Published 2.5.2021 | Last Updated 1.9.2023
While it seems like the world is constantly going to hell and a handbasket, more folks than ever are making sure they’re armed and ready to defend the home front. But when it comes to firearms, one of the essential safety precautions every gun owner needs to take is securing them safely.
No one wants their guns to get in the hands of unauthorized family members or burglars. Not only does that put your valuable investment at risk, it leaves you legally liable. If your guns are not properly stored and end up in the hands of a minor or felon, you could be found at fault for anything they use that gun to do.
What to Look for When Buying an Affordable Gun Safe
A gun safe is a safe that securely holds one or more firearms. It is the best way to secure guns from unwanted parties. But, there are A LOT of choices out there that range in price, size, and quality. Whether you’re a first-time gun owner or you’ve been handling a shotgun since you were a wee tot hunting with your dad, choosing which gun safe to buy can be difficult.
We understand that price is always a consideration. But you also want to think about your needs. Questions to ask yourself include:
- How many guns do you need to store? Generally, the bigger the safe, the bigger the cost. But this isn’t always the case. As you’ll see below, there are some large gun safes for under $1,000 that offer a substantial amount of storage.
- How likely is it your safe will be exposed to fire? According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 350,000 home fires occur each year in the U.S. Cooking fires are the most common type of home fire, contributing 48% of all residential fires. And these fires are burning HOT — reaching temps of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3.5 minutes and climbing from there. If you are worried about fire exposure, we recommend a gun safe with at least a 60-minute fire rating. This gives your valuables a fighting chance that the fire department will be able to arrive and put out the fire before the contents are completely destroyed.
- Do you need to be able to rearrange your safe? Some safes come with adjustable shelving units, allowing you to change your storage setup as needed. This can be an attractive option for folks who expect their collection to change over time.
Are Affordable Gun Safes Fireproof?
First, it’s important to note that no gun safe is fireproof. Any retailer or gun safe manufacturer who is touting their safes as fireproof is talking out their you-know-what. Why? Because there isn’t a gun safe out there that can withstand untold temperatures indefinitely.
That being said, some gun safes are built to withstand fires for longer periods of time. One of the essential things to consider when looking at the fire rating is how the fire rating was tested.
Because gun safe fire ratings are not regulated, a manufacturer can assign any rating they want. You want to make sure that the manufacturer is transparent about their testing process and that they offer a warranty to back up their rating.
Did You Know ALL Gun Safes are Tax-Free?
Gun safes for sale in Washington are currently a tax-free purchase, which means the price you see is the price you pay. So there’s no giving more of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam with this purchase.
Top Gun Safes Under $900
Liberty Explorer 12
This ultra-affordable 12 gun safe is a great entry-level safe for those who are looking to store a few long guns without breaking the bank. Built Liberty tough, it offers 30 minutes of fire protection and can be installed within most closets.
Liberty Centurion 12
One of the best closet safes on the market, Liberty’s Centurion 12 is just 18.25-inches wide, allowing it to be easily installed in a concealable location. Additionally, it has a 30-minute fire rating and a heat-activated door seal to provide extra protection.
Best Tax-Free Gun Safes for Under $1,000
Rhino RB6028ECS — Currently On Sale for Just $999
Made in America, the Rhino RB6028ECS is one of the most budget-friendly, medium-capacity gun safes for sale. It can hold up to 24 long guns and 10 handguns, thanks to the included door organizer. It also features a 40-minute fire rating and an easy-to-use electronic lock.
Liberty Centurion 18 Flex
Weighing 340 pounds, the Centurion Flex is a sturdy option for a small to medium long-gun collection. With a complimentary adjustable interior, this gun safe can easily be utilized to hold both firearms and valuables.
BONUS: Best Guns Safes Close to $1,000
Across the board, the cost of manufacturing and delivering gun safes have spiked. Since February 2020, the price of steel has increased by more than 60%. The cost of fire insulation has rise by more than 25%. The cost of fright has spiked by 8-15%. And, manufacturers are struggling to course key components, like door handles and locks.
At the retail level, our costs have already gone up — even for orders that we’d already placed with manufacturers. This is a trend we expect to continue.
Made and built in the USA, the Tactical 24 is specifically designed for a tactical expert. Outfitted with a dual-flex tactical interior, the adjustable shelves allow you to customize your gun locker to meet your needs. From the gear trays and long gun storage to the quick-release rifle holder, this no-frills gun safe is all business.
Liberty Centurion 24 SMU
Built with Liberty’s sturdy roll-form construction, the Centurion 24 SMU offers a sturdy medium-sized gun safe at an affordable price point. It comes equipped with a factory-installed economy door storage panel and a TopLit SecuRam backlit electronic lock.