Historically, gun safes or security measures either leave a firearm where nobody can get to it or where everybody can get to it. Securing a home defense weapon so that it’s easily accessible is the Holy Grail of gun storage.
Wayne Crook, a businessman in Texas with a contradictory last name, was on a quest to find that elusive solution after a client in his electronic security system business was being stalked and needed a way to secure her three firearms at home. She wanted to have access to her weapons, should she need them, but also wanted to prevent them from being used against her. That challenge inspired Crook to invent what is now called the Pistol Pad, an approximately 9 by 6-inch resting place that interfaces with a home security system to alarm if the gun is picked up. The solution allowed the client to have immediate access to her weapon, as it rests atop a pad, but in one action would alert her alarm company and local police, and set off a siren (which is its own psychological weapon), Crook says.
But that’s just one inventive stop on the ideal-gun-storage quest. In addition to the Pistol Pad’s unique form, a handful of other gun storage devices are now available for both home defense or on-duty strongholds that enhance firearm security with technology, to afford a more defensive edge.
The unique 2.5-pound PistolPad is designed to fit in any nightstand drawer. The box-like platform sounds an alarm if the gun is handled by someone other than those who are authorized. Crook calls it the “panic button for handguns.” The pad does not guard against fire, but it does keep a weapon secure in a single place. “It evolved from a need in the field from a client,” says Crook, who’s been in the alarm industry and security since 1970, including time serving in the Marine Corps.
Crook says that combining firearm security and alarm systems is a natural pairing, and is simply a matter of figuring out how to combine them to effectively bridge the gap between unrestricted access to a home defense weapon while keeping the arm under guard. The system works by integrating a transmitter from the home security system into the box. The trigger guard is looped with a security cable that releases without resistance when picked up, but will trigger an alarm company (local law enforcement agency or both, depending on your home system) that there is a panic situation in the home and that a gun has been deployed. In addition to the pad-only version, there is a slightly altered version of the $125 system currently in production that doesn’t require a home security system, but will activate a siren to startle and distress intruders or thieves.
The ShotLock, made by TruckVault, was created to keep shotgun storage simple. The ShotLock Solo-Vault is made of heavy-duty 14-gauge steel, is designed to secure (in most cases) to the trigger-guard area of the firearm and can be mounted to a wall or in a vehicle. The compact 7.5 x 5.75 x 2.25-inch unit can be opened by its combination programmable push-button lock to free the gun.
For most deployments, the small locking device wraps around the trigger area to prevent a semi-auto, pump, over/under, pistol grip or side-by-side shotgun from being fired, which doesn’t require an entire locking gun safe or case. Don Fenton, sales and marketing director at TruckVault, says the device is unique in its size and simplicity, and offers a variety of mounting options. “We saw a need for a product … that could not easily be opened (by someone unauthorized) but you had to be able to open it fast and access your weapon,” Fenton, who has been with TruckVault since the inception of the ShotLock product, explains. “So your home defense shotgun is close, secure and ready in seconds; the door is open and your weapon is in hand.”