We get plenty of queries about gun cabinets from our readers. Who should have the keys? What happens if you go away for a few months? Can you keep a gun in a static caravan? Here are the answers to some of the most popular.
1. Do you need to heat your gun cabinets in winter? If the temperature is plummeting outside will your guns suffer if the cabinet is in an unheated room that’s a bit damp? Is there a danger of the cabinet rusting?
Coldness on its own does not cause rust, but condensation does. Condensation usually occurs when a mild, damp day follows a period of cold.
Inside a house there is always a danger of dampness on cold days, caused by such things as kitchen and bathroom steam, so it pays to take precautions.
Examine your shotgun regularly and give the metal parts a wipe down with a lightly-oiled cloth. You can also provide added protection by placing something which will provide an anti-rust atmosphere in your shotgun cabinet – check out the Napier range.
2. How can my firearms cabinet be opened lawfully in the event of my death? Will your executor be able to get a temporary permit and who should have charge of the keys if you die? It’s certainly something all firearm owners should consider. Our legal expert Bill Harriman gives his considered view.
3. I’m going on a long holiday away from home. What should I do about shotgun storage? Will a secure gun cabinet be sufficient if your property is empty for weeks on end? Is it necessary to ask a registered firearms dealer to store your guns for you under these circumstances? Read on to find out what you should do when you’re planning a round-the-world trip or a long cruise.
4. Can I move my gun cabinet to another part of the house without telling the firearms officer? Maybe you’re redecorating or changing the rooms around? What’s your legal position?
5. Where should I keep my gun cabinet keys safely? Are there any legal guidelines? Is it sufficient to keep them at the back of a kitchen drawer? Should I label the keys? This is a question our legal counsel are asked over and over again.
6. Can my wife use my cabinet for her shotguns? Can you share a cabinet or is it best to have one each? And who keeps the keys?
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7. Can I have a gun cabinet in a static caravan? What’s the deal if you don’t live in a house made from bricks and mortar?
There’s no reason why you should not keep firearms in a static caravan but as you recognise the security requirements differ from those for a house.
Your caravan should be fixed to the site or at the very least have no wheels or towing hitch so as to prevent it being easily towed away. Would-be thieves should not be able to gain access to the underside of the van.
Normally the gun cabinet must be bolted to the chassis of the van. I suggest you discuss security with the police before going ahead and making arrangements.