Today's hidden gun safe systems not only keep firearms secure and at hand, but also add a stylish touch to your home.
Who makes the best hidden gun safe systems:
Throughout my career, I’ve interviewed victims of violent crimes. The circumstances leading to each of the attacks varied — some people were assaulted in broad daylight, some in the middle of the night. Quite a few of the individuals I interviewed were attacked by a stranger, but a frightening number were attacked by individuals they knew well and — at least at some point — trusted. These encounters happened in wealthy neighborhoods and poor ones, to both men and women, and with single or multiple assailants. But all these violent attacks share a common and very real feature: They all happened quickly.
There’s a widespread notion among gun owners that simply having a firearm in the home is sufficient to stop any attacker. But that’s only true if the attack offers homeowners plenty of time to respond, which is rarely the case. If you ask victims of crime — especially those who were at home when the attack happened — they will tell you that there was little time to react.
It just happened.
Being at home brings a sense of comfort and security. While we’re at the mall or when we cross a poorly lit parking area at night to our vehicle, we’re switched-on, ready for danger. In our homes, however, we are less focused. We aren’t thinking about danger, aren’t constantly checking our surroundings. And the 9mm pistol or AR rifle that’s locked securely in a basement safe isn’t very practical when you’re upstairs watching television and an intruder appears.
American gun owners are starting to realize this, and as a result, they want to keep their firearms close-at-hand. In recent years, there have been a number of companies that have developed innovative and effective hidden gun safe systems for the home — furniture, clocks, pictures and mirrors that serve double duty as functional household items and rapid-access gun vaults.
Here’s a look at the best hidden gun safe systems from four of the leading companies in the industry. All of these brands offer different items that will look natural in a variety of different interiors, but they all share one common and important feature — they’ll help you defend your castle. Quickly.
Tactical Walls founder Tim Matter served 4 years of active duty in the United States Air Force and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, so when he couldn’t find a line of products for in-home firearms storage that suited his needs, Matter decided to design his own line of home concealment products.
His initial design was a full-length wall mirror, released in 2013, and since then his Virginia-based company has become one of the industry leaders in providing effective personal defense storage solutions and hidden gun safe systems for homeowners that are made in the USA with domestic components when possible.
That full-length mirror — the Tactical Walls model 1450 —and the shorter 1420 wall mirror became instant commercial successes. Both of these concealment mirrors are recessed into the wall between standard 16-inch studs, so the mirror unit sits flush with the wall for a natural look. Homeowners can access the firearms by disengaging the hidden lock with the provided key, and the mirror door can be installed to slide open to the left or right. Buyers can choose between magnetic or RFID locking systems, and there’s ample space inside to hold firearms, ammunition and accessories.
A shatter-resistant coating on the mirror and plywood backing offer an extra level of security, and there are a number of custom accessories available to personalize each security unit to customer specifications. The 1450M unit is 14 inches wide, 3.5 inches deep and has a short (10-inch) upper compartment and a larger (40-inch) lower compartment. The smaller 1420M offers the same width and depth measurements, and it contains a single 20-inch interior compartment. The 1450M starts at $499, and the 1420M costs from $370 and up.
Tactical Walls also offers a number of shelves that look natural in the home but contain drop-down firearm storage for either pistols or rifles. This style of hidden gun safe offers hidden locks that can be quickly accessed with the provided key, and when unlocked, they open to reveal hidden compartments with polyurethane foam inserts that keep your guns both safe and secure.
Each of these units is easy to install, and there are optional LED lights that illuminate the interior compartments for use in total darkness. Prices for pistol-length shelves start at $245, and the cost for rifle-length shelves starts at $399.
Also available from Tactical Walls is the 1410M Tactical Wall Clock, which is a stylish and functional non-locking security option that installs quickly and holds up to 10 pounds of guns and ammunition. The price for the Tactical Wall Clock is $129.
Liberty Home Concealment
Based in southern Missouri, Liberty Home Concealment is a family-owned company that builds a wide variety of stylish in-home security furniture using US-sourced materials when possible. They offer custom touches, and the turnaround time is incredibly fast, with many products available within a week.
The brand’s “flagship” piece is, well, a flag — a wall flag, to be more specific — that securely conceals firearms in plain sight. But Liberty also offers a wide array of different hidden gun safe options, including end tables and coffee tables that incorporate sliding tops with foam-lined lockable interior storage space for rapid access to home defense weapons from primary rooms in the house. These items provide a rustic, natural look that is also functional. End tables start at $249, and coffee tables range from the Defender at $399.99 to larger models that cost $600.
Liberty also offers a wide array of home décor items, including the compact Hidden Concealment Lamp, which has a hinged door and 6.5×8-inch interior dimensions to fit most handguns (an additional magnetic lock can also be installed); the pistol-sized Peacemaker Concealment Clock ($119.99) with foam insert; the Freedom Series Coat Rack ($299); and a variety of wall art options.
The company also offers a sliding wall mirror priced at $366.99, and a series of clever picture frame safes that range in size from 5×7 inches ($49.99) to 11×14 inches ($99.99). With so many hidden gun safe options and more that aren’t listed here, Liberty has a full lineup of home concealment products that keep your guns hidden, secure and quickly accessible from anywhere in the home.
Jason “Lumberjack” Crago started his career building log homes in North Carolina, and when his twins were born he decided he needed to invest his skills in building tactical home furnishings that not only looked good enough to be placed in custom log homes, but also provided rapid access to defensive weapons while keeping those firearms out of the hands of his small children. Jason rapidly added to his line of home defense furniture and decor items, and his company — Mirage Tactical — has grown to become one of the most trusted names in the industry.
Products offered by Mirage Tactical include Personalized Hidden Canvas Picture Frames of various sizes that serve double duty as wall art and hidden gun compartments. There are two construction options available — steel with vinyl or wood with canvas — and you can customize the print as desired. Even the smallest print (19x19x2.5 inches) is large enough to hold multiple handguns and magazines, and there are also larger options available for additional firearms or long guns. The mid-sized (19×28-inch) model costs $249, and the largest canvas, which measures 28×28 inches, is suitable for longer firearms at $399.
All of these prints come with rubber-coated barrel mounts and felt backing with magnets that securely hold your guns without the risk of damage. Plus, each hidden gun safe is available with the upgraded security of a wireless locking mechanism as an option.
Also available from Mirage Tactical is the Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table, a stylish and functional centerpiece for your living area complete with a flat-top design that lifts up for storage. Available material options include oak, maple or cherry, and buyers can select from a variety of colors. There’s a hidden compartment in the barrel that holds a small pistol, and if you’d like you can even have a custom humidor added with purchase. MSRPs for the Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table starts at $699.
Mirage Tactical Secret Shelves are also a great option for in-home concealment, and these solid-wood shelves are easy to install, feature reinforced steel compartments and have magnetic interiors with felt to protect your firearms. Available lengths include 12, 18 or 24 inches, and a wireless locking mechanism is available on the 18- and 24-inch models. Mirage also offers a full-line of end tables, nightstands, headboards, credenzas and a variety of other items with storage options, and many of these products can be customized to your preferences.
Top Secret Furniture
Prior to founding Top Secret Furniture, Bill Meginnis served as a police officer in Chicago. In that line of work, Meginnis responded to robberies often, and in each case, he noted that the items victims were most traumatized to lose were family heirlooms that couldn’t be replaced. In addition to his law enforcement career, Meginnis was also a woodworker, and when a client asked him to build a piece of custom furniture with hidden compartments to combine safe storage and rapid access, Meginnis began the process of developing a line of custom furniture that was both beautiful and functional. That passion led to the founding of Top Secret Furniture based in Arizona.
The company’s product line is extensive and includes the Bella ($895), Big Daddy ($1,277) and Hideout ($1,049) end tables; the impressive Chicago Lockdown Media Center ($3,974); and the Top Gun Night Stand ($1,377), just to name a few. Top Secret Furniture also offers a line of wall art that serves to conceal firearms in plain sight, including the Top Secret Wall Shelf ($147) and Wall Clock ($595) as well as a variety of other items that are easy to mount and access. One of the reasons that Top Secret has met with such success is that all of their hidden gun safe systems are built with solid wood, and no detail is overlooked. Drawers have dovetail joints front and rear, and every detail is examined repeatedly during construction.
Unlike companies that offer only production items, Top Secret features full customization of their furniture products. Each purchase, then, generally begins with a discussion with the customer regarding their exact wants and needs. Want to buy an end table but need it to be a few inches higher than standard specifications? That’s not a problem. Have a photo of an item that you’d like the Top Secret team to build? A consultation with Meginnis will help you start on the road toward designing your one-of-a-kind heirloom piece that’s as functional as it is good looking.
As you might expect, options abound, including both RFID and magnetic locks and custom finishes, so if you have an idea for a piece, Top Secret can help walk you through the building process.
For more information on these hidden gun safe manufacturers, please visit:
Tactical Walls: www.tacticalwalls.com
Liberty Home Concealment: www.libertyhomeconcealment.com
Mirage Tactical: www.miragetactical.com
Top Secret Furniture: www.topsecretfurniture.com
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of Gun Digest the Magazine.