The Best Gun Safes of 2022

Protect your guns and your family with a quick-access gun safe that’ll deter unauthorized access and allow you to get to your gun quickly in an emergency.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Dec 5, 2021 9:32 PM

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The Best Gun Safes Options

Photo: Amazon.com

Storing guns in a reliable safe keeps them from getting into the wrong hands and reduces the risk of theft. In some states and communities, safe storage (including locking guns in a safe), fitted trigger locks, or securing guns by a cable might even be required by law.

Before choosing a gun safe, gun owners should contact their local law enforcement authority to determine whether they need to purchase a particular type of safe. Here are several types of gun safes that allow users to secure their firearms while keeping them easily accessible in case of an emergency.

  1. BEST OVERALL: SentrySafe QAP2BLX Biometric Gun Safe
  2. BEST BUDGET: RPNB Mounted Firearm Safety Device
  3. BEST FOR LONG GUNS: SnapSafe Under Bed Safe Gun Storage and Security
  4. BEST WITH TAMPER ALERT: Verifi Smart Safe Biometric Gun Safe
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Amazon Basics Home Keypad Safe
  6. BEST BLUETOOTH-ENABLED: VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth Smart Safe
  7. BEST PORTABLE: SnapSafe Keyed Lock Box
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Moutec Biometric Gun Safe for Quick Access
Best Gun Safe

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gun Safe

In addition to meeting potential legal requirements, a gun safe should be large enough to hold weapons, additional clips, and cartridges. It should be secure yet quickly accessible in the case of an emergency. Gun safes come with a wide array of features, varying quality, and different security levels. With that in mind, here are a few factors to consider while shopping.

Size/Capacity

Gun safes range in size from small portable handgun safes designed to hold a single compact handgun or derringer to large, heavy floor-style safes built to hold multiple long guns, handguns, and a surplus of related items.

When shopping for a gun safe, pay attention to both the exterior dimensions and the interior dimensions. The exterior dimensions identify whether the safe will fit in a predetermined space, such as in a cubby in a closet, while the interior dimensions (which may be a few inches smaller) determine whether the safe is large enough to hold long guns or small firearms.

Lock Type

Gun safe manufacturers usually construct these products ith four main types of locks, biometric, electronic, combination, and keyed. The benefits and drawbacks of each are listed below.

  • Biometric: A biometric lock allows the owner to program one or more individual fingerprints into the lock’s memory. When the user places his or her finger on the biometric screen, the safe recognizes the print and opens the lock. Biometric locks ensure security as each person’s individual fingerprint is unique. If the finger (or the biometric pad) is dirty, however, the lock may not open. Biometric locks rely on batteries; if the batteries die, they’ll need replacing before the lock will function.
  • Electronic: An electronic lock requires the user to enter a three- to eight-number combination via a digital keypad to open it. Electronic locks are secure, and users can reprogram the key codes if desired. Similar to biometric locks, electronic locks also run on batteries. If the batteries die, the user must replace them before using the keypad.
  • Combination: The simplest lock design is the combination lock—think back to school lockers. A combination lock requires users to enter a three- to five-digit code by rotating a dial back and forth or by aligning the numbers on a vertical-type combination lock to open the safe.
  • Keyed: Very few gun safes open only with a key. More often, keys are used as a backup if the user forgets the code or combination. If backup keys are not available, the owner may need to call a locksmith to open the safe.

Fire Rating

A fireproof gun safe can withstand intense heat for a specific amount of time before the heat enters the safe. This type of safe is often built with thicker steel walls and may come with special seals that expand when the temperature soars to seal the safe’s door and keep fire out. If the safe offers fire protection, it will come with a one- or two-hour fire rating, meaning the contents inside are safe from fire damage for one or two hours, respectively.

Security Level

In general, the heavier the gauge of steel (8- to 12-gauge is best), the higher the fire rating and the more secure the locking system. The following classifications offer a general guideline for measuring the level of security offered by a gun safe.

This is relevant not only to ensure the desired degree of protection but also to guarantee the guns are covered against loss by the homeowner’s insurance policy. However, individual policies may vary, so contact your insurance agent to determine what security level is necessary for the agency to cover your firearm investment.

  • UL: This stands for an “Underwriters Laboratories” rating and is used in conjunction with one or more of the following ratings.
  • TL: Indicating “tool resistance,” this rating is followed by a number, such as TL-15 or TL-30, indicating the safe will withstand attempts to pry it open with a pry bar or other tools for 15 or 30 minutes. It will usually follow the UL designation (i.e., UL TL-15), indicating the 15-minute tool-resistant rating was determined by Underwriters Laboratories.
  • TR: This designation specifies the safe is resistant to unlawful entry using a torch, and it can be combined with the TL designation, such as UL TRTL-30, meaning the safe will resist forced entry by torch or prying tools for up to 30 minutes.
  • X6: If X6 appears in the designation, it indicates security testing was performed on all six surfaces of the safe: the front, all four sides, the top, and the bottom. A rating such as UL TRTL-15-X60 indicates the safe will resist forced entry by torch or prying tools on all six sides for up to 15 minutes.
  • RSC: A gun safe that bears an RSC (Residential Security Container) rating may deter some thieves, but this is the lowest security rating level. An insurance policy may not cover the financial loss if the safe has an RSC rating but not a TL rating. An RSC rating indicates the safe will deter prying for up to five minutes, making RSC gun safes the least secure.

Protection Mechanisms

In addition to heavy-gauge steel, a good lock, and fire protection, some gun safes offer additional protection, such as mounting holes that allow the user to bolt the safe to wall studs with a stud finder, floor joists, or concrete. Some of the newer safes may also offer tamper alerts that sound an alarm if an unauthorized attempt is made to open the safe, and others will track and log every event when someone tries to enter the safe.

Portability

Most gun safes can be wall mounted or affixed to the floor, but for gun owners who need to transport their firearms, portable gun safes are also available. They may come with steel security cables that attach to a nonmovable part of the automobile—usually in the trunk—to reduce the risk of theft.

Small, nonattachable handgun safes are also available for stowing handguns under a car seat or in a desk drawer. These safes will keep kids out, but they won’t stop a determined thief from carting off the entire safe and its contents.

Our Top Picks

The following gun safes will deter curious children and keep others from getting their hands on your weapons. Sizes vary, but most of the best gun safes come with the ability to mount to the wall, floor, or underside of a counter. Each option listed below allows the owner easy access via a code, fingerprint, or key.

Best Overall

The Best Gun Safe Option: SentrySafe QAP2BLX Biometric Gun Safe
Photo: amazon.com

The SentrySafe gun safe is ideal for storing under your bed or in your nightstand. This safe features biometric and passcode entry with a 12-gauge solid steel construction, gas strut, and pry-resistant door. The biometric security is also capable of holding up to 10 fingerprints. As a backup plan, this safe comes with an override key.

In dark situations, this biometric safe is equipped with an interior light for easy visibility. The safe is powered by four AA batteries (not included). But note that the batteries must be new as older or rechargeable batteries may not be effective. This compact handgun safe features an exterior measurement of 16.4 inches by 9.8 inches by 3.2 inches, which is just enough space for 2 handguns and a couple of magazines. The interior dimensions are 14 inches by 6.5 inches by 2.2 inches.

Product Specs

  • Material: 12-gauge steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric or electronic lock
  • Gun Capacity: 2 handguns

Pros

  • Includes gas strut and pry-resistant door
  • Biometric security holds 10 fingerprints
  • Comes with override key
  • Built-in interior light

Cons

  • Expensive compared to similar models
  • Batteries not included
  • Requires up-to-date batteries only

Get the SentrySafe biometric gun safe on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Budget

The Best Gun Safe Options: RPNB Mounted Firearm Safety Device
Photo: amazon.com

Designed to be mounted under a counter, desk, or dashboard, the RPNB Mounted Firearm Safety Device keeps your handgun out of unauthorized hands but within reach for quick access. Its compact interior holds a single pistol or handgun, and it can open with a programmed fingerprint, passcode, or with backup keys (included).

The exterior measures 13.47 inches by 7.43 inches by 3.07 inches—small enough to easily conceal from inquisitive eyes. Made with a solid steel construction and designed to resist prying, the RPNB safe features a foam-lined interior and comes with a low-battery alert to let you know when its four AA batteries (not included) need replacing.

Product Specs

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, electronic, or keyed lock
  • Gun Capacity: 1 handgun

Pros

  • Easy to mount on multiple surfaces
  • Compact, concealable design
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Foam-lined interior

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Only holds 1 firearm

Get the RPNB safety device on Amazon or at Sears.

Best for Long Guns

The Best Gun Safe Option: SnapSafe Under Bed Safe Gun Storage and Security
Photo: amazon.com

Stow your guns safely under a bed or sofa with the SnapSafe Under Bed Gun Storage safe. The safe holds one or two long guns and many handguns, magazines, and other accessories. Made from heavy-duty steel, the SnapSafe comes with predrilled holes for mounting to a floor, and it features an interior drawer that slides out for easy access.

The heavy-duty safe opens with a programmable key code and comes with backup keys, just in case. In addition to the predrilled mounting holes, the safe can be attached with a 3-foot steel cable (included) to a stationary object so users can secure it in the trunk of a car for safely transporting firearms. Exterior measurements are 40 inches by 6 inches by 22 inches, and four AA batteries (not included) are necessary to operate the keypad.

Product Specs

  • Material: Heavy-duty steel
  • Lock Type: Key code
  • Gun Capacity: 4 handguns, 2 long guns

Pros

  • Easy access; slide-out drawer
  • Predrilled mounting holes
  • Backup keys
  • 3-foot steel cable included

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Heavyweight; may be hard to transport

Get the SnapSafe gun safe on Amazon, Lowe’s, and Sears.

Best with Tamper Alert

The Best Gun Safe Option: Verifi Smart Safe Biometric Gun Safe
Photo: amazon.com

With the Verifi Smart Safe Biometric Gun Safe, you’ll have a time-stamped record of every attempt at opening the safe. The biometric fingerprint sensor is FBI certified and operates on four AA batteries (included). The digital sensor alerts you when the batteries run low. Only a registered administrator can view the safe’s diagnostics.

Users can configure this safe to emit an alarm if a nonregistered fingerprint touches the biometric screen or if someone uses the backup keys to open the safe. An LED night-light illuminates the interior to retrieve a handgun in the dark, and users can register up to 40 fingerprints in the biometric lock if desired.

The solid steel construction outside measures 14.4 inches by 10.8 inches by 5.8 inches, and it offers interior dimensions of 14 inches by 10.5 inches by 3.3 inches, providing enough room to store two or three of your best handguns and accessories safely. Mounting holes are on the bottom and back of the safe.

Product Specs

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric lock
  • Gun Capacity: 2-3 handguns and accessories

Pros

  • Timestamp for every attempted entry
  • FBI-certified biometric security
  • LED night-light for visibility
  • Batteries included

Cons

  • Large construction; may not be easy to conceal
  • Expensive price point

Get the Verifi gun safe on Amazon.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Gun Safe Option: Amazon Basics Home Keypad Safe
Photo: amazon.com

With its heavy-duty, 8-gauge carbon steel door, the Amazon Basics Safe will secure up to 4-5 of your best handguns and other valuables, and it comes with predrilled holes for bolting it to a wall or floor.

The heavy-duty safe features an electronic keypad for quick entry, and it comes with a set of two backup keys in case the code is ever forgotten. The door features two solid steel bolts, and the body of the safe features 14-gauge steel construction. The door is designed to offer a measure of pry resistance as well.

This Amazon Basics safe features exterior measurements of 13.8 by 13 by 19.7 Inches. The interior compartment measures 13.6 inches by 10.6 inches by 16.4 inches, and it comes with two internal shelves for holding handguns, cartridges, and other valuables.

Product Specs

  • Material: 8-gauge and 14-gauge steel
  • Lock Type: Electronic lock
  • Gun Capacity: 4-5 handguns

Pros

  • Ample interior space
  • 1 felt-lined shelf for other valuables
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Some users have reported that this model is temperamental
  • Not fireproof

Get the Amazon Basics keypad safe on Amazon.

Best Bluetooth-Enabled

The Best Gun Safe Option: VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth Smart Safe
Photo: amazon.com

With the Bluetooth-capable VAULTEK Handgun Smart Safe, users can monitor the safe’s status, including remaining battery charge, audio alert features, a log of entry events, and whether someone has tampered with the safe, all from a smartphone or other digital device. The VAULTEK biometric safe comes with a downloadable app that syncs to the safe and can be used within 20 feet of the safe.

This portable gun safe comes with exterior dimensions of 11.5 inches by 9 inches by 2.63 inches and interior dimensions that measure 11 inches by 5.75 inches by 2 inches, just enough to hold a compact handgun and perhaps a small clip or additional cartridges. Firearm owners can monitor and open the safe via a smartphone or enter a code or use a recognized fingerprint with its biometric scanner. The safe features anti-pry protection and a rugged 16-gauge steel body for added theft protection.

Product Specs

  • Material: 16-gauge carbon steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric or electronic lock
  • Gun Capacity: 1 handgun

Pros

  • Multiple monitoring features included
  • Anti-pry protection
  • Biometric scanner
  • Comes with downloadable app
  • Compact and portable construction

Cons

  • Some users have reported difficulty with the biometric scanner
  • Not compatible with Smart Key
  • Expensive price point

Get the VAULTEK smart safe on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Portable

The Best Gun Safe Option: SnapSafe Keyed Lock Box
Photo: amazon.com

The SnapSafe Keyed portable gun safe is small enough to comfortably slip into a backpack, under a car seat, or into a desk drawer. Like most portable handgun safes, it comes with a steel cable capable of withstanding 1500 pounds that users can attach to a stationary object to deter thieves. The safe features an 16-gauge steel construction that weighs just 5 pounds and provides a tough, secure case.

The SnapSafe meets TSA and CA DOJ guidelines, and it comes with a keyed lock (2 keys included). Exterior dimensions are 9.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 1.75 inches, a size that is capable of holding 2 handguns. The padded interior is also delicate on other valuables like watches, fine jewelry, or paperwork.

Product Specs

  • Material: 16-gauge steel
  • Lock Type: Keyed lock
  • Gun Capacity: 2 handguns

Pros

  • Small, lightweight design
  • Sturdy steel cable; resists 1500 pounds of pressure
  • TSA and CA DOJ-compliant
  • Padded interior

Cons

  • Some users have reported limited durability in the lock

Get the SnapSafe portable safe on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Also Consider

The Best Gun Safe Option: Moutec Biometric Gun Safe for Quick Access
Photo: amazon.com

Keep your handgun safely away from curious hands but ready to retrieve quickly with the Moutec Biometric Gun Safe for pistols. It’s designed with a pry-resistant door to prevent break-ins and features an interior large enough to hold two handguns (11.8 inches by 7.5 inches by 2.4 inches) or a single pistol and a few magazines or ammo boxes.

Exterior dimensions are 13.4 inches by 11 inches by 3.3 inches, so the safe is small enough for storing on a closet shelf or in a large desk drawer. Users can program the safe to read their fingerprint for secure and quick access, or they can open it by entering a passcode on its easy-to-see backlit keypad.

The Moutec Biometric Gun Safe comes with backup keys for manually unlocking the safe. The exterior is powder-coated to resist corrosion, and the keypad and biometric lock operate on four AA batteries (not included).

Product Specs

  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, ket, and keypad
  • Gun Capacity: 2 handguns

Pros

  • Silent mode
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Compact construction
  • Backup keys

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Some users have reported manufacturing defects

Get the Moutec Biometric safe on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With so many gun safe sizes and types, it can be hard for gun owners to know which one can hold firearms safely. One of the best handgun safes is the SentrySafe with its 12-gauge steel construction, biometric and electronic locks, and pry-resistant door. For those looking to store larger weapons, the Moutec is capable of holding 4-5 long guns plus 2 handguns with the built-in lockbox. This biometric safe boasts 5 steel locking bolts and a tamper-resistant, pry-proof door for extra peace of mind.

How We Chose the Best Gun Safes

For gun safety and gun owners’ peace of mind, the right gun safe can protect your firearms from the reach of children while offering easy access in case of an emergency. Selections for the best gun safe depended upon materials, size, lock type, security features, and other special features included.

The carbon steel and solid steel constructions of these heavy-duty safes are able to withstand damage and tampering with added pry-prevention capability. For handguns or long guns like rifles and shotguns, there are also multiple size options available with select models also including small shelves or lockboxes for ammunition or accessories.

Many of the above options are made with biometric or password-protected locks for peace of mind and security, some of which are compliant with the FBI, TSA, OR CA DOJ. For added security features, some of these models are integrated with locking bolts, interior lights, foam-lined interiors or shelf liners, or even mounting hardware.

FAQs

Many states and communities have strict gun storage laws, and buyers must consider these when choosing a gun safe. Also, for those who are new to the world of gun safes, some questions are to be expected.

Q: Is a gun safe airtight?

Gun safes with fire ratings are airtight for a specific length of time, usually one or two hours, but after that, intense heat could cause the seals to fail and put the contents of the safe at risk. If a safe does not come with a fire rating, it’s likely not airtight.

Q: Where can I hide my safe?

Out of sight is also out of mind. Concealing a safe that is small can be done in a nightstand, desk, or under the best. Larger safes are designed for installation in walls and under beds will be out of view.

Q: How do you hide a safe in plain sight?

The larger the gun safe, the more challenging it is to hide. If no concealed spots are available, stow it in a place where thieves are unlikely to look, such as in a cluttered area like a garage, where it’s less likely to be noticed.

Q: How long will an electronic lock’s battery last?

Expect a safe’s batteries to last six months to one year, depending on how often the safe is opened.