Using AirTags to Securely Track Firearms: The Ultimate Guide

February 11, 2024

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With gun thefts on the rise, more firearm owners are turning to Apple AirTags to discreetly track their weapons if stolen. This comprehensive guide provides tips on safely and legally using AirTags for firearms tracking.

What Are AirTags and How Do They Work?

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AirTags are small, round Bluetooth tracking devices developed by Apple. They can be attached to keys, wallets, bags, and other items to locate them using the Find My app on iPhones and other Apple devices.Here’s how AirTags work:

  • AirTags connect to iPhones and other Apple devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Find My network leverages hundreds of millions of Apple devices to detect lost AirTags and send their location to the owner.
  • AirTags have no on-board GPS but can be located through triangulation as nearby iPhones automatically relay the AirTag’s location. For more details, see how AirTags work without WiFi.
  • AirTags emit a sound when requested to help users find lost items nearby. Users within Bluetooth range can also scan a found AirTag and contact the owner via phone. To learn more about the separation alerts and noises AirTags make, check out this article on making AirTags beep.

Benefits of Using AirTags for Firearms

There are several key benefits of using AirTags to track firearms:

  • Precision tracking – AirTags provide near real-time location tracking of stolen firearms, allowing law enforcement to potentially recover them before being used to commit crimes.
  • Discreet – Small and inconspicuous, AirTags can be concealed in a rifle case or hidden on a weapon. Criminals are less likely to find and discard tracking devices.
  • Inexpensive – At around $29 each, AirTags provide precision tracking at a fraction of the cost of other solutions like Tile trackers. Their wide availability also makes sourcing easy.
  • Interoperability – AirTags seamlessly work with iPhones, providing a tracking solution many gun owners already have in their pockets. No additional devices needed.
  • Ease of use – Setting up and tracking AirTags is simple through Apple’s intuitive Find My app. Alerts and tracking histories make monitoring straightforward.
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Best Practices When Using AirTags for Firearms

While AirTags provide excellent utility for tracking firearms, proper protocol is important for legal compliance and effective recovery. Follow these best practices when using AirTags:

  • Inform law enforcement you’ve concealed a tracker after filing a stolen firearm report. Provide them access to view the AirTag location.
  • Place AirTags in inconspicuous but secure locations, like inside rifle cases or wrapped in grip tape. Test fit before permanent attachment.
  • Ensure the rifle case or firearm storage location is also secure. Don’t rely solely on AirTags as anti-theft measures. Use locks, safes, and home security systems.
  • Maintain possession of tracked weapons diligently. Do not store firearms long term in vehicles or unsecured locations.
  • Register AirTags to an Apple ID account not associated with the registered firearm owner for privacy reasons.
  • Turn on AirTag security alerts to deter unauthorized tracking and misuse. Update AirTag firmware frequently.
  • Use precision finding sparingly to avoid alerting criminals and remain at a safe distance from potentially dangerous individuals when tracking. Monitor remotely when possible and inform law enforcement.
  • Remove AirTags when traveling across states lines and adhere to applicable laws regarding electronic firearm tracking in checked luggage.
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Top AirTag Accessories and Mounts for Firearms

To mount and conceal AirTags on firearms, certain accessories can prove useful:

  • Rifle scope tether caps – Allow inserting an AirTag inside both scope caps for discreet rifle tracking. For tips, see how to hide an AirTag in your car.
  • Custom grip screws – Aftermarket grip screws are available with space to conceal an AirTag internally. Compare pros and cons to alternatives like Tile trackers.
  • Adhesive mounts – Double-sided adhesive AirTag mounts can stick onto any firearm surface. Test adhesion first.
  • Silicone cases – Protect AirTags from moisture and impacts with waterproof silicone cases. Leave small openings for sound transmission.
  • Neoprene sleeves – For mounting under handgun grips via friction fit. Protects AirTag exterior.
  • Hard rifle case inserts – Designated pockets sewn into rifle case interior provide ready AirTag storage.
  • Gun magnet mounts – Powerful magnetic AirTag cases can mount under rifle barrels or other metal firearm parts.

FAQs

Are AirTags legal for firearm tracking?

In most states, yes. There are no federal laws prohibiting concealed tracking devices on firearms you legally own. However, removing tracked firearms across state lines introduces federal and interstate transport laws.

Can AirTags work inside metal gun safes?

AirTags use Bluetooth for tracking which can’t penetrate metal. They only provide last known location before metal enclosure. Look for WiFi-enabled gun safes instead.

Do AirTags notify when moved/detached?

AirTags have configurable separation alerts to notify you when they are removed or left behind from an iPhone. Enable this feature to make AirTags beep when moved.

What’s the AirTag tracking range?

AirTags have no onboard long-range tracking but leverage the vast Find My network. Tracking range is hundreds of feet indoors and miles outdoors via crowd-sourced iPhone detection. AirTags do not have GPS.

Can AirTags be used to track people?

AirTags are designed for locating personal items only. Using them to track people without consent is illegal and unethical. Enable safety features to deter misuse.

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags provide cost-effective and covert tracking for firearms vulnerable to theft. Their wide availability and integration with iPhones makes set up simple.
  • Adhere to best practices around lawful notification, security, and privacy when attaching AirTags to firearms. Only track your own weapons legally owned.
  • Utilize secure mounts and concealed placement of AirTags in bags, cases, and on weapons. Test for fit and performance before relying solely on tracking.
  • Maintain diligent possession of tracked firearms. Use AirTags as a recovery backup, not as license for unsecured storage. Cooperate fully with law enforcement.
  • Keep up with firmware updates, enable security alerts, and monitor separation notifications. Use AirTags ethically and avoid misuse by disabling tracking after recovery.