Responsible gun owners are some of the most ardent gun safety advocates out there. When people know and understand guns, what they are capable of, and the responsibility that accompanies owning them, they are motivated to ensure that they always treat firearms with the utmost respect.
While preventing unauthorized, untrained people from having access to firearms is obviously the best course of action, there are times when this is not possible. That is why gun safety devices of all kinds have been created—to make sure that no matter what happens, safety comes first.
Today, we are going to look at some of the top devices for gun safety and their pros and cons.
Cable locks are one of the most basic gun safety devices and have been in use for a long time. Essentially, it is a coated piece of cable that is run in or through the magazine well or chamber (generally in rifles), or through the barrel and out the chamber (generally in handguns). The cable is attached on one end to a padlock, and the loose end is threaded through the weapon and secured in the padlock.
Cable locks have several advantages. First of all, they are very versatile. Depending on what type you get, they can fit multiple styles and calibers. You can even get long cables that are designed to fit through multiple guns at the same time. Secondly, they are simple to use. A basic understanding of firearms is all that is required to operate a cable lock. They also provide relatively quick and easy access to the firearm, should that be required. Finally, cable locks are pretty inexpensive, costing usually only around $20.
Despite these benefits, cable locks do have a few drawbacks. They generally have a thin cable, which can make it easy for someone to simply cut the cable. And if you lose your key, you won’t have access to your weapon and will also have to cut the cable.
Another way to protect your firearm from unwanted tampering is through the use of a trigger lock. This device is made up of two individual pieces that slide together. A trigger lock has a solid cylinder that is slid behind the trigger to prevent it from being pulled. Once the two pieces are slid together, they lock together. The locking mechanisms can be a normal key lock, a push-button keypad, or a combination lock. They can also come with a lot of different special features. Some have light-up keypads, and others even come with alarms that go off if someone is tampering with the lock.
Some of the pros of trigger locks include giving you quick access to your gun (depending on which style of lock your model has), a low price tag, and availability pretty much anywhere firearm-related products are sold. A little research will show you that there is a trigger lock for pretty much every type of gun.
On the other hand though, trigger locks do not prevent theft. Their overall purpose is to prevent the actual firing of the weapon. Another potential problem is that the cheaper models are not designed well. This can result in easy access if someone is motivated enough.
Technology is constantly evolving. Today’s guns are a far cry from firearms available a decade ago. Electronics have even changed procedures for gun safety.
One of those changes has been the introduction of personalized locks. This technology has been developing for quite a while and is now getting to the point of viability. Generally, guns are either manufactured with or can be retrofitted to have an electronic lock that prevents the gun from being discharged without the presence of the electronic key.
Usually, this key takes the form of a unique bracelet or ring worn by the owner. The idea here is that if the owner maintains control of that unique bracelet or ring, the gun cannot be fired by an unauthorized person. Also, it is almost impossible to hack the electronic system. Some see these personalized locks as a great step forward for gun safety.
While they are an innovative piece of technology, personalized locks are not without their drawbacks. One of the most commonly cited issues with personalized locks is that if you lose your key, you will lose access to your firearm. In an emergency situation, this could mean the difference between life and death. Also, though the lock is personalized, the ring or bracelet can still be stolen.
Biometric Trigger Locks
Biometric trigger locks take personalized locks to the next level. These safety devices are designed to be programmed to your unique biometric identifier. In other words, it takes your fingerprint to unlock them. There are a couple different types of biometric trigger locks. Some guns actually have the function built-in, while others are separate devices. They are nearly identical to your normal trigger lock, except that instead of a key or a punch pad, they are unlocked using your fingerprint.
The benefits of this device are pretty obvious. Unless you are the one touching the gun, theoretically, no one will have access to your weapon. The hope is that this will prevent guns from being stolen and then used in murders, suicides, or other violent crimes.
However, there have been some concerns regarding this type of trigger lock. One of the leading manufacturers says the locks have a recognition rate of 99.9%. This is impressive, unless you happen to be in that 0.1%, in which case you would be in trouble. The possibility of losing access due to a tech malfunction or damaged fingerprint reader is concerning. Unfortunately, no technology is perfect.
Ultimately, no matter which gun safety device you choose, everyone can agree that it is important to make sure that all firearms are used in a responsible, safe manner.
An avid archer, political junkie, and aspiring musician, Brady makes his home on the edge of society, just close enough to get good WiFi, but far enough to not be bothered.