Storage Products For Firearms
By Ashley McGee
All firearms dealers (and staff members) should prioritize educating gun owners on their responsibilities after every firearms purchase — including giving them options on how to best secure their valuable firearm.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, more than half (54%) of U.S. gun owners store at least one firearm without any locks or other measures to prevent its theft or use by an unauthorized person. The study is the first in more than two decades to ask owners about weapons storage.
So what does this mean? Well, there is a significant number of households with at least one firearm that could be stolen by a thief, borrowed by a despondent or homicidal family member or played with by a curious child.
A Little Education Goes A Long Way
While practicing safe gun storage may seem like a no-brainer to those who are trained and handle them daily, some customers might be apprehensive for a variety of reasons. They may not want the added expense on top of the firearm purchase or assume locking it up would hinder access in the event of a home-defense emergency.
No matter the reason, all it takes is a little education on your part to help them understand safe gun storage is not optional, it’s necessary. Dealers should take the time to assess the customers’ needs to help them make an informed purchase.
There are considerable options to fit every lifestyle and budget from biometric safes, key locks, combination locks or hybrids. The wide range of storage types and price points make it impossible to stock every secure storage option available, but it doesn’t stop Hyatt Guns from trying.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Hyatt Guns is America’s largest gun store. They stock more than 7,000 guns on any given day. To complement the massive selection, Hyatt also maintains the largest safe showroom in the area.
To meet every possible price and size combination, the store carries storage products from a variety of manufacturers including Champion Safe, Superior Gun Safe, Hollon Safe, American Security and Gardall Safes.
“We typically stock between 80 and 120 standard-size gun safes from 24 to 64 long-gun capacity,” said Michael Hyatt, vice president.
Hyatt also stocks GunVault, SnapSafe and lockable MTM cases for dedicated handgun storage and security in vehicles. Having a large warehouse and forklift makes carrying this range and variety possible.
“As a high-volume gun shop, we feel it is our responsibility to provide our customers with every available option for secure storage,” Hyatt stated. “Being able to explain that we sell these products also improves the perception of our business in the community, especially among non-gun owners.”
For Hyatt, each price class has its own bestseller and having one size or price class often helps to sell another. This is where stocking a wide variety comes into play.
In the home-defense segment, the GunVault MiniVault electronic pistol safe is an easy add-on for new gun buyers. For gun enthusiasts, bestsellers include the Champion Model T Series 24-gun safe or the Champion Medalist Series 52-gun safe. Deciding between the two often depends on the location of the safe in the home. For security in vehicles, GunVault’s NanoVault 200 is Hyatt’s most popular seller.
“The golden rule of gun safes is no one ever says they wish they had bought a smaller safe,” Hyatt informed.
Like many firearm dealers, Hyatt utilizes their website, social media and manufacturer co-op programs to help market these products. However, offering a full-installation delivery service has been essential to closing sales.
Gunvault XTRMVault EXV1000
Casecruzer mini 3n3 gunpod
While safety is of utmost importance, proper firearm storage also helps owners protect their investment. After all, when you spend hard-earned money on something, don’t you want to enjoy it for as long as possible? Firearm storage solutions not only protect against theft but can also protect against water and fire damage. In these cases, safes made from steel are generally best.
Another option to consider is how much technology a customer is interested in utilizing when it comes to secure gun storage. Advanced features can have a direct effect on the price point.
“Electronic pushbutton and fingerprint scanners have finally taken over the majority of our lock sales, helped by a few years of successful performance and the lowering of prices over time,” Hyatt shared.
Interestingly as the number of modern technology options increase, Hyatt is actually seeing an upswing in sales of traditional products.
(top) Kenneth Le, assistant manager at Range, Guns and Safes in Atlanta, maintains about 25–30 different
models of safes on the showroom floor. Champion and Liberty are two leading brands at the store. (bottom)
At Hyatt Guns, VP Michael Hyatt recommends carrying a variety of sizes and price classes. The store offers
a full-installation delivery service to further entice sales.
Kenneth Le, assistant manager at Range, Guns and Safes in Atlanta, is noticing a comparable trend. Customers often want a biometric safe, and most are looking for an electronic lock with a mechanical backup — just in case. Highlighting fail-safe features like these can help increase your gun storage sales.
Range, Guns and Safes also stocks a wide variety from brands like Fort Knox, Champion Safe, Superior Safe, Fortress, Heritage, Liberty, SnapSafe, Bulldog and Southeastern Deposit.
“With our rifle cabinets, safes and vaults, we keep around 25–30 different models on the showroom floor and any extra in backstock at our Forest Park, Ga., warehouse,” Le said. “With our gun lockboxes, we have a wide variety of brands and models and stock around 80 at a time.”
Their bestselling safes are from the Champion brand which offers the best quality at an affordable price point. “Everyone loves how they look and how solid they are,” he continued.
Another popular safe — the Liberty HDX-250 — was underestimated at first. The store only ordered five to stock initially, anticipating only a few would sell. They sold out the following week, and people have continued to request it.
“Ever since then, we always make sure we have enough to last us until our next ordering period,” he said.
Range, Guns and Safes takes a more direct approach to marketing by including safes in their company name. The dealer locator feature on manufacturer websites also drives new customers to their location.
Bottom line: Safety is not optional. Storage and safety products should be the first add-on to every firearm purchase. Not only will this give you peace of mind as a responsible firearm dealer, but they are also very profitable secondary items. Remember when it comes to stocking safe storage products, less is not more.