Tips for Storing a Gun in an Apartment

More and more Americans are choosing to purchase firearms. Gun sales rose to record numbers in 2020 and inevitably, not every first-time firearm buyer lives in a house. Having a gun in an apartment is fairly similar to having a gun in a house, but there are some unique considerations for storage and safety that you should keep in mind.

Here are some tips for having a firearm in an apartment:

Check Your Lease Agreement

The legality of keeping a gun on rented property can be complex. A few states do have laws that prohibit landlords from banning guns but most, including Arizona, don’t have any laws regarding this matter. This means that in general, landlords can choose to ban firearms from their property. Government-assisted housing is a different story and generally cannot ban gun ownership.

If your lease agreement has a clause banning guns, you should talk to a lawyer for clarification on what your options may be. Please be aware that we are not able to provide legal advice.

If guns are allowed in your apartment, be sure you are aware of any regulations for carrying your weapon in shared areas.

Make a Home Defense Plan and Store Your Gun Accordingly

A home defense plan ensures you are prepared for the worst-case scenario. Although you will hopefully never need to use this, it’s important to have one. This is true whether you live in a house or an apartment and you should consider your living situation when making your plan.

Your storage should align with your home defense plan so that your gun is easily accessible if you ever need it. This doesn’t mean your gun should be unsecured (for more on this, see our next tip), but make sure you can reach it quickly. A biometric safe can be helpful for this.

Keep Your Gun in a Safe

It can be tempting to leave your gun unsecured if you live alone, but a gun safe is a good idea for several reasons. In an apartment, it is often possible for maintenance to come into your living space in an emergency, even if they cannot contact you first. Having strangers aware that you have a gun in your apartment can put you at risk and a safe helps you avoid this situation.

Additionally, a safe is important to protect your gun in case of a robbery. Firearms are popular targets for thieves. If you live on the first floor, the risk of theft increases, so keep this in mind.

Securing Your Safe in an Apartment

Many homeowners choose larger, heavier safes that can store multiple guns and other valuables. These are so large that thieves cannot easily pick them up and move them. However, you may not be able to have such a heavy safe in your apartment if you are not on the first floor. You should check the weight restrictions to be sure. Some safes are large enough to be difficult to carry away while still fitting within weight restrictions, and this may be a good idea depending on your situation.

If you have a smaller safe, the general recommendation is to bolt it to the floor or wall. Again, the goal is to ensure thieves cannot simply take the whole safe with them. In apartments, however, there may be restrictions on drilling holes that can prevent you from doing this.

You do have a few different options depending on what works for you. Some gun owners recommend pulling up some carpet in a closet area and drilling the safe into the floor here since it is easier to fix when you move out. You may also be able to drill holes in the wall and repair them before you leave, which is usually relatively inexpensive. Be sure you have a plan before you start so you don’t cause more damage than anticipated and end up on the hook for a large bill. Finally, you may be able to secure a safe to a large piece of furniture instead of to the wall or floor.

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