Moving and storing guns, and their related equipment, can be a bit tricky. Here, we demystify the process. From buying a gun safe to storing your firearms, here’s what you need to know:
Get a Gun Safe
If you plan to keep your guns at home, we encourage you to get a large enough gun safe. These range in size from those just large enough for a pistol to heavy safes large enough for several rifles. Always store your firearms separate from the ammunition.
Moving the Safe
Ironically, if you’re moving to a new home, you’ll need to move the gun safe without any firearms in it. If the safe falls with guns in it, this could cause damage to the safe and the equipment inside.
If you have a small safe, just carry it to your car or the moving truck. Larger safes are more difficult to move, but follow the same basic moving rules as other large items.
Load the safe upright onto a moving dolly, and secure it with straps. Clear the way between where the safe is in the house or apartment to the back of the truck, and lower the ramp on the truck. If you have a short stairway to descend from the building, you can use a stair ramp to get down. Otherwise, have one person at each end and lower the safe step by step. Once you’ve rolled the safe up into the truck, strap it to the truck wall.
Gun safes can be heavy, so even if you don’t have to descend stairs, have a helper or two there to spot you. We also encourage you and your helpers to wear moving gloves. These can not only protect your hands, but give you a better grip on the safe and other items you’re moving.
Moving Your Guns
As for the guns themselves, whether you are doing the move, or you’re hiring movers, there are some important steps to preparing your firearms.
Make a list of your guns, including the manufacturer, model, and serial number for each. Make several copies of it. If you hire movers, they will need a copy of the list, and you’ll want a copy or two yourself. Even if you’re moving yourself, it’s a good idea to have this list.
For each gun or rifle, ensure they are unloaded. Then remove the firing pin, bolt, trigger assembly, and other parts meant to arm the weapon. In the very least, remove the ammunition and put the safety on. Always treat a gun as if it might be loaded, even if you just unloaded it.
Put your ammunition in a separate box from the guns and lock it in your trunk or glove compartment.
While your gun safe is for keeping your guns locked away from small hands at home, gun cases are for moving or traveling. We recommend a hard, padded case for each. Alternately, you can pack them in moving boxes. If you do so, for each gun, put the removed parts in plastic bags. Wrap those with the rest of the gun in bubble wrap, then put them in moving boxes.
Label the box with an innocuous code name that sounds ordinary but won’t alert others that they contain guns. Something like “coffee mugs” or “cookbooks” would work. If you’ve hired movers, let them know what the code means and leave the box unsealed so they can check, and they’ll handle the rest.
If moving yourself, we recommend putting the box in the truck toward the back. That way, they’re far from the ammunition.
Storing Your Firearms
When storing your firearms at home, keep them in your gun safe, and keep the ammunition separate, and also locked away. If you need to store them away from home, that’s trickier.
No self storage facility allows you to store ammunition there, and most facilities won’t allow you to store guns. Some, however, will, so make some calls to local facilities and ask. Let them know that if allowed, you will also put your gun safe in the unit and keep the guns there. If they still say no, simply say thanks and look for other options.
Other options include sending your firearms off to a valet storage center, getting a safe deposit box, asking a pawn shop if they will store it, which some reputable shops will do, and checking if you can store it with campus police if you’re in college. With each of these options, you’ll have to ask around.
You may also have a GunSitters or another gun storage company in your area. GunSitters self storage company for firearms, and they have some great options for gun owners.
Have a safe and pleasant move!