Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Should You Hide Guns and Ammo?

What I’m about to talk about is controversial. Some of you may think I am paranoid already so that’s OK. The rest of you may now side with the first group after this article.
Let me say up front that the most important thing you can do with your guns is secure them from children. Don’t risk your children or grand-children by not locking your guns. There are many ways to do this. Don’t mistake height for being secure. If your gun is high and a determined toddler wants it, they may get it.
Determine what age you feel your kids should learn gun safety, how to handle a gun safely, and how to shoot, and then take away the mystery by teaching this information.
If you don’t have children in your home you can consider these ideas for hiding a gun.
Why hide a gun? So that you can have quick access to it, and/or to keep them from those that may want to return to steal them or (and this is my personal favorite) to keep the government from taking them. I do not want this article to be about what I think has and may happen to our gun rights, but how to hide them only.
Here are 23 ideas.
1. Fake electrical switches that are two to three outlets wide can be used to create a hidden location on wall. Simply pick up plastic electrical boxes and screw them into the wall. The fake electrical switches and plate is a great way to conceal a handgun or ammunition within. Keep in mind; a small screwdriver would be required to unscrew the faceplate to gain access to your hidden cache. You could create a similar hiding place in your home’s utility area using a dummy electrical break panel door.

2. For long rifles or shotguns, you install dummy heating-air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts and place them in your attic, crawlspace or basement. Simply place the firearms and spare ammunition inside the fake ductwork and mount the ducts next to the real ones. No thief is likely to look amongst your maze of ducts to find your guns. It should be noted that if you are storing ammunition in an attic, crawl space or basement, keep in mind it is not an ideal
environment for ammunition if there are significant swings of temperature and or moisture. Extra care should be used to vacuum seal (using a simple food vacuum sealer) the ammunition. Place the vacuum packed ammunition inside a US army ammo crate with a properly sealed rubber gasket to make it airtight and impervious to humidity. Note: it is always wise to add a coat of petroleum jelly on the gasket prior to storing ammo inside ammo cans. Be careful of too much weight in your ducts.

3. Another option for a nightstand is to take advantage of deep bottom drawers. Try creating a false bottom to the drawer. Like the false bottom, have a ¼” sheet of oak or pine cut to fit inside the drawer. Apply a similar stain to blend in the new addition to that of the other drawer(s). Affix four 2-3 inch tall strips of wood surrounding the edges of the drawer. Place the wood on the strips inside the drawer, creating a false bottom inside the drawer itself. Depending upon the size

4. Depending on the layout of your home, some coat closets are conveniently located underneath stairways leading to the second story. Placing a false wall that can be removed
inside the shallow closet may be an ingenious way to leverage the free space hidden by the staircase and behind this wall. Many older homes have wasted space around fireplaces that can be used for concealment. Early American homes often had hidden Indian shelters that are once again useful in an era when you need to hide your guns.

5. One inexpensive option is to hide a small handgun in a half empty cereal box in your pantry. We don’t recommend this method if you have children living in your home. Additionally, place the handgun in a Ziploc bag to protect the weapon from corrosion.

6. Long full-length vertical mirrors that are hung on walls can also be used to conceal wall safes behind them. When considering a wall safe, seeking out the wall’s studs is a must. Use a stud-finder available at any hardware store or home center to identify the best place to install your safe and hang your picture or mirror.

7. If you have a home office, take an old photocopy machine or printer-copier-scanner combos and empty the innards. You can also do this to an older model fax machine. We recommend going to various yard sales where you can always pick up used office equipment. In some cases, you’ll have all the space you need simply by removing the ink cartridge.

8. Having a large stereo subwoofer that no longer works is a great hiding spot. Simply place it next to your television and run some speaker wires to it to complete the deception and your’e good to go.
9. Take an old boom box and gut the insides and store ammo or small firearms in it. Now that everyone uses iPods, chances are good that even a thief might ignore a boom box.

10. Consider taking empty paint cans and store them in the garage. Properly cleaning them out and letting the paint can to fully dry is a great way to and store handguns and or extra ammunition inside them. Note: if you are storing these paint cans in the garage, vacuum seal your ammunition to help combat the temperature swings in your garage. Some preppers recommend sealing up gold or silver coins and submerge them inside semi-full paint cans and hide your valuables in plain sight. Should an enterprising thief go through the trouble of opening up a paint can, chances are they will ignore those that have paint inside!
11. Because of their size, hiding assault rifles can be a challenge but all one has to do is take a love seat or couch, lay it on its back and carefully remove the cloth on the bottom that hides the framework underneath. You will be surprised to see how much room is located underneath. One can easily use a series of Velcro straps and a staple gun that can be used to affix an AR-15 or Shotgun securely out of sight. Depending upon the size of your furniture an averaged sized couch could easily hide 3-4 long rifles.

12. If you are working on a limited budget or perhaps renting a home where permanent modifications would not be an option, simply place a handgun inside the pocket of an old winter coat hidden in plain sight inside a coat closet. If nothing else, this is a good intermediate term solution until you implement another of these gun-hiding secrets, and it’s certainly safer than keeping your gun in a dresser drawer as so many do.
13. A rifle or shotgun can be placed on a hook screwed into the drywall between the window curtains and the wall above the windows. Hiding your firearm here can’t be seen from the outside and if your curtains are heavy and or lined, the weapon can’t be seen from the inside, either.
14. You can place a shotgun in a soft gun case hanging from a hook, centered on the back of your bedroom or bedroom closet door. Then drape the gun concealed in the gun case with a thick bathrobe hiding it from view. Note: this method is not recommended if you have children living in the house because of the easy access to the firearm.

15. Large trophies are a great place to conceal a small firearm or ammunition. Most trophies are hollow inside and if it is large enough it can conceal either a small pistol or ammo. This may be a great excuse to break out those large bowling trophies you have in the attic or pick up at local yard sale. Or pick one up cheap at a yard sale or flea market.
16. Old boxes in the basement, attic or hall closet and clearly marked “Christmas” and stuffed with old Christmas decorations may be a great way to hide firearms or ammunition in plain sight. Remember the location of these boxes and potential for temperature shift when storing ammunition—especially if it is stored in your attic.
17. How about behind a working vent or cold air return? Before I got a safe, I would put a cased pistol in the vent work. I placed it out of sight, so if they pulled off the vent cover, they couldn’t see it. The cold air return was next to the bed, so it was easy to get to in the night. Again this is not ideal, but it’s a good stop-gap measure until your implement another of these tactic

18. Hanging over the doorframe in a hall closet. Most closets are “shallow” so even if a burglar does rummage through, he probably won’t look straight-up over his head.
19. Hollowed out book. Purchase a thick hardback at your local Salvation army and go to town with an Exacto blade. Oldest trick in the book.
20. False flooring. If you have wood floors, make an inconspicuous cut in an inconspicuous place, perhaps near a wall or behind a piece of furniture.
21. Custom or modified cabinets/bookshelves.
22. Behind a thick picture frame. I’ve seen great hiding places made by fastening holsters to the back of the actual picture and using an extra thick frame.
23. Inside large pottery. If you have large enough decorative pottery pieces, or a small enough weapon, you can simply drop your gun inside.
These are just some ways to hide your guns and ammunition. I didn’t mention a cache buried outside. That would be another article to describe how to do that. Be looking for one soon.
Quick access, burglars, or government confiscation. All of these are good reasons to have hiding places for your guns and ammo. I’m sure with some imagination you could devise your own unique places to hide these things.
Please always remember safety in hiding ammo and guns.
Semper Paratus
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