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Gun safes recalled for lock issue that allowed a 6-year-old access

Four different brands have issued recalls for their gun safes that use fingerprint recognition as keys.
Gun safes recalled for lock issue that allowed a 6-year-old access
Posted at 6:42 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 20:42:17-05

More than 120,000 biometric gun safes have been recalled over reports they can be opened by unauthorized users, including one instance that involved a 6-year-old boy.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued four separate recalls Thursday involving biometric safes sold by the brands Bulldog, Machir, MouTec and Awesafe.

Collectively, the companies received 91 reports of the Chinese-manufactured safes being opened by unauthorized users, but none resulted in injury. MouTec had only one of those reports, but that one time resulted in a 6-year-old gaining access to the potentially deadly weapons inside an assumed-locked safe.

Biometric identification systems are used in multiple different environments: There's facial recognition on your smartphone, voice recognition on your speaker and these fingerprint-locked gun safes.

In theory, these safes should be the most secure — it could only be a matter of time before someone guessed a passcode or found out wherever you wrote it down, and if it was locked with a key, that could be picked or found, too. But a fingerprint can't be replicated, thus only allowing the intended person to open the safe's door.

SEE MORE: White House to announce first-ever office of gun violence prevention

However, that peace of mind involving the safety of your safe's contents and whoever comes in contact with it starts to diminish a bit when technology does as it tends to do, and fails. And while other biometric hiccups, like your face ID not working on your phone can be annoying, a technological issue with a biometric safe can be deadly. That's what led to the October recall of around 61,000 biometric gun safes from Fortress.

Like this recall, the CPSC's warning stated a lock issue could allow unauthorized users, including children, to access the contents of a safe, increasing the risk of serious injury or death. 

But unlike this recall, one of Fortress' 40 incident reports did include an injury or death: A 12-year-old boy "suffered a lethal gunshot wound to the head" after gaining access to the firearm in his home's biometric safe, his family's lawsuit against the company states.

To see if you own one of the newly recalled biometric safes, a full list of exact models can be found here for Bulldoghere for Machirhere for MouTec and here for Awesafe. Anyone with the affected models are advised to stop using them until there's a repair or replacement.


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