Building a gun room

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Ok, so I need a gun safe but, instead I decided that I am going to convert my basement back room into My gun room. The room is about 10x12 with concrete on two sides and sheet rock/framing on the other two.
The room will be used for the storage and cleaning of my firarms, and also serve as a reloading room.

To satisfy the PRM,
I will be replacing the door with a solid one equipped wit a deadbolt and Key locking door knob.
I will also be putting bars on the single window(Not visible from outside because of outside deck)
Do I need anything else to stay "legal"

For the people that have gun rooms,
What are you using to "display" the firearms? I was thinking about getting thick peg board but not sure, maybe rifle racks?

If anyone has done this before any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
 

Rob Boudrie

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If this comes out anything like that shed it's going to be fantastic. I'd still recommend a safe for the good stuff. If you are going to keep guns in the room not in a safe, you may want to consider something sturdier than sheetrock walls.
 

drgrant

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I wouldn't want guns in a room with just sheetrock. A sledgehammer will make a door through that in about 30 seconds of swinging. Even adding plywood to both sides would be an improvement, as they'd ahve to cut through it or something.

-Mike
 
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If this comes out anything like that shed it's going to be fantastic. I'd still recommend a safe for the good stuff. If you are going to keep guns in the room not in a safe, you may want to consider something sturdier than sheetrock walls.

What shed?

I was wondering about the walls, should I put some sheetmetal up behind the sheetrock?

The room would be to satisfy the State, rather than a theft deterrent. The house has an alarm, A big German Shepherd and usually someone there 24hrs per day.
 
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I'd do a Metal Entrance door. Something similar to what commercial buildings use. I would also build up those sheetrock walls with some blocks in front of them. Sure you'll lose 8" off of each wall but it'll be solid. I say to hell with the PRM and focus on what will kepe your valuables safe and away from the hands of others. The PRM doesn't need to tell me what to do to keep my guns safe. My desire to keep them away from others and a bit of common sense goes a long way. I will build my own room soon and it sounds like you have a decent platform to start off of.
 
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I'd do a Metal Entrance door. Something similar to what commercial buildings use. I would also build up those sheetrock walls with some blocks in front of them. Sure you'll lose 8" off of each wall but it'll be solid. I say to hell with the PRM and focus on what will kepe your valuables safe and away from the hands of others. The PRM doesn't need to tell me what to do to keep my guns safe. My desire to keep them away from others and a bit of common sense goes a long way. I will build my own room soon and it sounds like you have a decent platform to start off of.

Thanks for the input, The room is filled with junk now, so I have some cleaning to do. I can't wait to start this project.
 

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It just isn't clear to me that a locked room meets the state's requirements for a "locked container." Is there any case law on this?
 
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State law requires longarms to be locked in a case or with trigger locks when stored in your home and handguns need to be locked in something. A locked door is a locked door. Locking the front door is not sufficient for the state then I can't imagine a locked room will be enough...especially with wall board walls. Do your research, I think you have more work to do. I'd close off the room and install a nice safe for storage then have the room for cleaning, reloading etc. I wish I had the space instead of the safe in the closet trick I need to use.
 

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It just isn't clear to me that a locked room meets the state's requirements for a "locked container." Is there any case law on this?

There is case law that states a simple pass-though lock (that can be opened with a starightened paper clip) doesn't meet the requirements. I think in that same ruling it was indicated that a lock with a key (as long as the key wasn't hanging next to the lock) would meet the requirements. I could be talking out my ass though.

I was wondering about the walls, should I put some sheetmetal up behind the sheetrock?

I was thinking of doing this, but I was going to sandwich a layer of chain link fencing between 2x3 walls, then sheath it in sheetrock. It would be a bitch to cut through.
 
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According to the law, my wooden cabinet w/ glass front is a secure container.

As far as case law, I'm not sure. There was one that the gun owner had a firearm in his "locked bedroom" and was not secure because it was a pin type lock, rather than a key.
 
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I would build the last 2 walls out of brick. Really how hard can it be. Use some cinder blocks, re-bar and cements. Get yourself a solid Steel door like you said. I would then build a wooden floor raised 4"-6" for moisture and water purposes. Even if you don't get any water now I would still do this. I would also waterproof and seal the walls as well as put in provisioning for de-humidication.

The chain- link fence idea in the wall isn't a bad idea either.
 
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I had a discussion about this topic with one of the great Firearms attorneys on this board. Locked bedroom is not ok. Locked closet is. There is no difference in a locked cabinet / Safe or a closet. There is a big difference in a locked bedroom. The difference is living space.
 
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I had a discussion about this topic with one of the great Firearms attorneys on this board. Locked bedroom is not ok. Locked closet is. There is no difference in a locked cabinet / Safe or a closet. There is a big difference in a locked bedroom. The difference is living space.

Can you define "Locked"? Is a key lock on the doorknob enough?
 

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Locking the front door is not sufficient for the state then I can't imagine a locked room will be enough...especially with wall board walls.

I guess that places most of the gun stores in MA in violation, then. [laugh]


-Mike
 

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Per MGLs, I can cable lock or trigger lock each gun and store them by leaving them lie around on tables/chairs, etc. Perfectly legal although unwise.

There is NO requirement for a locked closet, safe or locked room in MGLs.

Read the appropriate section of MGL and decide for yourself.

Personally your idea will meet the law. I do like the idea of burying chain-link fencing in the wall however for added anti-theft security, but it's overkill wrt MGL. A key-in-knob lock will also suffice. I'd go for a solid door, but no need for a steel-case door or door-frame to meet the laws.
 
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.....As far as case law, I'm not sure. There was one that the gun owner had a firearm in his "locked bedroom" and was not secure because it was a pin type lock, rather than a key.

There is case law that states a simple pass-though lock (that can be opened with a starightened paper clip) doesn't meet the requirements. I think in that same ruling it was indicated that a lock with a key (as long as the key wasn't hanging next to the lock) would meet the requirements. I could be talking out my ass though.

Commonwealth v. Parzick, 64 Mass.App.Ct. 846 (2005)

In this case, the claim of a locked room sufficing as a secure container was defeated because the lock was flimsy. As a result, the Court did not have to address, and therefore did not address, whether a locked room with a good lock would be a secure container.

[5] We likewise conclude that > G.L. c. 140, § 131L, requires guns to be maintained in locked containers in a way that will deter all but the most persistent from gaining access. Even a door locked with a key is not secure if the key is hanging next to the lock. Assuming the defendant's bedroom to be a container, and further that it was locked at the time of the theft, > (FN4) the defendant was in violation of > G.L. c. 140, § 131L, because the lock was easily defeated by anyone with access to a bobby pin and did not prevent ready access by anyone other than the lawful owner.
 
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Just make sure your gun room is a "closet" and is not part of "living space" of the house and you should be fine.

I would consider it a storage room.

I would build the last 2 walls out of brick. Really how hard can it be. Use some cinder blocks, re-bar and cements. Get yourself a solid Steel door like you said. I would then build a wooden floor raised 4"-6" for moisture and water purposes. Even if you don't get any water now I would still do this. I would also waterproof and seal the walls as well as put in provisioning for de-humidication.

The chain- link fence idea in the wall isn't a bad idea either.

The house is on a hill, so the water flows right down the hill. I do plan on using a de-humidifier. I also like the chain link fence Idea
 
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Len-2A Training

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It's an "either/or" situation. NO requirement for locked container if other means are used as I stated above.

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/140-131l.htm

Section 131L. (a) It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun including, but not limited to, large capacity weapons, or machine gun in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user. For purposes of this section, such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.
 
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I had a discussion about this topic with one of the great Firearms attorneys on this board. Locked bedroom is not ok. Locked closet is. There is no difference in a locked cabinet / Safe or a closet. There is a big difference in a locked bedroom. The difference is living space.
I sure wish there was something definitive in writing on this point. My handguns have always been kept in two locked safes... the safes being located in a locked closet... the closet being located in my locked "gun room"... all door locks being of the very highest quality available. From what's been said here, it doesn't sound like I needed to buy a new gun safe or gun cabinet to house my new long guns sans cable locks. Sounds like I could have been PRM legal just storing them in the locked closet within the locked "gun room"... yes? or no?

CLMN
 

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I sure wish there was something definitive in writing on this point. My handguns have always been kept in two locked safes... the safes being located in a locked closet... the closet being located in my locked "gun room"... all door locks being of the very highest quality available. From what's been said here, it doesn't sound like I needed to buy a new gun safe or gun cabinet to house my new long guns. Sounds like I could have been PRM legal just storing them in the locked closet within the locked "gun room"... yes? or no?

CLMN


You will have met the requirement of MGL's
 
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I built a gun room very similar to what you are considering. Two walls in the basement were old field stone. No way anyone getting through that. I then framed the other two walls out of 2x4 studs. Every 4 inches o/c I drilled a 3/4 inch hole in the center of the studs (its easier to do this before your frame it). Then, I inserted 5/8 rebar through all of the holes, effectively creating a steel fence running horizontally through the stud walls. The inside of the room received 3/4 maple plywood stained and cleared in a warm mahogony finish. I then built the gunrack receiving shelf at the proper elevation. I also built a base 1.5 inches above the concrete floor to keep moisture off the bottom of the standing long arms.

Above the gun rack, I inserted shelfing and dowels to hold accessories and handguns. The other framed inside wall also received rebar and clad in 3/4 plywood. The exterior of the walls were clad in 5/8 hardboard instead of sheetrock. The room was lit with a/c power and I bought some cheap battery LED lights in case the power goes out. The door is a standard solid core wood door. I clad it in 1/8 aluminum diamond sheets and instead of using a typical locking hand knob, I installed a deadbolt into the hole and used a galvanized boat cleat for a handle. I also used 4 inch long screws to attach the door jamb and hinges making it difficult to take out with a few swings of a sledge hammer.

Effectively, you would either have to spend 5-10 minutes cutting through the door with a recipricating saw or go through 5/8 thick wallboard, 5/8 thick rebar fencing and 3/4 plywood before you could stick your hand in an reach a gun. On the other side of the room on the field stone walls I have large wine shelves up to 36 inches tall (yes, this doubles as a wine cellar). On top of them I store ammo in locked water resistant stanley toolboxes. I can stack these and add more boxes if I desire. the back wall houses my bow and shooting benchrest as well as other incidentals.

I also store cigars here. I call it the ATF Room. The whole room is about 6'x8'.
 
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I was going to give you grief for posting your "room construction" on the web, then i read your ATF comment. Genius.

If you go on youtube, you can see videos of mock thieves breaking into 800lb concrete gun safes in 3 minutes. The bad guys can break into anything. My daughters, who really are the concern here, would cut thier hands off with a sawzall before they figured out how to get into this room.
 
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