View Full Version : GunVault Mini & Multi - No Good in CA?

10-18-2005, 2:34 PM
Slightly different topic:

I'm looking for secure but convenient storage for my "friend-on-the-nightstand" - so I've shopped around for a small vault, and of all the ones I've seen, GunVault seems to have the nicest combination of quality and features in their GV1000 & GV2000. But my understanding is these products are NOT approved by our Royal State guvmint to be considered safe storage. Is that true, or not... for that matter, where does one go to find out? :confused:

I know they work; I have friends who bought them when first released to the market. So, what if I want to use one anyway? I "presume" that my choice would mean it would not be considered a locked com[partment if travelling in an auto or some such, correct? Is that the main downside to buying this product?

I've checked out the ones that are supposedly "Approved" - No Thanks, they just don't quite measure up. I haven't seen the S&W "VersaVault" in person - I understand it's not available for sale here because it too is NOT approved - however I like what I've seen & read about it.

Any help? Comments/opinions/options, etc?

10-18-2005, 6:14 PM
Here you go:

10-18-2005, 6:30 PM
In the bottom right corner of GunVault's homepage is a link that says CA approved device.


I don't have one of these but I know people who do. I haven't heard them complain.

10-21-2005, 1:32 PM
They're California approved - the manufacturer listing is Advanced Security Products on the CaDOJ web site (http://justice.doj.ca.gov/safetydevice/dsearch2.asp). They'll also work as a locking device in a vehicle, since no approval is necessary for that, as long as it's not the glove compartment or console. Even a plastic case with a $1 lock is good for car travel.

Gunvault was bought by another manufacturer a while back, and were down for a bit, but they seem to be back in production now.

I have one, and I like it a lot, but there are some issues with it. Another popular bedside lockbox is the Handgun Safe (http://www.handgunsafe.com), which uses a mechanical Simplex lock. Popularity of them is split, mostly depending on whether people prefer mechanical or electronic locks. Here are the pros and cons of the two, as I see them:

Gunvault:- Finger-shaped keys are easy to use in the dark, but are shaped for a big hand. Hit the key sequence and it pops open. I find this one a lot easier to use than the Simplex lock on the Handgun Safe. Miss 3 times in a row and it locks you out for 5 minutes, so practice at fumble recovery in the middle of the night is essential, and it's a good idea to have one of the keys hidden somewhere not too far away (this helps if the batteries have died, too).

- It's easier to know if you're hitting the buttons right if you have the beeps enabled, but there's some risk to having it beep if you don't want to attract attention. I practice in the middle of the night, and if you're a bit muddled, it's easy to fumble the combo.

- To recover a fumbled combo, I keep pressing keys until the light turns red (6 presses total, I think), then try the combo again. Natural reaction is to do the regular combo again after it doesn't work the first time, but if you haven't turned the light red yet, this screws up your second try, too, and you've only got one left. Practice, practice, practice, and do it at 3am when you've just woken up.

- It can alert you if someone's been trying to figure out your combination when you're not there.

- Door opens down and out of the way of your hand. I like this better for where I have it located than the Handgun Safe's side-swinging door, and it requires less clearance. The motion to unlock and remove your gun is very natural for me, since you don't have to clear the door, and the gun's in the same plane as the keys, just a few inches lower.

- The lock is electronic, so there are more potential reliability issues and failure mechanisms than with the Handgun Safe.

- The backup lock is a tubular lock, which can be susceptible to a number of quick-pick tricks (like the Bic pen trick) if the tumbler heights are lined up a certain way. If you can inspect several before you buy, you want one with key cuts that vary a lot in height, which makes it more difficult to pick with simple gear.

Handgun Safe:
- Simplex push-button lock is reliable and mechanical, but requires more fine motor skills and 2 motions to open - button sequence, then handle twist. Lots of practice makes it reliable, and you have unlimited retries.

- The door springs open into the space your hand has to be in to work the lock, and you have to move your hand out of the way.

- More sizes and shapes available.

- Somewhat sturdier, but neither one is very resistant to forced entry. Both are essentially kid-proof safes - neither will keep out a burglar with some basic tools.

I don't have as much info on the Handgun Safe, since I don't own one, but they're popular.


01-19-2006, 1:07 PM
So, can I buy one of these even though they're not "CA approved"? I could care less whether they qualify for the "don't have to buy a lock-per-gun" exemption if they work as bedside storage.

Actually, I'd really like to lay my hands on both of these models at a local store an operate them just to see which one feels better. Anyplace in the bay area I can actually try either?

01-19-2006, 6:25 PM
As per the DOJ site...looking under manufacture "Gun Vault"
Roster of Approved Firearms Safety Devices
Search by Device
Search results for: 1/19/06

Device Make: Gun Vault
Device Model: GV-2000D, Multi-Vault Deluxe
Text Description: All firearms that are no more than 11 inches in length x 6.8 inches in width x 3 inches in height.

No firearms have been certified for this device.
(pretty much the same for all four models)

And I can say I MORE confused than when I started trying to help....
So with the last line does it mean that its NOT ok for cali?
Or the fact that its even listed mean that its enough/ok for cali????


01-19-2006, 8:59 PM
It means that no specific models of firearms were tested with the safe, but it is certified for "All firearms that are no more than 11 inches in length x 6.8 inches in width x 3 inches in height".

Some trigger locks and action locks and such are tested on specific models, and you can look up certified devices based on gun model, but not on this one, would be my guess.


02-11-2006, 2:08 PM
If this meets California's requirement, anything can...



02-11-2006, 2:36 PM
I have a GunVault and it is by far the best little safe I have seen. My hand falls right into the finger slots and a each button press can be felt with a nice click. I have had to clear my house at 3AM and my gun was in my hand 2 seconds after I thought to my self "GET YOUR GUN". Turns out it was the neighbors cat that made his way into my storage shed and was knocking stuff over going after what I think was a rat.

Its been 4-5 years and its still on the same 9v battery! That also with opening the safe a least 6 times a week and still not Battery low warning light. They say to repace it every year but I wanted to see how long it would last.

My only beef.....

The door catch is right in the center of the door and sometimes you ding your gun on it when pulling it out or putting it away. I think they should have put it on the sides. Thats my only small issue with it.

05-22-2006, 10:20 AM
I have an old model GV 1000...
I need instructions on how to program this.
Its the old model with out a "learn" button.

05-22-2006, 10:37 AM
I got a gunvault bolted to the center console of my rig (which is bolted to the floor pan). I have no glove or trunk so that is my locked transport box and it works great even when mounted upright.