The 10 Best Biometric Gun Safes
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in October of 2018. If you keep a firearm at home or work, safety is paramount, and you need to prevent anyone but authorized users from accessing it. But you also want to be able to get to it quickly if you need it. These biometric gun safes take care of both considerations, by being difficult to break into, whether for burglars or curious children, while opening effortlessly with a scan of your fingerprint. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 27, 2020:
Vaultek continues to be one of the most reliable names in the sector, with offerings like their Vaultek VT20i Smart Pistol and Vaultek Pro VE Full-Size being among the most secure choices out there. It is worth noting that the added smartphone functionality that the VT20i has over the VE Full-Size is outstanding, but it isn't going to be a positive for everyone. While there's no evidence that it would be susceptible to a hack, it's not impossible, and either way it creates one more part of the setup process that less tech savvy gun owners would probably prefer to avoid. The VE also has the advantage of being bigger and offering an eight-digit keypad over the VT20i's four digits. If you're trying to hide the safe, however, the larger model would pose more of a challenge.
Elsewhere on the list you'll see options large enough to house shotguns and rifles and small enough to attach to the inside of a desk for quick access in an office setting. Which one of these is right for an individual gun owner will have a lot to do with the kinds of guns they own and where they need to store them. Regardless of size, features like optional interior lighting and padded surfaces that won't scratch your firearm are paramount, as is a quiet opening, so if there's an intruder afoot they won't know you just grabbed a gun.
October 25, 2018:
Most of the top brands like Vaultek or Barska remain on the pricey side, with a few less expensive options vying for dominance beneath them. Most of the scanner chips are imperfect. They might all require an additional scan or two every hundred tries, but that's such a common theme it shouldn't hurt any model's placement on the list.
Getting A Safe For Safety's Sake
You can store the gun and its ammo in separate locations, both of which are hidden and hard for kids to reach.
Gun owners undeniably care about safety when it comes to handling their firearms. They know better than most the power that their tools offer them and the tremendous responsibility that comes with owning and wielding them. Still, statistically, there are equally undeniable dangers involved with owning a gun, many of which increase when you live with others.
There are a lot of things you can do to mitigate the danger of a firearm in the house, though, especially if there are kids living there. You can store the gun and its ammo in separate locations, both of which are hidden and hard for kids to reach. That way, even if they find one of the parts of the weapon, they won’t have enough to make it deadly. You can also get your hands on a safety lock that can be protected by a pin code or biometric scanner, and that would prevent the gun from firing without proper authorization.
The only problem is that most of the things you might be able to do to lessen the risks of someone unintended gaining access to your gun also make it so that you’ll have additional steps to take in a home invasion or other emergency situation. If you hear someone break in, for example, and they’re running up your stairs where you’re in bed, taking the time to go to your bedroom closet and retrieve your gun, then go to the hall closet for the bullets, and then enter a pin code to take off the gun’s safety lock is just too much. By then, the intruder will be right on top of you.
That’s why a biometric gun safe makes so much sense for gun owners interested in personal protection. You can store your weapon close at hand without fear that a child or criminal could easily get their hands on it.
Which Safe Is Right For You?
When shopping for a biometric gun safe, you want to make sure that you get something you can rely on, something that can protect you as readily as it protects your loved ones, ensuring that no one without the right fingerprints can get to your guns, and also that you can get to them at a moment’s notice when you need to. To that end, there are a few features worth exploring that might influence your decision when comparing models.
The former is only large enough to hold hand guns, though it may hold more than one.
For starters, you want to make sure that the safe in question not only accommodates the gun or guns you already own, but that it will be able to hold any guns you may intend to buy in the future. There are basically two classes of gun safe in this conversation: handgun safes and rifle safes. The former is only large enough to hold hand guns, though it may hold more than one. The latter is tall enough to accommodate rifles and shotguns, and often also has shelving or other additional storage space for things like ammo or smaller firearms.
Most people would prefer to keep their home protection handguns in a small safe in the bedroom, so let’s focus on those for the moment. Beyond the fit for however many guns you want to store, there is the question of additional storage for ammunition. If you own a revolver and keep it loaded, you might store the box of bullets outside the safe. If you have multiple clips ready to go in an automatic pistol, however, you might want them right there when you open it up.
The actual opening of the safe is important to consider, as well. Some safes are built with home invasion in mind, and they feature things like automatic pistons that let the safe door smoothly and silently glide open, so you can get to your weapon without letting invaders know you’re onto them. Keep an eye out for safes that make beeping sounds or require you to actually pull or even hold them open, as these activities can give away your position and cost you valuable moments.
Getting the safe to open in the first place is theoretically the same with each of these models (scan fingerprint, open sesame), but it’s important to note that there are slightly different technologies behind fingerprint scanning, some of which are purely optical, where others operate the way fingerprint ID works on smartphones and other devices — called capacitive scanning. Unfortunately, many companies are a little cagey about their specific tech, which is why it’s important to consider safes with secondary entry mechanisms. Some of those are pin codes you enter into a keypad, and others offer secondary access with specialized keys.
Safeguarding The Home Without Firing A Shot
Keeping your loved ones or personal property safe from harm and theft is certainly easier when you’ve got a gun on your side, but given the dangers the guns themselves present, there are a number of important steps you can take to help safeguard your home without having to reach for your gun in the first place. And if all else fails, you simply have to scan your finger.
Many also offer monitoring features and emergency response centers, but for a monthly fee.
A good alarm system is a great resource, and there are DIY systems on the market now that allow you to set up and monitor everything yourself. They often come with cameras, motion sensors, and stickers and signs to deter potential crooks. Many also offer monitoring features and emergency response centers, but for a monthly fee.
Of course, if you don’t want to take the time to install all of that hardware, or bother paying someone to come install it for you, you could always just get a dummy camera or some stickers that claim you have a security system, even though you don’t. You might be surprised at what an effective deterrent these kinds of things can be, and they require only a minimal investment and next to no maintenance.
There’s also nothing to say you can’t do a little bit of everything, as well. Real cameras and motion detectors in and around the home, a big dummy camera right by the front gate along with a fake security company sign, and a .38 special waiting in a tightly locked safe for someone not to take your warnings seriously.