The idea of having a gun safe room might sound too fancy or even unnecessary to some people, but there are still a few good reasons to have one. It not only provides a good and managed storage space for your weapons and valuables, but can also help you with home defense and other activities.
Here, we’ll talk about the types of gun safe rooms and the considerations you must keep in mind when planning for one. We will also learn about the right materials for constructing a gun safe room and will review the best ones to use. Finally, we will flip an eye over gun storage laws relevant to such construction.
Types of Gun Safe Rooms
A gun safe room can serve different purposes at once. It may be used for a display, storage, and servicing your weapons and ammo, or it might also be a sort of secure retreat inside your home in case of an attack or emergency.
A gun safe room might be a collection of glass carousels and cabinets to store the weapon inventory of a gun shop, or it might be a small room with wall panels designed for mounting weapons.
If you live in an area where burglaries and thefts are not an uncommon scenario, you must build a gun safe room in your house. Not only for storing your weapons, but also as a bunker to safeguard your family from hostiles.
Gun safe rooms are often designed in the basement of a house to remain discreet, but it's totally up to you to decide its location. Additionally, such a room can also be used as a study or small workplace for good reasons.
Gun Safe Room Considerations
Before you even start building a gun safe room, there are certain things you must keep in mind.
The very first is the amount of space you’ll need to properly store your guns. Take into consideration that you’ll not only store weapons, but you also need to have one or more gun safes, some cabinets, and maybe a bench and a chair for reloading and gun maintenance.
After all this, you need some extra space to walk around and work comfortably. If you are planning to use this room as a retreat, you might want to make it the size of a bedroom.
The next and most important factor is the door. You can install a pre-made wooden door or you may buy a good steel vault door specially designed for such gun safe rooms. It certainly depends upon the level of protection you want.
Once you are done planning your space and choosing a door, the next thing to figure out is the management of weapons. You can either install single or multiple racks on the walls to mount your weapons, or you may use pre-built panels.
If you are planning on using the gun safe room as an emergency retreat, you must get some basic amenities installed. You can have a toilet, a sink, an internet or phone line, proper ventilation/air conditioning, proper medical supplies, some canned food, a mattress, and a fire extinguisher. It is also good to have a survival kit safely stored in this room. You can use layers of sandbags, cemented bricks, or reinforced concrete in your walls to create a ballistic barrier.
If your budget isn’t very limiting, you can add as many things as you like in your gun safe room. It can be a simple room just containing your weapons, gear, and gun safes, or it can be the size of a lavish king-sized bedroom, with all the comfort and safety measures.
Planning Your Gun Safe Room
Let's take a look at some of the key steps to keep in mind when planning out your gun safe room.
Before you start building your gun safe room, draft out a good blueprint and revise it a couple of times so that nothing’s left out. Let’s start from outside and work our way into the minor details.
Once you have marked the right space and place for this room, the first thing to plan will be the wall layout. You can use either one or multiple walls of the room to mount the racks and panels. You can mount your weapons in either a horizontal or a vertical fashion, depending upon the number of weapons you have.
To do this properly, you’ll have to plan a proper wall layout based upon the dimensions of your weapons and the space they need, so everything fits in perfectly.
It is always better to get pre-built kits and racks to get the job done, as it saves a lot of time and effort. If you are just converting a room into a gun safe room, you won’t need much in the way of tools and materials. But if you are constructing a new one, you might want to hire a professional builder, especially if you lack such skills, since this structure has to be reinforced to deliver safety and security.
Obviously, by hiring a builder, you are revealing your plan to build a safe room and it will no longer be a secret if that is your intention. So use your discretion for this.
After planning the walls, you must choose the type of door you want for this room. Having a good vault-door is the best choice since it is more secure.
Before you start pulling items into the gun safe room, make sure to properly plan the position of each object. Plus, don’t forget to drill holes for the anchor points of your gun safes.
Gun Safe Room Construction
Once you have properly planned the room, the next thing to be carried out is its construction. Of course, it will cost you money if you are building an entirely new room, but there are a couple of important things you must focus upon the most; the walls and the door.
If you are building a wall from scratch for your gun safe room, then you want it to be rock-solid from the outside by using cinder blocks reinforced with rebars and joined with good portland cement. If the wall already exists, there’s no need to mess around. Otherwise, you might end up making it more obvious than discreet. The strength of your wall depends upon the level of protection and preparedness you need. If you don’t have a big budget for this, consider working only on the inside.
The inside is, by the way, the most relevant part. You can use pre-built wall panels, which should also be customizable to accommodate the firearms properly. Such pre-built kits are easy to procure and install. Plus, they help store multiple firearms properly inside a limited space. To help you with this, we have come up with a couple of useful and good quality kits available on the market.
This wall mounting kit from SecureIt presents a smart way of storing long guns. The kit has a set of plates which can be installed on a wall or inside the gun safe. These plates have a cradle grid system along with 12 cradles, which are used to hold the firearms upright.
The kit has six interlocking stock bases, each of which can support a couple of stocks. This kit holds rifles and shotguns with or without scopes. Since the cradle-grid plates are modular and the cradles are adjustable, you can easily decide the placement of this panel.
This barrel rack has been designed by Browning for their specific line of safes. So if you have one, this is a useful addition to your safe. The barrel rack can be used to extend the storage capacity of your gun safe as it adds an extra line of notches to hold six extra guns upright.
The barrel rack has been made entirely from stainless steel and is capable of holding 13 long guns at its maximum capacity. It has been exclusively designed for Browning safes, so that might be a drawback for some.
The door of your gun safe room is the first and most prominent line of security. Having a good door greatly reduces the chances of a forced or unauthorized entry. The best bet here is to buy a premade vault door and get it installed in a reinforced door frame.
Make sure that the door emplacement is strong enough to withstand the weight of the door since such doors tend to be bulky. You can also conceal this vault door by adding an extra door designed to conceal with the color and texture of the walls.
Such premade doors are manufactured by companies who understand the topic and design these doors to resist the most brutal attacks. A vault door can have an electric lock or combination lock, which is quite necessary and adds extra protection to your gun safe room.
This out-swinging vault door from Browning will convert your gun safe room into an impenetrable bunker. The door is made from the best quality steel and has 22 locking bolts which make it invincible against forceful entries. The door opens at a 90-degree angle and has an electronic lock installed which can be programmed to accept different codes by the user.
It also has a chrome line spoked wheel, which guides the movement of the locking bolts. The door is available in multiple colors and finishes, so you have a wide range of options to choose from. But please note that you require a skilled contractor to build and install this door properly.
Gun Storage Laws
Different states have different laws for gun storage. For example, the state of Massachusetts requires all firearm owners to secure the firearms with a locking device when they are not in use.
Similarly, most states have laws which make the use of gun safes mandatory for the possession of firearms. Some states and jurisdictions also limit the amount of ammo that can be stored by an individual.
You must hire a reputed and trustworthy contractor to build your safe room or install a vault door, as such building permits are prone to be leaked. You must also check that the design of your safe room doesn’t violate your insurance policies. On the contrary, having a gun safe room inside your home might also get you a waiver on the insurance premium.
Finally, check your local and state laws to comply with the dangerous storage regulations, as different states have different laws.
Having a gun safe room inside your house not only provides you with a secure storage space for firearms and valuables, but it can also act as a centralized security retreat inside your home in case of an intrusion. You can either keep your gun safe room to a minimum and as simple as possible or you can spruce it up with utilities and items for backup.
Planning a gun safe room is quite important, especially the walls, door, and the storage space. Plus, having a good vault door also eliminates the chance of a forced entry. Having said all this, you must also comply with your local laws to avoid any legal issues.