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While a good guy with a gun remains the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun, local laws and policies don’t always allow for said good guys to be armed in certain locations. These places are commonly known as “gun-free” zones, places in which those who have to live and work are forced to rely on the honor of bad guys to leave their guns elsewhere (not to mention luck, guile, foot speed and local LEO response time). Troy Lowe, a Columbus, Ohio firefighter and SWAT medic, however, figured those relegated to these honor system zones might need more than just a stapler and a prayer to protect themselves in an active shooter situation . . .

That’s why he invented something he calls the Barracuda Intruder Defense System. It’s a steel doohickey — well, a variety of them depending on the door type — intended to allow someone in a lockdown situation to barricade a door from the inside without opening the door and exposing himself to a shooter.

Their site doesn’t give pricing information, but the Barracuda seems to fill a niche created by delusional policies intended to keep everyone safer…policies that actually leave innocents more vulnerable. Still, assuming they’re at all affordable, what can it hurt?

[h/t Dirk Diggler]

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  1. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a great idea!
    Yes I know an armed school administrator is one of the best defenses. It is also really the last line of defense if you think about it.
    This is a good step, one I think should be implemented, but it shouldn’t be the only defense. It should be one item in an arsenal of options.

    • I agree.

      Its not a bad thing for people to actually accept the fact that a ‘no guns’ sign posted or a policy written into a handbook is insufficient.

    • I agree. Solid product. Probably comes down to cost/benefit analysis of security officers vs having enough of these to barricade all doors.

  2. Here’s a free one. Take belt and tie on just behind hinge on the door return. Easy peasy.

  3. Convenient that none of these doors have windows in them or next to them like 99% of schools I’ve ever been in.

  4. It would be easier just to have a welder & some 1/4 inch flat or square steel tube & use an old fashioned katy-bar. Inward swinging 2 wood wedges & a hammer cheap & less noticeable to
    A shooter than a big yellow pad under a door. Tells them the room is occupied.

  5. Here’s the main problem. Active shooter drills (be the smallest target) in schools are worthless, and I will explain why. Someone who wants to hurt people at a school is going to attack while people are in the hallways. Probably during lunch, when half of the students are in an open area. Most shootings are fast, and the shooter takes their own life towards the end. Barricading doors will only help in the rare instance that the shooter attacks during a class period, where 99% of the students and staff are inside a lockable room.
    A lot of shooters are currently enrolled students with serious emotional issues, and they have the opportunity to plan ahead. Arming teachers and staff seems to be the only solution that enables true first responders to kill the attacker and end the rampage.
    Long story short, this might help, but it is by no means a solution.

    • When my son was in public school the teachers watched the playground from inside on cctv. At bus time all the kids outside 1 teacher directing. All perfect chances to kill them all. One kid got caught w/pipe bombs duct taped to LP gas cylinders. He got the idea from Bowling for Columbine. Directions off the net & stolen firearms.

    • Active shooter drills and the contingency plans they spawn are generally modeled exactly after the last high-profile active shooter incident. What are the chances that the next lunatic will follow the last guy’s playbook?

      • Exactly!

        My local Fire and Police Departments are doing a ‘table top’ exercise for an Active Shooter Scenario at a local school. Its like the real thing, except on a big table with Hot-wheels, plastic army men, and LEGO.

        The reference material they are using for planning….. the Aurora Theater. And a very brief synopsis of Columbine, Newtown, and September 11.

    • Scrubula,

      And don’t forget the huge crowd of children who pour out of the school at the end of the day when the bell rings. All someone has to do is walk up to the sidewalk just outside the main school doors and stand there like they are waiting for their child until there are several hundred children around them.

    • You guys get the idea though, right? Aside from people capable of stopping the active shooter, there is absolutely no way to protect children from these incidents without turning public schools into literal prisons.

  6. I think this is a pretty good idea. Many schools and office buildings have relatively strong interior and exterior doors. Combined with a strong door, these devices should theoretically act like a lock upgrade. It’s still possible to blow out locks and such, but these could still be useful. Every tried kicking in a steel door in a steal doorframe? Ouch.

    Given my druthers, I’d take a Glock 35 and an AR or 12 gauge against an active shooter, but mine is more of a “search and destroy” than a “shelter and protect” mission.

  7. Hooked on phonics didn’t work for him…. and I’m surprised his department let him wear a uniform to hawk his goods.

    • I’m trying to figure out why he felt the need to wear the gear. He’s a medic, not an officer. (Said knowing he probably carries during SWAT events.) Bit of the ole Mall Ninja attitude.

  8. And I’m just thinking, a bag full of these, a bad guy (or crew of bad guys) could lock a place down pretty tight in a hurry.

    Also I may have been playing too much Payday2 lately.

  9. Still, assuming they’re at all affordable, what can it hurt?

    It will not only hurt, it will kill. Gungrabbing politicians will gull their constituents into thinking that gadgets will make their children safe, so schools will remain exposed as soft targets.

    Then another school will get hit, these doohickeys will do nothing and more children will die.

    • It is false security, and instead of taking real steps to harden the school, the latest gimmick will be promoted.

  10. Back in the day when I spent much time in hotels I came across a great little device. Bascially 5 bucks or just scrounging the garage. Two L steel corner braces. On one, cut a leg to btw 1 and 1.5 inch. This goes btw door and into the strike plate. The other brace is placed against the first one lying its leg facing away from strike plate. A small wing nut screw thru the hole in the braces locks both of them into this position. You would have to tear the door apart to get in. Cheap, super strong and provides huge safety margin for folks.

  11. It beats the human variant:
    «In room 204, Professor Liviu Librescu forcibly prevented Cho from entering the room. Librescu was able to hold the door closed until most of his students escaped through the windows, but he died after being shot multiple times through the door.» (Wikipedia)
    But the bullets goes through doors.

  12. A layered defense is best. Good guys with guns plus difficult to defeat door locks would help. Although icky guns are hard for a lot of the leftist ideologues that are our current crop of teachers.

  13. Yes by all means, lets educate the children in a prison. Bolts, bars, steel doors, security systems, razor wire topped fences. Maybe towers on the corners with armed guards to protect the children in the yard.

    That will keep them safe.

    And you wonder why home schooling is growing by leaps and bounds over traditional institutional learning.

    • The National Education Association, like every civilian disarmament group, is all about CONTROL.

      A protectionist racket intended to prevent educational choices, promote a statist monopoly on education and advance a “progressive” agenda.

      NEA Resolutions Document 2012-2013

      “B-83. Home Schooling
      The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

      The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

      The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)”

    • Of course, the NEA, as a “progressive” organization, has a statist position on wide range of topics, including guns.

      NEA Resolutions Document 2012-2013

      I-34. Gun-Free Schools and the Regulation of Deadly Weapons

      “The National Education Association believes that all students and education employees must be allowed to learn and work in an environment free of unauthorized guns and other deadly weapons. Severe penalties should be enacted and strenuously enforced for criminal actions involving guns and other deadly weapons, especially in school settings, and for those who profit from the illegal sale, importation, and distribution of these weapons. The Association also believes that individuals who bring guns or deadly weapons to school should be excluded from school and school grounds until undergoing mandatory prescribed intervention.

      The Association further believes that strict prescriptive regulations are necessary for the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale and resale of handguns and ammunition magazines. The possession by the private sector of automatic weapons and military-style semiautomatic assault weapons should be illegal, except for historical and collection purposes, which must be strictly regulated. A mandatory background check and a mandatory waiting period should occur prior to the sale of all firearms. The Association believes that minors shall not be allowed to buy, own, or sell firearms.

      The Association also believes that gun owners should participate in educational programs that stress responsible ownership, including safe use and storage of guns. (1982, 2003)”

  14. The problem is the people installing them in the video are not under pressure. Over time, they’ll be moved to the hall closet, the substitute teacher won’t even be shown them.

    Under pressure, we all perform less than 100%.

    Most teachers in grade schools are women, will they do well without intensive training? Men wouldn’t do any better without intensive training either.

    The only way to properly train for this is to have an ongoing training program with some big guy screaming in their ear and the sound of gunfire all the time as they find them, pick them up and install them.

    Waste of money.

    Schools are caught, they want glass to make sure the teacher is not doing anything wrong and they want a strong door.

    Most school administrators realize the chances of a mass shooting are right up there with an earthquake and/or lightening. They will give lip service but little else unless the parents demand it. Many parents understand this.

    More kids die from prescription overdoses than shootings, the administrators have to concentrate on the low hanging fruit and it is not gunfire (unless you are in gun free Chicago or soon to be frisk free NYC).

    Hell, the next shooting won’t occur in a school, how about a public library, hospital, public park, charity run (oh that already happened in Boston), beach, train station, nuclear bomb armament site (like the old guy and the nun-they got past sensors and CCTV.

    “In an act of protest, Megan Rice defaced a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in Tennessee. The two other activists with her were sentenced to more than five years behind bars.
    Although officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or made into a dirty bomb, the break-in raised questions about the safekeeping at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The facility holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium and was known as the “Fort Knox of uranium.

    After the protest, the complex had to be shut down, security forces were re-trained and contractors were replaced.”

    If we can’t protect nuclear s**t, maybe a good try would be armed guards or armed teachers/administrators.

    First time I walked into Wells Fargo I saw a cop sitting at a table, so I asked him why? He said armed robberies. Banks don’t have that much money in cashiers drawers. They just don’t want bad press.

    Guess we value money more than kids. Just sayin’

  15. As others have noted, classroom design has not focused on security. Doors are typically provided with inset windows or transoms.

    In cases such as Newtown, CT and Red Lake, MN – the shooter simply shot out the adjacent glass to gain access through locked doors.

    If I may generalize, most buildings constructed today are built with an expectation there will be, 1.) Law enforcement or security response, 2.) Power service, 3.) Telecommunication service.

    The lack of a security perspective in design and the unrealistic expectation of uninterrupted services provide a recipe for failure that a device like the Barracuda cannot overcome. In the right circumstances, sure – but this device is only as good as the system of security measures around it.

    Better to train up and tool up.

  16. Its too bad that where I work the doors are basically windows on hinges.

    If your lucky enough to have solid doors that don’t have windows right next to them (unlikely) then these seem pretty good.

  17. Seems like a decent idea. However what happens when an active shooter decides he’s going to use it to keep the GOOD guys out? Not necessarily a reason NOT to get them… just a thought.

  18. “Places in which those who have to live and work are forced to rely on the honor of bad guys to leave their guns elsewhere (not to mention luck, guile, foot speed and local LEO response time)”–this is the best definition of “gun-free zone” that I’ve ever heard.

  19. I’m surprised at the negative reaction so far.

    Of course it doesn’t solve for every contingency. But for some schools (sans windows) it could work. For some teachers (who do not carry) it could work.

    And sorry, I just can’t picture a sociapathic bad guy lugging a duffle full of these just to lock kids into a room.

    • Little buggers in CO hauled lp gas tanks in. I can see it happening, all they would have to do is tell anyone it’s for a drill
      Probably get kids to help bring’em in. The problem is this country operates from a set playbook, the nutjobs operate from the talking dog. There is no static solution to a flowing situation.

  20. It would work, but the school that I went to had plate glass windows that broke if someone slammed the door with any force. Even if the doors were solid, someone with Google and 10 minutes can figure out how to breach with a shotgun. Let’s see this work with no hinges or lock.

  21. Good points about doors with windows. The Barracuda intruder defense system is available with a seperate mounting cleat that can be mounted lower on the door than the knob and out of arms reach if the glass is broken. Check out our website for more information. Also, these products are made from steel and have been factory load tested. In all cases the door and hardware (hinges/lockset) failed before the devices.

  22. Will someone explain to me what happened in the second half of the video, I got distracted by the long haired brunette!

  23. We have had something similar put in all our restrooms at work, a super-duper door jam. We are supposed to hide in the bathrooms and use these.

    I think they are stupid.

    No way we need them.

    We have big “no firearms” signs on the doors so there is no way a firearm will ever get into our building to begin with.

  24. At first I was thinking a good product, but here’s a scenario where they may cost the lives of people:

    Shooter goes in, let say they know about these devices.
    Starts shooting up the place.
    Then doors close and these devices start going up.

    The shooter in this scenario has some choices:
    – stop and wait for the random victim or first responders, or
    – give up and commit suicide, or
    – plan ahead and start spraying flammable liquid under the door and set it alight … with the egress on fire and a self-deployed device that prevents it from opening and takes time to remove, now instead of shooting his victims, the shooter now has more potential victims dying by fire/smoke inhalation. Some may escape from windows but removing the device and leaving is no longer an option.

    I still say the best way to stop ‘Gun-free’ massacres is to end ‘gun-free’ zones.

  25. I have NEVER in 30 years seen ANY physical security device that could be described as “affordable.” Especially those that feature a chubby SWAT deputy hawking the product line on the Internet. Isn’t that illegal, as it implies an endorsement?

    • As long as he doesn’t show his dept. insignia probably not. He is listed as a firefighter & SWAT medic not a cop. I do know I just finished updating a policy manual for a local department, wearing your uniform off the clock is a big no-no. You carry a pistol concealed, set of cuffs, I.D. & all are now required to obtain a CCW permit within 6 months at their expense. The personal weapons policy got changed also now the armorer has to approve if they want to carry anything brsides a g22/23. 1 was carrying a .45 hi-point qualified but now he has to use a decent pistol. He has several .45acp of good quality. His excuse I won’t ever need it, a mental exam too come soon.

  26. Take a look at a country that has had a dozen shooters/bombers & learn from them Israel. They trained certain teachers, they don’t make it known which ones & give them a pistol. Since they did that in the 70’s they have had ZERO active shooters. The problem with doing it here
    is multiple; liberals, companies that make money off selling shooter kits & protection devices &
    politicians that need a sound bite for campaign & to justify pork for shooter supplies. BTW the back packs work it’s IIIA kevlar. Will stop most common rounds.

  27. Paid FF and their silly off shift gimcrack businesses! Almost always plate steel weighing 20lb or some new wonder pikepole. Be better off just pulling some more OT.

    Troy – you want to be a FF or a wanna be Johnnie Rambo? Loose the cop crap and get out their “SWAT medic” con.

  28. Security theater. Guesses at what it would cost to outfit even a small fraction of the primary and secondary schools in the US, and what the odds are that even *one* would ever be successfully deployed in an actual school shooting event? Bilco will probably make millions.

  29. While this is a good idea in theory, like 99% of K-12 and higher ed classrooms have doors with lites (windows) and a lot of schools are including doors with full length sidelites.

    • Then there are the schools I attended (CVUSD in Newbury Park, CA). Elementary, junior high, and high schools all had classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, etc. with doors and windows facing outdoors.

      The high school is a 35-acre campus with 80+ classrooms, 2500 students, and 160 faculty/staff, “secured” by a 7′ chain link fence. Every classroom has at least 4 large windows along an exterior wall at least 20 feet long – most classrooms have more windows along longer walls. A shooter could drive through a gate (or hop a fence) then just walk along the buildings, shooting through windows (or just wait for lunch, when there are 1000 students milling about on the quad).

      Neither “shelter in place” nor “lock the door” work with such a school design.

  30. I have to admit, I cringe a little myself when I saw the size of my head and listen to my nervous attempt at the English language in this video. I’m proud and honored to serve as both a firefighter and SWAT team medic. Part of my involvement with the team is to help instruct active shooter/killer response classes. As a military veteran and medic, I teach improvised medicine for gunshot an blast wounds based on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) concepts. In my opinion, the best defense is to return fire if possible. Unfortunately, most victims do not have the ability or the time to react in this manner, so another way to prevent injury is to deny access to the intended victims. I offer the Barracuda device as an option or another “tool in the toolbox”. The devices will work on many door styles and in many applications, but obviously they do not provide a solution for every possible scenario. To truly stop these shooters, we have to find a way to stop the first shot from being fired. There are mental health issues, bad family situations, and many other societal reasons that cause these senseless tragedies. I can’t control any of these problems and I am not a psychiatrist or a legislator. I invented these devices to make it harder for shooters to reach their intended victims in an attempt to limit the carnage that can be they inflicted. They are not the “only” option for shooter defense, but utilizing them with other safety measures and protocols can keep more people out of harms way. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for watching our video.

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  32. Not Allowed in Elizabeth Colorado. The Local Fire Department said it was against fire code to install during an active shooter. The Fire Department Banned them from being placed in any schools. Getting ready to start a fight lets see where it goes.


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