Are Gun Safes Easy To Break Into? | We Addressed Your Safety Concerns

Gun safety is a vital priority for any gun owner. Besides keeping them safe from children, you also need to guard them from theft. That’s why investing in a gun safe is such an important decision. However, with the current wave of safe purchasing, it’s natural to wonder: are gun safes easy to break into?

Key Takeaways:

  • A gun safe level of security depends on its steel thickness, locking mechanism, weight, and anchoring
  • Pry bars, drills, lock picking, and other tools are among the most common methods of breaking into gun safes
  • Biometric safes are the most secure option because you must scan your fingerprint to open it
  • Gun safes serve the dual function of keeping unauthorized persons out and protecting the interior from elements

As the owner of multiple firearms, I've spent countless hours researching and testing different safes to determine the best way to protect my collection. In this article, I'll share my insights on what makes a gun safe truly secure and the potential vulnerabilities you need to be aware of. 

Are Gun Safes Easy To Break Into?

Not really; the purpose of a gun safe is to keep firearms safe from misuse, theft, and damage. Like any other security device, a determined and skilled intruder can break into a safe.

Now, it's common for gun safes to have multiple layers of protection, including thick steel walls, intricate locking systems, and other safeguards. Yet burglars can use tools like drills, pry bars, and even saws to open a firearm safe and steal the firearms within. 

Breaking into the safe closeup

However, the thief needs a lot of time, equipment, and experience to pull off these kinds of schemes. In the end, several variables affect how safe a gun safe is, including:

Types of Gun Safes

It is crucial to know the many types of gun safes available and how they provide protection before purchasing. Below are some of the most popular varieties of gun safes:

  • Biometric Gun Safes: These safes have integrated fingerprint recognition technology. In an emergency, biometric safes provide quick access to your firearms and have multi-user functionality
  • Combination Gun Safes: The only way to get into a gun safe that uses a combination is to memorize the code. The heavy steel construction of these safes makes them tough to crack without the combination
  • Key Lock Gun Safes: Key lock gun safes come equipped with standard locks and keys to protect your firearms. Though convenient, they are sometimes susceptible to lock picking.
Various safe locks

Considering the security aspects of each available gun safe before purchasing is crucial. The best gun safes have doors secured by many locking bolts and built of solid steel.

Common Techniques Used to Break Into Gun Safes

Knowing the most frequent methods burglars use to break into gun safes will help you prevent being a victim. To gain access to firearms safe, thieves often employ one or more of the following methods:

  • Lock Picking: Thieves can employ their own tools for lock-picking to manipulate the lock and unlock the door open. If the lock is less sturdy or the burglar is experienced in lock picking, it can be easy to break.
  • Drilling: Another typical method used to break into gun safes is drilling. With the help of power drills, thieves can bore a hole in a safe and access the contents by disabling the locking system.
  • Pry Bars: Forcing open a gun safe door with a pry bar is a common method of entry. The pry attack method works if you don't fasten and strengthen the safe door with locking bolts.

These methods have the potential to be successful, but they also have the drawbacks of being tedious and noisy. If thieves believe it will take too long or draw too much notice, they may decide against breaking into a gun safe.

Factors that Affect the Security of Gun Safes

A gun safe's level of security depends on some criteria, and not all are universal.

  • Construction: The gun safe's construction is crucial to its safety. High-quality gun safes have robust, solid steel construction with a door at least 1/4 inch thick. The locking system should be sturdy and fitted with a locking bolt to keep off intruders.
  • Locking Mechanism: One of the essential features of a safe for storing firearms is its locking mechanism. A secure, burglar-proof, and tamper-proof locking system is essential. Electronic, combination, and digital lock are some of the safest techniques.
  • Weight and Anchoring: Stealing or breaking into a gun safe is more difficult if it is large, heavy, and bolted to the ground or a wall. A gun safe weighing less than 500 pounds is more portable and susceptible to theft.
A person opening the safe

Tips for Enhancing the Security of Gun Safes

Buying a high-quality gun safe is an excellent starting point for gun owners. But other ways to ensure your firearms remain secure include:

  • Change the Default Combination or Password: It's a good idea to replace the factory default code for your gun safe's combination or password with something more secure. Don't make your password something simple, like a birthday or address.
  • Use Multiple Locking Mechanisms: To ensure that your gun safe is secure, use more than one type of lock on it. It will increase the safety of your security system by making it harder for intruders to access them.

By following these tips, you can keep your valuables and gun safe and even more secure.


Do Burglars Break Into Gun Safes?

Yes, burglars break into gun safes. This is unfortunate because when you purchase a firearm safe, it’s commonly advertised as being unbreakable without the key. However, you can still enhance the security of your gun safe.

Are Gun Safes Secure?

Yes, gun safes are secure. The extra security measures taken by gun safes warrant the storage of valuable firearms. They serve a dual purpose of keeping unwanted guests out and weatherproofing the interior if kept in a secure location like a basement.

Which Safes Are the Hardest to Break Into?

The safes that are the hardest to break into are biometric safes. Prices for “high security” safes are high. However, a biometric safe is tough to crack because of its high standards.

How Do Thieves Break Into Safes?

Thieves break into safes using common hand tools, power tools, plasma cutters, and explosives. The good news is that gun safe doors can withstand these attempts if the construction comprises high-quality materials like thick steel.

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