Can a Gun Safe Protect Your Firearms Against EMP?

Are you not confident that your gun safe can protect your firearms against EMP or electromagnetic pulse? Let us try to understand how EMP can affect your investments.

An **electromagnetic pulse (EMP)** is like a super strong wave of energy that zips through the air **way faster** than a normal radio wave.

It is feared because its strength can disrupt the operations of electrical or electronic systems in seconds.

Since EMP significantly affects the functionalities of electronics, gun owners worry about the effects it may bring to their gun safes and, of course, the guns housed in them.

Now, can a gun safe protect your firearms against EMP? Partly, yes. For more details about gun safe’s EMP-proofing, continue reading this article.

What Is an EMP?

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is a burst of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere. EMP can greatly affect electronic lines, networks, and the equipment used to generate or distribute power.

It is also a burst of electromagnetic radiation generated by a high-energy explosion, such as a lightning strike or a solar flare.

It consists of a complex mixture of frequencies and polarizations of electromagnetic waves, including radio waves, microwaves, and gamma rays.

The concern for the effects of EMP is important to gun owners who own electronic gun safes.

If EMP strikes a gun safe, it will interfere with its electronic lock and maybe more. If this happens, the gun safe gets compromised, and the firearms will be less secured.

EMP’s effect is severe and widespread. EMP’s travel speed challenges equipment to save themselves before being struck, which seldom happens.

It is reasonable for gun owners to evaluate their gun safes to see if they can withstand EMP shocks to continue protecting their firearms.

How EMPs Impact Your Gun Safe

Gun safes are commonly built with solid and continuous steel, making the valuables inside them unaffected by EMP. But EMP can still impact these things through bolt holes, keyholes, keypad holes, or electric wiring holes.

Here are some of the effects that EMP may pose to your electronic gun safe and the things in it:

1. Alarm systems may be disabled.

An alarm is a good component in a gun safe. It helps you stay vigilant and act on cue. Due to power interruption or disruption, the installed alarm system on an electronic gun safe may be disabled.

2. Corrosion may occur.

The effects of EMP are long-term. If your power supply fails to be reinstated quickly, you may not be able to use electronic accessories of your gun safe, such as a GoldenRod.

Your dehumidifiers will not be functional during these times, posing a threat of corrosion to some parts of your gun safe, accessories, and the guns it houses.

3. Interior lights may not work.

Lighting is important in large, closed storage. If your LED lights are not battery-powered, with the power interruption or disruption, they will come off.

4. The locking mechanism may stop working.

Gun safe’s electronic locks are battery-operated. Batteries, especially if you are using the recommended gun safe batteries, are not affected by EMP since it is not connected to any electric grid.

But with high-power interference with everything electronic due to EMP, the digital locking mechanism may affect:

  • The digital display may go blank, which helps see what you keyed in and monitor the battery charge.
  • Biometric scanners may fail to read.
  • Key pass or combination may not be acknowledged.

Types of Gun Safes With EMP Protection

If you want a gun safe that can undoubtedly still be opened after an EMP occurrence, go for a non-electronic one.

Here are some of the mechanical types of gun safes:

1. Combination Lock Gun Safe

This type of gun safe has a spinner for keying your combination or key pass. Some of these types have an override key for emergencies.

2. Key Lock Gun Safe

This type of gun safe simply uses a key for access.

A. Latch Gun Safe

Latches are common to traditional gun safes like gun cabinets. This type has a latch paired with a padlock.

B. EMP Lock Gun Safe

With the EMP threat being a big concern in the gun community, manufacturers created these EMP Lock gun safes to increase resistance against EMP.

Types of Gun Safes Without EMP Protection

Although most gun safes are all-steel, it is still important to know what types of gun safes are prone to dysfunction in case of an EMP. Identifying this will help you in taking precautions or reinforcement strategies.

Here are some electronic types of gun safes that may give you a hard time getting into after an EMP wave:

1. Biometric Lock Gun Safe

This type of gun safe scans a registered fingerprint before access.

2. Keypad Lock Gun Safe

This type of gun safe has a keypad where one must key in or press their key pass.

3. RFID Lock Gun Safe

This type of gun safe uses an RFID card and an RFID scanner for access.

Alternative EMP-Proof Gun Safe Options

With the threat of EMP, gun safe and physics experts are trying to make gun safes more EMP-resistant.

But the EMP-proof gun safe option is at a higher price. Purchasing one will be costly, especially for gun owners already owning non-EMP-resistant gun safes.

With that, here are some of the cheaper alternate options to consider:

1. EMP-Resistant Gun Cases

Depending on type and size, small gun cases can house only a few guns. In a gun case, you can store the most EMP-vulnerable firearms and accessories, such as airsoft guns and red dots sights.

2. EMP Shielding Cloth

This cloth is made with nearly invisible stainless steel fibers and feels like a lightweight denim. This can be used to cover up your gun safe’s locks.

3. Radio Frequency Gasket

This foam liner or seal is a barrier to keep EMP energy from seeping through the door slits.

4. DIY Faraday Cage Solutions

A Faraday cage safe keeps electronics from EMP energy. Before doing a DIY Faraday cage, read this article to know if Faraday Cage is a good solution.


A gun safe can protect your firearms against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) if it is constructed with the right materials and properly grounded.

However, it is important to note that a standard gun safe is not specifically designed to shield against EMPs.

For optimal protection, consider investing in a dedicated EMP-proof safe or Faraday cage, which can safeguard your firearms and other sensitive electronics that may be affected by an EMP event. Ensure to avoid untrusted gun safe brands.

Regardless of the protective measures taken, staying informed about potential threats is crucial, and preparing to maintain the integrity and functionality of your firearms and other valuable possessions is crucial.

EMP happens without warning, so we might as well take proactive measures as responsible gun owners.


Can a gun safe protect firearms against an EMP?

If your gun safe is made of steel, the firearms inside it can survive an EMP. Also, since it has a door and other wall and floor holes, EMP charges can still get into it.

What type of gun safe offers the best EMP protection?

Non-electronic gun safes offer the best EMP protection.

Can I make my existing gun safe EMP-proof?

You can make a gun safe EMP-proof using EMP-resistant technologies like EMP shielding cloth and RF gasket or by moving your gun safe inside a Faraday cage.


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Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) WHAT IS EMP and HOW IS IT CREATED? 2003.

‌“Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)/Geomagnetic Disturbance | Homeland Security.”,

Walter, John. “Would an EMP Attack Effect Batteries?”,

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