I offer testing and consulting services for manufacturers and importers of gun locks and handgun safes. Testing services do not meet the requirements of California’s Department of Justice for the approval of firearms safety devices, but are offered for businesses wishing to avoid recalls and customer dissatisfaction due to design oversights. Services are described below. For current rates, please inquire using the Contact form.

Product evaluation

Product evaluations are offered for manufacturers and importers concerned about possible security vulnerabilities in handgun safes they are currently marketing. Having a product evaluated may help in deciding whether to keep a product or discontinue it, or may be part of a company’s broader plans to update and improve product lines. All vulnerabilities identified during product evaluations will be documented in writing and on video.

Resistance to covert entry:  Testing involves identifying those design weaknesses that allow a device to be accessed without leaving signs of entry. Testing explores potential for mechanical bypass as well as vulnerabilities in the electronics that might be exploited. Materials used during testing include items commonly found in the office and home. Tools are limited to common hand tools like screwdrivers, long-nose pliers, and adjustable wrenches.

Resistance to forced entry:  Testing involves identifying design weaknesses that allow a device to be accessed through partial destruction of the safe. Tools used include the hand tools used in testing for resistance to covert entry, and also include small pry bars, hammers, and 18v cordless drills.

Resistance to covert and forced entry:  This evaluation combines the above testing for the most complete picture of a device’s resistance to unauthorized access.

Product screening for retailers

This service is for retailers considering adding an item to a store’s inventory. As explained in the section on Firearms Safety Devices, California’s approval process is unable to identify security vulnerabilities. Therefore, unless manufacturers and importers vet their products through independent security testing, the retailer is burdened with preventing defective products from getting into circulation. Product screening is focused on identifying security vulnerabilities, and does not involve recommendations for design improvements.

Consulting, for manufacturers

This service addresses current models of handgun safes and models in development. This is the most comprehensive evaluation I offer. The consultation includes testing the safe’s operation, including programming access codes and biometrics; overall evaluation of the safe’s user interface, including exterior and interior controls; evaluation of the safe’s user manual; functional test of accessories; evaluation of the safe’s bypass cylinder; and testing of the safe’s resistance to covert and forced entry. Any identified problems with programming sequences or other matters of operation, and any vulnerabilities to covert or forced entry will be documented in writing and on video.

Gun locks

The gun lock industry produces a growing variety of locking devices. Therefore, I test common gun locks (cable-styled locks and trigger locks) differently than I test other more innovative locks on the market. Also, I ask that importers considering adding a new gun lock to their inventory review the Gun lock industry section of this site before I do any consulting.

I test cable-styled locks and trigger locks for their resistance to being picked open with standard lock-picking tools. I also subject wafer locks to additional testing with common office materials, like paperclips, for their resistance to being picked open. Results of testing will be documented in writing and on video.

For gun-locking devices outside common gun locks, I must discuss testing needs with the manufacturer.