An armory is a facility which is designated for the storage of weapons and munitions. It is not uncommon to see an armory used to house administrative offices and sometimes training facilities as well, as armories are typically located in central, well-guarded areas which make them logical choices for these purposes as well. As a general rule, access to an armory is very tightly controlled, so that weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.
There are a number of ways in which an armory can be designed. Classically, an armory is an isolated structure with a number of easily-controlled rooms, designed for the purpose of locking up weapons, ammunition, and other military supplies. In many cases, an armory is built from very solid materials to repel a break-in, and armories designed for the storage of firearms typically have isolated areas for storing ammunition, for safety purposes.
An armory can also be built into another structure. An armory which is embedded in another structure will typically be much smaller, with limited storage space to store just the weapons which might be needed ready to hand. Historically, such armories were built into castles and some wealthy homes so that people could defend themselves against invaders.
Modern armories are generally located on military bases. In some communities, historical armories have been sold to private members of the community, who typically chose to renovate them and use them for a variety of tasks. When well-restored and tended with care, historic armories often end up on registries of historic places, because many of these buildings are quite distinctive and striking, and well worth preserving in their current form.
A wide range of weapons can be stored in an armory. Obviously, the bigger an armory is, the more flexible its potential uses are, creating room for both large and small arms along with other equipment such as uniforms. The contents of an armory are typically meticulously cataloged and regularly inspected for any signs of missing or damaged weapons, and an armory is guarded at all times by military personnel.
People who wish to take weapons out of an armory must generally show qualifications and good cause to do so, and they are generally either officers, or accompanied by officers. When weapons are checked out of an armory for use in training, military exercises, or combat, their condition and identification markings are carefully logged so that they can be checked back in again upon their return.