Twitter video, @Hodgetwins - Screenshot
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A prominent gun safe company has come under fire after admitting that it voluntarily provided the access code for a customer's safe to the FBI.
Liberty Safe's attempt to explain why the company readily surrendered a January 6 protester's code has not gone over well, prompting critics to threaten giving the company "the Bud Light treatment."
What's the background?
Nathan Earl Hughes, 34, was arrested on Aug. 30 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on felony and misdemeanor charges.
According to the Biden Department of Justice, Hughes, spotted wearing an "Infowars"-branded Space Force shirt in the vicinity of the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the Capitol on Jan. 6, allegedly "helped other rioters physically fight police in an attempt to breach the line and enter the U.S. Capitol building."
Extra to his social media posts, the Arkansas Times indicated that the FBI was able to identify Hughes on the basis of the "distinct notches at the top of his ears."
Hughes is apparently known to the twin conservative commentators Keith and Kevin Hodge, who claimed on X, "Last week, a friend of ours was raided by the feds over J6."
"Nate was raided by the FBI and arrested at gun point. His girlfriend (who just had a miscarriage) was held at gun point and put in handcuffs. The FBI turned off his security cameras, unplugged his internet, and flipped his house upside down in a search," stated the Hodgetwins account. "The feds called the manufacturer of his Liberty Gun Safe and got the passcode to get into it too. All for protesting at the Capitol over 2 1/2 years ago."
Video of Hughes' arrest shows at least five armed federal agents taking him into custody.
A second video shows a cavalcade of cars pulling up to what is apparently Hughes' property ahead of a raid made easier by Liberty Safe's compliance.
\ud83d\udea8 Last week, a friend of ours was raided by the feds over J6, his name is Nathan Hughes and he\u2019s from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nate was raided by the FBI and arrested at gun point. His girlfriend (who just had a miscarriage) was held at gun point and put in handcuffs. The FBI\u2026— Hodgetwins (@Hodgetwins) 1693873353
Not so safe
Just over 24 hours after the Hodgetwins detailed what had happened on X, Liberty Safe confirmed in social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and X that the company provided the FBI with the pass code.
"On August 30, 2023, Liberty Safe was contacted by the FBI requesting the access code to the safe of an individual for whom they had a warrant to search their property. Our company protocol is to provide access codes to law enforcement if a warrant grants them access to a property," said the statement. "After receiving the request, we received proof of the valid warrant, and only then did we provide them with an access code. Liberty Safe had no knowledge of any of the details surrounding the investigation at the time."
Notwithstanding its apparent eagerness to crack its own safe for the benefit of the state, the company noted, "Liberty Safe is devoted to protecting the personal property and 2nd amendment rights of our customers and has repeatedly denied requests for access codes without a warrant in the past. We do not give out combinations without proper legal documentation being provided by authorities."
The company, whose safes in many cases cost several thousands of dollars, concluded by reiterating, "Liberty Safe is committed to preserving our customers’ rights, and we will remain unwavering in those values."
As its name would suggest, Liberty Safe specializes in gun safes.
On its website, the company states, "We understand the importance of safeguarding what matters to you — and with our collection of gun safes, you can enjoy peace of mind that comes with knowing that you're protected by the very best America has to offer."
That Hughes' peace of mind was disturbed by the company's uncoerced help prompted outrage online.
Kyle Seraphin, a whistleblower who was an FBI special agent for six years until his suspension in June 2022, suggested, "The irony of the name [of the company] PLUS total cooperation with the government is rich."
The Hodgetwins replied to the company's statement, "And you call yourself 'Liberty'?? Bout to get the Bud Light treatment."
Turning Point Action COO Tyler Bowyer similarly seized upon the Bud Light parallel, writing, "New slogan: 'The Bud Light of Safes!'"
"Absent a court order, you weren't required to give them anything. You voluntarily gave out a combination over a warrant, per your own release, that didn't apply to you or your property," wrote Sean Davis, CEO of the Federalist. "Maybe start marketing your stuff as Bud Light storage."
While many critics took issue with the company's provision of its customer's code, podcaster Tim Pool noted the issue that the company "had the codes in the first place," stressing that "Liberty [S]afes are completely worthless."
Others similarly puzzled over what good it was having a "wildly expensive *safe* if the manufacturer maintains secret back door access they can share with others without your consent."
Since being slammed over its apparent betrayal of a customer's trust, the company has disabled replies on its X posts.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.