Ingram, a longtime cabinet maker, started building the special furniture four years ago after getting inspiration from the online gun community.
“At the time, I was on a lot of online gun forums and there was a constant complaint,” he said. “People wanted something with quick access when they needed their weapons to keep their homes safe which is why they bought the guns in the first place.
Ingram’s first design was a simple nightstand with a side compartment to hold a pistol. From there, he began designing and fabricating other items, such as wall shelves, coat racks, desks and hutches. Soon the specialty line became the company mission.
“I eventually closed my main cabinetry business,” he said, adding that he has seen more and more interest in his products as gun sales have gone up.
His products draw a steady stream of curious future customers at gun shows, Ingram said.
Small and large furniture manufacturers alike are coming up with more creative ways to design furniture that not only provides safe keeping, but also easy access.
Major outdoor outfitters including Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops sell ottomans, benches and other furniture with built-in, locking gun compartments. Smaller furniture companies including Stealth Furniture,Secret Compartment Furniture andHeracles Research also specialize in gun concealment furniture.
Michigan inventor Frank Marshall built a headboard that enables anyone lying on the bed to go from dream to draw in one quick motion – provided the built-in safety latch is unlocked.
Dubbed The Gun Bed, Marshall’s creation hides a 12-gauge shotgun behind a spring-loaded panel that, when pressed, drops the gun in the owner’s hands.
“It has no place to go but your hands,” Marshall said.
A key challenge for Ingram and other manufacturers is to make the furniture as secure as a traditional gun safe, to ensure against household accidence or children getting their hands on the weapons.
“I come from a law-enforcement family, so we all grew up with a shotgun in the bedroom,” Marshall said. “But my grandkids did not grow up that way, and when they were running through my house during a visit, I realized I needed a way to safely store my shot gun, but still have a way to quickly get to it if needed during a home invasion.”
Marshall has employed the help of a cabinet maker to help with manufacture, and while his business is in its infancy, demand and interest in his Gun Bed has grown.