By Dave Goetzinger
I recently examined a plastic toy that’s being marketed as a handgun safe on Amazon. The thing weighs about three pounds, is designed to resemble the much better Vaultek VT20i, and it’s made of the same plastic LEGOs are.
It’s being sold under the brand name Vehipa, though the actual manufacturer of these things is Guangzhou Tsunami Industrial Equipment Co., Ltd., in China. This toy is a #1 Amazon New Release.
How bad is this thing? As I said, it’s made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), the same thing LEGOs are made of. This plastic offers no resistance to common solvents, including the solvents used in gun-cleaning products.
Believe it or not, you could open the Vehipa handgun safe by pouring nail-polish remover all over the lock.
But that’s not the worst of it. You can also pop it open by bumping it against your knee.
See the video below to see how easy it is to open this thing.
My prediction: Someone is going to get killed because of this gadget. Some kid will be horsing around one day and bump daddy’s or mommy’s handgun safe off the night stand. It will hit the floor, fly open, and there will be few moments of excitement as the kid plays with the forbidden object. Then a finger will slip inside the trigger guard.
To say that I was horrified by my findings is an understatement. I’m insulted as a gun owner that Amazon continues to allow these irresponsible Chinese manufacturers to put American gun owners at risk. I posted a video about the device on Handgun Safe Research. Then I contacted the manufacturer in China to show them how dangerous their product was. Then I wrote a review for Amazon.
How were my concerns received? Tsunami Industrial wrote this:
“You are only one to get the box with problems until now.” (grammar unaltered)
Amazon offered the following as justification for prohibiting my review from being posted:
“Thank you for submitting a customer review on Amazon. After carefully reviewing your submission, your review could not be posted to the website.”
They suggested that I review their guidelines, which I did and found nothing that would prohibit my review from being posted.
To understand how these contraptions get on the market, consider that nobody involved in the manufacture of Chinese-made handgun safes — not company owners, industrial designers, production managers, or workers on assembly lines — not one of these people has ever handled a gun.
There is no private gun ownership in China. They have no idea what it means to live in compliance with gun laws, and don’t precisely know how the products they make are used. See the image below, pulled from the Alibaba listing for Yiwu Ospon Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. Trading Company, China.
When one of these companies cobbles together something to be sold as a handgun safe, they’re only guessing as to its possible use. Designs are based on the kinds of features that seem to be selling on Amazon. Thus, the Vehipa handgun safe isn’t actually designed to serve a specific function. It’s a collection of features.
The reality is that Chinese industrial designers shouldn’t be designing gun-safety products for use in the United States. That kind of work should be done by people who are knowledgeable about US gun laws and basic gun safety. And if a company wants any meaningful quality control, that’s going to have to be done in the US as well.
As for Amazon, the company should have a system in place by now to properly evaluate product reviews. All anyone had to do was watch my video to see how inappropriate the Vehipa Mini IOT is for purposes of gun safety. Yet while Amazon prevents other products from being sold on the platform, like child sex dolls (also made in China), gun safety products don’t seem to rate any concern on their part.
Their silence speaks volumes.
Sure, we’ll sell gun safety products. But we take no responsibility for the junk being peddled on our site. We don’t give a rat’s ass whether any these products are dangerous. And if your kid gets killed because you were duped into buying a dangerous gadget, that’s what you get for owning a gun in the first place.
Dave Goetzinger is the publisher of handgunsaferesearch.com.