Researchers Show How Easy it Is for Toddlers to Open a Gun Safe
Gun owners, especially those with small children, are wise to keep their firearms in a safe under lock and key. But in a blog post Friday, Marc Tobias, a physical security specialist, posted videos showing that toddlers could crack safes simply by dropping them on the floor a couple times.
In Forbes, Tobias writes “You should know how unsafe these gun safes are.” He writes that Security Labs was asked to review the designs of three leading brands of gun safes made by Stack-on, GunVault and Bulldog, after the death of a 3-year-old in Vancouver, Wash., a couple years ago:
We agreed to provide expert analysis and testimony as a public service to the victim’s family; the parents were a police officer and student nurse. They have allowed us to tell the story and release videos of different containers and how easily they can be compromised because they do not want anyone else to suffer the same nightmare.
We are providing a detailed report and analysis of eleven different popular gun safes produced by Stack-On, GunVault, and Bulldog to warn the public of the dangers inherent in some of these products because the manufacturers nor their major retailers will do so. In that report you can view eight different Stack-On models, one produced by Bulldog, and one manufactured by GunVault. A similar design defect is demonstrated in an inexpensive safe for storing valuables that is sold by AMSEC, a very reputable safe manufacturer in the United States. Unfortunately, their digital safe with their claim of a “state-of-the-art electronic lock” can also be opened (literally) by a three year old because of a common mechanism used in the industry that is subject to circumvention.
Tobias and his team put together a video showing how a 3-year-old can open three different Stack-On safes and one by AMSEC. With the first two, the toddler just lifts up the safes a couple times and lets them drop with a thud. Then he grabs onto the knob and easily opens the safe, which contains screwdrivers for these purposes. With other safes, the boy is able to insert a thin metal strip to open it up.
In short, the incident leading to this extensive gun safe analysis happened in 2010 when 3-year-old Eddie Ryan Owens — who went by Ryan –somehow opened Stack-On safe within the family’s home. Ryan’s father, Ed, was a detective with the Vancouver, Wash., sheriff’s office. The department-owned safes were for officers to protect the firearms within their homes. Tobias reports Ed alleging the department knew of defects in the safes. He spoke publicly about this and was fired, which he has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit for.
Tobias writes an “unknown number of safes” are still being used by the department. Although, since it has been shown bouncing the safe could allow the latch to open, they are required to be mounted on a hard surface:
We first figured out what was wrong with the suspect safe by using a high-speed video camera mounted inside the container as the mechanism was bounced. What we discovered caused us enough concern to expand our inquiry to virtually all of the Stack-On models of similar safes, and those produced by other manufacturers as well.
What we found in all of these designs was typical: all of the safes that are detailed in our report can be opened with a variety of simple implements and techniques. These included bouncing and rapping, paperclips, wires, drinking straws, screwdrivers, and brass strips that can be purchased from a hardware store.
Overall, Tobias and his team believe their investigation found “manufacturers and consumers are deceived and misled into a false sense of security by electronic credentials, codes, and biometrics.”
Tobias’ full post details retailers selling the safes and their responses, what he considers “woefully inadequate” standards, and things gun safe owners should be aware. Read the more detailed account of what happened in 2010 to Ryan and the subsequent investigation here.
Read the whole of Security Lab’s review of the safes here.
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 440 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 421 Comments
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 394 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 320 Comments
- More Than $1 Million Raised Through Mercury One for Oklahoma Tornado Relief 266 Comments
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 156 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 132 Comments
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ 125 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 241 Comments
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 258 Comments
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 115 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- AP Source: Coach K returning to US men's team
- Jury deciding Arias' sentence adjourns for day
- FBI: Arrest made in Wash. ricin letter scare
- Family Ties: Jarrett, Petty enter NASCAR hall
- Top AEG lawyer referred to Jackson as 'freak'
- In Arias trial, TV cameras never far behind
- Float driver says train seemed still before crash
- WW II photo-documentarian Wayne Miller dies at 94