Beginner gun safe question

Questions about Victorian gun and ammunition laws. Victorian Firearms Act 1996.

Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 30 Dec 2018, 8:48 pm

I currently have my one .22lr at a friend's place as we are currently renting, but as he lives 40mins away it has become a pain to have to go to his place everytime I want to shoot. So I have been looking into getting my own safe.

I am trying to decide between a smaller safe for money saving as budget is main concern or to future proof myself and buy a bigger one now, because buying one bigger safe is cheaper than two smaller safes, the ones I was considering are: (prices from local gun shop)

Lockaway LOK1K
http://lokawaysafe.com/products/gun-saf ... -safe.html
3-4 gun $360

Hunt Pro H4
https://www.huntpro.com.au/products/h4
4 gun $320

Spika S2
https://spika.com.au/product/medium-safe-2018-range
8 gun $420

Lockaway LOK2K
http://lokawaysafe.com/products/gun-saf ... -safe.html
5-7 gun $445

I was also wondering as a temporary solution while we are renting, if it would be a legal and feasible option to just buy a $75 galvanized toolbox from Bunnings (https://www.bunnings.com.au/rhino-1050- ... x_p5810158) and bolt that down.

As I'm in VIC the laws are a bit iffy and just say:
"The firearm must be stored in a receptacle—
(a) which is constructed of hard wood or steel
that is not easily penetrable; and
(b) which, if it weighs less than 150 kilograms
when it is empty, must be fixed to the frame
of the floor or the wall of the premises where
the firearm is kept in such a manner that it is
not easily removable; and
(c) which, when any firearm is stored in it, is
locked with a lock of sturdy construction."

It seems as though the toolbox would meet these standards but I'm not sure if an officer inspecting it would agree.

It seems as though it would be more inconspicuous as it doesn't look like a gun safe. I could even write "camping mats and tents" on it. The latch that the padlock goes on also has a cover so getting bolt cutters on the lock would be difficult. Just looking for some advice, and I know the proper safes are definitely the better option and something I definitely want to get in the future, but just looking at all my options.

Thanks in advance!
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by zhuk » 30 Dec 2018, 8:58 pm

Get the biggest you can possibly afford. I got a tiny Gladiator 3 gun safe at first, thinking "Oh, I'll never have more than about 2 guns at most"

Ahahahahaha. . . five safes later /facepalm lol
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Ziad » 30 Dec 2018, 9:39 pm

No toolbox won't work. While the act says you can make with wood, my safety course guys mentioned they are very likely to change this law anytime. Plus hinges need to be hidden which they aren't. Plus there lock latch is useless.

Mate have a read of this forum a question has been asked about safe in a rental house a few good suggestions were given. You could rip of a corner of carpet or drill holes in garage. Or even a fort knox type storage facility etc
Blame it on the phone auto correct
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by JWD40 » 31 Dec 2018, 1:11 am

Three point locking mechanism and hidden hinges is the hardest part to comply with. There aren't a huge number of tool boxes that comply with this.

10 years ago, my next door neighbour used to use a tool cabinet, he managed to find a steel one with a three point lock and internal hinges and that worked fine for him (not sure what he does now).

I'm not going to shoot you down (metaphorically) if you chose to use a tool cabinet. Being able to fit bucket loads of firearms in it for minimal coin is a very appealing idea, and if it meets the minimum legal requirements, who am I to say that you're doing the wrong thing.

However I personally don't think it's the best idea. I know a lot of gun lovers will hate me for this opinion, but I honestly believe firearms need to be adequately secured for everyone's safety when not in use. And I feel the average budget toolbox is just simply way too easy to break into, and an adequate toolbox could likely cost a lot more than a safe.

I recon most thieves would have a crack at the average tool cabinet. I'm confident i could get into one quickly. But if they saw a safe and it was exceedingly heavy or bolted to the ground, why would they bother, most people have pricey s**t laying around. Easy pickings.

I guess when it's the firearm that you want, the safe seems like one of those sly hidden costs when buying a car.
But trying to put a bit of perspective on it, you could get a band new 10 gun safe for the price of a brand new low end rifle. So percentage wise, a safe isn't that much in the grand scheme of things. And the percentage get's a lot better if you fancy high quality rifles and scopes.

My advise would be, if you're on a shoe string, buy a second hand safe.

zhuk wrote:Get the biggest you can possibly afford. I got a tiny Gladiator 3 gun safe at first, thinking "Oh, I'll never have more than about 2 guns at most"

Ahahahahaha. . . five safes later /facepalm lol


I couldn't agree with this more...

Depends on what kind of shooter you are i guess, and depending on your genuine reason.
If you're a shooter who just shoots for s**ts and giggles and does the bare minimum to maintain your licence. Then perhaps less than 4 guns is all you'll ever need or financially justify.
But if you're a hunter, or a serious firearm enthusiast, whatever you think you'll want over the next two years. Tipple that, and it might keep you content for 10 years... Might.
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by zhuk » 31 Dec 2018, 6:28 am

JWD40 wrote:I recon most thieves would have a crack at the average tool cabinet. I'm confident i could get into one quickly. But if they saw a safe and it was exceedingly heavy or bolted to the ground, why would they bother, most people have pricey s**t laying around. Easy pickings.


Totally agreed
For years a mate of mine had one of those metal school lockers (with a padlock) for his longarms; he got an inspection a couple of months ago. Previous inspections were OK, but the locker didn't pass on this latest one, which lends creedence to the idea that the rules are being tightened up now. Even though the specific wording in the guidelines might suggest a locker is still OK.

Get a proper safe with the 3-point lock and concealed hinges, as JWD points out. Then you've got peace of mind.

(and get a big one lol)
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by JimTom » 31 Dec 2018, 7:52 am

Mate go and buy a proper safe to cover your backside. In addition, and this is always suggested to anyone asking a question about safes, buy bigger than what you think you will need.
“Shoot straight you bastards, don’t make a mess of it.”
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Blr243 » 31 Dec 2018, 8:13 am

I noticed in the law ( steel not easily penetable) A hunting knife plunged into a bunnings metal tool box will get the guns. As would a hammer and chisel.
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 31 Dec 2018, 10:27 am

Ziad wrote:No toolbox won't work. While the act says you can make with wood, my safety course guys mentioned they are very likely to change this law anytime. Plus hinges need to be hidden which they aren't. Plus there lock latch is useless.

Mate have a read of this forum a question has been asked about safe in a rental house a few good suggestions were given. You could rip of a corner of carpet or drill holes in garage. Or even a fort knox type storage facility etc


There is actually a loose but if carpet in my wardrobe I can just lift up and bolt a safe down. I might look into that!
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 31 Dec 2018, 10:29 am

JWD40 wrote:Three point locking mechanism and hidden hinges is the hardest part to comply with. There aren't a huge number of tool boxes that comply with this.

10 years ago, my next door neighbour used to use a tool cabinet, he managed to find a steel one with a three point lock and internal hinges and that worked fine for him (not sure what he does now).

I'm not going to shoot you down (metaphorically) if you chose to use a tool cabinet. Being able to fit bucket loads of firearms in it for minimal coin is a very appealing idea, and if it meets the minimum legal requirements, who am I to say that you're doing the wrong thing.

However I personally don't think it's the best idea. I know a lot of gun lovers will hate me for this opinion, but I honestly believe firearms need to be adequately secured for everyone's safety when not in use. And I feel the average budget toolbox is just simply way too easy to break into, and an adequate toolbox could likely cost a lot more than a safe.

I recon most thieves would have a crack at the average tool cabinet. I'm confident i could get into one quickly. But if they saw a safe and it was exceedingly heavy or bolted to the ground, why would they bother, most people have pricey s**t laying around. Easy pickings.

I guess when it's the firearm that you want, the safe seems like one of those sly hidden costs when buying a car.
But trying to put a bit of perspective on it, you could get a band new 10 gun safe for the price of a brand new low end rifle. So percentage wise, a safe isn't that much in the grand scheme of things. And the percentage get's a lot better if you fancy high quality rifles and scopes.

My advise would be, if you're on a shoe string, buy a second hand safe.

zhuk wrote:Get the biggest you can possibly afford. I got a tiny Gladiator 3 gun safe at first, thinking "Oh, I'll never have more than about 2 guns at most"

Ahahahahaha. . . five safes later /facepalm lol


I couldn't agree with this more...

Depends on what kind of shooter you are i guess, and depending on your genuine reason.
If you're a shooter who just shoots for s**ts and giggles and does the bare minimum to maintain your licence. Then perhaps less than 4 guns is all you'll ever need or financially justify.
But if you're a hunter, or a serious firearm enthusiast, whatever you think you'll want over the next two years. Tipple that, and it might keep you content for 10 years... Might.


Thanks for all this information, I think I am now definitely going to go with a safe, it seems like the best option, legally and just for security.

Now it's just deciding which one!
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 31 Dec 2018, 10:30 am

Blr243 wrote:I noticed in the law ( steel not easily penetable) A hunting knife plunged into a bunnings metal tool box will get the guns. As would a hammer and chisel.


I think I might of glossed over that bit, that's a very good point, I think I'm definitely going with the safe now
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 31 Dec 2018, 10:31 am

JimTom wrote:Mate go and buy a proper safe to cover your backside. In addition, and this is always suggested to anyone asking a question about safes, buy bigger than what you think you will need.


But how big is big enough?
$400 is pushing the budget or do I save some cash and go for the smaller safe?
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Beas2624 » 31 Dec 2018, 10:32 am

zhuk wrote:
JWD40 wrote:I recon most thieves would have a crack at the average tool cabinet. I'm confident i could get into one quickly. But if they saw a safe and it was exceedingly heavy or bolted to the ground, why would they bother, most people have pricey s**t laying around. Easy pickings.


Totally agreed
For years a mate of mine had one of those metal school lockers (with a padlock) for his longarms; he got an inspection a couple of months ago. Previous inspections were OK, but the locker didn't pass on this latest one, which lends creedence to the idea that the rules are being tightened up now. Even though the specific wording in the guidelines might suggest a locker is still OK.

Get a proper safe with the 3-point lock and concealed hinges, as JWD points out. Then you've got peace of mind.

(and get a big one lol)


How big????? :lol: would an eight gun be alright?
Savage B22 F .22lr
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Chappo » 31 Dec 2018, 10:42 am

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/14-Rifle-St ... 0722458890

I bought this one as my first safe.
I am very happy with it. It’s probably not quite as sturdy as a spika or lokaway but it’s HEAPS stronger than a tool cabinet or school locker.
I like the keypad entry too as I feel it’s more secure than hiding the keys somewhere for someone to find.
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Chappo » 31 Dec 2018, 10:44 am

By the way, safes will never fit as many rifles neatly as they advertise.
Especially if they’ve all got scopes you could probably half the advertised capacity and that’d be more realistic.
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Jäger » 31 Dec 2018, 2:45 pm

I don' think it Vic that it needs to be a 3 point locking system (though my steel safe is).
Is that a requirement in NSW?
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Jäger » 31 Dec 2018, 2:51 pm

Ziad wrote:While the act says you can make with wood, my safety course guys mentioned they are very likely to change this law anytime.


They were probably just trying to steer you away from this because they themselves don't like it.
It's in the Act and generally, changing laws is slow. How long has it been like this in the Act already?
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by Oldbloke » 31 Dec 2018, 5:48 pm

Chappo wrote:By the way, safes will never fit as many rifles neatly as they advertise.
Especially if they’ve all got scopes you could probably half the advertised capacity and that’d be more realistic.


Correct. If you think you will buy 5 firearms get a 10 gun safe.

Lockers don’t cut it any more even though the act says other wise. I don’t know how the police get away with it but a safe is a must.
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: Beginner gun safe question

Post by BangBangSkeetSkeet » 31 Dec 2018, 6:02 pm

Oldbloke wrote:
Chappo wrote:By the way, safes will never fit as many rifles neatly as they advertise.
Especially if they’ve all got scopes you could probably half the advertised capacity and that’d be more realistic.


Correct. If you think you will buy 5 firearms get a 10 gun safe.



Both so true. :drinks:
Fitting 3 scoped rifles in a 3 gun safe can require god-like Tetris skills.
Also, Parthenogenesis and firearms is a thing. I had one rifle 11 months ago, now I have 4.

With safes, buy nice, don't buy twice. I now have 2 gun safes (thankfully one was a freebie) but I should have bought a tenner first up.
My choice is what I choose to do, and if I'm causing no harm why should it bother you?
Your choice is who choose to be, and if you're causing no harm then you're alright with me
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