A very worrying report comes out of Iowa.
An Iowa family wants a safe taken off the market after their 6-year-old opened it and took a gun to school, KETV reported.
. . .
As gun owners with a little boy in the house, the Shenandoah, Iowa family bought a safe to make sure their gun was secure. Only a registered fingerprint can unlock it. At least that's what the family thought.
"We put those safeguards in place. We did our best. We thought we were doing what we needed to do to protect our family and community. And unfortunately, it just didn't happen in this scenario," said the 6-year-old's father.
In early March, the man's 6-year-old son was on the school playground at recess when teachers found a gun in his backpack.
"They confiscated a gun from a student and they needed officers out to the school," said Shenandoah Police Chief Josh Gray.
Gray said he contacted the boy's parents, who insisted the gun had been in a locked safe.
"He just saw the safe and then he put his thumbprint on it and it opened right up for the kid," Gray said, confirming that the safe, sold by a Chinese company named "BBRKIN," unlocked for the 6-year-old.
Police went to the home to check the safe.
"The father was more than willing to work with us, show us anything we wanted to examine," Gray said, adding that an officer examined the safe. "He went to go put his thumbprint on the safe, and right away, as soon as my officer did that, the safe opened right up for him, which it's supposed to be just for that owner and his thumbprint."
In fact, the family quickly discovered any fingerprint, or even toe print, unlocked the BBRKIN gun safe.
There's more at the link.
To make matters even worse, it appears that the manufacturers had been aware of the problem, and had updated their safes to fix it - but without telling purchasers of the earlier version about it, and without upgrading or repairing their defective safes. The potential for tragedy is obvious.
Sadly, it's no longer possible to believe manufacturers' claims about their products without checking them first. Nowadays, if I buy anything made in China, I test it to make sure it does what it says it will, without any problems or inherent risks, before I trust it. As an example, I'm currently working on a comparison article dealing with camping and "bush" knives, hatchets, tomahawks, etc., comparing my African experiences with those encountered in this country. Most of the products I'm looking at are Chinese-manufactured. It's pleasantly surprising how many of the low-cost tools are not bad quality at all, and very usable. However, it's less pleasantly surprising to find that others are basically made of cheap pot-metal, brittle and unsound, and break in use. That could pose a real danger to life and limb when one's out in the boonies, far from medical assistance.
If you have a lower-cost gun safe, one using biometric factors to open its door, you might want to check and double-check whether it's reliable in keeping out anyone except authorized users. Lives might literally hang on the result.