HOW THE RESEARCH STARTED
My name is Dave Goetzinger. I established Handgun Safe Research after writing a piece of investigative journalism titled “Gun Safe Cracking.” The article first appeared in the online version of American Shooting Journal, July 21, 2015. A print version of the article appeared in the September 2015 newsstand issue of ASJ. I later wrote a follow-up piece titled “Lawfully Defective Gun Safes” for Ammoland Shooting Sports News.
Initially, I shared videos on a platform called Vimeo, which allowed me to correct/replace videos on my channel without breaking links where the videos were embedded. But Vimeo is not designed to be easily searched, and people don't frequent Vimeo in significant numbers. So I started sharing video on Youtube in 2019. My original Vimeo channel is still online, under my name Dave Goetzinger. There, you can see a selection of videos I posted in my early years online.
In 2016, I succeeded in forcing my first product recall. The product was a Chinese-made import marketed by Rhino Metals, the Bighorn Safe Co., P-20 Security Safe. I exposed the design flaws on video, wrote up my findings for a gun blog, and was able to get the video embedded in the article.
Shortly after this, someone with Rhino Metals contacted me to explain that a recall had been initiated, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission issuing their own public notice online. Though I take some credit for this, the recall ultimately reflects on the importer, Rhino Metals. Only around 400 units had gone into circulation, but Rhino Metals takes gun safety seriously and had no intention of allowing a dangerous product onto the market.
Two years later, in 2018, I succeeded in forcing a second recall. I found a dangerous handgun safe being sold by Harbor Freight Tools under their Union Safe Company product line. The device was called simply an "electronic handgun safe," catalog item #62984. It was without question the worst gun-safety product I had ever seen. I wrote to Harbor Freight Tools multiple times, sharing a link to my demonstration.
Finally, someone at the corporate level with Harbor Freight Tools contacted me to say that my message had been received. The product was being evaluated. A few months later, Harbor Freight Tools issued a formal recall, with the CPSC issuing their own recall notice.