Can you legally store a handgun in a locked biometric gun safe in a garage separated from an apartment in the same building?

Hello all,
I live in IA. Am wondering if you can you legally store a handgun in a locked biometric gun safe in a garage separated from an apartment in the same building? So the biometric gun safe (opens only with my finger print) is in the garage, which is four floors below my apartment unit.

If someone breaks into my garage and steals the gun safe, then manages to get it open and use it (the gun inside) in a crime, could I face some legal consequences? Perhaps revocation of a CCW license or worse like trial for jail time?


Welcome to the family brother! The best course of action for this would be to contact an attorney in your area for official answers to your question. However, your firearm is your responsibility, and if stolen and used in the commission of a crime, I would bet that eventually you’ll hear about it. The consequences of it being unattended in a garage, regardless of being in a lockbox, I do not know. Be assured that no safe is impenetrable. A good prybar and some elbow grease will do most in.


Welcome to the family and god bless you.

My advice is not to leave it in the garage even though it is in a safe. Keep it in the apartment with you. You never know when you might need it. If someone somehow breaks into the garage and takes it, it’s your responsibility.


It appears that the only law in Iowa about storing firearms is relating to accessibility to children.

Iowa Code § 724.22(7) makes it a crime to store or leave a loaded but unlocked or unsecured firearm where the person storing or leaving the gun knows or has reason to believe that a child under the age of 14 is likely to gain access to the gun without the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, and the child gains access to the gun without such consent and either exhibits the gun in a public place in an unlawful manner or uses the gun unlawfully to cause injury or death. This prohibition does not apply if the child obtains the gun as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.

You should consult with an IA attorney or even the state police on whether it would be illegal to leave a firearm in a locked container in an unattended vehicle.


Awesome responses everyone! One thing to keep in mind no matter where a firearm is stolen from, report it to the police as soon as you now it’s gone.

Keep your serial numbers in a safe place!


“Am wondering if you can you legally store a handgun in a locked biometric gun safe in a garage separated from an apartment in the same building?”

Why would you want to do that? Get a smaller safe, keep it in your abode.

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Hello and Welcome Walter,

Very interesting question. Even if I lived in IA and was familiar with the local laws, I’d probably recommend looking up local defense lawyers and ask them because what might be no problem in one area, might not apply to your area and your courthouse.

Generally though, in my state and my situation, I am taking every step I can to secure my firearms. If someone bypasses my security system & breaks in while I’m away, kills both my hell hounds, kills my video on my security cameras, uses a cutting torch to open my safe and then uses my firearms in a crime…I feel like I did everything I could to secure my firearms…but it wouldn’t surprise me if some prosecutor out there still tried to argue I could have done more and tried to convict me. It’s best you ask the experts in your local area for more accurate information. Wouldn’t want to steer you wrong.

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Thanks everyone for these responses. There’s a lot of food for thought and I appreciate the feedback. My thinking was that storing a weapon in a detached garage would minimize the possibility of a youngster gaining access to the weapon if he/she were in my house. But I see there are problems with having a weapon stored in a separate space, too.
I’ll keep digging on this question but I’m starting to think storing it ‘well hidden and not easily accessible’ in my apartment could be a better option.

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No disrespect, but “Hidden” misses the point. “Secured” is the point. Wherever that is.


No disrepect taken! I agree absolutely it needs to be secured as the top priority.