Safety and Training

Hiding Guns in Plain Sight

jewerly case repurposed as gun storage

Daniel McNamara and his wife returned to their Detroit home last month around 6 p.m. As the McNamara’s entered their home, two men approached them from behind and ordered them inside the home at gunpoint. The suspects told the McNamara’s to turn around so they wouldn’t remember their faces while they stole jewelry, cash, cell phones, and other valuables.

jewerly case repurposed as gun storage
This particular jewelry box fits a Glock 34, four loaded magazines, a loaded Armscor model M200 revolver, extra ammunition and other accessories.
By Jason Hanson The intruders ordered the couple down into the basement and repeatedly told the couple not to look at them or they would shoot them in the face. While downstairs, one of the criminals walked back toward the stairs at which point Daniel grabbed a handgun he had hidden in the basement. Daniel fired two shots hitting one of the suspects as they both fled the house to a waiting car.

Obviously, Daniel probably saved himself and his wife by having a hidden gun in his basement, because you never know what horrific actions two men with guns in your house are capable of.

This is why I’m a firm believer in having a gun in every room of your house. You never know when someone will break in and you may be cleaning up the kitchen after dinner when you need to stop an intruder or you may be in the basement watching TV. To ensure you’re not caught off guard wherever in the house you are, where can you safely hide a gun? When thinking about places to hide guns in your home there are three critical things to consider. You must make sure the guns are secure from children, easy for you to access, and out of sight. What I mean is, you don’t want to keep your shotgun hanging above your mantel for a criminal to walk in and steal.

Within the last few years, there has been an increase in the popularity of hidden places within furniture to hide guns. Clearly, the biggest advantage of hiding guns inside furniture is that it’s discreet, easy to access, and all of us have it. The fact is, when you hide weapons inside furniture you avoid having to fidget with heavy metal doors and big bulky locks that are on many traditional gun safes.

Picture shows a man swiping his finger on a biometric safe.
A green light will appear above the fingerprint scanner, indicating the safe is ready to read your fingerprints.
I recently spoke with a client who went to access his guns from his large standard safe and the battery for the keypad was dead. Luckily for him this was not an emergency situation but this is one of the many drawbacks to storing all your guns in a large standard safe.

As I just mentioned, with the rapid increase of gun sales in the last few years there has also been a surge in furniture manufactures that produce pieces for storing weapons. One popular company that is producing this type of furniture is called Stealth Furniture. They’re a relatively new company and they sell mostly small furniture such as coffee tables, entry tables, and dressers. All of these pieces can store long guns or pistols and easily open on the end so you can retrieve your firearm.

Another popular company for gun storage in furniture is called Secret Compartment Furniture. By far, this company has the widest selection of furniture and color options. They sell everything from small end tables to large bed sets that have hidden storage areas. One of the pieces they sell is a bed that has a hidden compartment at the top of the headboard. This gives you plenty of room to hide a long gun or any valuables.

Another company you may want to check out is called New Jersey Concealment Furniture. The great thing about this company is they’ll make your piece custom and allow you to pick out all the options you would like such as color and the locking mechanism. They make mostly furniture but do have some smaller options such as a wooden coat rack with a hidden compartment. The top portion of the coat rack opens up and you can store a pistol. All three of these companies offer different options so I would check them out and see if a large piece or small piece better fits your needs.

Now, as James Bondish as some of these furniture items appear they do have a few drawbacks. The biggest misconception is that people think they can hide their guns and not worry about kids finding them. Trust me, if there is a way to open a hidden door on furniture or a button to push, my kids could find it. So please remember, you still need to make sure the locks are always secure and children can’t access the guns.

Second, you need to remember that furniture is not fireproof. So, if you have an antique gun that was passed down generations, you want to consider keeping it in a fireproof safe. Most homeowners insurance policies to do not cover firearms, or if it does cover your firearms, it may be only up to a certain amount such as $2,000.

However you choose to store your firearms, you need to remember that it is our responsibility as gun owners to store them safely. So, the next time your spouse says they want to go furniture shopping, you can share a picture of the beautiful table you found for your entry way.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free credit card knife from Jason, visit www.SpyEscape.com

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (30)

  1. America has changed and certainly not for the better. The cause, I believe, has been the erosion of personal and family values, the blurring of the the lines between right and wrong and a government which fosters political correctness and a society where you don’t need to work to feed yourself. I have watched those receiving the government “dole” pay for their groceries with EBT i.e. food stamps, buy booze with cash and then drive home in their new cars. The court system is broken, the government needs strong leaders who are capable of becoming our heros rather than the distain of the world. This country is headed for socialism/communism and no one, just like the president, will name the enemy.

  2. BAD IDEA: too many ways for a gun to be stolen or be found by a child. Ever thought of carrying at home? You are always ready and your gun is under your control.

  3. usafoldsarge,

    Well I hope you didn’t waste all those good years. Had you, I’m in too with 8 years in the Navy and 10 on the Oakland Police Dept. And a very many, some friends, are in with much more sacrifice.

    On topic:

    I think a concealed carry gun is probably of more use than a hidden gun. Though any is better than none and if a hidden gun works for you (and you wouldn’t *always* carry in any case, then do what works.

    If a bad guy has “the drop” on you, it likely takes less inattention or screw up on his part that would allow you to bring your weapon to bear than it would for you to avail yourself of a hidden gun. The pertinent rule is, “Don’t draw on a drawn gun” so the bad guy’s inattention is critical.

    You might plan ahead as to what you might do to gain that distraction or inattention; drop a wallet, feign a heart attack, a coughing spasm, whatever. Or. depending on how the bad guy/s deport themselves, simply watch carefully, waiting for that moment.

    Off topic:

    I agree we may have crested that apogee of American Greatness and are headed down the dark side. If things get a lot worse, those who prepared will be in a more tenable position.

  4. We have no little kids running around anymore, so I don’t worry about keeping guns locked up. We keep the alarm set on chime,so if a door or window open we are alerted. I just keep a gun handy no matter what room i am in. Most of the time I am carrying, but as I write this, my .45 is within arms reach. I spend a lot time in my office and do keep another .45 on or near my computer. I am comfortable with this arrangement being a senior citizen and all.

  5. I prefer to always keep a pistol on my body. I don’t have to retrieve anything and after you carry full time for a while you get used to the added weight and don’t notice it.

  6. @ Dave , I was having trouble with my bio safe also. My son told me to make sure my finger was moist and it works every time. If you have not tried it, lick your finger and see if it works. Hope this helps.

  7. When the SHTF and that EMP goes off you will with all those digital locks and bio metrics were mechanical. One on the hip is always the best bet.

  8. It’s 9pm and as I sit reading this, I have a pistol in my pocket and 3 of my grandkids (4 & under) running around. No chance of them getting hold of it and it’s always at arms length. For me, I find this a more logical solution than hiding a gun in EVERY room. Hiding one in the living room next to my chair wouldn’t a bad idea since that’s where we spend the majority of our time.

    1. I am having a hard time trying to figure out which is more useless, an empty cylinder/magazine-with or without a trigger lock- OR a small arsenal in a gun safe that requires time to get to, time open, and perhaps time to load any one of those weapons. The America of today, bears no resemblance to the America that the military died to preserve in 1945 with the end of WW2. I was 11 years old and could recite the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, give a decent rendition of of the Bill of Rights. Most teachers and professors today are probably lucky to be able to find them. I was born and raised in SW NY State, at 14 I owned a shotgun and as long as I had a licensed hunter (16 or older) we could carry and use the gun. We use to carry them into school, take them to the principle’s office, along ammo. When we came to pick them up after school, he always said, be safe, AND I like rabbit, squirrel and grouse……..I leave with asking- “Did I waste 25 plus years of my life in the USAF???????

    2. Sadly, America, today, is not the America for which I went to Vietnam. Nor is it the America for which thousands of young and not-so-young men laid down their lives for. Somewhere in the ensuing years, it has become little more than another 3rd world country. Growing up in the 50’s, we never locked our doors, even when we were away from the house, never thinking or worrying that someone would break in. Now, as I sit here, writing this, my door is locked, my NAA .22 revolver is on my belt and my .45 cal., 1911 is within arms reach. Never mind, stashing guns allover my apartment, I want my handy. Why? Because in this unrecognizable America, people break in your door, knowing full-well that someone is home and not caring. Because more often than not, they will kill you to keep you from bearing witness against them. But, I say, ‘Let them come.’ I have a very nasty surprise waiting for them when they kick in my door.

  9. I have several different safes, key, electronic & dial. One I bought to put on the wall next to the TV in the room where we spend most of our time and it’s not too noticeable it one where when the biometric lock is activated it opens with a gun in hand drop down.
    It says you can have multiple “administrators” so I programmed in both my wife and myself as administrators, before as operators. I don’t know if I misunderstood or not but it never worked every time and eventually quite altogether. I erased the administrator/operator readings and started from scratch with just me as administrator and both my wife and I as operators and now it works 100% each & every time.
    As with most things, often the biggest problem is with the instructions, either who wrote them or understanding and interpreting them.
    I was ready to take it back and now I’m completely happy with its reliability. It of course has a key backup.

  10. When I was a cop in Oakland, CA, we had a couple of serial rapist/robbers who would pick out a couple w/ appealing woman, follow them home and enter the garage behind them. Then they’d tie the man up , make him lie on his stomach and stack dishes from the kitchen on his back . . . then rob the place and have their way with the woman.

    This was in the 70’s, and there were worse, a lot more animalistic than this particular team. Evil, nasty bad guys are nothing new here. Most often the more gruesome details are not related to the public, especially when their is a racial minority element to the crime.

    No, we’ve been losing our morality and family values for years. The evil has just sifted it’s way to the top.

  11. What is really concerning is this: WTF has happened to this country? If things keep up, we will be some version of the middle east, my god. Moral Decay of society about sums it up my fellow americans. Think about it. . . .what is going on in this once great land?

    1. We have anti-Constitutionalists in the highest offices in government, anti-Constitutionalists teaching in our schools, anti-Constitutionalists in media, and the population is being indoctrinated against the Constitution. What else can one expect to happen?

    2. Friend if you don’t know what’s wrong, you are part of the problem. Only Jesus Christ offers escape from this cesspool by belief in Him alone. Without Him you will suffer at the hands of these deviants and JOIN them in hell.

    3. No matter you beliefs or not, this is probably not a good spot from proselytizing. You might save that for a more appropriate time and place?

  12. I live in a ‘smallish’ apartment, so I just carry my small, NA .22 cal. revolver in my pocket. People have asked why I carry a gun at home. I reply; ‘Why not?’ Then I usually remind them of the number of home invasions in recent years. Too, my .45 ACP, 1911 lays on my coffee table, I usually answer my door with it in my back pocket. Wanna-be home invaders/intruders will find themselves facing one of these. Hide out guns are okay for larger homes, though. One in every rooms, makes a great deal of sense.

  13. I carry a gun at home, except when in the shower – then it’s on the counter and the perimeter alarm system is on. We live up against the eastern flank of the Sierra, so bears and other critters are almost as much a concern as the two legged variety.

    When I was a cop in Oakland, CA, I’d always warn burglary victims to be aware and use their rear view mirror to make sure nobody was following them home. It’s also important to watch your mirrors as you drive into the garage and leave the doors locked until you close the door behind you – this, if you live in a high crime area for sure.

  14. I’ve never understood this concept. It seems so inferior to the most basic advice one can give, which is to carry your gun all the time. My firearm is always on my person unless I’m in the shower or asleep, and even then it’s less than arm’s length away from me. There is zero risk of a child encountering it and an accident occurring, unlike the aforementioned scenarios in the article. If the intruders wouldn’t have led the couple to the basement, the homeowner would have been fuct. If he had his firearm on him, he could have ended the assault before it even progressed into the house. And it’s far easier to clean up criminal blood from the garage floor than it is from that kitchen tile, right?

    1. never say never. But I do agree, less chance of someone picking it up when it’s on your hip.

  15. Hiding a gun in a jewelry box seems foolish to me. First, how readily accessible would it be. Where do you keep your jewelry box. Second, if someone breaks in to rob you, don’t you think they would check a jewelry box.

    Keeping a gun in every room is ok, I guess. I prefer to keep a pistol on me at all times. If I do feel the need or desire to take it of my belt, it is always within reach.

  16. I’m glad no harm befell the McNamara’s in this situation, but why was neither of them carrying a firearm in the first place? It’s much quicker to draw a firearm that’s already on your person compared to retrieving one from a hidden furniture compartment or rapid access safe.

    1. Adam: Do you think it’s possible to be disarmed? Will you, with a firearm several feet away pointed at your head or your child’s head, go for the pistol you have concealed? They’ll likely see it immediately if it’s not concealed. Now what?

      A hidden firearm (or two) done thoughtfully makes sense to me. Anyone who thinks nobody could EVER get the drop on them in or around their own house is naive.

    2. I think I’d rather have the firearm on my person than count on the good fortune of having intruders lead me to a weapon concealed in another room.

    3. Yes, one can be disarmed or taken by surprise. One can also be shot immediately, or be held in a room that doesn’t happen to have a hidden firearm stored there.

      Which is simpler from a setup and safety standpoint – a loaded pistol hidden in every room of the home, or a loaded pistol concealed on ones’s person? Which is faster to bring into service in the space of a brief distraction?

      That is the point I was making.

  17. Mine is ALWAYS on my hip, so no worries about children finding it. My kids are grown, and have been exposed to and taught to respect any firearms they may come across. But it might be nice to have one hidden in the bathroom per say, as I just haven’t tried showering with my Glock yet. Hummmm….sounds fun though!

  18. I won’t waste another dime, nor trust my families lives, to another one of those damned finger print gun safes as shown in the picture. Even the expensive ones seem to fail more than they work. The last one I bought comes with a foolish looking “Captain America’ style wrist band which will open the safe, but who wants to walk around with that goofy looking thing on their wrist. I have recorded each fingerprint dozens of times, but the useless contraption still fails to work. Can’t recommend them to anyone.

    1. Saw that one in ‘The Great Outdoors’ with Dan Akroid & John Candy. Lamp/shotgun, used to bust the Grizzly in the butt. Wasn’t much ‘Hiding In Plain Sight,’ though, looked like a shotgun with a lampshade covering the muzzle.

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