Are Biometric Gun Safes Reliable

If you are looking at a biometric gun safe to store your firearm and other valuables, you need to ask yourself: are they safe and reliable? Well, no matter what safe you get, biometric or otherwise, their safety is only as reliable as the person who uses it. But with a biometric gun safe, many worry that malfunctions could prevent them from accessing the contents.

Although these safes use advanced technology, they have their own issues, as do most safes. You will need to decide if the advantages outweigh the downsides in terms of reliability. Here we will be taking a look at the reliability, safety, and features of biometric gun safes to determine if they are reliable or not. So let’s get right to it.

Biometric Safe

What Is a Biometric Gun Safe?

A biometric gun safe is the exact same thing as a regular gun safe in that it is usually a metal box that consists of a top, floor, sides, and a door. It will have at least one bolt or bar and a lock system to prevent people from stealing what is stored inside the unit.

The difference comes in how a standard gun safe and a biometric gun safe are unlocked. Most gun safes are opened in one of two ways – either with a manual key or with a number combination, either on a digital keypad or with a combination lock.

A biometric gun safe is unlocked using biometric technology that requires your fingerprint, an eye scan, or voice recognition, where the owner of the safe says a specific word or phrase to unlock the system.

Pros and Cons of Biometric Gun Safes

The best way to learn whether a specific biometric gun safe is reliable is through an expert. But there are still certain things you can look out for that will determine the safety and reliability of a specific safe.


  • Advanced technology
  • Compact and mobile
  • Fingerprint/eye/voice recognition sensors

Most biometric gun safes are small enough to be placed in a desk drawer, but if you have larger guns or want more space, some larger models can be anchored in a cupboard.

Top-quality biometric safes are typically well-designed and are built using strong gauge steel and fireproof material. Some biometric safes will come with FBI certification, which means that the fingerprint sensor has been verified using its high-quality 3D imaging.

Cheaper models will only allow one fingerprint, but higher-quality safes will allow anywhere from five up to 50 unique fingerprints. This is helpful if you want the members of your family or different employees in your business to have access to the safe.

Another plus for biometric gun safes is that they usually have doors that lock automatically when you close them, as well as a keycode bypass system, internal LED lighting, fireproofing, and movable shelves.


  • Cheaper models made of thin steel
  • Can lack fireproofing
  • Many have mobile apps
  • Biometric malfunctions

Most lower-end biometric gun safes are made using thin gauge steel, which is meant to aid in easy mobility but results in a cheap-looking, flimsy, unreliable safe. Sadly, this means that just a few simple tools and a couple of minutes will be all that’s needed to gain access.

Fireproofing is vital to the safety and reliability of a biometric safe, so if the model you choose does not have this feature, you may find yourself in a pickle if you have a house fire. This is mainly a problem for any ammunition you store in the safe.

In all honesty, we can’t work out why you would want a mobile app for your gun safe unless, for some reason, a family member cannot access the safe, and in that case, you likely don’t want them to have access.

Lastly, the most crucial downside of a biometric safe is the actual biometric system failing. Unfortunately, this is more common than we would like. Whether from a shaking hand to a smudged fingerprint, biometric safes rarely open 100% of the time. This means that you may have struggles in an emergency.

Are Biometric Gun Safes Reliable?

There are several circumstances that factor into the reliability of your biometric safe. Some of these include:

  • Where you store the safe
  • Who operates the safe
  • What system the safe uses

Where the safe is stored is one of the most critical considerations – this single choice can determine how safe and reliable the safe is for those who are in the home. If your gun safe is not easily accessible in an emergency or threatening situation, it is easy to see that it isn’t reliable – not through any fault of its own, of course.

Further to that, if it is placed in a dark room or a hard-to-reach space, you may struggle to get the biometric system to do a fingerprint or eye scan or a voice recognition test, especially in a panic.

No biometric system, whether it is on your cell phone, laptop, or gun safe, will work every single time. However, this can be a problem if you need quick access to your gun or ammunition. A failed opening can cost you the seconds you need to keep yourself or your family safe.

Final Thoughts

So, to answer the question once and for all, biometric safes are both reliable and unreliable. Like with many things, you get what you pay for with a biometric gun safe. Lower-end models offer little reliability and may leave you feeling more frustrated than protected. They often fail in reading your eye or fingerprint, and they typically offer little in the way of fireproofing.

On the flip side, high-end models work most of the time, so you will not feel as frustrated. They will normally be quite versatile, with movable shelves, internal lighting, and reliable fail safes. At the end of the day, if you can’t afford a top-end biometric model, you would be better off purchasing a high-end standard gun safe. At least the safety would then be guaranteed.

If you aren't familiar with the gun safes on the market and you aren't sure which of the gun safe models is the best choice for you, I recommend you to read my Gun Safe Buying Guide so you can learn how to determine which gun safe suits your lifestyle best. I have made a detailed guide about the features you have to consider before you buy a gun safe and they are connected to the size, brand which made it, capacity, materials used during the production and special features like fire or water protection. If you are familiar with all those features, I suggest you visit my posts about best biometric, quick access or fireproof gun safes if you know that they suit your lifestyle best.