Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight

A dilemma for many of us is how to keep a personal weapon accessible if we need it, yet safely hidden from prying eyes. Here in my own household we have a safe but keeping our weapon of choice locked up is not going to help us if there is a middle of the night intruder and we can not get to it. The compromise, and not a very good one, has been to keep our accessible firearm a drawer in the nightstand.

When Minutemen Cabinets came to me a couple of months ago and told me about their “bookshelf” cabinet, I became excited. This could possibly be the answer I had been looking for – namely a nicely finished wooden shelf that matched my décor and allowed me to hide a firearm in plain sight.

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

Since that time, Minutemen Cabinets has become a sponsor of this website and additionally, has offered to provide one lucky Backdoor Survival reader with a Minutemen Concealed Storage Cabinet of their own in a fantastic new giveaway.

I will get to the details of the giveaway in a moment but first let me tell you about the cabinet.

Minutemen Concealed Storage Cabinets for Firearms and Valuables

Minutemen Cabinets look like bookshelves. They include a completely hidden set of latches, locks and hinges that when activated, reveal a drop down box. Inside the box is a light as well as a foam insert that can be custom fitted to your firearm.

The included foam insert was easy to configure. First we traced our weapon with a sharpie, then cut the foam away with a knife.

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

As you can see, in our 21” cabinet there was room for two personal weapons.

The way you open the cabinet is with a magnetic key. It is a bit tricky to use at first (okay, a lot tricky for a dunce like me), but once you figure out where to place the key, a quick squeeze to the shelf itself will open it up. The there are two keys so that you have a spare, always a good thing.

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

Installation is easy but is best done using two people. All of the hardware is included along with instructions for pre-drilling the holes to match up with the studs in your wall. Note that the load capacity of the 21″ concealed storage cabinet is 20 pounds. I found that even when fully loaded, the shelf did not budge – no doubt a credit to my two good-looking installers!

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

I could go on abut the cabinet but honestly, the best thing to do is to pop on over to the Minutemen Cabinets website and check out the specifications of the various models they offer. Each comes in a variety of finishes and if my review unit is any indication, the finish work is going to be as nice as a piece of high quality furniture.

Is the Minutemen Cabinet a Gun Safe?

No. Minutemen Cabinets are not a replacement for a gun safe. What they are is a “hide in plain sight” option for firearms and valuables offering quick and easy access. Personally, I believe this is a much better solution than a nightstand where it is easy to leave the house and forget it is there.

The Giveaway – Win a Minutemen Cabinet

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

Update: This giveaway if open to our friends in Canada as well as the US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note: If you are having difficulty with the Rafflecopter, attempt to clear your browser cache to see if that helps. Instructions are here: //www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browsers-Cache. If that does not work, contact support at support@rafflecopter.com.

The Final Word

It has always bothered me that we had two handguns sitting next to the bed, basically out in the open. To have an easy-to-access storage solution is a godsend. Now that I have practiced using the electronic key (Shelly never did have a problem), I can get to the items stored in the Minutemen Cabinet in just the few seconds it takes me to walk over and open it up.

At night, we go to the cabinet, remove our handgun of choice, and leave it by the bed until the morning when we tuck it safely away again in the cabinet.

Let me close with a quote by Samuel Adams that is prominently displayed on the Minutemen Cabinet website.

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

I know you will be impressed by the workmanship of a Minuteman Cabinet. Please do visit their website, and, of course, enter the giveaway!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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102 Responses to “Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight”

  1. I feel it should be up to the individual. It could even be different situations based on where you live on what you need.

    • Obviously it is up to the individual, but the individual needs to realize their life, their families and friends may depend on them not only having a firearm, but being proficient…its not enough to have one laying around….go to the range and learn how to use it! Should you need it and not be familiar with it, you may just ventilate all the surroundings and never hit the attacker! Besides being familiar and proficient with your firearm relieves a lot of the fear people have in a stress situation because you know what you have and how to use it! As for the shelf, I have been looking at them for a long time, that and the headboard and the nightstand, only thing holding me back is $$ lol….nightstand (unless it has hidden compartment) is the first place a home invader will look, there, in your dresser and under your mattress! Pull my name as the winner so I only have to buy the nightstand and the headboardsd lol 😉

  2. Who needs a cabinet when you can just carry on your person? Instant availability especially
    when you live in the “country” and LEO’s are 30 minutes (or more) away…

  3. It is up to the needs of the individual or family; a general knowledge of laws, guns, cleaning, and shooting would be a good place to start.

  4. I love to decorate….brings out the little girl in me….so this would be such a “cute” yet way-functional piece to have. Thanks for a chance to win…..as well as an introduction to them. Will be checking it out!

  5. been looking for a convenient way to protect my pistol but still have access… this will do the trick…

    the most important think a ‘survivor’ needs is common sense and a desire to live on.

  6. Thank you for the review. I have been struggling with the same concern but didn’t quite know what to do about it. In addition, our two daughters (teen and young twenties) have no idea there are guns in the house. ( They have been taught gun safety rules and awareness, so that is not a major concern, I just don’t want them looking.)

    • Well Valerie it’s not really necessary to know to use a particular weapon before you acquire that cool AR,hand gun,shotgun… before you acquire it but definitely need to thoroughly acquaint yourself with it in short order

  7. Baseline…? I feel that should be up to the individual and their capabilities…whatever it is, be the best you can be. Always practice what you would do in different situations…even if it’s in your head and you’re just “thinking” about what your response would be.

  8. Although shooting a gun seems like a baseline, knowing basic personal defense would be an obvious starting point. Think of the young man who was murdered on a DC metro on the 4th of July, in front of dozens of other people who did nothing to help. He could not have carried a gun but any form of self-defense mindset might have prevented a tragedy. I guess it starts with a mindset to fight, no matter what.

  9. One should understand gun safety and shooting fundamentals before buying a gun. Otherwise, the new owner and others are in danger.

    • Gun safety, yeah I guess you can learn basics before hand but how do you learn any shooting fundamental or other without something to shoot?

  10. Each person needs to assess their basic risks and prepare for them. I believe owning a firearm is one of our most basic rights and we should take the necessary training to responsibly own one.

  11. Baseline…I feel it’s important to know of the potential situations and prepare to deal with them in a way that you are comfortable with. So, first taking a class(es) on personal safety is a must in order to think about what challenges you might encounter and formulate a plan for your responses. It’s so important to know what to do to reduce chances of a personal attack or home invasion (there are community classes, online lists w/ explanations, and articles that cover a lot of ideas). If you haven’t thought it through, you are vulnerable! Once you consider WHAT can happen, you can learn HOW to respond and plan out your responses to varied situations.

    Best class I ever took was a personal safety class a women’s church group offered (really hadn’t thought about some of the situations and was given great ideas on how to avoid or handle problems/attacks.

    It’s also important to know your options. If you’re comfortable with a gun…find the right one for you, get training on use, care and safety. If you’re not comfortable with a gun, not prepared to use it…don’t get one or it could be used against you. Just occurred to an acquaintance. Her house had been robbed so she got a gun, stuck it in her nightstand and a few weeks later some guy broke into her house again (it was a friend of her son, high on drugs). She pulled out the gun as a threat, but he took it away from her and demanded money.

    So many good answers out there from how to break out of a choke-hold to answering the door with a can of wasp spray…Learn about potential situations and prepare for them. Baseline is making an effort to gain information and think through what you can do to respond.

    • Good advice, any good gun shop will have people to help and train, also the concealed carry classes are excellent, they also teach you your state laws regarding carrying, using, defense etc etc plus you have to to go to the range and fire a few rounds, all very well worth the fee imho

  12. As far where I live it is my feeling that everyone should ha a broad knowledge of how to use a gun and be sure to have a concealed handgun license.

  13. Baseline is digging your head out of the sand and understanding that everyone has an agenda. Protect yourself any way possible by being alert to what’s happening around you and not being a victim. Your government is not going to protect you. They want your money, your guns, your food and have plans in place to take them.

  14. As far as baseline, I would say situational awareness. To many people have their heads buried in their cellphones and have no idea of what is going on around them. You can’t defend yourself if you have no idea that a threat is near you. Second, if you have a firearm you need to take a class on how to use it. Several classes would be better.

  15. Baseline is knowing your limits, the limits on your equipment, and being aware of your surroundings. Train yourself on how to defend your family and home. Just because you bought that shiny new pistol doesn’t mean you’re automatically an expert. Go to the range, put some rounds downrange, get comfortable with using the weapon, break the pistol down and clean it, then put it all back together. Be proactive instead of reactive. Plant security type plants under the windows of your house (trim holly bushes and you’ll come away with a new appreciation for their burglar deterring properties). Put the electronic gadgets down when you’re out and about. Be aware of who is watching you – don’t be an easy target.

  16. I believe the “baseline” is simply the knowledge of how to use your weapon of choice well & a plan on how to use it in different situations.

  17. The fundamentals of malfunction clearing, cleaning, fast presentation and accurate firing to a minimum of 50 yards regardless of type of weapon.

  18. I think the baseline for defense is going to be a good understanding of your own capabilities, and the environment you are in. From that baseline, you can build up in any direction that you so desire, from gunplay to bladework. In our world, having a handgun is not always an option (anyone fly recently?), so having non-weapon based ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is critical. Situational Awareness and the ability to avoid conflict can go a long ways.

  19. I like this concept, I wonder how the shelf can be better secured so my teenager can’t access the contents.

  20. What do you feel is the baseline a prepper should have in terms of self-defense knowledge and skill? Each one of us need to know how far we are willing to go to protect our family and make sure the family is aware of how far you’re willing to go so they will not be surprised, scared, etc. when you have to go that far.

  21. Oh my, This is wonderful…. Would love to win this!!!

    Thank you for all the time and information you give us!!!

  22. Baselines vary, but you need to be realistic about what you are capable of. Just because you have a gun and training and licensing, doesn’t mean in a real world situation you have the nerve to take another human life. And a paper target is quite different from a moving one (or several) coming at you. Just because a woman takes a self defense class doesn’t mean she can adequately defend herself against a group of larger guys. By all means, practice and train, learn new skills, and be ready to take care of yourself, but know your limits, know what you would and wouldn’t really do.

  23. A wealth of great comments so far. I must agree with the ones that state a baseline needs to be the mindset of survival. Not just having situational awareness or being armed and ready to defend oneself and family, but realizing that someday may come and the tools and preparation are well and good but without the mindset of survival there exists the potential for hesitations and less than desired outcomes.

  24. A broad knowledge and common sense, maybe a good set of nerves and a mindset to do what you have to do. Baseline is so varied like others have said. It is hard to cover all the bases and situations out there.

  25. Individual choice, but must train with whatever you choose. Don’t go buy a gun and stick it in a drawer, do t buy a stun gun and never becoming familiar with it.

  26. If you want a fighting chance when someone breaks into your home have a gun or two close by. Know how to use it and know how to put in another filled magazine quickly. The minutemen cabinet would be a good way to have a weapon in every room.

  27. Having a gun and training is required but there is one other thing. You have to know that you can pull the trigger when it is pointed at another person in a crisis situation like a home invasion. You have to have the mental mindset to do it. If you can’t,then the preparation was for nothing and you and your family are dead.

  28. Why I wish I had concealed my guns.

    When I was in basic training, one of the things Drill Sergeant Wireman pounded into my head was that I personally responsible for my weapon at all times. Losing your weapon is literally a court martial offense. However, the military would rather have the weapon back than court martial someone; so standard procedure when a weapon is lost is to immediately cancel everything and have the entire unit search for the weapon until it is found, even if that takes several days. Losing a weapon is a very serious matter.

    In civilian life, the responsibility of owning a weapon and safely securing it is no less serious. My Dad taught me that the first rule of being a responsible gun owner is keeping your guns away from people who might use them in irresponsible or unsafe ways. We’ve all seen the stories on the news about a child getting their hands on a weapon and killing themselves or someone else. Since there were six kids in my family, I was taught early that safely storing your firearms is no laughing matter.

    So imagine what it feels like to have your guns stolen.

    This has happened to me twice. The first time was when I was in college. The gun was a Lee–Enfield No. 5 Mk 1 “Jungle Carbine” that my father had bought surplus in the early 1950s. He had taught me how to shoot with it when I was a kid, and had given it to me as a present when I left for school. Since my apartment was in bad neighborhood, and I didn’t have any kids, I had decided to keep the carbine rolled up in a blanket under my bed. One afternoon, while I was in English class, someone kicked in the front door of my apartment and helped themselves to my stuff; including the carbine.

    The second time I had a gun stolen I was on a trip to South Florida. I was visiting a friend, and after a ten-hour drive, I was tired. I found my friend’s apartment complex, and when I carried my bags into his apartment, I got sloppy and didn’t properly conceal my pistol case in my bag. Someone must have seen because when we got back from dinner a maintenance ladder had been placed up against his balcony, his back door had been forced, and my new .357 revolver was gone. Nothing else, just some cash, a couple boxes of ammo, and my gun.

    When I filed the police report, the officer acted professionally, but he was obvious he was frustrated and angry with me. After all, I had brought my gun into Florida from another State, and within three hours of my arrival, it was in the hands of criminals. Thanks to my negligence another high-powered pistol was out on the streets he patrolled every day. To say he had a low opinion of me was an understatement. What was worse, I knew he was right. I had failed to be a responsible gun owner. I had allowed my weapon to fall into the hands of criminals. What they chose to do with my gun is their responsibility, but the fact they had my gun… well that’s my fault.

    In the years since, the question of what happened to my stolen guns has troubled me. A couple of times I checked with my insurance company, but I had never written down the serial numbers, so they don’t have any way of tracing them, much less getting them back.

    Bolt action carbines are generally not a criminal’s weapon of choice, so I have hopes that my father’s carbine may have found its’ way into a pawnshop or a gun show. With luck it may be in hands of a collector, or a hunter. Then again, I went to college in Houston. It’s not impossible that my Dad’s carbine wound up in Mexico, and Lord alone knows what it may have been used for if that happened.

    The .357 concerns me more. A few years ago my friend in Florida got call from the police. They had recovered a gun similar to mine, and wanted to check if the serial number matched the one for my gun. There was no mention of what crime or crimes the gun may have been involved in, and without the serial number I couldn’t be certain it was my gun. In any case, I’m told the police eventually destroyed that gun.

    I had worked hard to be able to buy my .357. It was the first gun I had purchased with my own money, and I had enjoyed many an afternoon practicing with it at the range. That was MY gun. The thought of it being traded for drugs, or shoved into the face of some innocent convenience store clerk makes me angry and frustrated, even though it was stolen almost 20 years ago.

    The worst part is that if I had taken the time to properly store my guns, they probably wouldn’t have been stolen. If I had bothered to put my pistol case inside my bag properly, nobody would have known it was there, and my friend’s apartment wouldn’t have been burglarized. If I had locked up my carbine, or at least hidden it, the thieves might not have found it when they broke into my college apartment.

    I know this is not all my fault. The criminals who stole my guns bear the responsibility for their actions. They chose to break in and steal my guns. Likewise, whomever finally wound up with my guns chose to do whatever they did with them. I’m not responsible for their choices.

    What I am responsible for is not properly taking care of my guns. I failed to properly secure them, and I failed to properly conceal them. Because of that failure my guns literally wound up the hands of criminals.

    Knowing that really stinks. So does the fact that there isn’t a bloody thing I can do to fix the situation. What’s done is done.

    So make sure your firearms are always properly stored. It’s worth the extra effort and expense.

    Trust me on that.

    • As soon as I am done writing this I am going to check with Shelly and see if he has written down the serial numbers of all of our firearms. Since I do not have a list of them, my guess is no. Thanks so much, Dan, fro sharing your experience even though it was a not a good one.

    • Dan, that was a very powerful story, and I am grateful to you for sharing that with us. It is not easy to admit our own mistakes, yet you did so that we all could learn from them. I can assure you that I will never forget what I just read.

  29. I have found in bathrooms and other places where the cabinet does not go to the ceiling, this is a nice place to set a weapon, flashlight, and a communication device on top. Bag the gear to keep it dry and dust free.
    What I am trying to do in my area is put in a CB radio that if you go to channel 9 to call for help all the radios in the net will automatically pick you up on channel 9. The whole neighborhood knows your in trouble. Some have even hook up an outside siren to let folks know there is trouble.
    We try to find the safest room to set this up, some folks have a safe room up and down stairs. The coolest one I saw, was when some friends built their home, they had the bathroom encased in a concrete wall / ceiling with a steel door. I also cut a hole in a closet floor to get to the crawl space under the home. Set up the trap door with wedges to lock the trap door down from under the floor.
    Great info .
    North Idaho

  30. As a baseline, be knowledgable in different items that can be used to defend yourself. At home, this might include a gun. But if you don’t, or can’t, carry a gun, realize there are many other things that be used if necessary. Carry a pocket knife. A sturdy pen or pencil to the eye socket can fend off an attacker. Years ago, I knew a gentleman who always carried a small pouch with a 1″ steel ball bearing in it. He said it was for protection and he could he carry it everywhere he went without questions.

  31. Baselines. Non-weapon defense classes. Knife safety and how to sharpen with a wet stone. Go to batting cage. How to shoot and clean a gun. Situational awareness, don’t walk with your face in your phone. These 5 things once learned are your baseline for personal defense.

  32. Ideally it would be great if we always had access to weapons or our “stuff” when we need them. There will be times when you only have your skills of self defense for safety and should really know basic self defense moves. Can’t stress enough, especially in this time of everyone’s heads buried in their electronic devices, that just being aware of your surroundings is huge.

  33. Hmmm….one baseline would be knowing how to defend oneself with different weapons. Another baseline would be preparing mentally, psychologically, and emotionally for a self-defense situation. No gun in the world will help you if you’re not prepared to shoot it at another human being.

  34. Depends on the physical ability of the person. I can’t shoot a handgun due to arthritis so I have to use other means to protect myself.

  35. Common sense, discernment when it is absolutely warranted to use when all else fails to protect and keeping the firearm in the right place where no one can get to it. Being responsible.

  36. Great giveaway. Would love to see how I can incorporate one of these into my current self defense plans.

  37. To learn to be aware of your surroundings,learn the basics of self-defense & if own a firearm, learn how to use it safely & correctly

  38. Cool product, thanks for the chance. I’m with the group that thinks self defense is an exceedingly variable and personal choice – but it is important to be FIT enough to act at whatever level is appropriate to your choice, even if that’s just fit enough to run away.

  39. I think the more you know, the more you practice, and the more variety of defense options is very important.

  40. I think the important thing is being aware of your own capabilities and planning ahead to have a route of action in certain situations. It is always wise to have plans and alternative plans…and to be comfortable with them.

  41. As several commentors have noted, situational awareness is the absolute basis for your defense, then building from there. Too many people walk through life “fat, dumb and happy”, then wonder why bad things happen to them. From there, some sort of personal defense classes, involving both pistol and rifle, are the next building blocks. Those classes will build comfort with weapons, which should lead to range time, which leads to proficiency.

    I also believe that every one should know how to do some basic gunsmithing as well as reloading of their ammunition.

  42. I think that firearm fundamentals should be something everyone should learn, along with cleaning and maintenance. If you only know how to shoot, your firearm is going to stop working pretty quickly, especially in a survival situation.

  43. I adore someone who can create a beautiful piece of ‘furniture’ that’s very well made. My father was a master craftsman, and my eye will immediately see the flaws in someone else’s work. This looks like a master’s piece. I hope whomever receives this appreciates the quality of the work.

  44. Using these “Conceal in Plain Sight” products is a really smart way to conceal firearms around the home, yet have them readily available. Believe me, if you ever need a firearm to defend yourself, your family, or your home seconds count. Leaving all your firearms in one location, under lock & key (like in a gun safe) may delay you in accessing them in time to protect yourself. Absent carrying a firear on your person whole at home, this may be the next best choice. It balances securing the weapon & having rapid access to it in an emergency.

  45. At the minimum, a self defense class. They are offered free in my town by law enforcement officers as part of a rape defense class. If one is led to purchase a gun then lessons or instructions should be taken to handle it safely and to know what the laws are regarding self defense.

  46. Although it’s original design is for pistol(s) and/ or valuables. Due to the retarded hand gun laws in Canada. I like it for bear spray and air horn and bayonet. I also love the look as it goes well with my antique style furniture I build/buy.

  47. I wanted one the first time I saw one. I would have it close to my bed. The design and workmanship are splendid. How can a necessity look so good? Having a firearm and being trained with it are essential to survival in any situation.

  48. Baseline- something that will work for you personally, what you are comfortable with. You can have a firearm and training but if you are scared to death of it, won’t be able to use it safely and effectively. There are many forms of self defense, you need to educate yourself about what will ultimately work in your overall best interests.

    • After 28 years as a Navy Brat and a federal career with the military, I’m not afraid to defend me or mine.

  49. These shelves are a good way to keep a things out of the hands of the “too young to know”, as well as keeping them easy to get to. A nice addition for any home, even if it’s not guns your hiding.

  50. First, thanks to Dan, who advised us all to write down our gun serial numbers. What a “duh!” moment for me, who has owned guns all my 61 years!

    Baseline, besides self-knowledge of my own physical shortcomings (offset by knowledge and practice with weaponry), is all the information I am able to glean from this and other sites. Gaye has done a wonderful job of giving us tips, providing resources and explaining her own preps and experiences and offering a forum for us to learn from each other. The more I learn, the more I find that I need to learn.

    Thank you for the opportunities!

  51. It’s important that every have the basic skills and knowledge to defend themselves on several different levels. These cabinets are a terrific way to help solve a common problem.

  52. I think everyone who owns a firearm for protection needs to have experience with it. Not only in firing, although that is obviously something very important, you should have basic knowledge of care. Knowing how to take apart and clean your firearm is very important.

  53. can never know enough or be prepped enough…always feel we are so far behind in preps..
    this shelf idea is terrific…always looking for ways to keep things easy to access for adults but out of the eyes/hands of toddlers too young to understand danger or don’t touch..

  54. I believe I should be prepared with 3 forms of protection, there should,physical defense,lethal,and spray of some kind

  55. As a baseline, every individual should determine the method(s) of self defense that he/she would feel comfortable using, then do whatever is necessary to become proficient with the form(s) of self defense.

  56. I have a question about the product. Is the magnetic key the same for all units? If I buy a shelf and take my key with me and I go to your house and recognize one of these products, will my key open yours?

    • The magnetic key is like a knob with a magnet embedded inside. There are not electronics. It is totally mechanical, so yes, I do believe that your key would open my unit.

  57. Before any weapon or equipement they must first know very well their environnement, to know what to do at any time or situation.

  58. I’ve been hanging pictures of Hillary Clinton at strategic places around my place.
    I figure that will put a real scare into most all uninvited intruders who realize that she has managed to stay out of prison regardless of how many crimes she has committed.

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