Is Your Gun Safe Really Safe?

Gun Safe in Bellevue

Millions of Americans own guns for a variety of reasons. Whatever the perceived benefits of gun ownership, its unquestioned downside is the danger of accidents posed by firearms kept in the home, especially in homes with young children. Purchasers of firearms with an eye toward safety often make an additional purchase – a gun safe. They assume with their firearms under lock and key that their guns will remain out of reach of anyone except their owner, and most importantly, out of reach of their children. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that due to faulty safe locks and flimsy construction, gun safes offer a false sense of security.

Poor Testing Results

Marc Weber Tobias is an internationally known investigative attorney, lock specialist and physical security expert who have been in the forefront of bringing to light serious deficiencies in gun safe construction and design. He has delivered a number of lectures to law enforcement professionals detailing the shortcomings of commercially available gun safes purchased by millions of American gun owners. As to the issue of gun safe locks effectiveness, he is most noted for leading a team in the analysis of certain models from three of America’s most popular gun safe manufacturers. What this analysis showed should be a cause for concern for anyone owning a gun safe and relying on it to secure firearms within the home. Any of the safes could be opened rather easily using simple tools that include such things as paper clips, small pieces of wire, screwdrivers or even drinking straws. Some of the gun safes tested were shown to spring open after being dropped onto a hard surface from a height of as little as a few inches. And in some cases, all that was required to open the safe was to give it a somewhat vigorous and brief shake, and then turn the door knob to open the door.

Popular Gun Safes Have Fundamental Design Flaws

Apart from cheap construction, popular gun safes are poorly engineered, with their security features easily bypassed. This was demonstrated repeatedly with the use of simple tools. All of the safes tested utilize an electronic means of verifying credentials – numeric keypad sequences, fingerprint verification, three-button sequences – before the latch mechanism operates opening the safe door. This may give the appearance of security, but the design of the safe locks makes any electronic credential verification a moot point. All of these safes rely on a solenoid mechanism that magnetically attracts a spring-loaded locking pin, allowing the lock bolts to pass and open the safe upon entry of the correct security sequence. However, this locking mechanism design is prone to open the safe in response to bouncing. This was demonstrated when a three year old child shook one of the gun safes, so that the safe could then be opened by simply turning the knob on the safe door.

Gun safes appear to be a sensible safety precaution for gun owners. At a glance, they appear to have sturdy construction and their electronic credential verification techniques give the illusion of high-tech security. In fact, most gun safes sold in the United States are cheaply constructed, and poorly designed. Their safety features can be easily compromised using simple, ad-hoc tools or even by small children who might shake or drop the safe.If you need more information just ask your local Locksmith in Bellevue.

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