If you've been watching Donald Glover's Atlanta, you probably remember the scene where Darius hides a gun in a cereal box and says, "There’s probably a bullet in here somewhere." Now, this is one of those instances where truth is stranger than fiction, because it turns out that hiding guns in cereal boxes is an actual thing that some folks with guns do—often with less than pleasant consequences. Two Boston men were arrested and held on $20,000 bail for their role in a shooting that injured two people in 2013; they hid the gun in a box of Cheerios. A couple months later, a British man hid a revolver inside a box of Cheerios that he then hid on top of his fridge. Then, in 2015, a California man hid a gun inside a box of Fruity Pebbles.
Cereal boxes seem like a great place to stash a gun in a pinch, but hiding your gun in a cereal box is a terrible idea, least of all if you actually want to keep it hidden from cops. But that hasn't stopped preppers—those folks who are constantly and actively preparing for emergencies by stockpiling canned goods and guns, just in case the zombie apocalypse breaks out or something—from recommending this hiding place online.
The phrase that's often used by to refer to this kind of less-than-safe gun storage tactic is "hiding in plain sight." That means the gun is ready to be used at a moment's notice in case of an emergency, and it's discreetly hidden, away from prying eyes of neighbors or anyone else who might enter your home like jackboots. And even though a cereal box fits a lot of those requirements for a good, quick-draw hiding spot, preppers aren't blind to the potential risks of hiding a loaded weapon in a box that's literally designed to attract children, though. Guns.com recommended hiding your gun in a cereal box in a 2014 article, warning, "Don’t chose Trix either (they’re for kids), pick something boring but not out of place in your food stocks."
According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the article on Guns.con was sponsored by Beretta, the Italian gun manufacturer, which immediately pulled the piece from their Facebook page and rejected the advice to store guns in cereal boxes in a statement published on their website: "Neither Beretta nor Beretta U.S.A. wrote any part of, provided any content for nor approved or endorsed the Guns.com article entitled 'Down and dirty solutions to hiding your handgun.'"
Not even the National Rifle Association is on board with hiding your guns in a cereal box, for what it's worth. The NRA recommends storing unloaded guns in a lock box or safe with the ammunition stored separately, as is the industry standard. A cereal box, it should be noted, does not lock.
If you're really into finding a quick-draw hiding spot for your gun, go onto Pinterest, where you can learn how to hide a locking gun safe in a Pottery Barn mirror or behind a framed copy of the Constitution. But please, please keep your guns and bullets far, far away from boxes of sugary cereals, OK?