How Modern Gun Safes Can Put You At Greater Risk

Courtesy Amazon

By Tom Kubiniec

Gun safe companies are working quickly to adopt new technologies in their safes. Biometrics (fingerprint scanners, facial recognition), wi-fi, radio frequency identification (RFID) and others are being incorporated into almost every safe on the market. The sales and marketing brochures tout this new technology as the best and most convenient way to secure and access firearms.

In many cases, new technology improves the product and user experience. However, in others, it simply adds some sizzle to otherwise mundane products. The hope is that customers will buy because of trending tech.

So how does technology impact firearm safety and security? As it turns out, novel technologies can be problematic and sometimes even dangerous.

If a number of guns are stored in a large, heavy safe in the basement and fast access is not a priority, then the technology is of little impact. But what if fast access for home defense is a priority?

Promoting these new technologies as faster, safer, and better for home defense is quite misleading. When considering what needs to happen to access a secured firearm in a crisis, the technology sales pitch falls apart — the use of many of these products can actually increase your risk.

During a break-in or home invasion, the environment is intense, stressful, and can be very loud and confusing. Adrenaline levels will spike, and you will be nervous, scared, injured, or just plain angry. When evaluating gun storage options, three characteristics are critical to success in a crisis:

  1. Quick access
  2. Easy access
  3. Consistent access

Let’s take a look at how these premature technologies fare in real-world, home-defense scenarios.

Biometrics

This is the most popular “innovation” in gun safe locks. We are told to simply swipe a finger to open the safe.

biometric gun safe lock

Courtesy Amazon

Although this method is relatively simple, the fingerprint scanners only allow for quick and easy access in nearly perfect conditions. Hands must be bare, clean, dry, and still. If the user’s finger is at all dirty, the safe will not get a good read and will not open. If they are dry or wet — with water, blood, or paint — it could take many swipes to get the lock to open. And, of course, gloves will block any read.

Most of these locks require the user to program several fingers, and for good reason. They want to give the user plenty of chances to open the safe if the first finger fails. Remember, the technology is designed to stay locked unless the scan exactly matches what the user has programmed. Almost any impediment will cause these locks to decline to open. Getting a good scan takes time, and in a crisis, you do not have that privilege.

  1. Quick access test: Fail
  2. Easy access test: Pass
  3. Consistent access test: Fail

Wi-Fi

Wi-fi enabled safes allow control of the lock with a cell phone or computer. Using a device — in most cases, a smartphone — to open a safe via wi-fi is very slow and fails the quick access test.

wi-fi enabled gun safe

Courtesy Amazon

Ease of access depends on the particular device and application. Users will have to access the app to open the safe. Depending on the type of app and type of phone, this may be more or less complicated.

The greatest flaw of this method is, of course, that you may not have access to a device with the application. Another issue is that wi-fi can lag or fail at any time. Ask anyone who has tried to stream a movie or host a video conference.

  1. Quick access test: Fail
  2. Easy access test: Fail
  3. Consistent access test: Fail

RFID

RFID allows the user to open a safe by waving a tag in front of it, similar to many modern hotel or apartment door locks. The tag has a small chip with a unique code in it that is read by a transmitter in the lock.

Provided the user has the tag, access can be relatively quick and easy.

RFID gun safe

RFID enabled gun safe (courtesy Amazon)

Most locks come with 4-6 different tags. These tags allow any holder to open the safe. This means you have to organize and secure every RFID tag and hold one at all times. This adds a lot of complexity to a home security plan.

The biggest issue is that RFID tags are inconsistent. Tired travelers know what it is like to check into a hotel late at night, then get to the room, only to find out their key does not work. Now it’s back to the lobby with all your bags to get it resolved. RFID tags and their systems can easily be disrupted by metal, water, or other magnetic fields, lowering their reliability. For a fast-access gun safe, this is not a good solution.

RFID locks also have other challenges. They all have a push-button backup to compensate for the possibility of a lost tag or an inconsistent read. Users initially use a tag to open the safe. Over time, they open it less often, and eventually the tag ends up in the top drawer of a dresser, or on a key chain hanging from a hook near the garage.

In the event of a crisis, with no tag, the user must now quickly open the lock using the keypad. In this scenario, not having done this in a while, the user may not remember the code, and it will certainly take more time to key in. If it is dark, a light may be needed to see the keypad. All of this complication puts you at great risk.

  1. Quick access test: Fail (without tag)
  2. Easy access test: Fail
  3. Consistent access test: Fail

The Bottom line 

Integrating traditional safes with unreliable technologies, often to build excitement about otherwise mundane products, only creates over-engineered safes, not better ones.

A fast-access gun safe with a simple push-button lock is consistently the fastest and safest way to secure and access firearms. Use a 4-6 character code, then practice every day for at least 30 days. After that, practice once a week.

Put a fast-access safe near or under your bed. Every night before bed, reach down (in the dark) and enter the code, open the safe, then close it. Doing this every night builds muscle memory and makes the process automatic. In the event of a break-in, when things seem out of control, you will calmly and quickly enter the code, arm yourself, and be in the best position to deal with the threat.

Tom Kubiniec is President and CEO of SecureIt Tactical which specializes in civilian gun storage and education for gun owners across the nation to improve lives through safety and better preparation. The company is also the largest supplier of weapons storage units to the U.S. military.

comments

  1. avatar American Patriot says:

    If it has to do with electronics to access or operate my gun other than an optics (cuz I still have irons) I won’t buy it!

  2. avatar Scott C. says:

    Go watch Deviant Ollum or Locking Picking Lawyer on these “safes”. Most if not all of them have several fatal flaws. Deviant shows ways to hack and/or spoof your way in and LPL has opened a bunch with ridiculous items such as spoons and LEGO men.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    So, the author has a vested interest in us buying his product. My defensive weapon is at arms reach at all times. Thank you, U.S.Army. My safes have dial locks. No batteries, biometrics or bullshit to fail.

    1. avatar s says:

      Yes, the author does have a vested interest against these products, but that does not make him wrong. He is right, in fact, on all counts.

      “technology” should be avoided at all costs in defensive firearm safes

      1. avatar No one of Consequence says:

        Mechanical locks are technology. Center fire cartridges are technology. Copper jacketing is technology, as are hollowpoint expanding bullets. Polymer injection molding is technology. Even the modern steel used to make the barrel is technology.

        The goal, I think, should be to make whatever it is, as simple as it can be, but no simpler; and complex enough to function as best it can, but no more complex than that. And whatever it is, if it’s relevant to life and safety, it should be designed with a lot of attention to what can fail, and how to have failures result in the lowest possible threat.

        I think this last point is where electronically controlled or augmented safes have real issues.

        1. avatar drunkEODguy says:

          to paraphrase, “The engineer knows his task is complete not when he can find nothing to add to the design, but when he finds there is nothing else that can be reasonably taken away from it.”

          It was some French aviation engineer who said something to that effect. I can’t remember the direct quote, but the general thrust of it stayed with me. KISS

    2. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

      Locks fail. . . Just saying.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        And batteries can also fail on these electronic gizmos — both dying from expending all of their stored energy as well as chemically corroding. (I wish I had $10 for every time that batteries corroded in my devices — I would have retired years ago.)

        Then there is the simple fact that humans could easily fail if startled from deep sleep. You could easily fail to properly manipulate a gun safe if you rush and fail to account for the entire “waking up” process which requires: coming to your senses, clearing your eyes, regaining full dexterity in your fingers (waking up with your hand or arm “asleep”), and rolling out of bed.

        1. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

          Waking up myself is especially painful. I had a very serious case of Bell’s Palsy that permanently damaged my eyes ability to sufficiently lubricate while I sleep. Addition to a extreme sensitivity to bright light it definitely takes me longer to require my eyesight pre-illines.

        2. avatar Mike says:

          Common sense batteries die, and corrode. They need to be changed at least once a year depending on use. Batteries are cheap compared to the damage they do when they corrode or in a emergency if you need to access something and they are dead.

      2. avatar StLPro2A says:

        And….locks keep the honest and the terminally stupid individuals out…….and rightful owners under stress when seconds often equal a lifetime.

    3. avatar Paul says:

      Vested interest, maybe, but I’m with him on his conclusions. Something the author failed to mention, are dead batteries. You’ve owned your hi-tech safe for months or years, and you’ve never felt the need to change out the battery. The one time you NEED to get in the safe, you find that the batteries just aren’t up to snuff. Now, you’re wishing that you had a plain old key-entry safe, because the bad guy is twisting his knife in your kidneys.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        change the batteries with your smoke alarms

        1. avatar Paul says:

          I had smoke alarms, long ago. Got tired of being awakened in the middle of the night due to false alarms. Dear Wife finally agreed we should just throw them out. She doesn’t like being awakened pointlessly much more than I do.

        2. avatar BardDavid says:

          I am so confused and intrigued. Where do you live and what are you doing that gives you so many false alarms? I mean, I’ve been alive for 36 years and the only time I’ve ever had a fire alarm go off is when I burned some food or the battery needed changing. How do you possibly manage to somehow set off fire alarms on a regular basis?

        3. avatar possum says:

          Maybe his wife is smoking hot. He said being awakened, but I really don’t think that’s what he meant

    4. avatar No one of Consequence says:

      Does SecureIt sell handgun storage boxes? I checked on their website and didn’t find anything other than long-gun storage, or things about as big as a half-height locker. Not exactly bedside lock boxes.

      I have some of their gun rack organizers in our safe and really like them, full disclosure.

  4. avatar Imayeti says:

    Emergency Room drugs are kept in the equivalent of an ATM full of drugs. Fingerprint readers are the norm. With big paws like mine it’s always a crap shoot trying to get a good read. I insist each employer give me a numerical code to use. The danger of a pirated code is eclipsed by the patient who’s dying while I play tiddlywinks with the scanner trying to get the life saving meds. NOT MENTIONED ABOVE: Adrenaline of an emergency will shunt blood flow away from less critical areas (fingers) which might worsen getting a scanner trying to get a good read.

    1. avatar CRNAhsv says:

      Reduction of blood flow due to vasoconstriction has nothing to do with fingerprint friction ridges.

      1. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

        Some places I worked had a 3 tier system, something you had, something you know and something you do. Seemed to work fairly well most of the time.

      2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        The IR fingerprint readers can’t see the damn ridges if there is not sufficient blood flow behind them.

        I have worked with Pyxis, Accudose, and Omnicell. All of them typically have password access these days. When they first came that wasn’t always the case, but quick access is enough of an issue that they typically all have it turned on now. Mostly fingerprints are quicker. Until they don’t work at all.

      3. avatar Paul says:

        To be honest, I’ve wondered about that. The finger print reader is less reliable when my hands are cold. Why would that be?

      4. avatar Kalashnikat says:

        Perhaps not, but sweaty fingers, freshly washed fingers and cold fingers won’t open my IPhone, which has a more powerful scanner and processor than any gun box I’ve seen.

    2. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      I can’t get my car door unlocked when my fingers are cold. Never when I’m wearing gloves. Not sure how that works. I have to use the button on the key fob.

  5. avatar MrBob says:

    Thanks, I hate it!
    I’ll stick with my bedside holster.

  6. avatar Blue Ridge Ranger says:

    I agree completely. If you are going to have a gun safe, buy a commercial quality one with an old-style tumbler manual lock to secure the bulk of them, plus other valuables. Keep your home defense firearms immediately at hand.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Yup. As I’ve mentioned in the past under similar articles, my standing safe is an old school, heavy metal walled safe with a robust tumbler. No electronics or “apps”. You either know the combo to open it, or you don’t.

      And a simple desiccant bag on the interior that I replace every few months. No camera tied to the Interwebs, no fan or heating coil, no electronics. If the power ever goes out, the safe remains strong and unaffected.

      1. avatar All Hail! says:

        Gaze upon the always relevant and necessary comments of the inestimable ‘I Haz A Question’. As it was, is and always shall be.

        All Hail.

        1. avatar Geoff "Trolls, the other white meat" PR says:

          …and it’s ‘one-trick-pony’ little all hail, yet again, still.

          You are such a putz… 🙂

        2. avatar Durrrr says:

          Hey look everyone it’s Goof PR. The ‘man’ who has never known the pleasures of a woman 🤣.

        3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Well, we tried. Thought perhaps Hail was capable of more intellectually stirring contributions, but I suppose she’s not and we’ll just have to content ourselves with ignoring her single line she keeps mumbling over and over. Like the autistic kid at the end of the street who is mind-locked onto only a few words and uses them for every conversation, whether they’re relevant or not.

          Poor Hail. Now that I think of it that way, I kinda feel sorry for her.

  7. avatar possum says:

    If your gunm is in the dresser drawer and shtf you won’t have time to open the drawer.

  8. avatar John A. Smith says:

    Damned right. I had a Gunvault handgun safe fail, without warning, maybe 10 years ago. Even after replacing the batteries it never worked right again. I noped out and bought a push button handgun safe from Ft. Knox the next day.

  9. avatar derek wildstar says:

    nightstand drawer. bedside holster. biometric fingerprint swipe with button backup. I’ve used them all and it had more to do with life circumstances and the chances of a kid being in the house than any perceived or real reliability issues. no kids in the house or chance of a visiting kid, boom leave the fcker in a bedside holster or hell sprinkle them all over. young kids and potential for their friends, biometric of some sort that will never be as reliable as nothing, but serves as a tragedy buffer-something far more important to me personally than 100% uptime or that extra few seconds. you do you, I’ll do me, and these things are useless for anti-theft so just leave that consideration out entirely. I dont think any of these choices-based on your life circumstances-to be bad choices. If you have a firearm and ammunition colocated and stored nearby for nightime “quick” access, you are still ahead of the game IMO.

  10. avatar John Memoli says:

    I spent the summer doing a kitchen remodel. I noticed after a few weeks of handling lumber, cement board, mortar, scrapers, tile, etc… , my phone was not opening with the fingerprint scanner. On a random whim, I decided to try my biometric car safe. Darn tootin’ if the darn thing wouldn’t open until I got to the third programmed finger.

  11. avatar VC says:

    gun under pillow.

    Gun shoved under mattress butt out.

    If the gun isnt on my side it is in a heavy safe. Safe prevents theft.

    Gun on my side prevents assault.

    Quick access safe is a misnomer and not something I will use

  12. avatar Tim says:

    Electronic locks are a disaster that hasn’t happened yet. Mechanical locks are the only way to go.

  13. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

    Anyone have experience with actual vault door. Buying a house that has a storm shelter/ gun room under the front porch. So pretty solid and was thinking of converting it to a gun room and my wife strongly agrees with my idea with the suggestion that I spend my free down there too.

    1. avatar 1SFGSFC says:

      If she’s anything like my wife, i’d rather be down there too!

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    Handgun loaded next to my bed. Ditto wife’s. Safety “on”. We both have “tactical” flashlights. AR a few feet away behind the bedroom door. Loaded and chambered with the safety “on”. 9magazines ready. Reddot,light and 3x magnifier if SHTF comes-and I can stash EVERYTHING(hide)in quick order. No safe,no small chillen and NO dumbazz portable handgun safe! Cannot the dumbest troglodyte criminal just grab it and flee to later pry the gat out??? Or GOD forbid your small child can use daddy’s screwdriver to get it open?!? We’ve been on high alert for 6 months. When SHTF in May we were ready(I got ammo too!) If I can add to my collection I may look into a heavy duty safe…

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      +1 for use of the word “troglodyte”. It’s been perhaps 30 years since I last saw that movie, yet the word lives on.

      1. avatar Carlos Russelli says:

        troglodyte (n.)

        “cave-dweller,” 1550s, from Middle French troglodyte and directly from Latin troglodytae (plural), from Greek troglodytes “cave-dweller, cave-man” (in reference to tribes identified as living in various places by ancient writers; by Herodotus on the African coast of the Red Sea), literally “one who creeps into holes,” from trogle “hole, mouse-hole” (from trogein “to gnaw, nibble, munch;” see trout) + dyein “go in, dive in”

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Yes, but I was referring to the movie Trog (1970). I saw a re-run on TV as a little kid, and it left a permanent impression on me for some reason. Like a scary version of H.R. Puff-N-Stuff.

  15. avatar tdiinva says:

    The purpose of these hand gun safes is not to secure the gun from theft but to keep your 4 year old from grabbing it when not on your person. If the grandkids aren’t here I place my gun in it when I go to sleep and keep it open. I only lock it when they are in the house and I am not carrying.

    If I am putting a gun away for long term it goes in one of two old fashion safes.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      TD I agree but unfortunately my 3 granddaughter’s haven’t been here in years(they live 800miles away). Dad is mad at me ’cause I vote R(he hates Trump). He’s also a fudd who won’t have a gun despite being a combat veteran. He thinks his kid’s are safer without firearms in-home…sigh. Never told him I’m armed or not.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        My stepmom is an avid watcher of CNN and MSNBC, so obviously she despises Trump. I just try to avoid talking politics with her because she gets very emotional for some reason. My dad is a lifelong democrat, but he’ll talk politics with anyone without getting emotional or upset. My stepmom asked me to vote for a relative in the primaries (she won). She’s supporting her because she’s related, but she had reservations because she thinks the girl running is being controlled by the people backing her. I said you mean like Joe Biden? Just kidding around. My dad burst out laughing. Most democrats understand Joe’s a joke.

  16. avatar Mercury says:

    The only quick, reliable access safe (or other container) is one that is already open. Pick any kind of lock you like, from ultra-modern facial recognition to classic dial tumbler, they’re all the same when it comes to quick and reliable in an emergency. They’re all hopeless.

    Open your safe when you get home. Put your house/car keys and wallet in it, along with the EDC that you hopefully also have. Lock it when you take them out. The only quick-access safe is the one you already opened BEFORE you need what’s inside it. Doesn’t matter if that’s guns, flashlights, a tourniquet or a fire extinguisher, it should be OPEN until you have a reason to secure it.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Unless you have small children in the home…

  17. avatar AVB says:

    Alright have fun hiding your wheel gun under the bed then

  18. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Since I am concerned about Constitutional Rights being as Safe as possible I donated to the TRUMP/PENCE reelection campaign today. I also donated to the Lindsay Graham reelection campaign today.

    Rest assured the crowd who wanted to give America the likes of hilliary rotten clintoon and scumbags like the Breck girl john edwards are donating and working hard to sucker votes out of fools that march in lockstep with fake news. Those same fools will be there to cancel your vote if you let them.

    Bottom line…Donate what you can and Vote.

    1. avatar possum says:

      campaigns are dumb waste of money. We know who’s running. A person’s vote should be on what they have done and not what they promise to do.

    2. avatar VotingMan says:

      I’m very, very seldom leave my cave to make a comment but your supporting Lindsey Graham made me want to cry. We have been trying to get rid of him for years. Sadly it does look as if he is going to need to win again against a democrat but I still cant vote for him. I will just not vote in that race or throw it to an unwinnable third party if there is one running in that race.

      You do freaking realize that he was one of the co-sponsors of the federal bill in support of red flag laws right? Right????

      I will grant that maybe? he isn’t corrupt. He is one of the poorest senators in existence from what I can tell and his assets seem reasonable for someone with his salary over that many years. But damn.. the man will sell your civil liberties down the road just that quick. His support for 2A is weak to negative. He is always ready to vote for a war. He also love’s him some Patriot act level lets spy on our own citizens and remove some due process protections while were at it.

      It would almost feel better if I thought he was corrupt but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s what he honestly believes in. That people actually think that he supports individual rights or the bill of rights makes me want to cry. He is an old school Rhino in principle and deed and part of the problem that has led us politically to where we are today.

      1. avatar VotingMan says:

        Also forgot to say…

        I’m still not sure he isn’t corrupt. The fact that he is still a senator and holds the positions he does on committees shows that he is very capable at working within a corrupt system. Once he has been out of office for a couple years and his net worth doesn’t jump through the roof I will feel better about saying I don’t think he is corrupt and on the take.

  19. avatar enuf says:

    I have three Stack-On gun lockers. One pretends to be an electronic lock pistol safe but all have keys. The pistol “safe” I change the batteries on yearly, have never seen the low battery light come on.

    My daily routine is all are locked up when I leave the house, the closet the gun lockers are in is also locked. Only my carry gun and vehicle long gun are outside the lockers. When I come home I enter the pistol locker combo, retrieve the key for the shotgun and AR locker below it and open that.

    But I still have my daily carry gun at hand in the house.

    Of course I have the advantage of any children being grown and out on their own now. It’s not like I have to be concerned with small and curious hands testing their limits of good behavior.

    Be that an advantage or price of making it into a time of grandfatherly years, is everyone’s personal question to consider.

    But hey, the guns are doing just fine!!!

  20. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    I’ve had one battery operated keypad GunVault fail. Since then I’ve only bought Simplex handgun boxes. However, I still have one battery-operated keypad GunVault, the first one that I ever bought, that simply refuses to die. Battery use is also very low — I’ve had to replaced the batteries like twice in 15 years. But, I really don’t trust batteries. I’ve pulled guns out and had holographic sights, lasers and weapon mounted lights with suddenly dead batteries. I don’t want that to even be a possibility when I’m scrambling for a gun in a hurry.

    1. avatar Martin Buck says:

      I have a cheap Chinese phone (Xiaomi) and the fingerprint scanner has NEVER recognised my soft, pampered finger tips. I need more time on the Telecaster… It is also unlawful to even briefly ever consider using a firearm for defense purposes in my country (NZ), so speed of access to my 12 gauge is irrelevant…(bwahaha). So this doesn’t apply to me (wink, nod).

  21. avatar enuf says:

    Unpredictable censoring going on here at TTAG. Nothing political was in my post to this topic. All I talked about were my Stack-On gun lockers and how I keep some guns out of them, lock up the rest. There were no links posted in my message text either.

    Post was briefly there, then vanished.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Might not be censorship. The WordPress comment system can get unpredictably janky.

      There’s a guy whose blog I follow but never comment on anymore because about 1/3 of my comments just vanish into the ether (and it’s even hosted on wordpress.com). Haven’t had many problems commenting on TTAG, but there have been a handful of incidents where they’ll go into moderation for some weird reason or disappear like yours, only to reappear a while later.

      As for safe storage, if I were to do it over again, I’d probably go the cheaper Stack-On cabinet route and add a pushbutton-lock security box for the bedside. It’d do mostly the same job as the big, heavy bedroom closet safe (minus the fire resistance, which I don’t have much faith in) with a lot less weight and expense.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      enuf,

      I see your post that you referenced. It has not disappeared from my view. I even forced the web page to refresh and it is still visible.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Thank you, I see it came back. Obviously ING is correct, something peculiar happening with the forum software.

  22. avatar Minuteman says:

    If someone’s breaking in try doing the 3 digit combination on your turn dial safe lock. Nothing quick about that either with adrenaline pumping. Best safe I found is my holster attached to me at all times.

  23. avatar Don from CT says:

    This “article” pisses and moans a lot but doesn’t really offer solutions.

    So here they are.

    1) Standard S&G electronic lock. In a rush, if you want to access your full sized safe quickly there is no better lock than this. As someone who has safes with commercial rated S&G locks in both electronic and mechanical form, I can tell you that the chance of you not getting into your mechanical lock because you mis-dialed under stress is much greater than the chance of the lock failing that one time you really need it.

    I’d estimate that I have to re-dial my S&G mechanical lock about 10% of the times I try to open it. That’s not good.

    Of course it doesn’t matter to me. Because all of my quick access guns are in the IDEAL kind of gun safe . .

    2) a high quality AMERICAN made box with a Simplex lock. A simplex lock is lightning fast and 100% mechanical. Its as reliable as anything made by man is going to get.

    This kind of lock isn’t great for a full sized safe but for a bolted down box in the bedroom its ideal. These boxes can keep a couple of guns secure against misuse as well as make sure you can get to them quickly.

    Everything else can be in a large safe somewhere else with any quality lock.

    The only downside to these boxes is that good ones cost $300 and up. And people are notoriously cheap these days. (Shoot I can get a Xbrand (chinese) safe for only $100 more than that at tractor supply). But a good one is literally a lifetime investment and is made of steel that is often thicker than a crap chinese safe.

    In my research the best simplex gun boxes are made by Amsec and Fort Knox. They are both made of 10 ga steel and made in the US. And both are available on Amazon for convenience. Cost is $300 and 250 respectively.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      This kind of lock isn’t great for a full sized safe but for a bolted down box in the bedroom its ideal. These boxes can keep a couple of guns secure against misuse as well as make sure you can get to them quickly.

      Shotlock.com makes wall-mounted units with simplex locks for securing a shotgun or AR. they just lock around the action of the longarm. I have one for my Remington 870 and it works great. They also have handgun size boxes.

  24. avatar Tim kiphart says:

    My fingerprint reader allows up to 20 users. I swiped my thumb n index finger 5 times each. Dry, damp, moisturizer, etc. Wife did too. Lessens chance of a bad read.

  25. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    My solution is exceedingly simple, easy, fast, reliable, consistent, and inexpensive to boot: store your firearm (for immediate-access self-defense) on an open shelf or pegs on your wall up near the ceiling, as high as you can easily reach, away from furniture (such as a dresser or nightstand).

    That arrangement guarantees super-fast access and requires no operations of any kind on any lock of any kind. And it secures your firearms well enough to prevent children from accessing them. (By the time children are old/big enough to reach them or stack up a table and chairs to reach them, they will be old enough to know that they must leave them alone.) The big plus: this arrangement works equally well for long guns as handguns.

    1. avatar possum says:

      No kids no more but I still put things “up”. Lost keys , hat, glasses, I’m looking on top the fridge or upper shelves.

    2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Every now and then my kids have friends over. I don’t want to gamble my future on every one of them also having common sense.

  26. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    Count on technology to fail when you need it the most. How many people here have an iPhone with touch ID? How many times does it fail when your hands are sweaty, or you ate something greasy, or your a cold… or whatever? Why would you ever put a biometric lock on a gun safe?

    My bedside safe has a mechanical simplex lock, and my closet safe has a S&G dial lock on it.

    Can those things be bypassed by an experienced thief? Sure… but I only keep one gun in the bedside safe and it goes with me when I leave the house. The closet safe is a true safe with a TL-15 rating, so… anyone who is able to get into that knew it was there, and knew what they were doing. A biometric keypad isnt going to stop that kind of thief.

    Also… in the post 9/11 surveilance state we live in, I dont know why any person with half a brain would want RFID tagging on anything related to guns. Maybe I am just paranoid.

  27. avatar BardDavid says:

    This is quite the serous question to everyone who sleeps with a gun under their pillow: who hurt you? I will openly admit that I’ve never, really, been a victim of a crime. The worst that happened was someone stole some cash, about 15 bucks, out of the car we left unlocked in our driveway. Personally I can’t fathom the idea that a burglar will decide to break into my house, while I am home, to rob the place. Out of all the house in the neighborhood, why would they pick mine? A break in while I am gone? Sure that makes sense. But why would someone risk getting shot when they know people are home?

    Criminal tend to prey on other criminals. Drug dealers rob other drug dealers. The idea of a home robbery almost seems quaint to me now. With consumer goods being so cheap what are they gonna do, steal my TV and resell it? Sell my password locked laptop? Enjoy your couple hundred bucks I guess. You’d probably make more selling bouquets of flowers by the road and have less a chance of getting a face full of buckshot.

    I can be scared of criminals but I can also be scared of other things that will kill/maim me: car accidents, falling down the stairs, falling flat screen TVs, that sort of thing. The most dangerous person is you; you’re more likely to commit suicide than get murdered. So you better get that guy first.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      BardDavid,

      But why would someone risk getting shot when they know people are home?

      Why would you apply rational thinking and risk management to a criminal?

      As for the street value of consumer electronics, it would be pretty easy to sell a 42-inch high-definition television for $50 — which is enough money to get high for a day or two.

      And in some cases, criminals do it strictly for the thrill.

      Pro-tip: criminals do not think nor act like the good people of our nation.

      1. avatar BardDavid says:

        Still though, you are more likely to be murdered by someone you know than someone you don’t know. A quick check of the FBI crime stats for 2018 shows that about 40% of people that were murdered knew the person who did it; a family member is just as likely as a stranger (12 vs 10%). 40% of murders occur during arguments ; only about 24% were in connection to a felony. If you’re female you probably have more to be afraid of with an angry ex-boyfriend than you do a stranger; a third of all women who are murdered are killed by a husband or boyfriend.

        The South would actually be the worst; that is where 46% of murders occur. Live in the Northeast and you’re fairly safe.

        And of course criminals apply risk management. Isn’t everyone’s favorite trope to trot out that a high degree of concealed carry, high firearms ownership, and disbanding gun free zones will reduce crime? Of course a criminal would rather steal the lawnmower out of your shed than the watch off your nightstand while you are asleep. Even when they went through my car they took the cash but left the portable DVD player.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          You’ve made the same mistake in your logic twice now, and added others.
          I am not more likely to be a victim of suicide than a victim of murder. I am not more likely to be robbed by someone I know than a stranger.
          You might be. Statistical analysis over a wide group of people takes to account factors that are simply not relevant at all to many individuals in that group.
          You have also made the error in thinking that because one thing is more likely than another thing that both things cannot happen.
          It is completely possible that you can be robbed by someone you do know, as well as by someone you don’t know.
          For some people, both are likely to occur. And for others, neither are likely to occur.
          Finally, all across our country, innocent victims are violently robbed both in their home and outside of their home every single day. To ignore this is to simply accept being a victim.

        2. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Also, according to the UCR, the cities with the highest violent crime rate are:
          1. Detroit, MI
          2. Memphis, TN
          3. Birmingham, AL
          4. Baltimore, MD
          5. Flint, MI
          6. St. Louis, MO
          7. Danville, IL
          8. Saginaw, MI
          9. Wilmington, DE
          10. Camden, NJ

        3. avatar BardDavid says:

          There were 47,000 suicides in 2017; 23,854 used firearms, 13,000 suffocation, and 6,500 were poisoning. There 19,500 homicides; 14,542 were from firearms. So yes, with all things being equal, you are going to kill yourself more likely than someone kill you. Guns are super good at killing people, which is why they prevail in suicides and homicides. Bernie Madoff and his wife tried to commit suicide by overdosing; they messed up so they didn’t die. If they had used pistols instead they would probably not have messed it up.

          It all boils down to this: crime isn’t random. People aren’t random. They rob people they know have money; criminals rob other criminals that don’t have legal recourse in the courts. They will rob a drug dealer since they know they can’t go to the police. They will murder someone in a crime of passion rather than for a thrill. The barbarians are not at the gate. Crime has been dropping and continues to drop from the 90s. This is the literally the safest period in human history.

          Everyone wants to believe that there are big bad criminal gangs and sex trafficking rings. No one wants to talk about the fact that your kid, if they are molested, are going to be molesting by a family members or friends. It will be an uncle, a grand parent, or a cousin. Much easier to believe that it is some shadowy organization.

        4. avatar BardDavid says:

          As for crime stats, are you trying to imply that strict gun laws do nothing and lax gun laws prevent crime? If so it is a hard argument to make. Louisiana has the highest murder rate in the US at 11. 4 per 100,000 in 2018; Massachusetts only has a 2.0. A lot of the Northeast has a fairly low murder rate compares to the Southeast. Notice that Chicago, which everyone seems to point at as a crime ridden, gun grabbing cesspool, isn’t on the top ten. Crime stats are tricky in a lot of ways. You can have a state that just has a high concentration in the cities; you can have a city with a low population but since they had three murders in a year instead of one it triples their homicide rate.

        5. avatar jwtaylor says:

          You may be more likely to kill yourself than be a victim of crime.
          I am not.
          Gross statistics do not apply to specific individuals. “All things being equal” doesn’t actually exist.

          As far as your question
          “are you trying to imply that strict gun laws do nothing and lax gun laws prevent crime?”…
          I didn’t say anything about that. You’re arguing with yourself.

          Also, you aren’t citing accurate data. Here’s the link to the UCR data:

          https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/topic-pages/tables/table-6

          You’ll find Louisiana ranks 3rd in violent crime across the states.

          You wrote, “Everyone wants to believe there are big bad criminal gangs and sex trafficking rings.”

          Because there are. I have a hard time believing anyone would be stupid enough to believe there aren’t.

  28. avatar Warlocc says:

    I’ve used good RFID chips for a lot of things, from doors to patrol checkpoints- key word being “good”, not those cheap ancient ones in hotels.

    If you’re really struggling with a quality RFID lock, it’s more likely user error.

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