EMP-Proof Gun Safe Lock

EMP-Proof Gun Safe Lock


The rising threat of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) poses a serious concern for governments, individuals, and businesses — as it would cause most electronic devices to fail. An event such as this would knock out major communication sources and could limit access to personal wealth. An EMP-proof gun safe lock gives you the ability to access the contents of your gun safe, even if you’re within an impacted zone.

What is an EMP?

An EMP is also known as an electromagnetic pulse or a transient electromagnetic disturbance. They are short bursts of electromagnetic energy that can cause devastating damage and/or interference to electrical grids and electronic equipment. The extent of the damage can range from temporary to complete destruction.

Natural EMPs vs. Man-Made EMPs

EMPs can originate naturally, such as through an intense solar geomagnetic disturbance, or artificially, from a significant thermonuclear detonation or a cyberattack. 

First Man-Made EMP in 1962

The first man-made EMP occurred in 1962 as a result of Starfish Prime, a 1.4-megaton thermonuclear weapon that was detonated nearly 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. The bomb was 100 times bigger than the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima. 

The effects of Starfish Prime were felt nearly 900 miles away in Hawaii, which knocked out roughly 300 streetlights, triggered numerous burglar alarms, and shut down a telephone company’s microwave link. 

Natural EMP Knocked Out Power System in 1989

Mother Nature threw a violent and unexpected storm at Québec in 1989 known as a geomagnetic storm. The event caused the Hydro-Québec power system to completely collapse within 92 seconds. Six million customers were left without power.

The storm was caused by the sun ejecting a trillium-cubic-mile plume of superheated plasma (ionized gas). On average, these types of storms occur every 60 years. These types of solar events are considered the most likely reason an EMP will occur. 

Dial lock

Do EMP-Proof Gun Safe Locks Exist?

Yes. Dial locks (aka mechanical locks) are EMP-proof. Because they do not rely on any electrical wiring, they are completely unaffected by an EMP burst. For customers concerned about accessing their gun safe in the event of an EMP, a dial lock is the most secure option.

What to Look for in An EMP Resistant Electronic Gun Safe Locks

While there are some definite advantages to electronic gun safe locks, it’s important to note that no electronic locks are EMP “proof”. That being said, there are some gun safe locks that have been tested and certified as EMP resistant. These include:

  • SECURAM TopLit Electronic Lock
  • SECURAM BackLit Electronic Lock
  • SECURAM ProLogic Electronic Lock
  • SECURAM Scanlogic
  • Sargent and Greenleaf AxisBlu Electronic Lock
  • Sargent and Greenleaf Titan Electronic Lock
  • Sargent and Greenleaf Spartan Electronic Lock
  • Sargent and Greenleaf Model 1004 Electronic Lock (aka Atlas lock)

SECURAM tested their electronic locks using the MIL-STD-4615 standard developed by the US Military. In order to pass the test, the lock must function properly prior to testing and then after it was exposed to a high level of Electromagnetic radiation, which attempts to stimulate an EMP attack. In all instances, SECURAM’s locks were functional following the EMP attack simulation. 

Sargent and Green Leaf locks have undergone EMP resistance testing and been found to withstand a simulated EMP attack.

electronic lock

Upgrading Your Gun Safe Lock

It is possible to replace the lock on your gun safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. These include:

Use a Certified Professional to Ensure You Don’t Void Your Warranty

In nearly all instances, a DIY gun safe lock replacement will void any warranty you may have. Prior to attempting to swap out your lock, be sure to carefully read your warranty. 

For example, Liberty Safes come standard with a five year warranty on the workmanship, paint and locks. In order to retrofit the lock, without voiding the warranty, it must be replaced with a Liberty branded lock by a certified technician. The same would be true for customers who purchased the optional factory lifetime warranty. 

Improperly Replacing Your Lock Could Lock You Out of Your Safe

Another important consideration when replacing your gun safe lock is making sure it’s done properly. If the lock is improperly replaced, this could cause the safe’s locking mechanism to become inoperable — either locking you from getting inside your safe or making it so you can’t lock/close your gun safe. 

Request a Lock Upgrade

Additional Gun Safe Lock Insights

What Are the Best Safe Locks?

There are three types of gun safe locks: biometric locks, keypad locks, and mechanical locks. Each type has its own, unique advantages. Discover our top picks for each type.

Why Key Bypass Locks Make Your Safe Vulnerable

A key bypass makes your safe extremely vulnerable. Not only are locks with a key bypass more prone to fail, they are easier to break into.

What to Know About Gun Safe Accessories

Top Costco Gun Safe (2023): Cannon Safe+US Made Alternative

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