How to Use a Gun Lock And How Does it Works?

How to Use a Gun LockStoring your firearms the safe way is your duty and responsibility as a gun owner. The sad reality is most of the firearm-related incidents in a household around the world come from accidents. And these unfortunate accidents can be avoided if the owner practices safe weapon storage.

One way to store your handgun safely and securely is to use a gun safety lock. The good thing about this method is that it is not as costly as getting a gun safe; however, this is no excuse for not getting a safe for your weapon. A gun safe will still be the best way to securely store your weapons out of sight.

But if you are looking for something that does not set you back a couple of hundred bucks, a gun safety lock is the way to go. Some people even opt to use a safety lock on their gun even after placing it inside a gun safe. When it comes to security, you can never be too safe.

In this article, we will give you a complete rundown on everything you need to know about this cheap and easy way to keep your weapons safe and secure and reduce the risk of accidents with your firearms. So, without further ado, let us dive in.

What Exactly is a Gun Safety Lock or Trigger Lock?

What Exactly is a Gun Safety Lock or Trigger Lock?

A gun lock is a special mechanism to block the firing system of any firearm such as pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, etc. Gun locks either block the trigger mechanism or the firing chamber.

Technically speaking, any tool or equipment that contributes to the safety of your weapon and prevents accidental or unauthorized discharge by anyone other than yourself is a gun safety lock. This means even a gun safe can be considered as a gun safety lock as it keeps your weapons out of the hands of others.

However, we are not talking about gun safes. In this instance, we will be sticking with two other form of simple locking system that ensures your weapon cannot be fired unless you are handling it yourself. We will be talking about the gun trigger locks and another simple tool, cable locks.

Should Guns Be Locked?

Guns are very sensitive objects to handle. Especially if you are storing guns within reach of children, they can accidentally fire the gun. It might cause deadly situations that no one wants.

Another serious case is when you carry your firearms. Larger guns like rifles or shotguns are usually carried in their dedicated boxes. But people often tend to carry their handguns without any locks.

If the gun is loaded, the trigger can be pulled accidentally, which will cause serious damage. To avoid such situations, it is a must to use the lock of a firearm.

How Does a Gun Lock Work?

How Does a Gun Lock Work?

Depending on the type, gun locks work in different mechanisms. Trigger locks are the most common for all kinds of guns. They usually have two separate parts that join together to block the trigger from being pulled.

Another common type, cable locking mechanisms, go through the most crucial parts of guns such as magazine, firing chamber, etc. As a result, no bullets can be fired with the gun.

Using these locks is mostly useful to lock your handgun. But if you are concerned about large firearms like rifles or shotguns or want to store multiple firearms conveniently, using a safety vault is much easier.

Different Types of Gun Safety Lock

Different Types of Gun Safety Lock

1. Cable lock

Cable lock

As we already said, a cable lock is the simpler of the two mechanisms. It is basically a type of padlock where one end goes through the empty mag chamber and penetrates the gun chamber of the handgun. It then comes out of the top of the gun and attaches to the lock through the opening.

You get a key to open the lock when you have to access your weapon. This is an extremely simple yet efficient form of buying some preliminary level of safety for your firearm. The major benefit of this type of lock is that it is very affordable, and almost anyone can afford it.

However, this locking system is not without its flaws. For instance, getting your gun combat ready can take some time. Not only do you have to open up the lock, but you also have to pull back the top of the gun and pull out the cable through the opening. Then you also need to load up the gun with ammunition.

This entire process can take some time, so if you fall under a high-stress situation, you will need a good couple of minutes before you can get to your gun. For some situations, these few minutes might not be available. Furthermore, these padlocks can be broken by any capable burglar. So safety is not that great against burglary either.

2. Trigger lock

Trigger lock

Trigger locks, on the other hand, are much safer compared to a cable lock. They also tend to be quite cheap, which is a plus if you are on a budget. A trigger lock is a contraption that comes with two parts. One part of the unit goes over the trigger guard while the other section fits inside the trigger preventing you from firing it.

There are multiple variations of trigger locks that you can find on the market with a variety of locking mechanisms. In fact, you can even find trigger locks with biometric scanning options if you want to access your weapons faster. But the most common type of trigger lock is a combination locking system.

Although you can keep your weapon loaded when you are using a trigger lock, in most situations, it is not a good idea. One of the basic requirements of gun safety rules is that you keep your weapons unloaded unless necessary. But if you absolutely have to, you can use a trigger lock with a loaded weapon.

A trigger lock gives you a better security in terms of keeping your guns away from intruders. Some high-end models even come with anti-tamper alarms or lockdown features to further cement its security. Depending on the type and design of the trigger lock, you might need to use batteries for it to function.

Are Trigger Locks Enough for Gun Safety?

Are Trigger Locks Enough for Gun Safety?

There are many debates among people regarding the best way to store your firearm. Some argue that a trigger lock is all you need to keep your guns secure, while others say that a gun safe is the only way to ensure proper safety.

Remember, your weapons in the wrong hands can cause severe damages to property or even life. So you need to do everything in your power to keep it safe and locked up.

Sure, a gun safety lock is an affordable tool that can help offer some protection for your weapon. But it is not a gun safe. Keeping your weapon in plain view for all to see is not generally a good idea.

So even if you have a trigger lock, always consider investing in a gun safe in the near future to keep your guns locked up behind a steel wall. That is your best bet to make sure your weapons will stay away from intruders.

How to Use a Trigger Lock?

How to Use a Trigger Lock?

You can use the same trigger lock for almost all guns, including pistol, revolver, shotgun, and rifle. Here are the easy steps to use a trigger lock.

Your firearm should be unloaded when using a trigger lock.

  • Open the trigger lock by the key or combination provided.
  • Take apart two sections of the trigger lock.
  • Insert the cylinder of the trigger lock through the back of the trigger into the trigger guard so that the trigger can’t be pulled.
  • Push the other end of the lock from the opposite side and press firmly.
  • Close the trigger lock using the key or num pad.
  • Now you can store or carry the gun safely.

Caution: Using a trigger lock on a loaded gun might still be dangerous!

How To Use a Cable Gun Lock for DIfferent Weapons


To perform this process, you will need a cable lock and an UNLOADED firearm, a revolver to be specific.

  • Open the lock with the key, and one end of the cable will come out.
  • Route the cable through the barrel of the revolver.
  • If the cable is too short to do so, you can also route the cable through two chambers of the handgun. Or, you can also route the cable through the frame of the revolver.
  • Insert the cable into the lock.


A pistol cable lock is much easier to use. Follow these steps to lock your pistol with a cable lock.

  • Remove the magazine from the pistol.
  • Open the lock and pull the cable out.
  • Route the cable through the mag well and the ejection port.
  • Put the cable back into the lock to secure your handgun.


Follow these simple steps to lock your rifle.

  • Open the lock and route the cable through the loading port and the ejection port of the rifle.
  • Place the cable back into the lock.


The process of locking a shotgun is similar to that of a rifle. Follow the previous steps to lock your shotgun with a cable lock.

Are Gun Locks Effective?

Are Gun Locks Effective?

There are controversies regarding the effectiveness of gun locks. Though trigger locks or cables locks are widely popular, they are not intended to use on loaded firearms.

These locks might not stop guns from accidental discharges. They just give a sense of security to unauthorized users or children. But safety boxes or vaults seem to be very effective to store firearms safely.

What Locking Device for Firearms Is Safest?

To be honest, trigger locks or cable locks are more of a gimmick. They can actually contribute only a little to the safety of your firearms. Gun safe or vaults are the safest way of protecting your guns from unauthorized use.

Though setting up a gun safe or vault might be a bit costly and hectic, they will securely hold all your firearms. Modern vaults have improved technology to ensure the safety of guns. So, you can consider using one depending on the size of your arsenal.

Final Thoughts

For people struggling with their budget for their gun security, a gun safety lock is definitely a viable option. With this handy tool, you can take your first steps to ensure a safer environment for your friends and family.