Which safe to choose to protect my firearms?

Safes 22/12/2022

If you own one or more firearms, you should first be aware of your legal obligation to store them in a safe or a security cabinet, in order to protect them against theft and accidental access or use. Still what type of safe should you choose to store your handguns and/or rifles? Detailed answers are provided in this article.

Why use a safe to store firearms?

When you have firearms in your home – be they handguns or larger weapons -, it is obviously essential to keep them out of the reach of children to avoid the risk of domestic accidents. Keeping your weapons safe also helps to protect you from fraudulent or accidental use by a third party, whether a burglar or a relative. This is why it is essential to select your safe carefully.

This must be burglar-proof and have an effective locking system.

What does the law say about storing firearms?

French regulations on the storage of firearms vary according to the type of weapon category, i.e. class.

Class A weapons

These include a number of lethal firearms (“Catégorie A1”) as well as war material (“Catégorie A2”) which private individuals are strictly forbidden to possess or acquire—with only a few exceptions for a sporting or professional activity).

Class B weapons

These include weapons used for sport shooting as well as weapons used for occupational hazards.

To acquire and hold this type of weapon, it is necessary to obtain a special permit from the local prefecture.

Class C weapons

These include other types of firearms intended for sport shooting and hunting. To purchase or hold such weapons, it is compulsory to create an SIA (“Système d’information sur les armes”) account. It is also compulsory to register a formal declaration with the broker or dealer having sold it to you.

Class D weapons

These are daggers, knives, truncheons, tear gas canisters, historical collection weapons, weapons designed for firing blank ammunition, etc. Class D weapons are freely available to adults and can be held under certain conditions. It is not mandatory to store these weapons in a safe.

Which lock to choose?

To effectively protect your handguns and/or rifles, it is advisable to opt for a double security locking system. For maximum protection, a mechanical lock with a 3-dial combination is strongly recommended.

In any case, it is necessary to opt for a lock that ensures excellent resistance to break-in attempts, not only to secure your weapons against theft, but also to protect children—who should never have access to any type of weapon.

Which type of safe to choose?

A gun cabinet or safe is the best place to store your weapons, whether handguns or rifles. However, another place to store ammunition should also be provided. Ammunition can be stored either in a compartment inside a cabinet or in a separate metal box or safe.

To know which type of equipment to choose to store your weapons, you need to take into account the following 3 parameters: the type of weapons to store, the number of weapons to store and the length of the longest weapon.

Some models of security cabinets can hold up to 14 guns. There are also cabinets that have internal compartments for storing ammunition. This solution offers a higher level of security since the cabinet door must first be opened before the ammunition compartment itself can be accessed.

Determine the required type and thickness of steel

Your gun safe or cabinet should be of superior resistance. You must therefore opt for equipment offering certified burglary resistance. In this regard, A2P certification is a clear indication of the quality and suitability of the product.