Do You Need a Gun Cabinet? What You Should Know

Thinking about purchasing a gun in the UK? How are you going to store it? All About Safes explain the necessity of a secure gun safe.

Hunting and shooting is a popular pastime in Britain.

We are not known as a country of gun owners, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a proud shooting heritage — one that many want to preserve. Just by looking at the statistics, we know the hobby is as beloved as it ever has been:

  • 600,000 people take part in hunting or shooting activities annually
  • The firearms industry boosts the UK economy by £2 billion each year
  • There are around 1.8 million gun owners in Britain

Unlike other countries, however, most notably our cousins across the pond in the United States, gun ownership in the UK is highly regulated and controlled. A license to own a gun is not given out easily, and in order to acquire a firearm, a series of rules must be met.

Laws on Owning Guns in the UK

The first step in owning a gun in the UK is completing an application. This requires you to submit lengthy documentation to the government, including information as to your reasons behind ownership and your current living status — as well as other details like proof of ID, mental health history and criminal records. Police will review this document and make assessments based on your likelihood to receive a firearm.

If your application is approved and you receive certification, you’ll then be asked to demonstrate that you intend to secure your weapon in a safe location. This means that you are required by law to own a gun cabinet or safe — or at the very least, a gun clamp (although these are not recommended).

Laws on Gun Storage in the UK

When your application is accepted, you will be given documentation that specifies how your gun must be kept. In order to gain your license, police will attend your property to inspect your storage facilities and ensure they are up to the standards dictated as part of your gun ownership deal.

If you fail to meet the required standards, you will not receive permission to buy or own a gun.

Successful and secure storage that is acceptable by police standards requires a few things:

  • It must have adequate security features — Strong metal casing (no woodwork), modern locking mechanisms and access control. Display cases and wardrobes, even locked ones, are not considered secure.
  • It must be properly secured — This means it needs to be secured to your property, either by bolts or joints to the floor/walls. Police must be certain it cannot be removed from your home in the event of attempted theft.
  • It must not be accessible to anyone without a license — This means only you can access the safe, no family members or friends (unless they also have certification). A good way to improve your chances of demonstrating this is to purchase biometric gun safes, which use fingerprint access. This ensures access is limited to yourself.
  • It must not be kept in an obvious place — Out of sight, out of mind. Police want to see your gun cabinet held in a location that isn’t obviously on display, and in a place that is itself secure. This means putting it somewhere that isn’t a regularly visited area of the home, such as a locked garage or attic.

The British government has its own set of guidelines to help ensure you buy an adequate gun cabinet for your firearm. One that boosts the chance of licence approval. These guidelines are:

  • It should be made from sheet steel at least 2 mm thick.
  • All seams should be continuously welded, or the cabinet body formed by bend construction.
  • All hinges should be on the inside of the cabinet, but if they are external or exposed, then hinge bolts, blocks or anti-lever bars should be provided.
  • Lock mechanisms should be on the inside of the cabinet.
  • The lock should contain at least 5 levers to BS 3621 standard or equivalent. Alternatively, good quality hardened padlocks and staples should be fitted to the cabinet.
  • Full-length side hinged cabinets should have two locks at points one third and two-thirds the height of the cabinet.
  • The cabinet may contain, or have attached, a separate lockable container to store ammunition.

As that last point highlights, you will need to an ammunitions safe as well. Gun ammunition cannot be kept in the same place as the firearm itself. Follow the same guidelines as above for your ammunitions safe or cabinet and you’ll be able to secure your gun ownership license.

What Kind of Gun Safe Do You Need?

The type of gun safe you’ll need is dependant on a number of variables. These include:

  • How many guns you’ll own
  • What type of gun you’ll own
  • Where you live and the crime rates
  • How many people have access to your property

You’ll notice that this list is essentially a series of risk factors that escalate the more complicated they become.

For example, a person living alone in a low-crime rate area in the middle of the countryside, who only wants to buy simple hunting rifle will find their needs are entirely different to an individual who lives in London, in a high-crime rate area, who has a family of four while hoping to purchase a series of high-calibre shotguns.

Consider your risk factors and your unique needs. This will allow you to identify your storage requirements. The higher the risk, the more you’ll need to invest in a gun safe in order to secure your certification and licensing.

How to Find the Best Gun Cabinet

All About Safes has a variety of secure gun safes for sale. Our range of handpicked products is perfect for anyone that is:

  • Seeking to buy a gun
  • Improving the security of their currently owned firearms
  • Looking to expand upon their existing collection.

All you need to do is browse our selection of gun safes and pick the option that suits your needs. We have cabinets and safes to fit all requirements, from large units built to house a range of firearms to single and compact cabinets designed for a single gun. You’ll also find fire resistant safes and a variety of security features available, from aforementioned biometric fingerprint scanning to codes and combination locks.

All our gun safes are 100% police approved.

Have questions about which gun safe is right for you? Contact our expert safe engineers today for unbiased advice and guidance! When you order with All About Safes, we’ll also send those engineers out for bespoke installation, ensuring your gun safe is fitted to standards deemed acceptable by local gun authorities.

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