Gun owners buy pistol safes so they can store a handgun safely and keep it out of the wrong hands. Often, though, there are secondary reasons for buying a pistol safe. Different safes are better at some functions than others, but the best ones cost more money. To make sure you choose the best pistol safe for your purposes (and have budgeted properly for it) ask yourself these questions before buying.
1. Are you using the safe primarily to prevent handling of the pistol by an unauthorized person?
If theft is not a concern and you simply want to be able to lock up the pistol to keep it away from children or comply with state law, a lockbox is all you need. These are relatively inexpensive.
2. Will you want quick access to the gun and a measure of anti-theft security?
Some gun owners want to keep the pistol locked up but close by when sleeping or sitting at a desk. Many safes do this by providing quick access via an electronic keypad. Some are small enough to fit inside a drawer; others are large and allow you to store other valuables inside. Some are mountable on surfaces such as the inside of a desk or side of a bedframe. These vary in price, but many cost less than $100.
3. Do you want very fast access to the gun and high anti-theft security?
Some safes provide near-immediate access to a pistol via a fingerprint scanner, and can store the prints of several people. They have a backup keypad, can be attached to a wall or furniture, and feature theft deterrents such as an anti-pry design, thick steel construction, and security cables. These state-of-the-art pistol safes cost upwards of several hundred dollars.