Tag Archives: gun safes


6 Rules you should follow when buying a gun safe.

We are often asked many questions by customers who are interested in buying a gun safe. Below is a list of some of the most important rules to follow when you are in the market for a new safe.

  1. GET A SAFE WITH A THICK FRAME – 80-90% of the time when gun safes are attacked it’s by

    Thick Gun Safe Frame

    prying. Most thieves don’t bring cutting torches or harden drill bits to drill open your safe. They simply pry the door open and rip you off. Having a thick frame in front of your bolts will stop 99% of pry attacks. Most box store gun safes use thin frames, usually 1/8″, which is pretty easy to pry into. This is one of the reasons we suggest buying from gun safe manufacturer who offers thick 1/2″ – 3/4″ pry resistant frames, even if you have to pay a few more bucks for it.

  2. BUY A SAFE BIGGER THANK YOU THINK YOU NEED – Almost every gun safe buyer wishes he could go back in time before his purchase and buy the next size bigger. This is mainly because you buy more guns or ammo or your wife wants a few shelves for her jewelry and other collectables. So trust us, buy a safe at least 8″ wider than you think you need. You and your gun collection will be happy you did.
  3. CONSIDER A DIGITAL LOCK – Standard spin dial locks take 45 seconds to open. They have four number combos. You have to spin the dial four x to the left, 3 x to the right, 2 x to the left, then right till the dial stops. And if you’re off a number, you have to do it over again. Digital locks can be opened in 2 seconds. But make sure you buy an American made digital lock with a lifetime warranty. They are constructed better and can be repaired free if something malfunctions.
  4. BUY A GUN SAFE WITH A STEP DOOR – You probably hate when you go to a gun safe store

    Safe with Step Door

    and the door rattles when you push it back and forth. This is the way many gun safes are made. The problem with these loose fitting doors during a fire is heat rushes in the space between the door and frame, which heats up your gun safe fast. Step doors seal four times better and fit much tighter. They’re better all the way around.

  5. THICKER STEEL – Gun safes with 12 gauge steel and thinner can sometimes be penetrated with fire axes and saws easier than thicker steel. And thin steel actually flexes or bends when crooks attempt to pry gun safe doors open. Thick steel will not flex and allow the frame to contort, which could lead to pry-ins. Buying a 10 gauge steel body only costs about $200 more. It’s well worth it.
  6. BE CAUTIOUS OF MIDDLEMEN SELLING GUN SAFES ONLINE – They mark up prices for profits. When you buy from a manufacturer, they can use that extra money to build a better quality gun safe for you.In short, buy your gun safe straight from a manufacturer. It isn’t always the cheapest, but they do build the best gun safes. If you want a gun safe on sale, call a factory-direct gun safe company and ask a salesmen for gun safes on sale. They’ll usually cut you a deal! Good luck gun safe shopping.

Have more questions about buying a gun safe? Call us to talk with a gun safe expert: 800-266-7150

Visit us on the Web at: www.sportsmansteelsafes.com

Coffee, Burritos, and a side of Ammunition? Restaurants Take a Stance on Gun Control

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is stated in the American constitution, however the meaning is often timed debated. Sure, the right to bear arms means that Americans have the right to own a gun, but should they have the right to carry that gun? And if so, should there be any limits as to where the gun can be carried such as in restaurants? This seems to be a huge issue that moms are demanding answers to and restaurant chains including Chipotle and Starbucks are left to make a huge decision: should they honor the right to bear arms in their restaurants?

Gun Purse

By now you’ve probably heard about the recent gun scandal regarding Chipotle. In the middle of May, a Texas Chipotle was blasted for allowing a group of men to do an “open carry” demonstration while armed with military rifles to openly meet inside of the restaurant. A photograph of the occurrence quickly made its way onto Facebook and became a viral sensation. Moms were outraged and garnered support from former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Together, Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action created a campaign demanding that Chipotle forbid guns and rifles from being carried into their restaurants. Chipotle responded just a few days later announcing that they would ban guns from being inside their restaurants unless being carried by law enforcement officials in an effort to make their customers feel more comfortable and safe.

Chipotle’s not the only restaurant to take action against guns either. Back in September Starbucks requested that their customers no longer bring guns inside their store. However, as noted in CEO Howard Schultz’s open letter, Starbucks was not outright banning guns from their restaurants. There reason? They wanted gun owners to have the ability to responsibly carry their guns and they thought this would help ensure the safety of their employees.

Chipotle and Starbucks are both recent examples of restaurants doing their best to make their customers happy and to keep their restaurants safe from firearms. While they both have a bit of a different stance on the issue of gun control, safety is still their number one priority. Rather than having customers openly carry a gun into their restaurant, Chipotle and Starbucks would both prefer to hear that their customers have chosen to keep their guns at home, locked away in secured gun safes.


If You Own Guns, You Should Know CAP Laws

Child access prevention (CAP) laws “impose criminal liability on adults who give children unsupervised access to firearms.” These laws are meant to protect children from unsafe home environments by providing incentive and reminders for parents to engage in safe firearm storage practices. Researchers have found shocking data that reveals that millions of children live in homes with easily accessible guns:

  • Approximately one in every three handguns is kept loaded and unlocked.
  • A 2006 study showed that 73% of children under the age 10 who were living in homes with guns knew their exact location.
  • Worse, 36% of these children claimed to have actually handled the guns.
  • The study also showed that 39% of parents who reported that their children didn’t know the location of their gun safes or weapons and 22% who reported that their kids never held any of their firearms were completely contradicted by their children’s testimony to researchers.

These numbers support the creation of CAP laws, and show how disturbingly accessible home firearms can be.

Research has also linked the accessibility of firearms in one’s home to both juvenile suicide and the possibility of violent outbursts. In July 2004, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education published a study examining 37 school shootings from 1974-2000, which determined that in more than 65% of the cases, the attacker got the gun from his or her own home or that of a relative. Thankfully, research has also showed how effective CAP laws can be. One study found that in 12 states where CAP laws had been in effect for at least one year, unintentional firearm deaths fell by 23% among children under 15 years of age from 1990-1994.

Learn CAP laws by state

A recent article proposes that having CAP laws placed on a federal level could cause a significant drop in the rate of child fatalities across the country. By requiring that parents store their firearms properly in gun safes or by possibly having background checks and waiting periods before purchases can be fulfilled, the incidences of careless people obtaining weapons would decrease. This would, in turn, impact the number of accidental deaths in minors and save many lives, something that most parents can certainly applaud.

While 28 states and D.C. have adopted CAP laws, there are currently still no child access prevention laws at the federal level. In fact, federal law doesn’t specifically require gun owners to safely store their firearms. Federal law does, however, make it “unlawful for any licensed importer, manufacturer or dealer to sell or transfer any handgun unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device.”  The law also “immunizes the lawful owner of a handgun who uses a secure gun storage or safety device from certain civil actions based on the criminal or unlawful misuse of the handgun by a third party.”

No matter what your position, everyone can agree that keeping your children safe should be a priority. So why wait for federal CAP laws to be enacted? With Sportsman Steel Safes, you can ensure that your children never have to become a statistic.

Tips for Purchasing Guns from a Private Seller

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we focus on gun safes and other gun safety issues, but our gun knowledge doesn’t begin and end with safety. We know what first-time gun buyers have on their minds when they’re thinking about purchasing a firearm. Along with the issues of safety, gun type, and ammo type, people spend most of their time considering where they’re going to purchase their gun. We will always advocate going to a licensed and public gun seller. If you do, you won’t have to worry about whether or not the transaction is legal – you’re sure to get a good firearm, and you’ll have a chance of a refund in case anything goes wrong.


We know that, for a variety of reasons, some people will chose to find a gun through a private seller. Again, we always recommend using more traditional means for getting a gun, but if you want to buy from a private seller, make sure to follow these tips:

Check ALL local, state, and federal requirements for private firearm sales

We cannot stress this enough: if you’re going to use a private seller, make sure you know about the laws in your county, town, and state, along with the federal laws governing the sale of firearms. Usually, most places require a simple notification of a change in ownership, but since guns are such a hot-button topic now, new laws and restrictions are being adopted every day.

Make sure the gun has a serial number

By now, nearly every handgun and long gun should come with a manufacturer’s serial number. The purpose of these numbers has nothing to do with manufacturing, and everything to do with the law. Serial numbers are recorded when a gun is first purchased from a dealer so that the police and government can track who owns the gun. Make sure that any weapon you purchase has a valid serial number, and never buy any kind of handgun or long gun that has a scratched off number or missing one. The absence or distortion of a number can be a sign of a stolen weapon.

Always test it out

This may seem like a no brainer, but not testing the weapons has become more of an issue lately, as more people use the Internet to buy guns. Some private sellers may try to con customers by selling them a gun that looks nice, but doesn’t work. Buying a gun that doesn’t work isn’t just a waste of time; it’s almost always a waste of money, if you buy it from a private seller. If you find out that your gun is a dud after you purchase it, you shouldn’t expect a refund. Always ask to test it out before hand, or to physically see the seller test it out.

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we advocate gun safety – and that extends to the purchasing process. If you must buy a gun from a private seller, use due caution. Better yet, avoid the risk and buy from a legitimate seller. And of course, no matter what gun you choose, make sure that you have an adequate gun safe to house it. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

Wood Gun Cabinets Can Be Deadly

The Waikato Police in New Zealand disclosed earlier in the month that 8 firearms were stolen from a resident’s wood gun cabinet. Police have asked gun owners to consider upgrading their wooden gun cabinets and rifle display cases to steel gun safes bolted in place; stressing that it’s not only about protecting your investments but also about keeping the community safe.

image: burglar stealing guns

This crime probably could have been avoided. Since this wood gun cabinet probably had a glass front (such as a rifle display cabinet), it showed the crooks exactly were the guns were. So breaking into the unit was not only easy to achieve, but quick to locate. These types of gun display cabinets might be nice to look at, but they are not safe.

As the police have cautioned and as we always say, having sub-standard firearms security in your home is a tragedy waiting to happen! What’s worse is, if these guns are used in a crime, if you live in the wrong state, you might just be liable. Yikes!

The solution is easy. Buy a steel gun safe. One with a DOJ compliancy.

Not only does Sportsman Steel gun safes have a DOJ rating, but none of our gun safes have ever had a door drilled open in 35 years. If you’re concerned about fire protection, Sportsman Steel offers a commercial grade 2″ Step System door with a heavy-duty 3/4″ pry resistant frame.

Don’t become a victim of having your firearms stolen. Protect your guns with a steel gun safe from Sportsman Steel Safes. Call 800-266-7150. 

4 Tips for Responsible Gun Owners

Gun owners have a lot of things on their minds. Current gun laws, ammo prices, and other topics are important, but there’s something that every gun owner is concerned about: proper gun usage. Responsible gun ownership is important for a variety of reasons. Using and storing your firearms keeps you and your loved ones safe, and your responsible behavior also sets a good example for people who have negative views on firearms. If you own a gun, make sure you follow these important rules.

Always point in a safe direction

This is quite possibly the most important rule gun owners can follow. Whenever you have a gun, make sure that your gun is always pointed in a safe direction. A good rule of thumb is to never allow your gun to be pointed at anything you don’t intend to shoot. Even if you know that your safety is on, and even if your gun isn’t loaded, you should always have your gun pointed away from people. Treat every gun like it’s loaded. In these situations, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want to make a mistake the one day you accidentally forget the usual routine.

Don’t rely on the safety 


Your gun is designed to be as safe as possible, but even manufacturers with an excellent safety record could make mistakes. A gun’s safety setting isn’t an infallible tool; it’s a mechanical device that can jam, or fail like any other. To be perfectly honest, your “safety” is more likely to fail from human error than some kind of mechanical malfunction. You may mistakenly think that you put the safety on when you forgot, or the safety may have been somehow disengaged without you knowing it.

Know what is beyond your target

Despite what most people see in movies, some bullets don’t stop once they hit their target. It’s possible for them to travel through your targeted object and into something behind it. It’s also possible that you may miss your shot, and that the bullet could ricochet into something in the immediate area. You should never fire your gun unless you’re sure that you have a clear shot. Don’t fire when you hear a sound, or see motion or color. Always wait for visual confirmation before you pull your trigger.

Store the guns and ammo properly

Only have your firearm loaded when you’re ready to use it. Never let a loaded gun out of your sight or your hands, and make sure that you’re always in control of your gun when you have it. Also, it’s important that you keep your guns and ammo someplace safe. Some people think that gun safes are only for firearms, but there are plenty of safes with ample space for both your guns and your ammo.

3 Tips for Teaching Your Children About Guns

According to a gun ownership survey done by Gallup Inc. and Gun Owners of America, 36% of people they surveyed own a gun. Gun ownership is an important issue to a lot of Americans, and despite the political differences that people have over it, there is something that people on every side of the issue can agree on: the importance of gun safety and education.

Learning about safety and proper usage is important for every gun owner, but especially gun owners that have children. Since gun ownership has become such a debated issue, it is never too early to talk to your children about the subject. Some parents never quite know how to bring up these topics to their children. Finding the right approach depends on your own feelings and the kind of relationship you want your children to have with guns. What you tell your children is obviously up to you, but here is some universal advice that should help your discussion to go smoothly.

De-mystify guns in your home

Guns can be very fascinating to children, and keeping them locked away only adds to the mystery and piques their curiosity. No one is saying that you should leave your guns out in the open, but you should try to take away some of that forbidden allure that can get some curious kids in trouble. Let them know why you keep guns in your home, whether it’s for hunting, protection, or other personal reasons. If you go to a shooting range or like to go hunting, take your kid along one day to show them what you use your gun for. They’ll get used to seeing them, and they’ll understand why you personally choose to keep them.

image: teach gun safety to children

Make a distinction between real gun use and play/fake gun use

When we’re talking about play guns, we aren’t talking about the plastic revolvers and super soakers your kids are playing with. Kids see guns in televisions shows, Youtube videos, and movies, and it’s safe to say that in almost every situation they aren’t portrayed realistically. Wildly shooting in the air or into a crowd to get “bad guys,” holding guns sideways to look cool, waving around guns menacingly with a finger on the trigger to prove a point — all of this exaggerated behavior may look great on screen but, in real life, any of those actions could end up hurting someone.

Lead by example

The old saying that “actions speak louder than words” is very true when it comes to teaching your children. If you want your child to have a healthy relationship with firearms, lead by example. Show them that you always unload your gun when you get home, and that you make sure to put it in your gun safe so that it’s secure at all times and you know where it is. Your kids will eventually see how to responsibly use firearms and, when they’re old enough, they’ll be prepared to handle their gun of choice because they grew up with such an excellent example of proper gun usage and ownership.

Do you have any other suggestions for teaching kids about gun safety? Let us know!

Gun Buying Tips For Beginners

After taking time to think about the pros and cons of firearm and gun ownership, you’ve decided to purchase one of your own.  A poll conducted by the Gun Owners of America and Gallup Inc. showed that in 2011 36% of the people they surveyed owned some sort of gun or firearm, and soon you’ll join that special percentage of citizens that choose to own a firearm.  There are a lot of different kind of firearms you could, and if you’re new to the world of firearms and self defense, finding a gun of your own can seem a little overwhelming.  Guns have been getting a bad reputation lately, but you don’t have to be a gun aficionado or  into gun politics to be able to pick a good gun to defend yourself.   If you follow these simple gun buying tips, you’ll be able to find the gun that you need to meet your needs.

image: gun buying tips

Think and research

Some guns may look similar, but that doesn’t mean that they’re anything alike in terms of handling, ammo, shot range, and other important factors.  Before you start look at different gun manufacturers, think about what your ideal gun would be like.  Do you want something small you’ll easily be able to conceal, or are you comfortable handling something that is a bit larger?  Can you handle something that will have a bit of a hard kick when you fire it, or do you need something that will be gentle?  Once you figure out what you’re looking for, it’s time to go online.  The NRA has been publishing the American Rifleman for decades, and the web version of their publication has a lot of information for first time gun buyers.  When you’re deciding don’t worry about taking too much time to think about what you’re looking for.  A gun is a major purchase, and it’s something that can be costly to replace.  If you rush and pick the first thing that catches your attention you could end up disappointed, so take all of the time you need to make your decision.

Think about ammo

It’s easy to spend most of your time thinking about the kind of gun you want to own, but the bullets that you’ll be using with the gun are equally important.  Ammo can vary from brand to brand as much as different guns can, so once you think you have an idea of the kind of gun you’ll want start to do research on the recommended type of ammo for it.  Some ammo can be very inexpensive and easy to find, other kinds can be costly and may only be sold by a certain company.

Only find a legitimate gun seller

If you do a search for handgun buyers online, you’ll no doubt come up with countless nearby sellers who promise the cheapest and most “discreet” services.  Don’t let a good deal cloud your judgment, you should only work with licensed firearms sellers.  That isn’t just to make sure that you get a quality weapon, it’s to make sure that you don’t get in trouble with the law.

Take a gun safety course

We know, we know, you know plenty of people that own guns and they’ve never taken a proper safety or shooting course before in their lives.  Gun safety is far too important of an issue to ignore, and responsible gun owners do whatever they can to make sure that they’re safe.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a safety and shooting course, your local gun club may offer discount classes or completely free classes.

Buy a gun safe

Also make sure that you have what you need to safely store your gun at home.  Look for the safest gun safe money can buy, and make sure that you know how to properly store ammo.

Need help determining which is the best gun safe for you? Give us a call: 800-266-7150.

20/20 Special Discusses the Importance of Gun Safes

In one of our previous blogs, we wrote about gun safety programs for children across the United States. These programs are becoming more and more popular, as statistics show that 40% of households in America contain guns and, further, 30% of those guns are loaded and not secured.


ABC News must have had the same thing on their minds because on January 31st, they aired a 20/20 special called “Young Guns.” The special was hosted by Diane Sawyer and David Muir, and covered the hot topic of kids and gun safety across the United States. A large emphasis was placed on the importance of keeping guns in safes and how some families who hide their guns don’t think that they’re necessary. The special also talks to families who believe that teaching their children how to properly shoot a gun is a big part of gun safety. Here are a couple of the main topics that the special covered.



Are Your Children Safe at a Friend’s House?


Diane Sawyer visited a neighborhood in New Jersey and talked to families about their feelings on gun safety in the home. Specifically, she asked them about guns in the homes of their children’s friends. Sawyer questioned parents about whether they ever asked if there were unlocked guns in these homes. Every parent that Sawyer talked to said that they had never even thought to ask. Parents normally talk to other parents about things like their children’s food and animal allergies, but not about guns in the home. According to ABC News, roughly 85% of accidental child shootings between 2003 and 2006 were committed by another child. With statistics like that, perhaps we should start talking to each other about how our firearms are stored when having our children’s friends over.


Hiding the Guns Doesn’t Work


One of the most shocking parts of the special was when the news team visited the homes of parents who didn’t have gun safes and who simply hid their weapons. All of the parents that 20/20 visited said that their children didn’t know where they kept their guns. The children surprised their parents by leading them straight to the hiding places. Sawyer and Muir gave a quick update after the show and gladly reported that the parents who hid their guns had since gone out and purchased safes to store their firearms.


It may be no one’s right to tell someone how to educate their children about gun safety; however, after watching the special and hearing the stories of the two families that lost a child because of unsecured firearms, it is clear that storing guns correctly is crucial. Parents can protect everyone by investing in a gun safe for their firearms to keep them out of the hands of their unsupervised children.



Special Gun Rights For Those Who Own Safes

With Congress attempting to take away gun owner’s rights, one of our customers made a great suggestion. While doing research, he concluded many accidental gun deaths and high school shootings were due to gun owners not locking up their weapons. You know the story… troubled kid gets a hold of his step dad’s pistol and a nightmare ensues. So our customer thought, “I’ll do my part and buy a gun safe.”

So we started thinking… why don’t gun safe owners have more gun rights than citizens who don’t lock up their weapons? It makes perfect sense! If no one has access to your weapons, the likelihood of an accident is greatly reduced. It’s the responsible thing to do. Weapons are dangerous in the hands of people without experience using them.

What do you think—do you think that gun safe owners should have more gun rights than citizens who do not? Let us know in the comments below!

Special Forces Gun Safe by Sportsman Steel Safes

Also, if you have some time take a look at these New York Times articles that touch on many gun law issues we thought were interesting.