Keeping your Gun Safe

Not just an ordinary object, a gun in any hand is a deadly weapon; making its safe storage of paramount importance.

A gun cabinet will provide the right amount of protection needed to prevent a gun from falling in unauthorised hands.

A simple search on the Internet will display many tragic instances in which children have Gun Safesgained access to an incorrectly stored gun, and subsequently shot either themselves or someone else.

These accidents can easily be prevented with a secure gun cabinet.

There are a number of different variations of gun cabinet currently available on the market; each will provide a significant amount of security for the weapon.

Metal gun cabinets, however, are amongst the most popular as they provide a thick shell to protect a gun from being damaged or stolen; some will also feature a combination lock – providing an even greater level of protection.

Transporting Firearms

I have previously provided a summary of the current secure storage requirement needed for general storage of firearms and ammunition in the home. Of course most gun owners will at some point need to transport their firearm to a shoot or gun club.  When transporting in a vehicle or on public transport you must exercise a duty of care to ensure the firearm, ammunition or shotgun is kept safe. By taking the following precautions you can demonstrate to the Firearms Officer that you meet this duty of care.

Shotgun Storage Safes and CabinetsKeep your shotgun in an appropriate case or cover whilst transporting it and place it out of sight, preferably in the locked boot or other secure load carrying area of the vehicle. You should never transport a loaded shotgun and the ammunition should ideally be stored separately again in a locked compartment hidden from plain sight.

Vehicles used frequently, particularly those used for transporting large numbers of firearms, should preferably be fitted with an immobiliser and /or alarm with provision for securing the shotgun to the structure of the vehicle in a purpose made security case or attached to the frame by a steel clamp.

If you leave your firearm in an unattended vehicle for any reason remove the firing mechanism or other vital part of the firearm such as the fore-end of a shotgun and keep it on your person. It is important when taking a shotgun to a location that involves an overnight stay that you ensure in advance that the premises has secure storage facilities. Leaving your firearm in the care of a hotel or friends house, even in a safe will expose them to a charge of unlawful possession unless they are also certificate holders.

The above safety recommendations apply equally to the transportation of Section 1 firearms. Section 1 firearms include rifles, any shotgun with a barrel shorter than 24″ or a semi-auto or pump-action gun and any shotgun with a detachable magazine. Air rifles which exceed the 12ft/lb power output limit are also considered ‘Section 1’ firearms. ¬†Although there is no specific security requirement for air weapons owners are advised to store them securely so that they may not be stolen or misused by another person so generally you are advised to make no real distinction between air rifles and more powerful guns for which you need a licence – they are all considered firearms.

You can transport a gun on public transport provided that it is held in a secure gun case or slip cover, is unloaded and the firing mechanism is removed and held separately so the gun cannot be fired. The firearm should remain with the certificate holder at all times other than when transporting by plane although another shotgun certificate holder may transport or borrow your shotgun without entering it onto their certificate, providing they are in possession of the gun for less than 72 hours. If they are in possession for longer the gun must be entered onto their certificate and the local firearms licensing officer informed.

Of course none of the above applies to handguns, loosely defined as any firearm with an overall length of less than 30 cm, as ownership is against the law in England other than under exceptional circumstances.