The Difference between Biometric Pistol Safes and Locking Pistol Safes

The Difference between Biometric Pistol Safes and Locking Pistol Safes

Responsible gun ownership means having a gun safe or case to keep your gun locked away and out of the hands of children and others. However, there are many different safe and case options available, and it can be hard to determine which is the best option for your situation. What makes one case better than another? Here is a look at some of the difference between biometric pistol safes and locking pistol safes:

How they are accessed

The first and biggest difference between the two is how the safe is accessed. Both the locking pistol safe and a biometric pistol safe are going to provide a locked place to keep your weapon, making it safer and more secure.

Key or combination

A locking pistol safe is going to use a key or combination for access. It will have a strong locking mechanism, and to open the safe you must know the combination or key code, or have a physical key. This is very simple, much like any safe you would use to store anything valuable or potentially dangerous.


A biometric safe, on the other hand, uses a fingerprint or other unique biometric scanning technology to operate the locking mechanism. In other words, to gain access, your fingerprint will be scanned, and it has to match the fingerprints that are associated with that safe. Typically the construction and locking mechanisms will be comparable to a key-locked safe, with the main difference being that a biometric safe uses biometrics instead of keys or combinations for access. This reduces risk because only those authorized to access the safe can, unlike a key or combination, which might be stolen or discovered.

 Safety and security

Another important difference between the biometric safe and the locking safe is the security and safety it offers in a crisis. Both are safer options than not locking up your firearms, but there are differences in safety.

Speed of access

Because with a biometric safe a fingerprint scanner is used to access your safe’s contents, you get faster access, which is important for firearms intended for home defense. Touching the fingers correctly against the locking mechanism releases the lock, granting immediate access to the contents of a biometric pistol safe. A locking case is a good option, but it requires finding the right key or remembering the numeric combination while under duress. The result is that access may be slower.

Who has access

Who can access the safe is another key factor in the safety and security. With a locking case or safe, anyone who has access to the key, finds it, or guesses the combination can gain access to the firearm, even a child or suicidal teen.  With a biometric safe, only those whose fingerprints are registered with the lock can open it.  It is important to note that most biometric safes include a key for traditional access in the event access to the fingerprint is not available, or if some sort of malfunction occurs.

Cost of ownership

The cost of a locking pistol safe and a biometric pistol safe is another difference. Understandably, the biometric safe is typically going to be more expensive because it provides a higher level of safety and security without sacrificing accessibility and ease of use. But with any product, there is a range in quality, size, and brands. Thus, there is a range in price for both options.

A locking pistol case can range from under $50 to more than $1000 based on the materials used, the number of firearms it holds, whether it is portable or stationary, etc. The price range for a biometric safe is also wide, as it too will increase in cost if it holds multiple firearms, and the like. However, the less expensive safes are usually in the $150-$200 range, which is a reasonable cost given the increased security and quicker access they grant.

For more information on the technology behind biometric gun safes, visit our Product page to purchase.