Popular gun safe can be opened by knocking it gently on its corner

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/22/popular-gun-safe-can-be-opened.html

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when do makers of these things start just sending him a test version with a $100 bill inside as a consulting fee? This one seems like a spring on that bar would address the issues he points out, or just fixing that “access port.” I can’t stop watching these, both for his casual expertise and the sheer shoddiness of the products.

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True. His videos have become so popular that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been approached by manufacturers to help with lock testing.

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Why should they? They don’t care. They’re just cashing in on a marketing craze. They know that it’s unlikely anyone will hit them with a product liability suit. And if anyone does, they’ll just declare bankruptcy, move the cash they hid in an offshore account, and go on to their next scam making and selling shoddy garbage.

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They probably don’t even have to go to those lengths. I can almost guarantee that none of the locks list their security rating in any way that is testable. No “15 minute” guarantees for example like you might get with a real safe. At most they’ll list their security rating as “5 stars”, which is meaningless. This means you don’t really have a grounds to sue them. The safe worked as advertised in that you can punch in a code to open it. It never said anything about being safe from being whacked on a table.

You can’t sue because a product is shoddy. The company has to specifically advertise features that are not present. Just get your money back and go on with your life.

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The problem is, if you do that, he knows you have money and he knows you’re afraid. Then one night you’re asleep in your bed, when suddenly you hear a friendly, nasal voice: “This is the Lockpicking Lawyer, and today I have for you the Viking VS-52BLX Biometric Wall Safe that you’ve installed in your home office. Now, in general, I think this is a pretty good safe, but it’s not perfect. Please keep your hands where I can see them, David, while I show you how I helped myself to $8,300 in cash and your wife’s jewelry.”

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What I like most about this one is that it’s intentionally styled like an old school bank vault to make you think it’s not a cheap POS from Wal-Mart. Surprise!

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You can sue for anything (at least in the US.) Whether or not you’re likely to win is a different question.

A grieving parent testifying through their tears that they thought their gun was secured from their child in a locked box that could be opened by falling off a table is likely to win a bunch of money in a civil suit against the maker of that locked box.

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Lockpicking Lawyer is the Arthur Fonzarelli of physical security measures.

the-fonz-coke

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They might! But in civil court, if the law was on the side of the manufacturer, that verdict would get tossed by an appeals court judge and stay tossed.

All the lawyers on both sides know this going in, and can pretty reliably assess their chances at every stage. That’s why most such things end with a settlement that may or may not be substantial (depending on the degree of genuine liability risk borne by the defendant) but that is in no way comparable to what an emotionally influenced jury would award.

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If it only opens to a gentle knock, but not to anything rougher, then it wouldn’t be so bad. It would keep out people in an agitated state of mind.

It’s a very serious risk for a manufacturer. Nobody should get into the business of making gun safes unless they know what they are doing. Or have enough lawyers and layers of shell companies to protect their assets.

With rulings that hold up binding arbitration, I wonder if filling out your warranty card can also stick you into binding arbitration. I never fill those things out because there is already an implied warranty and those cards are used mainly for marketing purposes. But now I worry that we’ll get click-through, shrinkwrap, or warranty card end-user agreements that totally screw consumers over.

Promises can be implicit. If they don’t make any claims then they’d be fine in most cases, but I think in a case like the one @Steve_L proposes (lockbox opens by falling off a table, child ends up dead) the company may find that a court finds that any reasonable person would assume something advertised as a “gun safe” would at least be a little bit hard open, and that the manufacturer of something advertised as a “gun safe” would understand that a life might depend on their product.

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Rob just said he wouldn’t mention the name of the safe himself, he didn’t claim that the Lockpicking Lawyer didn’t mention it in the original video.

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Like calling something a “safe” when it’s clearly not.

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I will not be posting the Lockpicking Lawyer again until he opens something by looking at it sternly.

Lines like this are why @beschizza is and will always be my favorite Boinger (nightmare shoops not withstanding)

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We used to be able to do “chromeless” embeds where the youtube title and author wouldn’t be overlaid like that. YouTube probably broke that API thing at some point, but it was really handy for videos where the title spoiled the joke.

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So has this guy ever found a lock box he DOES recommend? I mean, if it has a lock, a skilled person can pick it, so nothing is 100%. But a lock box that is reasonably price and not super easy to defeat?

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One funny thing is that the established lock companies send him stuff or at least ignore him, wheras west coast startups thinking they’re disrupting security get mad at him and make fools of themselves trying to take him down.

https://bikeportland.org/2019/05/29/company-responds-to-youtuber-who-once-again-easily-cuts-through-ottolock-300499

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