Keeping Firearms in Self Storage: What is the Law in Texas

Firearms in Self Storage: Whether you own one gun or you’re an avid collector, there may be a time when you need to store your firearms. For various reasons, you may not want to keep them in your home.

  • Concerns about the safety of your children
  • Shortage of space for extensive collections
  • Divorce settlement
  • Awaiting legal distribution to beneficiaries during probate
  • A lengthy trip away from home
  • The extended presence of a person in your home who is disqualified from possessing firearms

In any case, you can either leave your weapon with a trustworthy adult or place it in self storage.

Firearms in self storage
Entrusting Your Firearms to a Trusted Adult Friend or Family Member

If you’re considering leaving your firearms with a trusted adult friend or family member, there are a few things you should know. First of all, there should be two safes available – one for the weapon and one for the ammunition.

Secondly, if you’re not actually transferring gun ownership to another person, having an adult store your guns temporarily is not illegal and doesn’t require any paperwork. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), it is legal to lend a gun to a friend or relative, so long as that person is old enough and you have no reason to expect that he or she cannot legally own a firearm. Asking a friend to store your gun falls under this law.

Additionally, ATF materials state, “A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law.”

You are still legally responsible if your gun is used in a crime, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. To be safe, take pictures of your guns with the serial numbers visible, and store them on a digital device. Ask the person who is storing your gun to sign an agreement that the gun and ammunition will be stored in separate safes, and that the gun will not be used.

There’s always the possibility that you won’t be able to find a trusted adult friend or family member who is willing to hold your gun. One reason is that having a gun in the house is uncomfortable for some people, and there will be people who simply don’t want the responsibility. In this case, your best option is a secure self storage unit.

Storing Your Firearms in a Secure, Reliable Self Storage Unit

Current Texas Law: While there are no laws against storing firearms in a storage unit, each state has specific rules when it comes to gun storage. For example, there is no specific law in Texas about how firearms and ammunition should be stored safely, except in the case of preventing access to children.

Under Texas Penal Code 46.13: “Secure” means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable firearm by a child, including but not limited to placing a firearm in a locked container or temporarily rendering the firearm inoperable by a trigger lock or other means.

In any case, safety is always the priority when it comes to storing firearms. Before you place your guns in a storage facility you need to be aware of several issues.

Firearms in Self Storage: Rules: While there are no laws against storing firearms in a storage unit, certain states have specific rules. Some will require a gun safe, while others require only that guns are locked away securely. Even if the rules in your state are flexible, always tell the facility that you plan on storing firearms. If you’re putting your weapons in a self storage facility, be sure to invest in a strong lock to deter any type of robbery or criminal activity.

The facility manager will explain the self storage rules. For instance, it’s illegal to store ammunition in self storage because it is considered an explosive. All bullets must be removed from guns, and boxes of ammunition are prohibited from being stored.

To protect against rust and other types of damage, thoroughly clean and properly lubricate your gun before storing it. For even more protection, look for a climate-controlled unit or specialized gun storage.

Final Thoughts
Currently, there are more guns in the U.S. than there are people, so storage is an important issue. Whether you plan to store your firearms with a trustworthy adult or your local self storage facility, keep safety a priority. Pinnacle Storage Properties will be happy to help you understand the rules and regulations for storing firearms. Following both your state rules and those of your self storage facility lays the groundwork for a safe environment for everyone.