If you keep a gun in the house, don’t use the Stack-On P-B 201 Pistol Box sold by Walmart to keep it safe and out of sight. A local news investigation found the pistol safe can be opened with a normal filing cabinet key. [WMCTV]


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Wow, who’d have thought that a 35 dollar safe is easy to break into.

  2. hi says:

    What is this ‘Walmart’ you speak of?

  3. RandoX says:

    I use a big ball of duct tape.

  4. EBounding says:

    “It kept the gun out of sight and out of reach from his three children, or so he thought, until his eight-year-old son told him he could open the safe with another key inside the house.”

    Hopefully they punished him for even getting near it.

  5. anapex says:

    A crowbar can open it just as easily. Which do you think someone breaking in to your house is more likely to have?

    Mason’s comment near the end is rather idiotic too. The cheap lock on the cheap safe isn’t going to potentially kill a child. Being a cheapskate and not investing in a decent safe and educating your children might though.

  6. BugMeNot2 says:

    I keep my guns safe by pistol whipping the kids for getting near them. That’ll learn the little bastards.

    I kid, I kid. We don’t have children, so my guns just stay up on a shelf in a closet away from the notice of the occasional visitor. Growing up, there were always guns around, and we were taught early on they aren’t toys and to not touch them unless we mean to use them. Dad never even considered locking them up until grandkids came along… wait… I just realized dad apparently cares more for the grandkids than for his own kids. Jerk.

  7. aloe vera says:

    This is why our guns have keyed trigger locks AND are kept in a locked cabinet – with the ammo in a totally different part of the house.

  8. Elvisisdead says:

    I mean, it’s better than nothing, but still not sufficient to keep firearms safe. As previous posters have said, my dad kept them where we knew that they were. We knew that we were to never, ever, go anywhere near them without his permission. And we never did. I stay out of his closet to this day.

    When we had a little one, we invested in a proper safe that is secured to prevent unauthorized access, as well as theft. If nothing else, just keep the ammunition seperate from the firearm. The little bugger may be able to get the gun, but with no ammo, they can’t use it.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @aloe vera: I don’t have guns, or use guns, but in an emegency when a gun is needed…wouldn’t be a pain to unlock two things when time is probably not on your side?

    I mean, saftey first of course, but I’d think something to protect your home would need quick and easy access.

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Also…just a thought…wouldn’t the best safes use one of those locks that read your thumb print? It would be safe, you wouldn’t risk misplacing the key, and only you could open it. I’m sure they have them out there already, but it seems like the best idea.

  11. SpenceMan01 says:

    Same thing happened with a Sentry firebox of my mom’s. A key to my dad’s filing cabinet opened it. Damn cheap locks.

  12. RandoX says:

    I keep my handgun trigger locked in a pistol safe inside a floor safe in the basement behind a locked door. And I filled the basement with concrete. The ammo is in the garage. Unassembled.

  13. wolfjack says:

    @AlteredBeast: You’re right regarding the fingerprint lock with the exception that biometric are still rather easy to spoof. Unfortunately it seems that the corollary for something to be difficult for an unauthorized person to access is that it tends to be a pain for an authorized person.

  14. hi says:

    @RandoX: great to know… what do you do when someone breaks in? run to the basement assemble some ammo, unlocked the basement door, unlock the safe, unlock the gun, load the gun, turn around and see the criminal with a loaded weapon… oops your dead.

  15. hi says:

    oops i mean run to the garage first and assemble the ammo, then go to the basement.. yeah thats much quicker.

  16. RandoX says:

    Yes. After jackhammering the concrete loose from the safe.

  17. Squeezer99 says:

    why would someone keep their gun locked up? i keep mine out and loaded incase someone breaks in

  18. MeOhMy says:

    It’s somewhat troubling but truth be told most consumer locks can be opened with minimal expertise and if not another similar key, a stiff wire and a pair of tweezers.

    I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if a lot of gun safes with key-locks can be opened easily. One of the most important things of keeping things secure is learning the weaknesses of the security measures you’re using so you can be aware of them. To this end, basic key-locks are a fairly weak security measure so for something like a gun, having a backup such as a trigger lock may be a good idea.

  19. BugMeNot2 says:


    No, he shoots him with his rifle that’s not disassembled and locked up. Duh. ;)

  20. rhombopteryx says:

    Because maybe they want the gun not to get stolen?
    Or maybe they know that the gun is orders of magnitude more likely to be used to harm a family member (in an accident or a fit of rage) than to harm an intruder?

    All the legality (or illegality, for that matter – this holds true in gun-control-crazy cities, too) of keeping loaded handguns around doesn’t change the fact that the gun is more likely to be stolen or used on a family member than it is to be used in self defense.

    There’s laws, and then there’s statistics.

  21. The Porkchop Express says:

    What about a safe with a combo? do they still have those?
    kid can’t get in there unless yuo tell him what the combo is.

  22. upokyin says:

    @RandoX: I just keep some gunsmith tools, scrap metal, and a small forge in my attic. I can’t believe you would be so lax about gun safety.

  23. savvy999 says:

    My dad used to (and maybe still does) keep his loaded .38 in between the mattress and box spring in his bed.

    When I was a kid I used to play with it all the time after school. Take the bullets out, play pretend russian roulette. A favorite pastime was hacksawing extra bullets apart to get to the gunpowder, with which we would blow up Matchbox cars.

    How me and my childhood friends are still alive is beyond me.

  24. anapex says:

    @rhombopteryx: There’s statistics and statistics. Please post a reference to your assumption that a loaded gun will be used against family members before an intruder.

  25. B says:

    @Lo-Pan: or he knows what your birthday/anniversary is. Just make sure that number is hard to guess.

  26. B says:

    @anapex: It depends on the family member.

  27. uberbucket says:

    Rusty machete ftw. It doesn’t have a safety but at least it doesn’t run out of ammo.

  28. Orv says:

    I’m guessing a typical Wal-Mart customer keeps their gun on their pickup truck’s gun rack, anyway.

  29. AD8BC says:

    Mine is kept in the gun drawer of my nightstand, at night… During the day, when I am not carrying, it is kept locked in a safe. When I am carrying, it is either kept on my person or in a safe that is bolted to the floor in my car.

    If I had kids, I would probably do something different at night, perhaps a trigger lock with the key taped to the back of my headboard. My alarm system would give me enough of a head-start to unlock it.

  30. AD8BC says:

    @savvy999: You’re a nut. I hope you are kidding. For your own sake :-)

    You are obviously not a gun owner… 99% of gun owners take owning and caring for their weapon safely very seriously.

  31. rhombopteryx says:

    Statistics, damned statistics, and lies.
    The article is in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Wikipedia article about the principal author also links to critiques and gives good background.
    There’s no shortage of other critiques over this type of work, but the data is compelling, and suggests the risk is greater than the benefit.

    On the other hand, it’s nothing compared to car usage…

  32. AD8BC says:

    By the way, Stack-On isn’t known for fine design and manufacturing… kind of like IIT, MIT, and GRIP.

  33. Sian says:

    And now a guncase that was relatively secure thanks to obscurity is now useless because of the media.

    Who would think of trying a filing cabinet key in a guncase without this informative article? Jeebus.

  34. strathmeyer says:

    @rhombopteryx: “Statistics, damned statistics, and lies.
    The article is in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Wikipedia article about the principal author also links to critiques and gives good background.
    There’s no shortage of other critiques over this type of work, but the data is compelling, and suggests the risk is greater than the benefit.”

    Correlation is not causation.

    Who’s lying now?

  35. Orv says:

    Gun debates are pointless because gun ownership is a religious issue. You can’t convince someone their religion is wrong with facts.

    I remember one online discussion where someone talked about having been surprised from behind by a mugger. The forum’s local gun rights advocate proceeded to inform her that she wouldn’t have been a victim if she’d been carrying a gun. This is clearly the philosophy of someone who has faith in a gun as a protective talisman, not someone who thinks of it in terms of what it can actually accomplish.

  36. nequam says:

    @strathmeyer: Nobody said anything about causation … correlation is the point.

  37. Bulldog9908 says:

    @rhombopteryx: Unfortunately, the New England Journal of Medicine is notoriously anti-gun and has a long and distinguished record of lying and making up statistics to support their position.

    Not that I really blame them…Doctors (especially ER docs) see the worst of gun violence, but that doesn’t mean I forgive lying and making up statistics to support an untenable position.

  38. nequam says:

    @Bulldog9908: Do we not understand what a scientific journal is? The NEJM publishes peer-reviewed works by researchers. It does not author the articles and thus cannot be accused of “lying and making up statistics.” The article was prepared by researchers at the University of Washington, the University of Tennessee, and Case Western. The statistics (which you have suggested are lies) were provided by the US Census Bureaus, and state-maintained databases.

    That said, I found your argument to be cogent and thoughtful.

  39. savvy9999 says:

    @AD8BC: all of it is true, I was just a dumb kid. Like I said, lucky to be alive.

  40. This is funny: I was just shopping at Wal-Mart for a safe to store a pistol in. I thought to myself that savvy burglars could easily steal keys from the safes on the shelf and just have a bunch on hand for robbing homes. It’d probably be a good bet that if you came across any safe at all in most neighborhoods in America, it would be one of the 4 or 5 on the shelf at Wal-Mart that do not have different keys from box to box.

    Engadget did a good article on how gun locks are essentially useless. I think it warrants reposting on Consumerist:

    I am not of the mind that there is such a thing as too little information. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and you should KNOW it doesn’t work rather than blaming the media for revealing it’s failings.

  41. moviemoron says:

    Wait a minute, if you keep a gun in the house, that is the exact padlock you want. For you see, if an intruder breaks in your house, you want to be able to get to your gun and load it up ASAP and not fidget around with a key to open it. You want to keep your kid from getting ahold of it, then hide it well, out of reach.

  42. rhombopteryx says:


    but.. but… but… that’s such a fine distinction…. ;)