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Will a Locksmith Open a Gun Safe? What Do They Require

With the fast pace of modern life, it is easy to forget or misplace things, even that of great importance. Take for instance a gun safe. Its job is very straightforward – to protect firearms, ammunition, and other valuables from misuse, theft, or even fire. But what happens if you lose access to the safe and become locked out? Will a locksmith open a gun safe for you?

A locksmith can open a gun safe if you become locked out but be prepared to prove that you are its rightful owner by showing proof of purchase or warranty registration. Depending on the circumstances, a locksmith may be able to avoid using non-destructive techniques to gain access.

Even the most responsible firearm owner can get locked out of a gun safe. There are any number of reasons for this happening, ranging from straight-up forgetfulness to a malfunction in the safe’s locking mechanism. Whatever the cause, there is no need to panic if you are locked out of a gun safe. An experienced locksmith can probably get you out of this unintended jam and here’s how.

Will a Locksmith Open a Gun Safe? What Do They Require

Being a responsible gun owner means securing your firearms and safeguarding them from misuse or theft. But on occasion, mishaps can happen and could result in you becoming locked out of your gun safe.

Fortunately, a reputable and experienced locksmith may be able to lend a helping hand and open that gun safe for you.

But understandably, they will need to verify a few things before they get to work, including:

  • You are the rightful owner of the safe and can prove it with verifiable documentation
  • You are the legal owner or tenant of the premises where the safe is located
  • You can provide vital information to the locksmith including the contents of the safe (e.g., the type and number of firearms, the presence of any ammunition, and other noteworthy items)

It is important to note that state laws mandate that locksmiths verify such information in order to prevent guns, ammunition, and other valuables from falling into the wrong hands. Some gun safe manufacturers also require locksmiths to contact them directly prior to working on a locked-out safe in order to preserve the warranty.

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How Much Does It Cost To Open a Gun Safe?

There are many variables that can determine the cost of hiring a professional locksmith to open a gun safe. For instance, the type of locking mechanism, the thickness of the door and the walls, and the size of the safe, can all affect the amount that you may need to pay to regain access to the contents of your gun safe.

Generally speaking, here are a few examples of what it might cost:

  • If the key to your gun safe has been misplaced, you can expect to pay $75 to $100 to re-key the lock (this amount can be more if the lock is difficult to pick or needs to be drilled into)
  • Other methods used by a locksmith to open a gun safe can range from $65 to $200, depending on the circumstances

The cost of having a locksmith open a gun safe can be as low as $65 or as much as several hundred dollars, but the ultimate cost may boil down to whether the safe will need to be repaired (e.g., have a new lock or mechanism installed) or replaced once it has been opened.

Can a Locksmith Get Into a Digital Safe?

Depending on the particular make and model, there is a good chance that an experienced locksmith can get into a digital safe, whether the combination code has been forgotten, the keypad batteries have died, or there is an electronic malfunction preventing the digital safe from opening.

But it is important to keep in mind that getting into a digital safe is one thing but doing it in a non-destructive manner is another. Here are a few ways (source) that a locksmith can get into a digital safe:

  • Depending on the manufacturer, a locksmith may know of a few tricks for getting around a digital keypad that is unresponsive due to dead batteries
  • Certain makes and models (usually entry-level safes) have an override system for getting into a locked-out digital safe
  • A skilled locksmith can access and manipulate the internal locking components but this will require drill work which may or may not penetrate the safe’s door depending on its thickness
  • As a last resort, there are destructive techniques that a locksmith can use to gain access to the contents but the safe itself will likely be rendered unusable

Gun safes with digital keypads (as opposed to keys or manually-turned dials) are among the most popular models these days due to the enhanced level of security and convenience that they provide. Getting locked out of one may be cause for worry but an experienced locksmith should be able to save the day.

How To Protect Yourself From a Gun Safe Lockout

Mishaps can happen to the best of us and this includes losing access to a gun safe by forgetting a combination or misplacing a key. Sometimes, a gun safe lockout can happen through no fault of the safe owner at all, such as when a malfunction occurs in the locking mechanism.

To protect against a potential calamity involving your firearms and other valuables suddenly becoming inaccessible, it is important to register your gun safe with the manufacturer immediately after purchase. Here’s what taking this critical step can do for you:

  • Registering your gun safe validates the warranty and protects you against any manufacturing defects
  • It establishes a formal record of purchase and can be used to prove your ownership of the gun safe, which is critical because…
  • In the event of a gun safe lockout, having a registration on file can streamline the process of recovering a forgotten combination or obtaining a replacement key

Even if a gun safe has not been registered some manufacturers can assist a locked-out owner if paperwork establishing ownership (you may need to get these notarized) is submitted.


Gun safes are an indispensable part of being a responsible owner of firearms. But despite all precautions lockouts can and do happen.

Fortunately, there are ways to open a gun safe in a lockout situation and some of the best options involve calling a reputable locksmith. Just be sure to have your paperwork ready to prove that you are the rightful owner.