3/01 The Trigger Lock Trap

Ooops! The Trigger Lock Trap
Larry Pratt

The stampede was on in 2000. Gun locks. Trigger locks. They are good things. Politicians give them away (using taxpayer funds, of course). Force gun companies to sell them. Motherhood and apple pie!

Well, not quite.

Turns out, even assuming trigger locks are a good thing — an assumption GOA vigorously rejects — they don’t work as intended!

Government safety tests have found that all but two of 32 models of gun locks tested recently could be opened without a key according to a February 8 Washington Post report.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that the locks could be opened with paper clips, a pair of scissors or tweezers, or you could whack them on the table and they would open. Of course the other two could probably be opened rather quickly with a hammer and a screw driver.

Now, Gun Owners of America thinks that the best gun lock is no lock, and the next best one is one that can be opened with paper clips, or a pair of scissors or tweezers, or a whack on the table. You might almost be able to get to your personal protection device before an assailant gets to you!

But here’s the rub: a de facto gun ban. Happily the CPSC is prohibited from regulating guns. But gun locks are considered accessories. As such, they can be regulated by these bureaucrats.

Now if a federal law is passed — and some state laws have already been put on the books — requiring that some kind of gun lock be sold with a gun, the sale of guns can be banned if no suitable locks are available to be sold with the gun.

Meanwhile, Houston, Texas announced a recall of thousands of gun locks it had distributed at taxpayer expense. The city offered no apologies for their role in endangering its citizens’ safety.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation also has a red face, having put forth about 400,000 of the bum locks. Hopefully the firearms community will leave the politicians to go it alone in such a misguided endeavor.

If one wants to prevent theft of a gun, a gun lock is a poor choice. To keep a gun from unauthorized use, hiding it well or using a safe is the way to go.

Gun Owners of America would plead with gun owners not to use trigger locks — especially for a gun the owner would depend on for personal security.

It is for sure that the assailant will not be so encumbered.

If trigger locks are widely used, expect the murder rate to go up.