Can guns be stored in a storage unit?

A self-storage unit is a great place to keep your belongings if you’re decluttering, moving, or just need somewhere to store seasonal items in the off-season. You can safely store many things in these units, from furniture to artwork to holiday décor to important papers. There are some things, however, that may not be suitable for a storage unit. Do firearms fall into this category? Is it legal to keep your guns in a storage unit?

The laws differ from state to state, so it’s wise to check your state and local regulations before deciding to rent a unit. In Texas, there are no specific state laws about the storage of firearms and ammunition, aside from the issue of preventing access to children. Because unsecured firearms in the home have been linked to increased gun violence, suicides, homicides, and fires, gun owners are required to takes steps to secure their firearms, so they won’t be easy for kids to access. Securing a gun could mean placing it in a locked gun safe or it could involve rendering it temporarily inoperable by using a trigger lock or some other tactic. Nothing in Texas law, however, prohibits the storage of firearms in storage units.

The storage facility owners, on the other hand, are very likely to ban the practice at their facilities. In fact, most of the time it’s against storage facility rules to store guns or ammunition in a storage space. If you happen to find a storage facility that does accept guns, it will be under specific circumstances, with significant paperwork involved. Why? What do storage facility owners have against storing firearms? There are several reasons why it might not be allowed.

  • First, allowing the storage of guns in self-storage can increase the risk of break-ins at the storage facility. Guns are a valuable item, which makes them likely targets of theft. If a storage facility owner allows people to keep guns in their storage units, that makes the facility a likely target for thieves. This is a major risk for the owner, because storage facility owners often have to absorb the loss of stolen items.
  • Guns are dangerous items to store. Guns should never be stored loaded, but that doesn’t mean people don’t do this. If a loaded gun is stored in a storage unit, the explosive nature of the ammunition can cause an unsafe situation. In fact, it can even create a fire hazard for other items being stored in the facility.
  • When guns are stored in a storage unit, they’re more likely to wind up in the hands of ex-felons. Sometimes, people fail to pay the rent on their storage units. When this happens, the owner of the storage facility puts the items stored in the defaulted units up for auction. There’s not much control over who can place a bid, so if an ex-felon is the highest bidder, that’s who takes home the items in the unit. This means that if there was a gun among the possessions in the storage space, an ex-felon will end up owning it, even though it’s illegal for ex-felons to own firearms. To bypass this situation, storage facility owners choose to simply prevent people from storing firearms in their facilities.
  • Along the same lines, guns in a storage unit make storage auctions overly complicated. If the storage of firearms is permitted by a facility, and an auction is held, this auction is likely to become a complex undertaking. For an auctioneer to lead an auction in which a gun is one of the items, that auctioneer has to be certified in gun sales. The storage facility owner will also have to perform background checks on all of the bidders to make sure there are no ex-felons among them. If the highest bidder on a lot is an ex-felon, the guns will need to be removed from the lot and auctioned separately, and that money will be returned to the ex-felon who won the original auction. When an auction becomes this complicated, it’s easier for the storage facility owner just to ban guns altogether.
  • Many storage facilities aren’t wellsuited for storing firearms. Many storage facilities are not climate controlled, which means they provide a poor environment for storing guns. High humidity and extreme temperature fluctuations can damage firearms, which makes traditional storage units the wrong choice for storing them.

If you do find a storage unit that allows the storage of firearms, there are some important steps to take before storing your guns.

  • Review the facility’s rules on firearms. Some facilities place limits on the type of gun or how many guns you can store. Make sure you’re familiar with the rules at your storage facility before you head over with your guns.
  • Make sure the unit is climate-controlled. Don’t store your firearms anywhere that’s not climate controlled, because that can cause them to rust.
  • Prepare your guns before you store them. Clean each firearm to remove fingerprints and oil from the barrel, so that it won’t become damaged in storage. It’s also important to unload the gun and remove any gunpowder residue. Left behind residue can be a fire hazard. Store the gun in a gun safe or with a trigger lock in place.
  • Prevent your gun from being stolen. Research indicates that many criminals prefer to use stolen guns when committing crimes, so they steal guns from people’s cars, homes, and yes, storage units. If you’re storing a gun, make sure it’s hidden behind less desirable property to shield it from thieves. Then, too, you should choose a storage facility that prioritizes security.

When you’re moving, consider this: it’s not unusual for moving and storage units to refuse to store or move firearms. This is for all the same reasons noted above about storage facilities. If you have any doubts about something you want to move or store, whether it’s a gun or something else, it’s best to give the company a call and verify their policies before unintentionally doing something that’s against the rules.

If you’re in need of moving and storage services, call Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage. We are dedicated to providing efficient, safe, and professional commercial and home moving services, as the reliable moving partner you can trust. Founded in 2001 by two off-duty firefighters, we’ve grown to serve not only the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but also Houston and Austin as well. A locally-owned-and-operated business, we exceed all state and federal requirements for a moving company and can handle all of your moving needs, as well as providing storage. For more information, as well as to clarify our policies on what we do and do not allow in storage units, call 844-715-6625 or visit our website for an estimate.