of clever hiding places when you are travelling to ensure you always have a better measure of security for your guns when travelling instead of leaving your guns ripe for the picking in a nightstand drawer, in your vehicle or in the care of a dodgy hotel safe.
About 1.4 million firearms were stolen during household burglaries and other property crimes over the six-year period from 2005 through 2010, according to a report released by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
This number represents an estimated average of 232,400 firearms stolen each year— about 172,000 stolen during burglaries and 60,300 stolen during other property crimes. That alone is reason enough to brush up your home concealment skills.
No matter why you hide them, you want the same thing as anyone else: to keep your guns out of the hands of anyone you don’t authorize to have it, from a visiting niece or nephew to a government goon who has broken his oath.
Picking a good hiding spot that will do everything you want it to do takes some thought and a little ingenuity, but is always worth it.
Speaking of which, if you have kids, you have to think carefully about the likelihood of them getting to your firearms before settling on one or multiple hiding places.
You must balance the need for maximum security against explorative little hands against the desired speed of access in case of emergency. You can have maximum safety, or maximum speed, but you’ll almost never be able to have them both at the same time. Ponder that.
Picking the Right Spot
Unless your living arrangements are truly spartan, you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes time to stash your guns. Even with lots of possibilities, most of your selection process will narrow down to a desire for more speed of access, important from a defensive standpoint, and greater security, which is more important from an asset protection standpoint, be it concerns of visitors or intruders.
As a rule, the more inaccessible and well hidden the location, the slower and more involved it will be to get to the gun. There are some highly specialized and purpose made concealments that can do both but they are the exception and not the rule.
You won’t have time to start unscrewing a light fixture from the wall when shattering glass signals you have threats to deal with right now.
Conversely, a gun hidden under a cushion might as well be laying on the counter if you are worried about kids getting to it. It will; only be a matter of time and activity before it is discovered.
You must also consider environmental factors when placing your guns, especially ones being kept ready for use since they will suffer more than ones “mothballed” for long term, worry free storage.
Any area that is damp or wet, think the bathroom, under floorboards and behind walls, will mean you must engage in more frequent periodic maintenance to keep the gun from rusting.
No matter what kind of awesome hostile environment finish your gun has, it will eventually give way to the march of rust. Certain finishes are very vulnerable to moisture, so take extra care!
Another concern, though one that might sound like hogwash to anyone without a large collection, is that of keeping track of what guns are where in their hiding places. No joke!
If you are hiding guns all over the place like the Punisher’s apartment, you should have a master list (kept under lock and key) of which one is where. It would not do to completely forget about one, and more than a few bumbling preppers have moved away and forgotten a gun or two that were well hidden somewhere.
It cannot be overstated: if you live with children you must be 100% positive that the child cannot access the gun! Rather, they cannot access the gun until they are old enough to receive and internalize basic gun safety training and obey you to the letter on the guns you have in the house.
Anything less than total confidence in this matter is a recipe for disaster. I know this is an article about hiding spots, but some of the best hiding places are not match for the inquisitive explorations of children, who are notorious for describing things that we would rather them not.
Always, always, always plan on educating children in essential gun safety as soon as you can. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program is excellent in this regard.
Also keep in mind that burglars, especially professional ones, will readily rifle through all typical hiding spots in their quest for valuables. This won’t be their first time at the dance.
Given extra time and cover, they can sift through a house nearly down to the studs in a surprisingly quick fashion. Given the tendencies and thoroughness of a real professional crew of burglars, only the most obscured and out of the way hiding places will escape detection unscathed.
Before you put all your marbles on your safe to keep your stuff, well, safe, always keep in mind any safe can be defeated with enough time and effort, and even safes as large as 400 to 500 lbs are considered man-packable for a team of thieves. Any safe, no matter how massive, must be secured to the structure of the room for best results.
So without further ado, let’s see where and how to hide your guns, shall we?
The Best Hiding Places for Your Guns
#1. In a biometric safe
On the nightstand or in the closet, biometric safes allow very quick access but they come at a price; the technology is not always reliable and they can be costly. Still one of the better options for defensive storage.
#2. Inside the bowl of a trophy
Any large decorative item sitting on a shelf or hanging on the wall can contain a gun just within, out of sight.
#3. Inside an air vent or register
Place the gun as far as possible back inside the vent, and align it so it cannot be seen through the louver or grill of the register.
#4. Inside a FAKE air vent
You can purchase fake air vents that will match the ones in your home, or alternately construct one, that opens on a hinge to a compartment. Make sure you place this in a logical location to correspond to the rest of the ones in your house so it draws no suspicion.
#5. In a shoe box
Shoe boxes are clichéd places to store valuables and often raided by children and criminals alike. That being said, you can breathe new life into this old standby by putting the shoe box among other boxes used to store whatever else you are hoarding.
#6. Inside a hollowed out or fake book
Another classic, the book safe will fool most visitors but is always assumed by thieves when they see an in home library. Easy to access, but not particularly secure. Use with discretion.
#7. At your bug-out location
Out of house and out of mind. You can pre-stash firearms at your BOL using any of the other methods on this list.
A gun, well lubricated or slather in preservative grease and sealed inside heavy bags will do just fine underground id you place it inside a waterproof PVC pipe. Choose your location well, and make sure the landmarks you use for locating it are immoveable and permanent.
#9. Inside sofas and couches
You can make a great concealment from almost any sofa or loveseat by flipping it on its back and carefully detaching the covering on the bottom.
Sew or stick Velcro on the mating surfaces to close it again and install a small holder or compartment to ensure the gun will not come out till it is retrieved.
#10. Inside fake pipes
You can easily rig up fake pipes in your basement, bathroom or in your crawl space that look like they belong among all the others, but they are actually false concealments.
If you install these sometime after the actual functioning pipes, make sure you weather them so their external appearance matches them while the insides stay nice and dry and clean!
#11. Under the floor
If you are handy with tools and carpentry, you can pop up some members of a wood floor to install a compartment for holding your valuables.
This requires some skill since these are easily detected by appearance, feel and sound if not done with care and precision. And don’t even think about hiding it under a rug!
#12. Inside fake electrical switches
You can install false switch panels that swing open or pop off to reveal a drawer or compartment that will easily hold a handgun.
#13. Inside a breaker box
Similarly to above, you can install a false breaker or fuse box that is nothing more than a hidden compartment. If you are cautious and have room, you can set a handgun in the live breaker box at the bottom.
#14. Inside your nightstand
And not just in the drawer! That isn’t hidden at all. Instead, flip your nightstand over and see if there is a panel you can remove or fixture you can install to hold your gun. Alternately you might be able to create a false bottom in the drawer itself.
#15. Behind window curtains
Thick, billowing curtains can easily hold a pistol on a hook behind them out of sight.
#16. In empty boxes in the pantry or cabinets
Keep emptied cereal boxes and other large containers for stashing guns among all the other foodstuffs in your pantry or cabinets. Take care that visitors and family will not go to help themselves to the contents only to discover your gun waiting inside! Heck of a prize, that…
#17. Under stairways
You can install a hidden access point to create storage beneath most stairs.
#18. Inside a sub-woofer or large speaker
Especially if they are just sitting around. Repurpose them into discreet storage solutions. Most are easy to open up and disassemble.
#19. Beneath the sink in a bathroom vanity
One of my favorites. Take a piece of heavy wire or a coat hanger and bend it into a hook. Affix the hanger high up under the sink basin in the vanity and then hang your pistol by the hook.
#20. Inside the wall
You can make an access point in a wall and hang your pistol inside from a nail. Then cover the access point or even plaster over it to really hide it. Make sure you plug the bore with something like a foam earplug to keep dust out.
#21. Under a table
Another classic and one you should use sparingly. Affix a powerful magnet to the bottom of the table or crate a small peg that will fit inside the bore to support the gun.
#22. Inside a Broken Computer Monitor or Printer
Everyone has that one piece of computer hardware inside their house that they just cannot part with. You can repurpose the ample space of these machines to hold a gun out of the way. A little ingenuity with adhesive or Velcro will furnish a quick access panel.
#23. Inside an Old TV
Same as the entry above, but old TVs make great units for the purpose since ones that are really out of date are not worth stealing most of the time!
#24. Between the box springs of your bed and your bed’s mattress
Another old standby, and one you should use only in a pinch or with no other options. This will be one of the first places a thief looks and kids love to stick their arms between here when playing.
#25. In the laundry basket
You can hide anything beneath your dirty clothes in the hamper. Most people will be all to content to stay away from them, but helpful sorts and kids on chore duty will get around to this sooner or later. Be cautious.
#26. Trash pile
If you keep a few empty pizza boxes or other detritus near your trash can inside, you can use them to conceal a gun with no trouble.
#27. Printer’s paper tray
You can do this with a functional printer near your desk. Most modern day machines have voluminous paper trays that will easily hold a handgun. Take care that you do not damage the printer’s delicate internals doing this.
#28. On the back of the headboard
Secured with a magnet or peg, this space is very tough to see into so long as your headboard is not on the wall closest the door in the bedroom where the gun could be glimpsed by passersby.
#29. Under the treadmill
Hopefully you get plenty of use from yours, but if you don’t, these large pieces of exercise equipment furnish plenty of ways to hide a gun. Under the console, beneath the foot deck, etc.
#30. Beneath the towels
A stack of folded towels in a bathroom cabinet or closet is a great place to stash a gun for fast access. Take care that you reposition it when guests are over.
#31. Inside a Tupperware container
If you have an opaque food container, you can create a stack of them and stash one containing the gun among them.
#32. Inside an old box
Boxes for collectibles and old, natty things collecting dust in your closets or attic make great places to stash a gun.
#33. Inside a CD wallet
Holding fast to the faith of CD’s? If not, put it to use by removing several pages of holders to make room for your gun.
#34. Inside a false toe kick or piece of trim
You can easily create a stick on or pry-off piece of trim that blends perfectly with the item it is installed on and have plenty of room for several guns behind it.
#35. Inside an old boot
A nasty, smelly pair of boots is not something most people want to go anywhere near for any reason. Keep those faithful kickers in service by employing them as a plain-sight concealment if you need to hide a small gun.
#36. In one of the pockets of your old coat
If you have a coat hanging in any closet, you can deposit a lightweight handgun into a pocket without it sagging too much and attracting attention.
#37. With the Christmas decorations
This is the last place most people will look during the off season.
#38. Inside the passenger seat of a vehicle
If you are handy with upholstery, you can pull the same trick here that you did with the sofa above, pulling away some of the fabric to install a holder and Velcro to close it back up. Easy enough to access from the driver’s seat.
#39. Inside an old paint can or bucket
Ideal for keeping in a garage, tool room or shed. Take an old, nasty, dented paint bucket or can and clean out the inside thoroughly. Place your gun inside, tap on the lid and set it among the other goopy, dirty finishing detritus that always accumulates in such places.
#40. In the freezer
Using the same box or bag trick as above with the pantry, you can hide a gun within the freezer or fridge. Do take care: this location will be easily discovered by family, friends and familiar guests, and the gun itself will need plenty of regular maintenance to prevent issues.
#41. In place of the passenger airbag
For the truly dedicated, you can have the passenger airbag module removed and the panel replaced. With a little ingenuity, a second sort of glovebox can be installed, one that no one will think to check.
#42. Inside a large vase
Just like the trophy example above. Any decoration with enough internal volume makes a handy hiding spot.
#43. Inside the toilet’s cistern
Place the gun inside a waterproof bag or container and stash it in the toilet tank. You’ll need to keep regular check on this one to make sure the container is not leaking and condensation is not rusting your gun.
#44. Inside a gym or sports equipment bag
Most sporting equipment is not a high priority target for thieves. If you have an old, cruddy bag you used at your old stomping grounds, so much the better.
#45. Inside a stuffed animal
While it seems ominous and you would never, ever leave it among a child’s things, a well placed stufftie will not garner a second look. However you get the gun inside, make sure it is easy to access.
#46. Concealment Furniture
There is an exploding market of concealment furniture out there. Concealment furniture, or décor if you feel French, is purpose made decorative or other items that have specially build and rapidly accessible compartments built in for stashing a gun in a secure condition.
These clever contraptions combine the attributes of a hiding place and a secure container, and in many ways are the best of both worlds.
There is everything out there these days, from floating shelves to lamps, alarm and grandfather clocks to mantles and coffee tables. Mirrors, frames, sconces and more; there is no item in your house that cannot be had made for concealment so long as you have the coin.
The best of these will match the rest of your home’s color palette and style, and be placed in such a way that they appear as just another part of the house. Always keep in mind that anything that sticks out can draw attention, and attention is the first brick in the road to discovery…
Features do though vary wildly. They may or may not include a locking system, and will be built with varying levels of toughness. Some will only be as tough as their constituent material while others will have built in metal strongboxes.
Make the effort to investigate your prospective concealment décor to see if it meets your standards for access, ruggedness and anything else you need of it.
These nifty secret lair-grade gadgets are not without flaws, though: at best, they will hold one or two guns at a time ready to access quickly. They just won’t do for keeping a whole collection out of sight unless you have your whole house kitted out appropriately.
Also, the majority are easily breached if they are discovered or suspected, so keep that in mind. Authenticity is your best camouflage!
Even so, these make great primary or supplemental concealments for apartment dwellers and homeowners alike.
#47. Burying It
Unfortunately, moisture and guns do not generally get on well together; this is why it is important to prepare your guns properly before you store them.
This applies regardless of where you intend to store your weapons:
Unload It. It should go without saying that all ammo is to be removed from the chamber.
Strip It. You need to protect every part of your gun so it is advisable to take them apart. This will ensure every piece is properly treated and stored.
Preserve It. You will need to coat every part of your gun with rust preventative oil or grease. Be generous with your application as you want it to preserve your weapon.
The oil should dry to form a waxy coating; you will need to make sure each of the pieces is completely covered. Once you have coated the piece it is important to handle it as little as possible with the bare hand.
Reassemble It. Some people think you should store the guns stripped, but this is unnecessary f you have done a good job on the previous step.
Bag It. The piece should be placed into a sealable plastic bag. For added protection, a vacuum bag would be an excellent way to get all the air and internal moisture out. An alternative is to push all the air out physically and then seal the bag with an iron; the heat will melt the edges together and prevent the ingress of air to a degree.
Can It. Place the bag containing the preserved gun inside its storage bag into a heavy, waterproof container. PVC piping treated for water resistance that you can seal to the nines works well.
It is also a good idea to include a cleaning rod, patches, gun oil and even ammunition; this will make sure you have everything you need to get your gun working again.
Add Desiccant. Before you seal the pipe, toss in a few packs of desiccant to absorb the moisture lingering in the air within the tube.
Seal and Bury. Take great caution in sealing your pipe, then bury it at the location of your choosing. You need to have a hole approximately six feet deep; this will prevent someone from finding it accidentally or a bad storm exposing your weapon from water runoff carrying away topsoil.
The real issue with burying is how to mark the spot. You can’t share the location with anyone so you will need to know how to relocate it yourself. This might seem easy when you walk into the forest and see a clearing or fallen tree. But, the landscape will change over the years and landmarks get removed or destroyed.
The best approach is to bury it at the base or under a specific tree or large rock formation and then mark it discreetly. You’ll need to return regularly to ensure that you can easily relocate the tree.
If you don’t then you might never find your gun again even if you preserved it perfectly. You might find it a good idea to run a metal detector across the area and see whether it picks your gun up or not.
When the time comes to retrieve your gun, you must take pains to thoroughly degrease and relube the gun, paying special attention to the bore.
Hiding Your Gun Off-Site
If you have a separate property or a lodge you frequent or have waiting as a BOL it is possible to hide your gun in it using one of the methods above without needing to bury it.
However, even if you feel comfortable doing this it is important to remove a critical component, such as the firing pin, and hide it elsewhere. This will stop anyone else from using it in the event it is stolen.
As always, you should ensure your guns are well-treated with preservative if you will not be maintaining them regularly. You should also remember that these weapons cannot be heavily greased or lubed and then loaded and fired after a lengthy convalescence.
You should always strip and clean them first, situation permitting. The very oil grease that protects them from rusting can also cause a misfire if you don’t clean them off first.
Guns and House Fires
One of the main concerns gun owners rightly have when concealing their firearms is that, in the event of a fire, those firearms can potential fire on their own if they have a round in the chamber.
If the gun is not loaded or is disassembled, there’s obviously no problem. However, if the gun is loaded, whether it’s hidden in a safe or even inside a wall, it’s probably going to fire by itself because of the extreme heat generated by the flames. This is called a cook-off, and it has nothing to do with ribs or hamburgers.
Ammunition that cooks off outside of a gun’s chamber/s is not much of a threat since the propellant has no way to build up the necessary pressure to launch the bullet or shot package at the velocity needed to cause major harm. Now, a bullet that cooks off inside the gun’s chamber will behave as normal, i.e. extremely dangerously.
This means that stored, loaded guns can be a significant hazard to first responders and rubberneckers near the blaze. Try to plan accordingly to minimize “down range” hazards posed by loaded guns in a house fire and also by notifying emergency crews of their presence.
Hiding guns is nothing new, but the old tried and true methods are just an invitation to have your gun stolen or possibly used against you.
You can step up your concealment game though and come up with hiding spots around your home and property that will confound even the nosiest relative or most meticulous thief.
Use the guide above and start assessing your home for the best prospective hiding places.