Have You Thought
About A Shotgun?

Home-Defense Long Guns & Secure
Storage Options Abound

As temperatures rise, so does the crime rate. According to a report from the Department of Justice, each summer, home burglaries increase by around 10.5%. Household property victimization, household larceny and serious violent crimes also occur more frequently in the summer. You may recall the summer of 2020 experienced the biggest rise in murder since the start of national record-keeping in 1960, according to data gathered by the FBI for its annual report on crime.1

If you’re wondering “why summer?” the explanation is pretty simple. Most home burglaries are crimes of opportunity and when the weather is nice, people tend to spend less time at home. They may also leave their doors or windows open more frequently. Not to mention, heat can make people pretty cranky, which can lead to agitation, and for some, aggressive criminal activity.

For licensed firearm dealers, this means the summer months are prime to assist those gearing up for home defense.

Home Defense vs. Personal Defense

Many gun purchasers, particularly those newer to gun ownership, may be apt to think buying a gun for personal protection is the same thing as buying a gun for home defense. They walk in asking for a handgun, probably a 9mm, suitable for everyday carry without realizing there may be better options when it comes to protecting their property.

It’s up to you as the gun dealer to educate them about the differences and the variety of suitable options available to them.

“My impression is when shopping for a home-defense gun, most people are offered a handgun unless they specifically ask for a shotgun,” said Linda Powell, director of media relations for Mossberg.

Due to the versatility and dependability of shotguns, Powell suggests dealers ask more questions such as “Have you also thought about a shotgun?” or “Do you want a gun you can use for other things, like hunting?”

“Most people can learn to shoot a shotgun quickly and find a pump action is really easy to operate,” she added.

With over 12 million sold, the Mossberg 500 is one of the most versatile and reliable shotguns available on the market. Available in 28 models in either 12- , 20- or .410 GA, there’s a variation for every user and every application.

Mossberg also offers quite a few options with adjustable stocks, which are great for accommodating height differences between spouses.

If an adjustable stock isn’t available, Powell said she’s learned it’s a lot easier to accommodate a short stock than a longer stock. Someone who is 6’3″ will be able to adjust and shoot a shorter stock more accurately than someone who’s 5’3″ with a longer stock.

“As with all guns, when selling long guns for home defense, it’s better to sell a relationship to customers than a product.”

Shawn Poulin, owner of NOVA Armory in Arlington, Va., said shotguns are the most popular firearm among the store’s customers for home defense. Of their total shotgun sales, 60% are purchased for home defense and the other 40% for hunting/sporting. Shorter variants, like rifle-caliber pistols follow closely behind.
In his experience, due to supply chain issues, many manufacturers aren’t currently meeting full consumer demand.

“Other brands, like Turkish manufacturers, have stepped up to fill that gap,” he said. “Turkish companies making clones of popular U.S. models are around a third to half the cost.”

“For entry-level shooters, brands like TriStar are growing in popularity because they’re a great option for those discovering what type of shotgun they want without breaking the bank,” Poulin added. “There’s no reason for customers to spend more than $300–$700 for a basic shotgun.

“What we’ve learned is we can offer our customers a great, quality shotgun at a lower price point by seeking out smaller niche distributors,” he continued. “And the feedback from our customers on these products has been overwhelmingly positive.”

When it comes to guns specifically intended for home defense, both Powell and Poulin shared similar sentiments — a salesperson’s recommendations should be made based on each customer’s unique situation. What’s their level of shooting experience? Are there children in the home? Is the home single or multi-story? Are they a renter or a homeowner? All of these factors influence not only what the best gun for the person might be, but also recommended storage options and add-on accessories.

Mossberg 500 — ATI Tactical

Mossberg 500 Retrograde

Storage Options

One of the reasons those purchasing a gun for home defense commonly request a handgun versus shotgun or rifle is because of concerns over storage options.

According to the NSSF, women accounted for more than 40% of all firearm purchases over the past two years,2 and their number-one reason was for protection of their families and children. With children in the home, buyers are looking for a gun they can easily and confidently secure and many assume this means a pistol in a safe in their nightstand or closet.

In reality, there are just as many storage options for shotguns and rifles.

Mossberg has been a leader in packaging all of their guns with cable locks. Depending on individual needs, there are also other options like trigger blocks and safes.

More innovative and creative options, like products from Tactical Walls, offer safety and concealability without sacrificing accessibility.

A problem sure to resonate with many firearms owners, Founder Tim Matter needed to find a way to tore firearms safely out of sight without losing quick access to them. His answer? Taking advantage of the unused space inside the walls. This concept led to the first Tactical Walls product, the 1450M — released Jan. 2013.

The 1450 is a full-length mirror designed to be inserted in the wall of a home between studs. It comes with your choice of electronic keypad locked steel safe or keyed lock steel locker and is now available in either a hinge or sliding option.

“It’s a great option for a bedroom or even an entryway that won’t look out of place and will accommodate a shotgun or full-size rifle,” said Matter.

However, because the mirror does require you to cut a hole in the wall, they aren’t ideal for renters. Tactical Walls also offers the 1242, a full-length concealment shelf that can be hung in the main living area or any other room of a home.

“The goal with all of our products is to give users the ability to stage different products throughout the home in places you spend a lot of time,” he said. “If something suspicious is going on, you don’t want to have to break visual contact to run upstairs and grab a gun out of your safe.”

It’s important to note Tactical Walls’ products are intended to be a supplement to a gun safe, not a replacement.

“The benefit to the dealer isn’t necessarily in the initial sale itself. It’s the opportunity to sell extra accessories — lights, barrels, chokes, side saddles, ammunition, etc.”

Linda Powell, Director of Media Relations O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc.

“Everyone should own a safe designed to protect and keep firearms safe, but safes are designed to protect what is inside,” said Matter. “Our products are for families to live amongst and to keep your family safe. The tools you keep in our products aren’t family-heirloom valuables, they’re tools.”

Matter also noted unless you take the time to re-secure your safe after retrieving a firearm, you’re leaving it open. Any valuables or additional firearms then become vulnerable. With Tactical Walls’ products, you don’t have to worry about leaving your mirror or shelf open.

Tactical Walls also offers a limited selection of custom designs like barn doors, clocks, tissue boxes and American flags which, like the mirrors and wall shelves, serve as functional pieces of home decor that can blend seamlessly with the rest of the home.

For those with large collections and safe rooms, Tactical Walls’ ModWalls are designed to hold a large volume of firearms versus one to three firearms like their other products.

“A customer spends hard-earned dollars on building a collection of firearms with variety, not unlike those who collect wine, watches or art,” reasoned Matter. “Someone can buy two to three panels and display their collection and easily add on as it grows.”

ModWalls also give off a James Bond or John Wick feeling many firearm owners are looking for while still keeping tools accessible.

All of Tactical Walls’ products are made in Virginia and sold directly to consumers, as well as through a smaller dealer network.

“Our ModWalls display well in retail environments where customers can see them and touch them in order to make a more informed purchasing decision,” Matter noted.

Tactical Walls ModWall

Future Opportunities

As with all guns, when selling long guns for home defense, it’s better to sell a relationship to customers than a product.

“The benefit to the dealer isn’t necessarily in the initial sale itself,” advised Powell. “It’s the opportunity to sell extra accessories — lights, barrels, chokes, side saddles, ammunition, etc.”

“Sometimes for faster target acquisition we recommend a holographic sight, but it’s not really necessary,” added Poulin. “A tactical flashlight is more beneficial in the home.”

Taking the time to ask questions and understand the customer’s mindset and home setup before making tailored recommendations is the best way to gain not only a new customer, but a repeat customer.

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