Hiding in plain sight: How contemporary gun storage pairs access with aesthetics

Though storing guns in unsecured books is ill-advised, the gun industry is stepping up to provide gun owners with to distribute guns around the home. (Photo: BookMods via Etsy)

Though storing guns in unsecured books is ill-advised, gun owners are looking into alternatives to traditional metal gun safes opting for storage options that match home decor. (Photo: BookMods via Etsy)

With an estimated 250,000 to 600,000 guns stolen per year in the U.S., gun storage has always been one of the basic tenants to firearm ownership. However, modern day gun owners don’t want to just store or protect their guns in any old box. Within the past few years a new trend in gun storage has emerged, providing quick access to weapons while offering more style than traditional gun safes.

Though there are a range of small, ma-and-pa shops serving up hidden compartment, home defense furniture and decor, Tactical Walls’ products were among the first to go mainstream. Touting the ability to safely store guns and look good doing it, Tactical Walls created a series of products ranging from mirrors to gentrified shelves all with hidden compartments perfect for stashing firearms. Built on the premise of bringing guns out of the safe and into more readily accessible areas of the home, Tactical Walls says the goal is flexibility.

“Put simply, our products are designed to give you a fighting chance,” its website boldly exclaims. “They allow you the flexibility to place the defensive tools necessary to protect your family wherever you feel they are most beneficial.”

The company continues to innovate on its platform, moving past keyed entry and into the realm of RFID technology.

Chris Wood, Vice President of Tactical Walls, told Guns.com that the company’s products marry access with security into an attractive package.

“Anybody that has thought through both the possibility of a self defense situation in the home and the responsibilities involved with firearms ownership has dealt with finding the balance between access and security,” Wood said. “I think that we provide an alternative that helps fill those needs.”

He added, “We hope to keep leading the way in design when it comes to home defense furniture.”

A Department of Justice survey found that in 27 percent of burglaries a household member was home at the time of the break-in. In 26 percent of those cases, the home owner became a victim of violent crime. It’s this idea that furniture and home decor plays a role in home and personal security that pushes some gun owners to pull their guns out of traditional gun cabinets and safes, stealthily stashing them at the ready instead.

“People have always wanted their firearms close by and easily accessible in an event of an emergency,” Burt Skiba of Odon Safes told Guns.com in an email. “We believe that people are gravitating to the ‘James Bond’ type gun safes because they can now have a dual purpose stylish option that allows them to quickly access their guns while keeping their guns out of sight of others.”

Skiba said that while traditional gun safes certainly offer a level of security, they lack in panache that can be problematic for homeowners with decor in mind.

“The traditional gun storage solutions are not easily concealable, are not designed to match people’s home decor and do not fit into the surrounding environment,” Skiba said. “For example, my wife will not let me put a black, boxy safe on my night stand because it does not match her decorating style; but as a gun owner I still want my guns quickly accessible in an emergency.”

Skiba’s solution was to develop a hidden compartment inside a contemporary-looking lamp equipped with smart technology. The illumaSAFE, with a rapidly approaching Kickstarter launch, touts a fashionable, techy alternative to metallic gun safes.

“At Odon we have taking the traditional storage solution a few steps further than other decorative safe options,” Skiba said. “We believe that people are and will be looking for more options to stay connected to their valuables and guns when they are not at home giving them the piece of mind of knowing exactly what the status is of their safe.”

The intersection between decoration and secure storage offers gun owners a new layer of home defense — one that allows safety and access house-wide without sacrificing the cozy warmth coming home provides.